Browsing Archives of Author »Aidan Walsh«

The Smart Swarm and Hayek

October 18, 2010

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Peter Miller’s excellent, The Smart Swarm ( 2010, Penguin; New York) describes the coordinated behaviour of insects, birds and fishes and asks if we humans can learn things from such behaviour; a knowledge of Hayek might have helped his (already pretty compelling) case a bit. As is reasonably pretty clear (see previous blogs on this […]

Flocking in Humans – Again

June 29, 2010

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These guys in Germany are performing fascinating experiments on the rules that pedestrians use when in crowds. I see that German pedestrians automatically move to the right when passing. I wonder would the result be different in a country where cars drive on the left? As always order follows from strangers following common rules of […]

Flocking in humans

April 5, 2009

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I might be wrong but I think that the basic foundation of all emergent or spontaneous orders is rule following. Gus refers to a number of articles on rule following behaviour in animals which lead to flocking, swarming, schooling or apparently ‘commanded’ behaviour. Here are a couple more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/science/sciencenews/3323488/Study-of-starling-formations-points-way-for-swarming-robots.html http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/07/swarms/miller-text/6 However, humans also coordinate their movements by following […]

The rules people follow

February 25, 2009

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/3314044/Risk-is-good-when-you-cross-the-road.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1533248/Is-this-the-end-of-the-road-for-traffic-lights.html Here are two of a series of press articles on new thinking in street architecture and road safety.  It seems to me as a struggling student of spontaneous orders that this article is really about individuals following rules of behaviour and different rules in different settings.  The setting in conventional streets encourages faster driving (the […]