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Emergência: as Vidas Conectadas de Formigas, Cerébros, Cidades e Softwares

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,653 Ratings  ·  216 Reviews
O que têm um comum um formigueiro, o cérebro humano, as cidades e os modernos softwares? Todos são exemplos de sistemas auto-organizados que privilegiam as seqüências, em detrimento da lógica, e nos quais se dispensa a presença de um controle centralizado para haver ação. Surgem de um nível de elementos relativamente simples em direção a formas de comportamento mais sofist ...more
231 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Jorge Zahar Editor (first published August 28th 2001)
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Every now and then I start reading and realize "this book is going to change how I think."

Its a little bit scary and a lot of bit exciting.

While I know--I know--I picked this up because I thought it was about disease, Emergence has proved far more interesting and satisfying than I could hope. Emergence's premise is about networks and 'organized' behavior that develops from a lower-level to a more sophisticated one. In one sense, this is a very real snapshot of the history of thinking/science cap
In my mind I've split this book into two halves: the half that is severely fascinating, opening doors for me to think about emergence on new scales and inspiring me to contemplate how I could build a model of memory with the principle at its core-- memory as a decentralized, locally interconnected, self-organizing network of instances. I could do that. And I owe the complete absorption of my thoughts with the idea to Johnson and his fascinating first few chapters.
The other half of the book is a
Orton Family Foundation
Some would call me indecisive, fickle, foolish, or a good candidate for Ritalin, given my tendency to engage in many disciplines at once. Even now, with a masters degree in environmental science, I am plotting an eventual return to school for an MFA, or MBA, or MEd, or perhaps just some PhDs. I prefer to think of myself as a generalist, however, in the great tradition of cockroaches, crabgrass, Leonardo DaVinci and Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Indeed, I love finding connections between elements as ...more
I enjoyed this book and then I didn’t. Emergence starts out as a field guide to the idea of emergence and how it crosses all kinds of disciplines. This is the best part. But the bulk of the book, written in Wired Magazine-style gee-whiz-techster prose, is devoted to computer programming and the author going on and on about what he thinks is and isn’t emergence. Tedious.

Also, if any book could benefit from a thorough soaking in Austrian economics, this is it. Hayekian notions of dispersed inform
Jan 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More stuff emerges from the cloud of gas
Sometimes the cloud turns into an insect
Sometimes the insects turn into brains
Sometimes the brains go to French raves
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once in a while i come across books that challenge you to think differently and connect the dots between seemingly unrelated subjects. This book is one among them. I like the way how ants, slime mold, cities and distributed software are related. I like the idea of how simple systems by following simple rules can become complex organized systems. It gives a good idea about how feedback loops will change or already changing the software industry and AI.
One minor setback on the book is some storie
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mainstream media meets complex adaptive systems in this book. The publishing industry continues to fuel the growth of popular science with titles like Emergence. I'm all for the growth of science titles, but the price comes at the increase in the number of watered-down, easy-to-digest material you'll find in bookstores. With the explosion in books written on the topic of complex adaptive systems, I found it difficult to choose a single book in the category. With little restraint, I dove in.

Dan Pfeiffer
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 2001 but still holds up well today in its discussion of the subject of emergence and self organization. It briefly touches on the possibilities of emergent patterns brought to bear on an expended layer of networked items such as appliances and their learned ability to "read minds" which results in some event or action to be taken. An idea more recently discussed the book, "Enchanted Objects." Sensor-driven networked objects will require self organizing system constructive abilities ...more
Steve Diamond
The first couple of chapters were well written and gave an interesting historical account of the antecedents of complexity theory. But when Johnson begins to cover more current research (and remember, this was published in 2001), the writing bogs down, becoming very repetitive and often pedestrian. By the time he gets to speculating about the future, near the end, it's not really worth reading. Except for some ungrounded flights of fancy, it doesn't get much beyond envisioning sites like Goodrea ...more
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
See my brief review of "Complexity: the emerging science at the edge of order and chaos". This book began to flesh out for me the fascinating area of emergence as a phenomenon. This shows how individual items (e.g. ants) combine to make a super-organism that 'has a mind of its own', and how in our human lives such a thing as a city emerges as the product less of planning than of dynamic interaction. Recommended as a fertile introduction to complexity theory and emergence.
I gave this book to my lab members shortly after it came out. A fascinating synthesis of ideas and examples that lead to a very powerful conclusion: highly complex phenomena can emerge from simple rules executed by multiple elements. A great read, and rich with implications for our lives and our world.
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: emergence
I liked the book alot... but somehow I guess I was hoping for more than quick overviews of related topics and was looking for more in-depth details. Lots of good quotes though, and he mentioned many other books which have also now been added to my "to-read" shelf.
He presses his finger to his temple, and raises a Spockish eyebrow: 'Hmmmm. Fascinating.'
Josh O'Berski
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The universe is a little like your brain which somewhat like a city which is kind of like ants which are a bit like slime mold which is not as insulting as it sounds.
May 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: natural-world
Nabeel Hamdi in his book on development constantly refers to the idea of emergence, which he draws from this book by Steven Johnson. Another bit of pop science applied to the world and I wasn't too sure I wanted to read it. Somehow I was convinced by its shortness, and the blurb from J.G. Ballard - 'Exhilarating'.

This is a bit Ballardian. Though it has no car crashes, sharp angles or sex symbol references.

In August 2000, Toshiyuki Nakagaki announced he had trained slime mould to travel the faste
Read with a 15+ year retrospective, Johnson's 2001 predictions are sometimes amusing and more often strangely prescient. He's more or less right on everything from the future of TV ("The entertainment world will self-organize into clusters of shared interest, created by software that tracks usage patterns...") and news ("The Daily Me ... compiled by tracking the interests and reading habits of millions of other humans."), to the polarization of public opinion and the sensationalization of media ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of these books that will get you introduced to an idea and hooked on a particular subject and which you can forget thereafter. As of early (2017) the perception of the emergence phenomenon re-emerged, probably due to a buzz around AI and big data (after all aren’t we all now playing role of agents in a self-amplifying system?). Hence, going over a bit chatty, repetitive and at places patchy and rather shallow coverage of ants colonies, genetic programming, evolution, urban planning, language ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Considering that ants acting on their own appear to have intelligence when observed as a colony, emergence is when actions on a small level emerge as another concept when observed on a higher scale. The author applies this to human cities where merchants acting on their own appear to create cities that were organized in a certain way, and do games like SimCity emulate this? Considering that intelligence emerges from billions of tiny human neurons, will computer intelligence also emergence from b ...more
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: john-buck
from the library
from the library computer:

Table of Contents
Introduction: Here Comes Everybody!
The Myth of the Ant Queen
Street Level
The Pattern Match
Listening to Feedback
Control Artist
The Mind Readers
See What Happens

Booklist Reviews

Johnson makes sense of the cutting-edge theory of emergence, exploring the ways intelligent systems are built from small, unintelligent elements without control from above. Johnson is
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of nonfiction
I put this book on my to-read list almost five years ago and I'm just now getting to it. It really goes to show how fast technology and information changes, as I noticed several dated bits of information throughout. Some of the technology references, such as Simcity and Zelda are almost nostalgic at this point, but his points are still valid, and perhaps even more so today. The narrative is very readable and although the author gets quite technical in parts, I thought it was fairly easy to under ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-related
Hopelessly out of date, of course, but still a well-written and interesting snapshot of emergence theory in 2001. It actually still applies in many ways and was forward-looking. And it reminded me of a few things I had forgotten about the 1990s and a few things I hadn't known. For instance, he focuses in one story on Alexa Internet, an early system for recording activity online and predicting preferences -- acquired by Amazon in 1999, the same year they started allowing customers to rate the rev ...more
Ted Smith
Jun 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I disliked this book because I considered it a weak argument for a concept that was never satisfyingly defined. In addition, the author lacks domain expertise in a number of areas that lead to some rather hilarious misunderstandings. In particular, the author does not understand the concept of determinism with respect to a random seed. Given that this is rather critical in all of the software concepts mentioned, it undermines his thesis dramatically.

Honorably, the author makes several quantifie
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Written in 2001 so some of the topics covered, especially the IT stuff, has moved on. Also very wafelley.
Interesting book, good review of systems studies.
Shraddha Barke
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emergence is a journey through the evolution of decentralized systems. A beautiful read ! :D
Samuel Peck
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moderately dated but remains highly relevant. A very accessible and interesting book on the concept of emergence. Many trends pointed out in the book remain on track today.
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1) ''Like any emergent system, the city is a pattern in time. Dozens of generations come and go, conquerors rise and fall, the printing press appears, then the steam engine, then radio, television, the Web---and beneath all that turbulence, a pattern retains its shape: silk weavers clustered along Florence's Por Sanata Maria, the Venetian glassblowers on Murano, the Parisian traders gathered in Les Halles.''

2) ''There are manifest purposes to a city---reasons for being that its citizens are usua
Adrian Fridge
Using sociology, biology, engineering, and more, Emergence masterfully expels the notion of centralized governing. A 5-star book held back by its own datedness (2001).

Why this book is awesome: "In the simplest of terms, [emergent systems] solve problems by drawing on masses of relatively stupid elements, rather than a single, intelligent 'executive branch.'" It's an entire argument for why it's okay to be stupid because together we can do smart things.

For example, contrary to popular belief, ant
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a popular science book about the concept of emergent behaviour, which is an aspect of many different fields of science and social science, including artificial intelligence, neuroscience, biology and even town planning.

The idea is loosely based on the concept of an ant colony. An emergent system has many thousands of small, simple units which by themselves perhaps only are capable of a few different actions. However these units (which may be neurons, bits of software, insects, birds in f
meh... a lil too much concrete info for my liking

climax stage == carrying capacity

+/- feedback
structured randomness
neighbor interactions
decentralized ctrl

revolution of applied emergence
evolution of social media

pattern matching
- feedback
ordered randomness
distributed intelligence

204-205 climax of the book - explains why he picked & chose the systems he selected for subtitle

one kind of decentralized intelligence (the human brain) grasps a new way to apply the lessons of another decentral
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Steven Johnson is the bestselling author of ten books, including Wonderland, How We Got to Now, Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You.
The founder of a variety of influential websites, he is the host and co-creator of the PBS and BBC series How We Got to Now. Johnson lives in Marin County, California, and Brooklyn, New York, with his w
More about Steven Johnson...

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“That mix of order and anarchy is what we now call emergent behavior.” 3 likes
“A city is a kind of pattern-amplifying machine: its neighborhoods are a way of measuring and expressing the repeated behavior of larger collectivities—capturing information about group behavior, and sharing that information with the group.” 3 likes
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