Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World (ISBN 978-0201483406) is a 1994 book by Kevin Kelly. (The book was also published as Out of control: the rise of neo-biological civilization.) Major themes in Out of Control are cybernetics, emergence, self-organization, complex systems and chaos theory and it can be seen as a work of techno-utopianism.
The central theme of the book is that several fields of contemporary science and philosophy point in the same direction: intelligence is not organized in a centralized structure but much more like a bee-hive of small simple components. Kelly applies this view to bureaucratic organizations, intelligent computers as well as to the human brain.
Before casting him in the role of Neo for the 1999 film The Matrix, the The Wachowskis asked Keanu Reeves to read this book (as well as Simulacra and Simulation and Introducing Evolutionary Psychology) before even opening the script.
This book has been translated into 5 languages, including Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese and Chinese. Additionally, the United Kingdom editions have been adapted into British English, in order to make the context more understandable to British readers.
Many editorials have also give positive reviews on this book, including Publishers Weekly, “In this mind-expanding exploration…investigates what he calls "vivisystems"--lifelike, complex, engineered systems capable of growing in complexity. The Forbes ASAP also give the high 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.”
Sources and notes
- Oreck J (director) (2001). The Matrix Revisited (DVD). Warner Home Video.
- Kevin Kelly( author) (2003), "Kevin Kelly -- Out of Control." (Webpage), Creative Common License
- Amazon webpage (2003), "Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, & the Economic World [Paperback]." (Webpage), Amazon.com, Inc.
- The book's homepage (includes the complete book online)
- “Bootstrapping Complexity”, a user-generated remix that shortens and focuses the book.
- Typophile | The Smaller Picture — collective consciousness font design inspired by this chapter (link is down; see the Internet Archive's copy)
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