gleblanc - Sorry. I was way too obscure there. "Emergent properties" is the idea of collective behaviors that arise out of the actions of a host of independent agents, each acting on their own. Ants are a great example. There's no "ant boss", no one in charge. Each ant has a bunch of simple behaviors, yet a rich and complex behavior arises out of their collective effort. If one ant finds food, it grabs some and walks home, leaving a trail of a particular pheromone. When other ants smell that pheromone, they follow it in the opposite direction, toward the food, grab some, and head home, leaving more pheromones. The result is a trail of ants between nest and food. No boss told any of the ants where to go, they just smelled the pheromones and their tiny little hard-wired brains triggered into "get the food" mode.