Out of Control chronicles the dawn of a new era in which the machines and systems that drive our economy are so complex and autonomous as to be indistinguishable from living things.
In this mind-expanding exploration of the synergistic intersection of computer science, biology, systems theory, cybernetics and artificial intelligence, Kelly investigates what he calls ``vivisystems''--lifelike, complex, engineered systems capable of growing in complexity. Among the objects and ideas that he scrutinizes are computer models that simulate ecosystems; the ``group mind'' of bee hives and ant colonies; virtual-reality worlds; robot prototypes; and Arizona's Biosphere 2. Former publisher and editor of Whole Earth Review , now executive editor of Wired , Kelly distills the unifying principles governing self-improving systems, which he labels ``the nine laws of god.'' Leaping from Antonio Gaudi's futuristic buildings in Barcelona to computerized ``smart'' houses to computer simulations that challenge Darwinian evolutionary theory, this sprawling odyssey will provoke and reward readers across many disciplines.