This article discusses how security experts are learning to deal with software epidemics from the ways used to fight the more traditional epidemics of agriculture (thanks Toti)
– Seeds of destruction News.com
This entry is adapted from a presentation I did at the University of Iceland today, hence all the decorations.
Using nature as a role model in design is one of my biggest interests. By this notion I’m talking about how we can study nature and use its solutions, designs and methods when making our own designs and technologies, a practice often referred to as biomimickry.
When I say I’m interested biology because I believe that looking to nature for fresh ideas in software and other technology design, most people look at me like I’m crazy – or even tell me bluntly that I am. But I’m not easily offended nor easily convinced that it’s me and not them that are crazy.
Browsing the media these days, I see more and more reports and news about companies and research institutes that are turning up with interesting results from exactly this mixture. This is especially true for the software industry, where much of today’s cutting edge seems to be biology inspired. Following are just a few examples of this wave of innovation and ideas.
At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, 28 of 33 Olympic Gold Medals were earned in Speedo Fastskin, a swimsuit overall that reduces water’s drag on the swimmer by 3%. The overalls lowered swimming times of professional swimmers by some 7.5%. The suit’s fluid dynamics are based on sharks’ skin, a design that has turned many fish and the occasional Australian surfer into tasty dinner for the shark family (class actually).
The Fastskin is an excellent example of successful biomimicry (see glossary), where someone has studied a good “design” in nature and mimicked it to create something useful, in this case a fabric with desirable qualities. Biomimicry is more common than people might think and affects things we use everyday.