@ bob:
Now this gets into an interesting question that I've often thought we'd end up discussing, but which, apparently, we needed to work our way to.

Yes, in terms of the inseparability of action and subjectivity. I think we get this one in the same way. State of mind and action will in some way determine each other, and in special instances state of mind can matter to the law, but state of mind itself isn't the object or ground of ethics and morality - except possibly where they border on religion.

We're still merely human regardless of how flexibly internetted or otherwise augmented our capacities may have become as long as each "I" is constructed in relation to other "I"'s, and suffers, cares, lives, and dies as a one. But I will have to think further on how to present this.

bob wrote:

Mass social construction is a biologically determined capacity. How can it not be?

I would say biologically co-conditioned, not "determined," and actually the same is true for individual consciousness (nature vs. nurture), though the differences between how an individual may "process" information and how a society does are, to say the least, non-trivial.

The moral/ethical dimension of the question resides in how we think about our cyborged selves.

I disagree. The moral/ethical dimension - eventually the religious or spiritual dimension - must be realized, actualized, not merely thought. Morality and ethics are methodologically indifferent to the internal subjective states of individuals. What matters to morality and ethics is what we do, not how we "really" thought about it. It knows our thoughts only to the extent we externalize (socialize) them. "Men look into each other's eyes, but only God looks into their hearts." But even on this level, and in a sense all the more on this level, what the individual does with what's in his heart is what signifies, what matters, even in the way that thinking is an action, not his description or reflection upon what he's done or is.

@ bob:
"Shared identity" is defined contextually in the piece, and doesn't refer to biologically determined mental capacities, but rather to a mass social construction.

Good image. I liked the NYTE image because it isolates one set of global synapses geographically, but referring to them metaphorically as synapses doesn't yet make them the same as synapses. The internet grows organically in part because it serves organisms, but also because that's how growth grows.

"Was it ever anything else?" is a question that embeds several other questions, but appears to lack a moral-ethical dimension.

Scott Miller wrote:

Now we all either rise to the level of world view through spontaneous Grace or get crushed by the weight of world state disorder.

Or consider that they approach each other asymptotically as you dissolve the spiritual/material dualism. We can imagine the "world view," but that doesn't mean we have attained it. We can perhaps say that we attain it as we realize it, and vice versa. Or we can say that its possibility precedes us, and our activity alters that possibility.

Would a universal view be higher than a world view? I think there might be a difference. It would be theological or cosmological, and complete the circle, returning us to the level of phenomenology on the way to the question of consciousness, just as quantum physics and astrophysics seek the same math at the furthest reaches of macro and micro in both time and space, and at "beginning" and "ending," at the very highest levels of abstraction and yet throughout our concrete experience at its most banal.

@ miguel cervantes:
Police work in a big U.S. city can also be "very gritty." There are places in the world where people are still fighting with swords and spears. There's even a sense that remote, de-centralized warfare becomes intimate all over again, even super-intimate - since distance is an illusion, it all takes place "inside" our brains. But all that Afghan grit is being accumulated 15,000 miles out of sight and out of mind, and is of increasingly doubtful significance.

@ miguel cervantes:
The feelings of two or three soldiers don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy mixed-up world.