Whether it’s the birds and the bees, the fish, or even slime molds, it goes back to all social creatures that use their collective intelligence to form real-time synchronous systems. We have many names for these natural assemblages, including flocks, schools, shoals, blooms, colonies, herds, and swarms. Whatever we call them, one thing is clear – millions of years of evolution produced these highly coordinated behaviors because of the survival benefits they provide to a great many species. (Video)
In this way, nature had demonstrated that social creatures, by functioning together in closed-loop systems, can outperform the vast majority of individual members when solving problems and making decisions, thereby boosting overall survival of their population.
For convenience I use the word “swarm” to refer to cohesive groupings of individual members, all working together as a unified dynamic system, their collective behavior tightly coordinated by real-time feedback loops. Unlike discordant groups (i.e. crowds), swarms behave as unique entities, operating as a coherent unit that displays emergent intelligence, even emergent personality. With that definition in mind, the big question that has propelled my explorations over the last few years is simply this: “Can humans swarm?”