Currently Rereading: Emergence By Steven Johnson

Cover of "Emergence: The Connected Lives ...

Cover via Amazon

I picked this up Friday night and delved into it again. Emergence: The Connected Lives Of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software is a great primer in learning about emergent behavior and complex adaptive systems.

On page 18 in the introduction it has a wonderful definition of emergence.

“What features do all these systems share? In the simplest terms, they solve problems by drawing on masses of relatively stupid elements, rather than a single, intelligent ‘executive branch’. They are bottom-up systems, not top-down. They get their smarts from below. In a more technical language, they are complex adaptive systems that display emergent behavior. In these systems, agents residing on one scale start producing behavior that lies one scale above them: ants create colonies, urbanites create neighborhoods; simple pattern-recognition software learns how to recommend new books. The movement from low-level rules to higher-level sophistication is what we call emergence.”

This is to me an excellent definition of emergent behavior and I am rereading this book to understand where this fits into complex adaptive systems and in particular the stock market.


One thought on “Currently Rereading: Emergence By Steven Johnson

  1. Pingback: Finished Reading: Emergence By Steven Johnson | Consilient Interest

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