Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, & the Economic World

Author: Kevin Kelly
Publisher: Basic Book
Keywords: systems, economic, world, social, machines, new, biology, control
Number of Pages: 528
Published: 1995-04-14
ISBN-10: 0201483408
ISBN-13: 9780201483406

Book Description:

Out of Control chronicles the dawn of a new era in which the machines and systems that drive our economy are so complex and autonomous as to be indistinguishable from living things.

In many ways, the 20th century has been the Age of Physics. Out of Control is an accessible and entertaining explanation of why the coming years will probably be the Age of Biology -- particularly evolution and ethology -- and what this will mean to most every aspect of our society. Kelly is an enthusiastic and well-informed guide who explains the promises and implications of this rapidly evolving revolution very well.

c o n t e n t s

 The Made and The Born 6

neo-biological civilization 6

The triumph of the bio-logic 7

Learning to surrender our creations 8

2 hive Mind 9

Bees do it: distributed governance 9

The collective intelligence of a mob 

asymmetrical invisible hands 3

decentralized remembering as an act of perception 5

More is more than more, it’s different 20

advantages and disadvantages of swarms 2

The network is the icon of the 2st century 25

3 MaChines wiTh an aTTiTude 28

entertaining machines with bodies 28

Fast, cheap and out of control 37

Getting smart from dumb things 4

The virtues of nested hierarchies 44

using the real world to communicate 46

no intelligence without bodies 48

Mind/body black patch psychosis 49

4 asseMBLinG CoMPLexiTy 55

Biology: the future of machines 55

Restoring a prairie with fire and oozy seeds 58

random paths to a stable ecosystem 60

how to do everything at once 62

The humpty dumpty challenge 65

5 CoevoLuTion 67

what color is a chameleon on a mirror? 67

The unreasonable point of life 70

Poised in the persistent state of almost falling 73

rocks are slow life 75

Cooperation without friendship or foresight 78

6 The naTuraL FLux 83

equilibrium is death 83

What came first, stability or diversity? 86

ecosystems: between a superorganism and an identity workshop 89

The origins of variation 90

Life immortal, ineradicable 92

negentropy 95

The fourth discontinuity: the circle of becoming 97

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