On the left are links to the descriptions of five books that were written between 1996 and 2001. They are more than just a description of applying biological thinking to information technology and commerce, they were a crucial part of the development process itself. They record the evolution of the ideas from initial concepts to application. They were written using an evolutionary strategy that included the thoughts and comments of over two hundred people actively working in various different areas of information technology.
Two of the books - Lingo Sorcery and Magical A-Life Avatars - cover many of the technicalities of applying biological system theory to programming strategies. Although the examples are in the programming language Lingo (the scripting language used for Macromedia's multimedia authoring package: Director), the emphasis is on the conceptual level.
They describe the many parallels between object oriented approaches to program design and the way biological cells interact to create living ogranisms. These two books provide a basis for using agent technology as a link between biological systems and computer systems.
The other three books - The Entrepreneurial Web, The Ultimate Game of Strategy and Web Presence - are concerned with applying biological strategies to the commercial environment of the Web. They are interesting in as much as they were written at the time of the dotcom boom. The biological system perspective, used throughout these books, accurately identified most of the fallacies that led to the crash. Unlike most books written at that time, the contents are more valid now than at the time they were written.
If you look through the tables of contents of these publications, you can quickly get some idea of the range of subject areas that were covered during this period. These provided the foundation for the evolutionary strategies and stigmergic systems that are being explored today.
The draft chapters of these three books - as they were presented to the reviewers in the virtual cafe - can be read on-line Draft chapters.
The New Book
After writing these five books, a series of projects were embarked upon to explore the practical possibilities of applying biological systems theory to Internet information systems. This opened a can of worms - because biological systems are based upon concepts that are totally different to those upon which computer systems are based.
Computerized information systems are based upon categorization and indexing. They use search engine technology, with sophisticated algorithms, to locate and prioritize information sources according to key words and phrases. These systems require massive databases that are expensive to create and maintain.
The challenge in using biological system theory is to understand how biological systems can create information systems without using databases, pre-formatted information storage or search techniques. This involved acquiring a deeper understanding of the evolutionary process, a knowledge of complexity theory and the phenomenon of attractor basins that manifest in chaotic networks.
Up until the last decade of the twentieth century, this was a complete mystery. It was only when advanced brain imaging techniques began to explore the workings of the human brain that this knowledge became available.
A new book - as yet untitled - is now being written to describe these findings and to explain how this will lead to radical changes in information theory and practice - New book.