About the New Book
About the New Book
The five books - Lingo Sorcery, Magical A-Life Avatars, The Entrepreneurial Web, The Ultimate Game of Strategy and Web Presence - are a progressive record of the gradual development of applying biological system theory to information technology.
The three year gap between the writing of those books and the writing of this new book has been spent experimenting with the ideas in various projects and trying to incorporate the recent advances in the understanding and application of complexity theory.
Complexity Theory and its progeny, Chaos Theory, is starting to unlock many of the mysteries that have surrounded biological evolution for the past century. Unfortunately, both have been over-hyped by commentators who have not fully understood these theories.
To most people, the first thing that comes to mind when Chaos Theory is mentioned is the idea that the flutter of a butterfly's wings in one part of the world can trigger a tornado in another. Although theoretically possible, the chance of this happening is infinitesimally small and completely misrepresents the essence of Chaos Theory.
Chaos Theory isn't, as the name suggests, about random happenings in a chaotic environment: it is about islands of stability that arise in complex systems. Disturbances to a complex system can cause the system to change from one stable state to another. It is this simple mechanism that is responsible for not only the phenomenon of biological evolution, but also the progress of business enterprise and the working of the human brain.
The challenge of this new book is to be able to explain the kind of thinking and cognitive models that are necessary to understand how these theories can assist in the application of biological strategies to information technology and the formation of business strategies.
Each chapter, as it is written, will be presented to a number of groups in a virtual cafe. There, each group will discuss and comment on the chapter and these discussions will have an influence on the content of the subsequent chapter. At each new chapter, the people in the groups will be changed around.The abstract and esoteric models will be explained in simple terms that require no previous knowledge or the use of obtuse mathematical constructs. Each concept will be explained and discussed in the virtual cafe until everyone is satisfied that they understand before moving on to the next concept.
The book will start with fundamental models (such as explaining the concept of a space with infinite dimensions and describing how this space can be formatted and navigated with the aid of complexity theory and attractors). This will lead to an explanation for the way in which order and self-organization emerges from unpredictable, chaotic environments.
The second part of the book will consider the way in which these concepts are revolutionizing the way in which the human brain is now being understood in the light of current research with brain imaging techniques. The third part will then consider how this knowledge will change the way we think about and use the Internet for information exchange and retrieval.
The book will not be pre-planned or have a set order of subject matter or content. It is presumed that the content will emerge dynamically - as it has done with the previous books that have used the virtual cafe.
The maximum value will not be in reading the final content, but in participating in the discussions that bring it about.