The Smart Swarm (Hardcover)

How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make UsBetter at Communicating, Decision Making, and Gettin

By Peter Miller

Avery, 9781583333907, 304pp.

Publication Date: August 5, 2010

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


What ants, bees, fish, and smart swarms can teach us about communication, organization, and decision-making
The modern world may be obsessed with speed and productivity, but twenty-first-century humans actually have much to learn from the ancient instincts of swarms. A fascinating new take on the concept of collective intelligence and its colorful manifestations in some of our most complex problems, "The Smart Swarm" introduces a compelling new understanding of the real experts on solving our own complex problems relating to such topics as business, politics, and technology.
Based on extensive globe-trotting research, this lively tour from "National Geographic" reporter Peter Miller introduces thriving throngs of ant colonies, which have inspired computer programs for streamlining factory processes, telephone networks, and truck routes; termites, used in recent studies for climate-control solutions; schools of fish, on which the U.S. military modeled a team of robots; and many other examples of the wisdom to be gleaned about the behavior of crowds-among critters and corporations alike.
In the tradition of James Surowiecki's "The Wisdom of Crowds" and the innovative works of Malcolm Gladwell, "The Smart Swarm" is an entertaining yet enlightening look at small-scale phenomena with big implications for us all.

About the Author

Peter Miller is a senior editor at "National Geographic" and has served as a writer and editor at the magazine for more than twenty-five years. He lives in Reston, Virginia, with his wife.

Praise For The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make UsBetter at Communicating, Decision Making, and Gettin

"I loved The Smart Swarm. It's been a while since I was this stimulated by a book, or saw so many practical applications. And what a great read."
-Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics

"With an eye for detail and an easy style, Peter Miller explains why swarm intelligence has scientists buzzing."
-Steven Strogatz, author of Sync, and Professor of Mathematics, Cornell University

"Most people can't fathom that ants, bees, and other social insects have found solutions to some of modern society's most vexing problems. In The Smart Swarm, Peter Miller offers a fascinating and articulate tour of what these creatures can do, how they do it, and the lessons for humans. This book is a gem, with a message that is as extraordinarily counter intuitive as it is valuable."
-Michael J. Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management and author of Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition

"[Peter Miller] has proven that there is intelligent life on earth, but it is not necessarily us. What a delightful, eye-opening book."
-Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park and Stalin's Ghost