Control without hierarchy
Understanding how particular natural systems operate without central control will reveal whether such systems share general properties.
Deborah M. Gordon
Nature 446, 143 (8 March 2007) doi:10.1038/446143a
Because most of the dynamic systems that we design, from machines to governments, are based on hierarchical control, it is difficult to imagine a system in which the parts use only local information and the whole thing directs itself. To explain how biological systems operate without central control — embryos, brains and social-insect colonies are familiar examples — we often fall back on metaphors from our own products, such as blueprints and programmes
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