If you are studying mathematics then the BBC Four documentary 'The Secret Life of Chaos' is a must see. It starts off with the ideas of the brilliant Alan Turing and ends with a computer program that is able to simulate evolution itself.
In that particular program various 'brains' live with the purpose to 'walk'. The brains are programs that are able to fully rewrite themselves. Another program which acts as the enviroment kills of brains that don't perform well and selects programs to replicate. After several generations the brains are able to do things that human programmers would consider impossible to code. The idea is that we exist purely by chance based on very simple rules. The simulation proves that evolution works.
The behaviour of a flock of birds is briefly mentioned in the program. A few hundred pilots would not be able to mimick a flock of birds because in our perception of communication some leader has to give orders from top to bottom. The birds just follow some simple rules. I don't know if anywhere complex systems are being built based on that principle, if so I give them more chance to succeed than those who want to create complexity from scratch.
13-2016 Open letter to Open Source for You (OSFY)
5 months ago