Out of Control: The Rise of Neo-Biological Civilization

Kevin Kelly, Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $28 (521p) ISBN 978-0-201-57793-8
In this mind-expanding exploration of the synergistic intersection of computer science, biology, systems theory, cybernetics and artificial intelligence, Kelly investigates what he calls ``vivisystems''--lifelike, complex, engineered systems capable of growing in complexity. Among the objects and ideas that he scrutinizes are computer models that simulate ecosystems; the ``group mind'' of bee hives and ant colonies; virtual-reality worlds; robot prototypes; and Arizona's Biosphere 2. Former publisher and editor of Whole Earth Review , now executive editor of Wired , Kelly distills the unifying principles governing self-improving systems, which he labels ``the nine laws of god.'' Leaping from Antonio Gaudi's futuristic buildings in Barcelona to computerized ``smart'' houses to computer simulations that challenge Darwinian evolutionary theory, this sprawling odyssey will provoke and reward readers across many disciplines. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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