Sometimes order seemingly comes out of nowhere. It just materializes. It happens in ant colonies, in cities, on the web, in the brain. This episode of Radio Lab (MP3 – iTunes – Feed) takes a fascinating look at how groups organize and direct themselves without the help of a leader, or some kind of central command. The show includes conversations with biologist E.O. Wilson, economist James Surowiecki, and neurologists Oliver Sacks and Christof Koch. Also included in the mix is Deborah Gordon, a Stanford professor who has spent years studying ants, which are individually incompetent but do remarkably complex things as colonies. There’s more to ants than you’d first think, so we’ve also included below Deborah Gordon’s presentation at the TED Talks conference. It’s called “How Do Ants Know What to Do?” And it’s added to our YouTube Playlist.