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, negentropy and chaos theory and it can be seen as a work of techno-utopianism.

SummaryEdit

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.

ReceptionEdit

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]

ReferencesEdit

  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 readingEdit