Source: The New York Times, 13 November 2007


This is an interesting choice for the "applied" or empirical article in the section on markets. The unusual-ness of a newspaper article about ants following articles by Axelrod, Schelling, Hayek, and Adam Smith should give you pause. What's going on here is that we are leap-frogging forward from the work of those economic/political theorists to the place where this type of theory is happening these days. On the proverbial cutting edge of the social sciences people are studying the emergence of social order using "intelligent agent models."


Carl Zimmer is a science journalist. He has written ten books and many essays, articles, and blog posts. He also teaches science writing at Yale University.