Top critical review
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A book of two halves
on 3 December 2003
The first half is excelent, and worth buying the book for alone. It clearly explains, by jumping from ants to 12th century silk traders in Florence, how micro-motives (e.g. individual ants releasing and following pheromones), can - unconsciously - lead to macro-behaviour (e.g. an ant colony finding the shortest path to a food source).
By contrast the second half is more speculative, in particular whether the world wide web is emerging and thus whther it will - like SkyNet in the Terminator movies - become sentient. It might interest many readers, but personally I would have preferred the pages devoted to a deeper - slightly more scientific - view of how the simple rules (e.g. get close, but not too close, to your neighbour) can lead to complex organised behaviour (e.g. birds flocking without any "leader" in the sense of one that the others follow).
Overall a good book, and one worth buying and reading to the end, but one that Dawkins could have done better.