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

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Synopsis

In the tradition of Being Digital and The Tipping Point, Steven Johnson, acclaimed as a "cultural critic with a poet's heart" (The Village Voice), takes readers on an eye-opening journey through emergence theory and its applications.

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
A VOICE LITERARY SUPPLEMENT TOP 25 FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
AN ESQUIRE MAGAZINE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
Explaining why the whole is sometimes smarter than the sum of its parts, Johnson presents surprising examples of feedback, self-organization, and adaptive learning. How does a lively neighborhood evolve out of a disconnected group of shopkeepers, bartenders, and real estate developers? How does a media event take on a life of its own? How will new software programs create an intelligent World Wide Web?

In the coming years, the power of self-organization -- coupled with the connective technology of the Internet -- will usher in a revolution every bit as significant as the introduction of electricity. Provocative and engaging, Emergence puts you on the front lines of this exciting upheaval in science and thought.
 

About Steven Johnson

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STEVEN JOHNSON is the author of the bestsellers The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, Everything Bad Is Good for You, and Mind Wide Open, as well as Emergence and Interface Culture. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites—currently, outside.in—and is a contributing editor to Wired. He lives in Brooklyn, with his wife and sons.
 
Published September 11, 2012 by Scribner. 300 pages
Genres: Computers & Technology, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Emergence is nothing new, Johnson notes—surely the way in which the guilds organized themselves in 12th-century Florence is an example, let alone how the cells in our bodies act the way they do, for better or worse—but we are now simply recognizing it as a quiet, generative force working in theat...

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Publishers Weekly

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To have the highly touted editor of a highly touted Web culture organ writing about the innate smartness of interconnectivity seems like a hip, winning combination—unless that journal becomes

Jul 23 2001 | Read Full Review of Emergence: The Connected Live...

The New York Times

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Our ''inevitable future,'' he writes, not altogether convincingly, is a couch-potato utopia where ''every miniseries, every dance remix, every thriller, every music video ever made, is available from anywhere, anytime.'' Beyond software design...

Sep 09 2001 | Read Full Review of Emergence: The Connected Live...

The Guardian

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Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software Steven Johnson 288pp, Penguin, £14.99 Harvester ants aren't particularly bright.

Nov 24 2001 | Read Full Review of Emergence: The Connected Live...

AV Club

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As editor of the sorely missed online magazine FEED, Steven Johnson exposed the porousness of certain borders around pop culture, science,...

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About.com

Known by many names - collective phenomenon, bottom-up behavior, self-organization, and decentralization - it is a fascinating phenomenon that Steven Johnson approaches from numerous angles in his 2001 book, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software.

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London Review of Books

While operating within the context and constraints of higher-order organising influences such as the common law, town-planning and the dictates of city guilds, the detail of London’s physical and social structure originated according to a dialectic between such ‘top-down’ principles and less well...

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Project MUSE

The Emergence of Buddhist American Literature, a collection of essays and interviews edited by John Whalen-Bridge and Gary Storhoff, explores the impact of Buddhist ideas on the works and lives of a range of twentieth century American writers.

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Project MUSE

They combined their considerable talents to create a magazine for Black children or "the children of the sun" as Du Bois referred to them in the children's pages of The Crisis magazine, the official publication of the NAACP.

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The Kenyon Review

As they grew, and I began to learn about them, I came to realize that palms, which grow in extremely diverse conditions all around the world, are endangered, like so many other living things everywhere, by human takeover of their habitats, and that I wanted to try to see what palms would grow her...

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