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Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World

by

Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World Cover

ISBN13: 9780201483406
ISBN10: 0201483408
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a book about the marriage of the born and the made — the biologicalization of everything from computers to government — the executive editor of Wired chronicles the dawn of a new era in which the machines and systems that drive our economy are so complex and autonomous as to be indistinguishable from living things.

Review:

"...the best of an important new genre. The book offers a pointed reminder that self organization...is the essence of innovation, progress, and life itself. These are eternal ideas — and ideas whose time has come." Forbes ASAP

Review:

"...represents an attempt to comprehend the possible future evolution of everything. This is the wonderful sort of subject which can quickly transform a reader's idle curiosity into an obsessive craving for more knowledge and imaginative interpretation. Kelly offers plenty of both, with hackle-raising enthusiasm, eloquence, and even that scientific rarity, a sense of humor." London Spectator

Synopsis:

Out of Control chronicles the dawn of a new era in which the machines and systems that drive our economy are so complex and autonomous as to be indistinguishable from living things.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 475-500) and index.

About the Author

Kevin Kelly is Executive Editor of Wired, the new bible of the techno-culture. Formerly Publisher and Editor of Whole Earth Review, he has been instrumental in helping launch a number of cultural innovations: The Hacker's Conference; Cyberthon; the first virtual-reality jamboree; and the WELL, model way station on the information superhighway.

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Ronald Scheurer, July 24, 2011 (view all comments by Ronald Scheurer)
BOOK REVIEW
by Ronald A. Scheurer

Out of Control - The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World
By
Kevin Kelly
1994

When something is out of control it generally would seem to be directionless; or conversely going in all directions at once, so it is difficult at times to see exactly where Kelly is headed with his interviews of computer experts. Most appear to have a desire to create a life form that can be manifest inside of a computer program that can not only replicate itself, but one that can evolve into an artificial, intellectual life form simulating the human mind and consciousness. This mind and consciousness program, as the operating system of a sophisticated machine or robot, then becomes the artificial life form to replace, in effect, humans who evolved naturally and hence less efficiently.

Evolution moves along much more quickly and efficiently in the artificial brain for any number of reasons suggested, and in just the right kind of robot, one beyond Robby the robot of “Lost in Space” fame, becomes capable of taking over some human decision making. The sentient Hal 9000 of “2001" fame isn’t mentioned, the master computer who took over “Discovery One” in Arthur C. Clark’s novel. Dave, the ship’s final survivor barely manages the disabling of Hal.

Not mentioned either is the 1956 film Forbidden Planet depicting the Krell civilization’s self-repairing gigantic machine capable of projecting thoughts into animated matter. Unfortunately for the smart but unwise Krell, and Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) those thoughts, less cooperative than cooperative toward their fellow beings resulted in the Krell self extinction, and the destruction of Altair IV. That machine was supposed to be the ultimate technological device for good.

Out of Control renders multiple futuristic possibilities for humanity based on the evolution of computer software, artificial intelligence that mimics and goes beyond human intelligence, and robotic hardware to carry such synthetic life. Will such synthetic life be self-replicating? And once started, can it be stopped by their human creators? Would such forms of life be recycled by birth and death as are all forms of naturally evolved life on earth?

Black holes are nature’s recycling machines for expended matter and energy. Both are pulled into the vortex of one cone and released through the point to point contact with an obverse cone. A new universe is born as an old one dies.

Macbeth: SCENE V. Dunsinane. Within the castle.

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Humanity exaggerates its self-importance: Perhaps, the big bang was no more than a loud fart.
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jeremy.l.delgado, November 18, 2009 (view all comments by jeremy.l.delgado)
AWESOME READ. this book covers so much ground its really accessible too. reading this book really opens your mind. for me as a designer its a real source of design inspiration. its great!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780201483406
Author:
Kelly, Kevin
Publisher:
Basic Books (AZ)
Author:
Kelly
Location:
Reading, Mass. :
Subject:
Biology
Subject:
Evolution
Subject:
Industries
Subject:
Technology
Subject:
Technological innovations
Subject:
Artificial Intelligence
Subject:
Social networks
Subject:
Inventions
Subject:
Social groups
Subject:
Social networks -- Forecasting.
Subject:
Industries - General
Subject:
Life Sciences - Biology - General
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution
Subject:
Business Writing
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
318
Publication Date:
19950331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 28.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Writing
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Technology

Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World New Trade Paper
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$22.95 In Stock
Product details 528 pages Basic Books - English 9780201483406 Reviews:
"Review" by , "...the best of an important new genre. The book offers a pointed reminder that self organization...is the essence of innovation, progress, and life itself. These are eternal ideas — and ideas whose time has come."
"Review" by , "...represents an attempt to comprehend the possible future evolution of everything. This is the wonderful sort of subject which can quickly transform a reader's idle curiosity into an obsessive craving for more knowledge and imaginative interpretation. Kelly offers plenty of both, with hackle-raising enthusiasm, eloquence, and even that scientific rarity, a sense of humor."
"Synopsis" by , Out of Control chronicles the dawn of a new era in which the machines and systems that drive our economy are so complex and autonomous as to be indistinguishable from living things.
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