7. Strategic Imagination and Creativity

One person in a crowd at a U2 concert uses her cell phone screen as a torch. And then 5000 cell phone screens light up, dotting the darkness like stars in the night sky. This is a simple example of a causal effect based on direct feedback. Could the behavior of the first person doing this be predicted? Could the ensuing behavior of the crowd be predicted? Our answers depend on how playful and imaginative we want to be.

Seeking Out Signals

If we see the cell phone as just another cordless telephone, then the answer is “no.” But if we recognize the cell phone as a communication device, and if we understand communication as expressing ideas and feelings via multiple means of transmission, then the answer must ...

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