Most game players, alas, live on something close to day-trader time, at least when they're in the middle of a game--thinking more about their next move than their next meal, and usually blissfully oblivious to the 10-or-20-year trajectory of software development. No-one wants to play with a toy that's going to be fun after a few decades of tinkering--the toys have to be engaging now, or kids will find other toys.
Johnson has a knack for explaining complicated and counterintuitive ideas cleverly without stealing the scene. Though we're far from fully understanding how complex behaviour manifests from simple units and rules, our awareness that such emergence is possible is guiding research across disciplines. Readers unfamiliar with the sciences of complexity will find Emergence an excellent starting point, while those who were chaotic before it was cool will appreciate its updates and wider scope. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A delight...clever and thought provoking" -- Washington Post
"A dizzying, dazzling romp through fields as disparate as urban planning, computer game design, neurology and control theory" -- The Economist
"Fascinating and timely" -- Steven Pinker
A successful and fluent attempt to put complexity theory at the service of cultural criticism" -- Independent, Books of the Year
From the Publisher
intelligent, witty and tremendously thought provoking - Chris Lavers, The Guardian.
Johnson verbalises what we are beginning to intuit Danny OBrien, Sunday Times
Johnson skilfully weaves together the growth of cities, the organisation of protest movements, and the limits and strengths of the human brain.
J.G.Ballard, The Daily Telegraph
Fascinating and timely Steven Pinker
Johnson opens our eyes to swarm-logic behaviour in our own lives with wit, clarity and enthusiasm. David Pogue, The New York Times.
A fine new book As Johnson explains with brainy but convivial clarity, self-organisation describes systems, like slime moulds or computer simulations. Erik Davis, Village Voice.
A delight clever and thought-provoking Edward Dolnik, Washington Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
How do Internet communities spring up from nowhere?
Why is a brain conscious even though no single neuron is?
What causes a media frenzy?
The answer, as Steven Johnson's groundbreaking book shows, is emergence: change that occurs from the bottom up. When enough individual elements interact and organise themselves, the result is collective intelligence - even though no one is in charge. It is a phenomenon that exists at every level of experience, and will revolutionise the way we see the world.