Superorganisms  : A Web Resource List
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Superorganisms and Self Organization – A Resource List

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The wikipedia definition of superorganism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superorganism

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Mesmerizing examples of animal and human collective behavior.

http://bit.ly/1R5CJW8

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Ask a biologist. Secrets of a superorganism – ant colonies

https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/secrets-superorganism

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Seabed superorganism uses electricity to lock up greenhouse gas

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28377-seabed-superorganism-uses-electricity-to-lock-up-greenhouse-gas/

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Humans as Superorganisms: How Microbes, Viruses, Imprinted Genes, and Other Selfish Entities Shape Our Behavior

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1745691615583131

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Humans are contingent superorganisms. Humans are the giraffes of altruism. We’re freaks of nature, able (at our best) to achieve ant-like levels of service to the group. We readily join together to create superorganisms, but unlike the eusocial insects, we do it with blatant disregard for kinship, and we do it temporarily, and contingent upon special circumstances (particularly intergroup conflict, as is found in war, sports, and business).

https://www.edge.org/response-detail/10386

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The Secret Society Of Superorganisms. – Species that form superorganism colonies are highly successful. E.O. Wilson  raises a fundamental question for biologists. “Why do groups arise in the first place?”

http://www.npr.org/2008/11/29/97547749/the-secret-society-of-superorganisms

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Superorganisms – An Internet guide to the social system of superorganisms. From Natural History Magazine

http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/naturenet/10320/superorganisms

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Top 5 Superorganisms – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3HbjAKEFwI

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E.O. Wilson on ‘Superorganisms’ – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhGuMZZT4Fk

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Lord of the Ants. A Nova YouTube video on E.O.Wilson. Narrated by Harrison Ford

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSSCg6HYS68

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Self-Organization

Self-organization is a process where some form of overall order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between smaller component parts of an initially disordered system. The process of self-organization can be spontaneous, is not necessarily controlled by any agent outside of the system, and is leaderless.

Self-organized structures in Nature rely on a continuous input of energy to be maintained.  Biological systems challenge us because they consume energy, and are therefore far from thermal equilibrium. Thus classical thermodynamics, which has been so successful in developing an atomic understanding of physical and chemical properties such as temperature and pressure, does not apply to these systems. Instead of self-assembling into a lowest energy state, such as a crystal, these energy-dissipating components self-organize into highly dynamic structures, through which there us a constant flux of energy and material.

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Boids by Craig Reynolds

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Wikipedia on Self Organization

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Scott Camazine’s lecture slides on self organization in biological systems.

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Starling flights over Termini, Italy — breathtaking !!!

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A video clip from “Swarm”

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Self organization in Biology – A paper that offers insights into how living systems organize themselves.

https://www.mpg.de/967113/BM08SelfOrgbasetext.pdf

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A detailed explanation of how many life systems are organized and maintained without a leader

http://www.freshvista.com/2014/natures-self-organizing-patterns/

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Complexity Science:  Self-Organization

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTR17I_Eb_o

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Lecture notes on self organization that offer great clarity

http://fuchs.uti.at/wp-content/uploads/selforganization.pdf

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Richard Golden; Characteristics of Self-Organizing Systems. A resource for teachers 1997.

https://sciphilos.info/docs_pages/docs_Golden_sos_css.html

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Union is strength

Videos on the power of self organizing systems in Nature.

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What Do Ants Know That We Don’t?
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Fish go with the flow. This paper describes why fish are able to use schooling. Each individual in the school uses its sensory organs to define its physical position by sensing the location, speed, and direction of its nearest neighbors.
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Why Do I Write These Essays?

Nothing in Nature exists in isolation. The movement of life’s energy, which originates in the sun, takes place because everything is interconnected and interdependent. Your consciousness of interdependence in Nature means that, every time you engage Nature, you ask yourself how a creature, a plant, yourself, or a natural object is connected to another and to Nature’s greater scheme of things. With this awareness you are prepared to protect Nature’s environment that sustains you. And, you create your legacy by encouraging others to do likewise.

 

If, after reading my essays, you find yourself embracing these ideas, I am thrilled in knowing that I’ve played some small part in setting this world view in motion in your mind.

 

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My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.

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