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

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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.

Summary[edit]

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.

Reception[edit]

Out of Control has been translated into five languages, including Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese and Chinese. Additionally, the United Kingdom editions have been adapted into British English.[1]

The book was not widely reviewed when first released in 1994, but got visibly reviewed and extensively cited during the next several years. [2] Reviews often discussed Kelly’s hive-mind analogy as a metaphor for the New Economy. [3]

Reviewers have called this book a “mind-expanding exploration" ('Publishers Weekly') and “the best of an important new genre” ('Forbes ASAP').[4]

Critics of the book have contended that its position leaves us without a critical approach to politics and social power.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kevin Kelly( author) (2003), "Kevin Kelly -- Out of Control." (Webpage) 
  2. ^ Turner, Fred (2006). From counterculture to cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the rise of digital utopianism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 285. 
  3. ^ Turner, Fred (2006). From counterculture to cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the rise of digital utopianism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 204. 
  4. ^ Amazon webpage (2003), "Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, & the Economic World [Paperback]." (Webpage), Amazon.com, Inc. 
  5. ^ Best, Steven; Douglas Kellner (1999-01-06). "Kevin Kelly’s Complexity Theory The Politics and Ideology of Self-Organizing Systems". Organization & Environment 12 (2): 141–162. Retrieved 2015-01-23. 

Further reading[edit]