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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 twenty-first-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 Swarmintroduces 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 Geographicreporter 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 Crowdsand the innovative works of Malcolm Gladwell, The Smart Swarmis an entertaining yet enlightening look at small-scale phenomena with big implications for us all.
Peter Miller is a senior editor at National Geographic and has served as a writer and editor at the magazine for more than twenty-five years. He lives in Reston, Virginia, with his wife.
Table of Contents
|Introduction: When in Doubt, Turn to the Experts||p. xiii|
|Ants: Who's in Charge Here?||p. 1|
|Honeybees: Making Smart Decisions||p. 33|
|Termites: One Thing Leads to Another||p. 105|
|Birds of a Feather: Secrets of Flocks, Schools, and Herds||p. 159|
|Locusts: The Dark Sides of Crowds||p. 227|
|Conclusion: Doing the Right Thing||p. 259|
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