Six years ago, Russian president Vladimir Putin appointed a new chief of staff, Anton Vaino. Before his promotion to the upper echelons of the Kremlin, Vaino had served as a diplomat, as well as writing a number of journal articles on economics and society (he is said to have a masters in economics).
One of those articles, ‘The capitalisation of the future’, proposed a number of new ways of organising and understanding society. Key to these changes was a new device he called a ‘nooscope’, which he said could tap into global consciousness and “detect and register changes in the biosphere and in human activity“.
At its most basic level “the nooscope is a device that consists of a network of spatial scanners meant for the receipt and record of changes in the biosphere and human activity.” The spatial scanners are fed with data from a “global hypernet” of self-organizing scattered sensors. Like your parents after they bought their first PVR, these scanners record literally everything. “The nooscope’s sensory network…undoubtedly identifies events in space and time,” writes Vaino.
If that sounds familiar, you might have previously heard about the Global Consciousness Project (GCP), a parapsychology experiment which attempts to detect “global consciousness” by looking for its influence on physical systems. The experiment is conducted by monitoring a worldwide network of random number generators (RNGs), looking for “meaningful departures from expectation” in the data that are coincident in time with major global events (e.g. the 9/11 attacks, the death of major figures etc).
Dr Roger D. Nelson, who developed the idea of the GCP during his time at Princeton University, said of the experiment:
Great events on the world stage which bring people together in shared thoughts and synchronized emotions will be correlated with changes in the behavior of our network of random sources. That hypothesis was intended to be tested in a series of fully qualified statistical tests, with a priori specified parameters. The result is a definite confirmation of the general hypothesis, with a cumulative seven sigma difference from the null hypothesis expectation.
The GCP researchers believe that the evidence they have collected “suggests an emerging noosphere or the unifying field of consciousness described by sages in all cultures”.
The ‘noosphere‘ mentioned by the GCP – an obvious inspiration also for Vaino’s ‘nooscope’ – is an idea that was first popularized in the early 20th century by French philosopher Teilhard de Chardin and the Russian geobiochemist Vladimir Vernadsky. At its most simplest, it can perhaps be described as a continuation of terms like geosphere and biosphere, but adding worldwide collective consciousness as the next layer beyond geological and biological systems (noosphere originating from the Greek word noos, meaning ‘the mind’). It is seen as the next step in planetary evolution: from geology, to the emergence of biology, to the development of an overall interlinked global consciousness. From some this is somewhat spiritual (linked consciousness), for others it is more material and technical (e.g. the internet) – and sometimes it’s seen as a mix of both.
An Emerging Russian ‘Noocracy’
Returning to Vaino, this week investigative journalist Dave Troy posted a Twitter thread with some disturbing suggestions regarding Vaino’s philosophy and his influence on Putin:
Vladimir Putin believes the Westphalian nation-state model is obsolete, and is ushering in his radical idea of a replacement, based on the idea of the “Noosphere” first popularized by 20th c. Russian “cosmist” Vladimir Vernadsky. Vladimir Putin believes the Westphalian nation-state model is obsolete, and is ushering in his radical idea of a replacement, based on the idea of the “Noosphere” first popularized by 20th c. Russian “cosmist” Vladimir Vernadsky. Vernadsky, a scientist much admired in both Russia and Ukraine, theorized that Earth must undergo three distinct phases. Geosphere (bare rock), Biosphere (hosting life), and Noosphere (hosting consciousness). Vernadsky said “to expect ruthless struggles, shocks and tremors, and even an apocalypse” as part of the transition from Biosphere (Bio=life) to Noosphere (Noos=mind). Putin seems to have latched onto this as a mystic prophecy.
Troy says Putin has married Vernadsky’s noosphere idea – with its intrinsic apocalyptic transition period built in – with the occult-political theories of Alexander Dugin to produce a “Eurasianist ethnocentric noocracy”, as a way to push back against what he sees as the failures of democracy and the hegemony of the West.
What Troy finds concerning is that in recent weeks, multiple Kremlin-fed propaganda channels “have become increasingly apocalyptic”…
…all discussing “an event” that would usher in major changes. At least one such channel is calling for an “extinction level event.” Others are invoking religious pretexts. Teilhard hypothesized a moment called the “Omega Point” marking the transition from Biosphere to Noosphere. This may be what Putin and Vaino are aiming to trigger with an “event,” to be measured and manipulated with his imagined “Nooscope.”
If you’re thinking that someone like Putin wouldn’t buy into all this internet-consciousness apocalyptic mumbo-jumbo, it pays to remember that he is a Boomer – see the whole QAnon movement for the gullibility factor on weird prophetic ideas with that group – and he already has dipped his toes into Alexander Dugin’s occult-fascist ideas.
However, unless Troy is sitting on more details, it still seems a long bow to draw. Russia is currently not doing particularly well, relatively speaking, in its war with Ukraine – so it’s not surprising that its propaganda channels might be foreshadowing an apocalyptic event (nuclear strike, nuclear plant accident etc) as part of a possible future strategic move. No ‘noosphere’ needed to explain that, really.
Furthermore, Troy works a little too hard to tie in New Age ideas as being key to the danger. Some of the links between people he puts forward as being important to the development of this situation seem tenuous in reality – and are, ironically, rather similar to the way QAnon followers (mentioned in the thread as useful idiots for disinfo propaganda) tend to create important connections from rather tangential links in order to prove their own beliefs to themselves.
However, it remains a fact that Anton Vaino – a man with some fringe ideas that tie in global consciousness and world domination – has the direct ear of the Russian president. If Putin has fully bought into his ideas, then nothing is out of the question.