The Smart SwarmThe Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making, and Getting Things Done
By Peter Miller

2010, Avery (Penguin Group)

What ants, bees, fish, and smart swarms can teach us about communication, organization, and decision-making…

The modern world may be obsessed with speed and productivity, but 21st-century humans actually have much to learn from the ancient instincts of swarms. A fascinating new take on the concept of collective intelligence and its colorful manifestations in some of our most complex problems, The Smart Swarm introduces a compelling new understanding of the real experts on solving our own complex problems relating to such topics as business, politics, and technology.

Based on extensive globe-trotting research, this lively tour from National Geographic reporter Peter Miller introduces thriving throngs of ant colonies, which have inspired computer programs for streamlining factory processes, telephone networks, and truck routes; termites, used in recent studies for climate-control solutions; schools of fish, on which the U.S. military modeled a team of robots; and many other examples of the wisdom to be gleaned about the behavior of crowds–among critters and corporations alike.

In the tradition of James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds and the innovative works of Malcolm Gladwell, The Smart Swarm is an entertaining yet enlightening look at small-scale phenomena with big implications for us all.

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I’ve only just started reading The Smart Swarm, and am already enamored with it. Peter Miller writes in a pleasurable, intellectually stimulating manner. I’m not certain if we’ll be able to include a full¬† review in Terrain.org, but you shouldn’t wait for that, anyway. This is a book that should be on your list.

SB

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