August 5, 2010
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 swarmers. A fascinating new take on the concept of collective intelligence and its colorful manifestations in some of our most complex problems, The Smart Swarm introduces a compelling new understanding of the real experts on solving complex business, politics, and technology problems. Based on extensive globe-trotting research, this lively tour from National Geographic reporter Peter Miller introduces smart swarms such as:
- 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 cleaned about the behavior of crowds – among critters and corporations alike
In the tradition of James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds and the innovative works of Malcolm Gladwell, The Smart Swarm is an entertaining and 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.