Is there such a thing as a group mind? If so how does it affect the thriving and surviving of groups? What do such group minds look like from a historical perspective? What about a modern perspective?
You might be interested in the DARPA doc "A Memetics Compendium" which is like an operations manual for dealing with egregores https://twitter.com/kcorazo/status/1682288155037425665
Christianity was the original atheism. The old gods were egregores that kept the peace through deceit and Christ killed all of them https://www.explorations.ph/i/138274602/normie-psychopath-autist
Physicalist science brought this a notch higher with its desire for "intellectual cleanliness at any price" (Nietzsche via Girard) https://twitter.com/kcorazo/status/1726810053330808858
My interest right now is how power players across history have collaborated with egregores (especially 20th century nationalism) to reach the heights of power, and how people with a Christian or scientific mindset ("epistemology of truth") tend to be blind to the actual game of power players (who have an "epistemology of power").
I am not really convinced that there is anything it is like to be America, even if there *is* something it’s like to be American. But I do think people end up in mobs and act together as a system. Just not sure that system is conscious. I think the bandwidth needs to be greater for that.
I understand that the brain has an electro-chemical pulse -- kind of a frequency at which neurons ... do something. It’s been too long since I read about it. Does that electrical pulse become different in the two halves of a separated brain?
What do the people who have their brains severed say, write, paint, and otherwise communicate about who they are?
Hobbes wrote about at least a metaphorically similar thing long ago.
As a neuro-guy myself, I would say your split-brain example is excellent as a starting point but doesn't go far enough. There are hundreds of anatomical circuits, each of which competes for conscious attention and control of our behavior on a moment by moment basis. Most of that goes on with no awareness. So I think that idea that a mind has to be aware of itself as a mind in order to qualify is too restrictive.
Group minds quite obviously control and pattern the thinking, emotions and behaviors of all human beings, with very rare exceptions.
The original Western example of that was/is of course the "catholic" church which erroneously pretends that it has a "great commission" to convert all of human beings to the "one true faith" (really a belief system) as defined by them. Some right-wing Christians even pretend that its grotesque "magisterium" is binding on all human beings.
The "catholic" church runs the worlds largest (group mind) propaganda machines in electronic , paper paper, and very sold material forms too. Its tentacles reach into almost every village on the planet.
Its solid material forms are parish churches and its world-wide network of "catholic" universities.
At another, but very similar level the principal form of group mind formation and control is of course TV . In any given moment how many people world-wide are tuned into, and thus being brainwashed (zombified) by TV.
We are also trapped and controlled by the Wetiko psychosis which has reached its almost terminal development.
That zombified TV anti-culture is of course completely indifferent and hostile towards life on this planet, both human and non-human.