Out of Control (Kelly book)

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First edition (publ. Basic Books)

Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World (ISBN 978-0201483406) is a 1992 book by Kevin Kelly. Major themes in Out of Control are cybernetics, emergence, self-organization, complex systems, negentropy and chaos theory and it can be seen as a work of techno-utopianism.[citation needed]

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.[1] Kelly applies this view to bureaucratic organizations, intelligent computers as well as to the human brain.

Reception[edit]

The book was not widely reviewed when first released in 1992, 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)[4] and "the best of an important new genre" (Forbes ASAP).[citation needed]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mitchell, Melanie (October 1995). "Mystifying the Net". Technology Review. 98 (7): 74. ProQuest 195337887.
  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. ^ Stuttaford, Genevieve (June 6, 1994). "Nonfiction -- Out of Control: The Rise of NeoBiological Civilization by Kevin Kelly". Publishers Weekly. 241 (23): 53. ProQuest 196996078.
  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. doi:10.1177/1086026699122001. S2CID 144781438.

Further reading[edit]