The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life

The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life

by Len Fisher

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Overview

The process of "self-organization" reveals itself in the inanimate worlds of crystals and seashells, but, as Len Fisher shows, it is also evident in living organisms, from fish to ants to human beings. Understanding the "swarm intelligence" inherent in groups can help us do everything from throw a better party to start a fad to make our interactions with others more powerful. Humorous and enlightening, The Perfect Swarm demonstrates how complexity arises from nature's simple rules and how we can use their awesome power to untangle the frustrating complexities of life in our ever more chaotic world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465020249
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 03/08/2011
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Len Fisher, Ph.D., is author of The Perfect Swarm; Rock, Paper, Scissors; Weighing the Soul; and the prize-winning How to Dunk a Doughnut. He lives in Wiltshire, England, and Blackheath, Australia.

Table of Contents

Patterns of the Perfect Swarm: Visions of Complexity in Nature ix

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction 1

1 The Emergence of Swarm Intelligence 9

2 The Locusts and the Bees 23

3 Ant Logic 37

4 A Force in a Crowd 49

5 Group Intelligence: The Majority or the Average? 67

6 Consensus: A Foolish Consistency? 83

7 Crazes, Contagion, and Communication: The Science of Networks 105

8 Decision Rules OK? 133

9 Searching for Patterns: Imagination and Reality 155

10 Simple Rules for Complex Situations 167

Notes 173

Index 247

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