What a delightful book is Peter Miller's The Smart Swarm. In it he writes about the activities of ants, honeybees, termites, birds, fish and locusts. For the most part these swarms and hives are beneficial, but they can also get out of control (ye olde locust plague, for example). By increasing our understanding of these insects and animals some industries and professions have already been able to improve their processes and performance. Many others may yet benefit. And perhaps, each of us can as well.
Mr Miller is a Senior Editor at National Geographic and has been writing there for twenty-five years. His extensive research and experience in writing make this book simple and interesting to read despite the complicated systems he's analyzing and describing. A chapter is devoted to each of the animals noted above. He first writes about their activity and a little about the history of research into the creatures — and just reading about the lives of these insects is interesting. The organization of ants, the group wisdom of bees; a person can quickly pick out things to apply in their own life. Miller, of course, helps us do that. After reviewing the insect or animal, he gives real world examples of how scientists and businessmen have already put the hive or swarm principles to work. Boeing has used honeybees to improve their production capability, for example. Miller explains how. So this book can be very useful to industry, to businesses.
Even the intelligence community (FBI, etc.) have been using these principles. In the chapter on termites, Miller discusses networks and wikis (yes, like Wikipedia). The intelligence community began using their own version of wikipedia to track terrorist activity. The various employees in different departments and branches were all collaborating through this digital encyclopedia. They worked together, in other words, via this wiki. Really, any type of business can learn the importance of networking, collaborating.