Richard's Reviews > Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

Emergence by Steven Johnson
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's review
Sep 06, 2008

really liked it
Read in September, 2008

The theory itself is wonderful, a way of presenting highly sophisticated structure to develop from the bottom up, giving a mechanism for evolution, for urban zoning, for brain development. Johnson also talks about how this theory came into use for computer software, creating highly complex games like SimCity and the device for those scaringly appropriate Amazon recommendations. Throughout most of the book, I was intrigued at the structure of emergence and how it can be appleid and used, but the last section of the book, where Johnson talks about the future of media and programming with an emergent paradigm was rather dull and a little too optimistic rather than scientific. I would have rather heard about concrete plans for emergent television systems or software than the visionary dreams Johnson creates at the end.

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