When we perceive the movement of the swarm, what is being witnessed is a certain diagram of action derived from the organizational properties of the distributed network. At this level, we take the shifts and fluctuations of masses found within nature – bees, birds, schools of fish, insects, bats, myxobacteria, so on and so forth – and transpose their logic into that of our informatic paradigm, a polymorphous, interdisciplinary and transitory state with its concrete genesis (though it has a great many filiations and genealogies preceding it) in the mathematical theory of communication as laid out by Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver in the 1940s.
The distributed network is the extension of the Shannon-Weaver model to encompass innumerable points, relays and nodes across space, time and the scales these operate through. In the original theory, communication – rendered here as the message – proceeds from…
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