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"The immediate problem with our meat brains is that they have no back-up. We can lose the most precious information we have from one bump on the head or stroke. You want a mind system with back-up that can access other databases."
- Bart Kosko

Galaxy Superbrain  
  The idea that the galaxy itself is a conscious entity.  

An early use of this concept; I can't think of an older one.

('Short-Wave Madness by Robert Castle)

"Arthur, he's dead!" I cried.

"Yes, of course he is," Arthur said numbly. He was staring with wide, haunted eyes at the wrecked receiver. "Gorrel listened to a colossal mind, a super-brain of space that didn't want him eavesdropping on it, and that ordered him to destroy the receiver and then die."

"A super-brain of space?" I exclaimed, "But what where " "

ARTHUR stumbled to a window, flung it open and pointed up. with a trembling hand at the starry, sky.

"It's up there!" he cried, and as he saw by my dazed stare that I did not understand, he added fiercely, "Didn't you see that the last wavelength Gorrel listened to, the thought-waves of the super-brain, was exactly .001 Angstroms? The exact wave-length of cosmic rays!"

"Cosmic rays?" I cried. "Then cosmic rays are really the thought waves of the super-brain? But they can't be it's been proved that cosmic rays emanate from the stars of our galaxy."

"They do!" Arthur cried. "But the stars are only atoms in larger space, and in that larger space the star-atoms could combine to form living matter, thinking matter, couldn't they?

"Our galaxy, a mass of star-atoms gathered together into living, thinking matter our galaxy is the superbrain!"

Technovelgy from Short-Wave Madness, by Robert Castle.
Published by Science Fiction in 1939
Additional resources -

Readers may recall that Douglas Adams declared the earth to be the largest computer ever made - mistaken for a planet by the bipeds that lived upon it.

Compare to the gigagnostotron from Cyberiad (1965) by Stanislaw Lem.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Short-Wave Madness
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Castle
  Tech news articles related to Short-Wave Madness
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Castle

Galaxy Superbrain-related news articles:
  - Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?

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