Steven Johnson - Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

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Product Details

In EMERGENCE, Steven Johnson, editor-in-chief of Feed, speaks lucidly about the organizational gravity of emergence theory, historic and natural examples of complex communities like those of ants, and how interconnectivity is reflected on the Web. A New York Times Notable Book for 2001.

Key Information


Steven Johnson

Book Editions


PaperbackReprintSeptember 01, 2002Scribner8.25"(h) x 5.5"(w) x 0.5"(d), 0.6 lbs.9780684868769

Professional Reviews


American Prospect: "In EMERGENCE, Johnson has put some powerful ideas through a literary feedback loop that will, in all likelihood, accelerate and magnify their effect on our culture. Does he occasionally display some of the tics and tremors that come with believing you are hot on the trail of a theory of everything? Absolutely....But these...complications, which call for more reflection, in no way compromise the value of the book.", Kirkus: Thought-provoking--and deeply appealing to the inner iconoclast., Dolnick, Edward, Washington Post Book World: " a clear, lively writer with an aversion to jargon and a knack for crafting offbeat analogies, and he may have the pizazz to win a wide audience...Johnson presents...examples with intelligence and verve.", Pogue, David, New York Times Book Review: "[N]ever mind that the book peters out. After visiting Johnson's intellectual movie theater, the layman is likely to recognize even more surprising examples of swarm logic in everyday life. Technophiles, meanwhile, will delight in both Johnson's skill as a commentator and his trademark style, which infuses technological musings with references to popular culture, recent headlines and ancient texts. And researchers who study swarm-logic behavior, heretofore little more than a broom closet in the halls of science, will surely appreciate Johnson's help in fostering the emergence of emergence."

First Line


In August of 2000, a Japanese scientist named Toshiyuki Nakagaki announced that he had trained an amoebalike organism called slime mold to find the shortest route through a maze.