"Over the past century but accelerating over the past couple of decades, we have seen the emergence of a kind of global data field. The planet itself - natural systems, human systems, physical objects - have always generated an enormous amount of data, but we didnt used to be able to hear it, to see it, to capture it. Now we can because all of this stuff is now instrumented. And its all interconnected, so now we can actually have access to it. So, in effect, the planet has grown a central nervous system."