How Complex Patterns Emerge from Simple Rules in Physical and Living Systems. Studies on this aspect of swarm behavior have provided valuable information about our behavior in the human swarm, from working our way through crowds to the design of collision avoidance systems for cars. There are many other lessons that we can also learn from the behavior of animals in groups, such as swarms of locusts, flocks of birds, and schools of fish. This book is about how we can use such lessons to make better group decisions and better decisions for ourselves as individuals within a group. The individual animals in a swarm, flock, or school follow rules that help them to get the most from the group. Some of these rules help them to stay together as a unit. Others allow them to act as if they were components of a superorganism, which has no individual leader, and where the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts as the group develops swarm intelligence and uses it to make collective decisions. The modern science of complexity has shown that collective behavior in animal groups (especially those of insects such as locusts, bees, and ants) emerges from a set of very simple rules for interaction between neighbors. It has also revealed that many of the complex patterns in human society arise from similarly simple rules of social interaction between individuals. My ultimate aim in this book is to explore how the process works and, more importantly, to help find simple rules that might guide us through the fog of complexity that so often seems to enshroud our lives.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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