A single consciousness occupying many bodies; can be temporary or permanent. Also known as group or collective minds. Hive minds consist of many individual minds or subminds linked by some kind of technotelepathy, usually with a very high bandwidth. Sometimes this linkage takes the form of physical connection via direct neural linkage; more commonly the linkage takes to form of electromagnetic carrier signals or sonic links.
Some hive minds are composed of members who cannot function independently, but must be permanently connected in order to attain full sentience. Flocks of birds, shoals of fish and swarms of insects can be linked together to form hive minds using various technologies. Other hive minds are composed of fully functioning individuals, or even collections of superbrights or transapients. Some hive minds use a form of cloud computing, using many specialised minds linked by interpreter and server minds.
A very early form of hive mind was the Silver Mind Collective; another developed on Nova Terra in the Unity community movement. Many modern forms of hive mind have some features directly derived from ancient Simicotech or Unityware.
A particularly successful hive mind clade is the Vedokiklek, an insectoid clade often incorrectly supposed to be derived from Hymenoptera but in fact with traits from many arthropod species.
A looser form of collective consciousness can be found in the Tribemind toposophy; however individual tribeminders have much more individuality than those found in hive minds.
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 10 December 2009.