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Flock Theory: A New Model of Emergent Self-Organization in Human Interaction
Unformatted Document Text:  Flock Theory 13 Reynolds’ ability to capture coordinated evolution in a flock setting is extraordinary, yet to apply this phenomenon to human interaction is quite a different task. Humans interact using symbol sets as the means of understanding, thus any coordination therein needs to use assume that the agents will use the symbols to maintain organization. However, one of the main aspects of a flock is that the flock as a whole is moving somewhere but the direction is unknown to the flock before each moment in time. The transition from simulated physical flocking of birds to human interaction includes a theoretical model based on efforts of other researchers to investigate similar phenomena and a method to test such a model. Flock Theory Combining the central concepts of Emergence (Goldstein, 1999; Hodgson, 2000; Monge & Contractor, 2001; Monge & Eisenberg, 1987), Jamming (Eisenberg, 1990) and the Emergence of Creativity (Sawyer, 1999), and autopoiesis (Maturana &Varela, 1980) as explanatory processes, and groupthink (Janis, 1971) as the null situation, Flock Theory models the self- organizing principles of cooperative evolution in human interaction. The axiomatic structure is based on the rules that Reynolds (1987) used to simulate a bird flock is extended to include concepts based on social science research, such as leadership concerns, and further specify Figure 1. The flock of boids steers around the obstacles and rejoins with the larger flock, maintaining the group regardless of environmental input.

Authors: Rosen, Devan.
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Flock Theory 13
Reynolds’ ability to capture coordinated evolution in a flock setting is extraordinary, yet
to apply this phenomenon to human interaction is quite a different task. Humans interact using
symbol sets as the means of understanding, thus any coordination therein needs to use assume
that the agents will use the symbols to maintain organization. However, one of the main aspects
of a flock is that the flock as a whole is moving somewhere but the direction is unknown to the
flock before each moment in time.
The transition from simulated physical flocking of birds to human interaction includes a
theoretical model based on efforts of other researchers to investigate similar phenomena and a
method to test such a model.
Flock Theory
Combining the central concepts of Emergence (Goldstein, 1999; Hodgson, 2000; Monge
& Contractor, 2001; Monge & Eisenberg, 1987), Jamming (Eisenberg, 1990) and the Emergence
of Creativity (Sawyer, 1999), and autopoiesis (Maturana &Varela, 1980) as explanatory
processes, and groupthink (Janis, 1971) as the null situation, Flock Theory models the self-
organizing principles of cooperative evolution in human interaction. The axiomatic structure is
based on the rules that Reynolds (1987) used to simulate a bird flock is extended to include
concepts based on social science research, such as leadership concerns, and further specify
Figure 1. The flock of boids
steers around the obstacles and
rejoins with the larger flock,
maintaining the group regardless
of environmental input.


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