First appeared in the Boston Book Review.
We think of ourselves as fluid, emergent, decentralized, multiplicitous, flexible, ever in process. All of these metaphors travel freely among computer science, psychology, cultural studies, artificial intelligence, literary criticism, molecular biology, management science, and artificial life. They carry a "sense of the times" that manifests itself in one place and then another, here as developmental psychology and there as a style of engineering, here as a description of our bodies and there as template for organizational structure, here as a way to build a computer network and there as a manifesto of political ideals.
HB: How did you happen to discover yucky computer cy-dough-plasm?