Cheaper than printing it out: buy the paperback book.
Armies win and mobs lose. And the lone Rambo always dies. The most
important thing the military knows more about than anyone else is in how
to make teams work. Teams are what transform mobs into armies and Rambos
into soldiers. Col. Thorpe rightly proclaims that distributed
intelligence -- not firepower -- wins wars. Other visionaries say the same
about the future of corporations. "The next breakthrough won't be in the
individual interface but in the team interface," says John Seely Brown,
the research director of Xerox's PARC.
If Col. Thorpe has his way, the four divisions of the U.S. military and
hundreds of industrial contractors become a single interconnected
superorganism. The immediate step to this world of distributed
intelligence and distributed presence is an engineering protocol
developed by a consortium of defense simulation centers in Orlando,
Florida. Known as the DSI (Distributed Simulation Internet) protocol,
this standard permits independent bits of simulation (a tank here, a
building there) to be interleaved into a unified simulation when sent
over the existing Internet. In effect, a scene emerges in this virtual
space as sufficient parts of it are supplied from afar and assembled in
the marvelous decentralized way of swarms. The entire hyperreality of a
10,000-piece battle scene is distributed across many computers through
the optic fibers of Internet. The outfit supplying detailed virtual
mountains may not supply surging rivers or creeks and may not know
whether creeks are flowing down its mountains at all.
Distributed intelligence is the way to go. Students on the Internet
(which was developed by DARPA but now is global and demilitarized) can't
wait. They see the promise of distributed simulations and have begun
making their own versions in quiet corners of the Net.