the blog Synergy

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Synergy & Stigmergy

From Tim Milburn writing at StudentInc
I am a huge fan of synergy, which is the combined interaction of two agents (people) resulting in a larger result than their individual efforts could achieve. It's helpful to realize that each one of us is better together. Like the Ecclesiastes writer says..."two are better than one, a cord of three strands is not easily broken."

This is not new, Tim has commented here before. But he takes a turn and goes into Stigmergy which according to the wikipedia entry is:
Stigmergy is a method of communication in emergent systems in which the individual parts of the system communicate with one another by modifying their local environment. Stigmergy was first observed in nature - ants communicate to one another by laying down pheromones along their trails, so where ants go within and around their ant colony is a stigmergic system. Similar phenomena are easily seen in many (all?) eusocial creatures, such as termites, who use pheromones to build their very complex nests by following a simple decentralized rule set. Each insect scoops up a 'mudball' or similar material from its environment, invests the ball with pheromones, and deposits it on the ground. Termites are attracted to their nestmates' pheromones and are therefore more likely to drop their own mudballs near their neighbors'. Over time this leads to the construction of pillars, arches, tunnels and chambers.

Read Tim's full posting. I think there are parallels with what we are attempting to do here in the blog world and what the termites accomplish.

What do you think?

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  • At 7:28 AM, Blogger QE said…

    Synergy is the organized conscious process of two OR MORE individuals working together to produce or result in more kinds of quality and efficient outcomes than if two OR MORE individuals work independently toward the same outcome.
    Stigmergy is either a genetic evolutionary or unconcious unorganized process of two OR MORE individuals to produce or result in a single collective outcome that may OR MAY NOT produce the same result as synergy.


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