Michael A Rizzotti

When i first read Albert-Lászlo Barabási’s Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life, i had a hard time understanding the premise of the book. When i read Linked a second time i realized why. In his book the author continuously refers to links, nods and hubs. What he is referring to, is the physical aspect of these links, whereas i was thinking about the metaphysical binding between these links. Barabási was talking hardware i was thinking software.

Shortly after reading Linked i read Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software by Steven Johnson. In his book Johnson describes self-organizing systems. He reveals how complex organisms assemble and develop without any master planner. A good example of these emergence or bottom-up systems is the ant colony.

Self Organizing Systems

It is wrongly believed that the queen ant is the ruler of its colony. The queen’s sole function is the laying of eggs to populate the colony. An ant colony has no ruler to speak of. It relies instead on a complex form of decentralized intelligence. The ants communicate between each other by recognizing patterns of pheromone trails left behind by other fellow ants. Hence, pheromones play the central role in the organization of the colony. Somehow, each ant self-assigns its own role in the colony without sign of anarchy. Each position of every single ant is accounted for by the pheromone trail each of them leaves behind. This emergence system works harmoniously without the help of a ruler.


Johnson describes how the brain is also a self organizing system. The important thing to remember here is the significance of the unifying and binding principle. What makes the brain work is the bursts of electric fields that connect cells to each other. These electric fields link the physical neurons into a unifying vitality. Binding the physical principle of the brain with all other organs in the body to work harmoniously together to promote life.

Each one of us connected to the Internet acts like a brain neuron. Each neuron is linked with other neurons through a web of electrical impulses on the Internet. All the net-lings on the planet become a mass of neurons that could act as a planetary brain. The unfathomable activity of this brain is tentatively called the Net-mind. It is omnipresent (omni meaning universal) and perhaps even omnificent (with unlimited creative powers). Even though a single self-neuron does not fathom or understand what the Net-mind does or thinks, this bottom-up form of planetary interconnected activity is alive must to be reckoned with.

This bottom-up system is very different from the top-down hierarchies we have been accustomed to for eons. Top-down systems are based on secrecy, control, chauvinism, surveillance and trickle down oppression. Pyramid systems have supplanted any other form of governance since the dawn of our civilization. The main reason is that when an individual or a small group accumulates a greater amount of power than the norm they automatically revert to a top-down hierarchy to maintain, control and expand their authority.

The recent emergence of the Net-mind is unprecedented in our planetary history. It remains to be seen how this bottom-up activity will affect the top-down powers of the world. It is apparent that Internet propagated news are currently setting the agenda in our current geo-political world. Corporate news and government press conferences not only lag behind but must respond to Net induced lead stories. This is only the beginning of a notable shift in the power systems as we enter the new millennium.

Debbie W., Richmond, CA
Extremely Interesting Read. Deeply researched account of the symbols om the US dollar.
I’ve always been curious about the symbols on the one dollar bill and the little book explains them well. Highly recommend this read.

Peter O., Santa Fe, NM
Good and entertaining… This book is full of historical facts about the symbols on the dollar. You won’t be bored reading it. The author keeps delivering relevant info till the end. And once you’re done reading the book, you’ll never look at the dollar the same way again.

L. K. M., Seattle, WA
Great read! Extremely well researched writing of the history, symbols and makeup of the US currency.
After reading the book you will love the tender you exchange everyday. Highly recommend.

R. S., Santa Monica, CA
Well researched book on the symbols of our currency. Very interesting and revealing aspects behind the history of our currency.

Joanne A., Novato, CA
Everything you ever wanted to know about the one dollar bill. This book explains all the symbols on the one dollar. Who knew it was so detailed? Very interesting!

M.J.B., San Diego, CA
Great Read! Well researched, packed with interesting facts about the US dollar. Quick read.
Highly recommend.

Carl L., San Francisco, CA
If you’re curious as to how the symbols found on the US dollar came to be, look no further than
Michael Rizzotti’s well researched book. In addition to providing the reader with the history and context, the author expands on related subjects such as the Federal Reserve and the dollar’ s evolution to becoming the reserve currency of the world. All in all, a good, well written read.

Ricky I., Palm Desert, CA
Interesting and Detailed. A unique and well researched explanation and interpretation of the symbols we have all seen on ou US dollar. Mr. Rizzotti vividly introduces us to the history of the symbols; and quite interesting interpretations on how and or why these symbols were included on the dollar.