Out of Control - The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World
It begins by describing various distributed natural ecology systems, like a swarm of bees and their beehive, as vivisystems that which can be the understood as the basis for designing artificial systems. The evolutionary systems of Darwin lead into the artificial evolution of Dawkins' Biomorph Land, computer viruses, and genetic engineering. Finally we get to see some of the ex-WIRED editors techo-utopia by exploring things like virtual worlds and e-money. While the title of the book leads you to believe one thing, the truth is that the entire book hints immodestly at cybernetic, bottom up, herded, predictive, Macy Conference inspired control. Overall it feels like a rough outline of all-too-likely technocracy of the future that employs novelty and pleasure to conceal its true oligarchical totalitarian control behind a smile.
Introducing Evolutionary Psychology
An evolutionary look at psychology assuming that the mind is made up of modules that have evolved independently and in different environments. This view follows the older behaviorist belief that actions were caused, not by the mind, but by environmental stimulation. A core of evolutionary psychology is to look at the mind's computer modules made for processing information. Some of these modules are supposed to lead to certain innately human abilities including language, physical attractiveness, and food preferences that seem to span all cultures. The conclusion is that our minds have evolved in an environment that is totally foreign to our current environment; we are essentially monkeys living in the fast lane.