Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World
Kelly brilliantly explains the then leading edge thinking behind complexity science and applied adaptive systems theory u...more
Kevin Kelly, a founding editor of Wired, wrote this seminal book 11 years ago and it still remains one of the most forward-looking and world-altering books I have ever read. Kelly brilliantly explains the then leading edge thinking behind complexity science and applied adaptive systems theory using references to Borges, chameleons caught between mirrors, and group intelligence. The core Big Idea: More is Different, not just more of the same. What he means there is that when you have lots and lots of things interacting, you tend to get unexpected- or emergent- behavior. This emergent behavior, Kelly argues, is the basis for life, civilization, and consciousness. While many of his ideas and insights have popped up in watered down ways in the mainstream pop and biz press, as well as on the Net, if you really want to understand the origins of much applied systems theory w/out having to wade thru dense math, I recommend Out of Control.