Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software (Steven Johnson)

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Steven Johnson, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, Scribner, 2001, ISBN 068486875X

An individual ant, like an individual neuron, is just about as dumb as can be. Connect enough of them together properly, though, and you get spontaneous intelligence. Web pundit Steven Johnson explains what we know about this phenomenon with a rare lucidity in Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software. Starting with the weird behavior of the semi-colonial organisms we call slime molds, Johnson details the development of increasingly complex and familiar behavior among simple components: cells, insects, and software developers all find their place in greater schemes.

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