We are living in a world in which cows send texts to farmers when they're in heat, where the most valuable real estate in New York City houses computers, not people, and some of humanity's greatest works are created by crowds, not individuals. We are in the midst of a networking revolution - set to transform the way we access the world's information and the way we connect with one another. Studying biological systems is perhaps the best way to understand such networks, and nature has a lesson for us if we care to listen: Bigger is rarely better in the long run.
Tune into the news and you’ll hear stories of war, disease, natural disasters, corruption, violence, poverty, crime, nuclear proliferation, terrorism and political dysfunction in Washington. Polls show many believe the American dream is fading, our children face limited opportunities, and the country is decidedly on the wrong track. Yet this dour perspective - one recycled 24/7 by the national media - is a gross distortion of the world we live in today.