A series of studies has recently revealed that [coral] reef fish are surprisingly adaptable. Freshly caught wild fish quickly learn new tasks and can learn to discriminate among colors, patterns and shapes, including those they have never encountered. These studies suggest that learning and interpreting new stimuli play important roles in the lives of reef fish.-- Sean B Carroll reports
Reef as metaphor:
Technology is “alive” in the sense that a coral reef is alive. The reef is an ecological system with many species, and technology in the broadest sense is an elaborate and constantly changing structure made up of thousands of discrete technologies, themselves composed of separate technologies.