Category Archives: Self-organization

Imagining a Self-Organised Classroom – Some Gilles Deleuze’s conceptualisations

This paper uses complexity theory as a means towards clarifying some of Gilles Deleuze’s conceptualisations in communication and the philosophy of language. His neologisms and post-structuralist tropes are often complicated and appear to be merely metaphorical. However their meanings may … Continue reading

Posted in Complexity & education, Complexity & learning, Deleuze, Rhizomatic learning, Self-organization, Self-organized pedagogy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Stigmergy as a generic mechanism for coordination

The concept of stigmergy was introduced by the French entomologist Pierre-Paul Grassé to describe a mechanism of coordination used by insects. The principle is that work performed by an agent leaves a trace in the environment that stimulates the performance … Continue reading

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Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

Emergence is what happens when an interconnected system of relatively simple elements self-organizes to form more intelligent, more adaptive higher-level behavior. It’s a bottom-up model rather than being engineered by a general or a master planner, emergence begins at the … Continue reading

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Occupy Wall Street, Swarm Behavior & Self-Organized Criticality

If you’ve been watching the Occupy Wall Street protests these last few weeks, you may be surprised by how quickly it spread from a small group of disgruntled youth in New York to a planetary mobilization that is now active … Continue reading

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Two Case Studies in the Diffusion of Scientific Information via the Internet

This report concerns a pilot study of patterns of access to scientific documents made available on the internet, in particular, the World-Wide Web. Its goal is to suggest that the behavior of internet users can be subject to scientific analysis, … Continue reading

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The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia

For two thousand years the disparate groups that now reside in Zomia (a mountainous region the size of Europe that consists of portions of seven Asian countries) have fled the projects of the organized state societies that surround them—slavery, conscription, … Continue reading

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How should we organize ourselves in the 21st century?

How do we organise ourselves to achieve our political aims? It is an age-old question, with the answer often revolving around two poles of attraction, the centralised cadre versus the decentralised loose network. Symptoms of the general structural instability of … Continue reading

Posted in Community organizing, Movimientos sociales, Self-organization, Social change, Social innovation, Social learning, Social movements | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pioneering Ants Challenge Self-Organization Assumptions

Read Some worker ants are more equal than others. As with other social insects, it was once thought that workers were essentially equivalent in ant colony hierarchies. But it appears that a few well-informed individuals shape group decisions by leading … Continue reading

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Direct Action: An Ethnography

Anthropologist David Graeber undertakes the first detailed ethnographic study of the global justice movement. The case study at the center of Direct Action is the organizing and events that led to the one of the most dramatic and militant mass … Continue reading

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Recommended reading for those studying self-organizing work groups in organizations

Here are a few books, articles, and blogs—those that have supported me and other self-org group members as we seek to understand our own experiences as self-organizing groups. I only update the list three or four times a year at … Continue reading

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