a crude look at the whole the science of complex systems in business life and society

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A Crude Look At The Whole

Author : John H. Miller
ISBN : 9780465073863
Genre : Science
File Size : 61. 5 MB
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Imagine trying to understand a stained glass window by breaking it into pieces and examining it one shard at a time. While you could probably learn a lot about each piece, you would have no idea about what the entire picture looks like. This is reductionism—the idea that to understand the world we only need to study its pieces—and it is how most social scientists approach their work. In A Crude Look at the Whole, social scientist and economist John H. Miller shows why we need to start looking at whole pictures. For one thing, whether we are talking about stock markets, computer networks, or biological organisms, individual parts only make sense when we remember that they are part of larger wholes. And perhaps more importantly, those wholes can take on behaviors that are strikingly different from that of their pieces. Miller, a leading expert in the computational study of complex adaptive systems, reveals astounding global patterns linking the organization of otherwise radically different structures: It might seem crude, but a beehive's temperature control system can help predict market fluctuations and a mammal's heartbeat can help us understand the “heartbeat” of a city and adapt urban planning accordingly. From enduring racial segregation to sudden stock market disasters, once we start drawing links between complex systems, we can start solving what otherwise might be totally intractable problems. Thanks to this revolutionary perspective, we can finally transcend the limits of reductionism and discover crucial new ideas. Scientifically founded and beautifully written, A Crude Look at the Whole is a powerful exploration of the challenges that we face as a society. As it reveals, taking the crude look might be the only way to truly see.

A Crude Look At The Whole

Author : John Miller
ISBN : 9780465073863
Genre : Science
File Size : 58. 49 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
Download : 156
Read : 1029

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Imagine trying to understand a stained glass window by breaking it into pieces and examining it one shard at a time. While you could probably learn a lot about each piece, you would have no idea about what the entire picture looks like. This is reductionism—the idea that to understand the world we only need to study its pieces—and it is how most social scientists approach their work. In A Crude Look at the Whole, social scientist and economist John H. Miller shows why we need to start looking at whole pictures. For one thing, whether we are talking about stock markets, computer networks, or biological organisms, individual parts only make sense when we remember that they are part of larger wholes. And perhaps more importantly, those wholes can take on behaviors that are strikingly different from that of their pieces. Miller, a leading expert in the computational study of complex adaptive systems, reveals astounding global patterns linking the organization of otherwise radically different structures: It might seem crude, but a beehive’s temperature control system can help predict market fluctuations and a mammal’s heartbeat can help us understand the “heartbeat” of a city and adapt urban planning accordingly. From enduring racial segregation to sudden stock market disasters, once we start drawing links between complex systems, we can start solving what otherwise might be totally intractable problems. Thanks to this revolutionary perspective, we can finally transcend the limits of reductionism and discover crucial new ideas. Scientifically founded and beautifully written, A Crude Look at the Whole is a powerful exploration of the challenges that we face as a society. As it reveals, taking the crude look might be the only way to truly see.

A Crude Look At The Whole

Author : Miller H. John
ISBN : 0465055699
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 35. 12 MB
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From economic meltdowns to how people cooperate, there is much about the human world that eludes our understanding. John Miller, a leading expert in the computational study of complex adaptive systems, shows in A Crude Look at the Whole how a range of studies in the natural and social sciences can help us better understand our most pressing problems. The key is to avoid reductionism--simplifying important systems down to a few apparently essential variables in hopes of finding the means for control. Instead, Miller would have us deal with rougher sketches of phenomena. Those pictures may be cruder, but they show us similarities between a mammal’s heartbeat and the "heartbeat” of a city that add to our understanding of urban growth and planning, or help us see how throwing aside detail-obsessed methodologies like Six Sigma can speed the discovery of vital new goods and ideas. Ultimately, Miller argues, by understanding the complex systems underlying the major societal issues of our time, from enduring racial segregation to sudden stock-market disasters, we will be better equipped to confront and anticipate such challenges before they put an end to us. In A Crude Look at the Whole, Miller gives us a powerful exploration of these challenges and presents his field’s most vital work to answer this compelling question: how can we learn enough to make the most of our economy, our world, and ourselves?

Principles Of Systems Science

Author : George E Mobus
ISBN : 9781493919208
Genre : Science
File Size : 35. 48 MB
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This pioneering text provides a comprehensive introduction to systems structure, function, and modeling as applied in all fields of science and engineering. Systems understanding is increasingly recognized as a key to a more holistic education and greater problem solving skills, and is also reflected in the trend toward interdisciplinary approaches to research on complex phenomena. While the concepts and components of systems science will continue to be distributed throughout the various disciplines, undergraduate degree programs in systems science are also being developed, including at the authors’ own institutions. However, the subject is approached, systems science as a basis for understanding the components and drivers of phenomena at all scales should be viewed with the same importance as a traditional liberal arts education. Principles of Systems Science contains many graphs, illustrations, side bars, examples, and problems to enhance understanding. From basic principles of organization, complexity, abstract representations, and behavior (dynamics) to deeper aspects such as the relations between information, knowledge, computation, and system control, to higher order aspects such as auto-organization, emergence and evolution, the book provides an integrated perspective on the comprehensive nature of systems. It ends with practical aspects such as systems analysis, computer modeling, and systems engineering that demonstrate how the knowledge of systems can be used to solve problems in the real world. Each chapter is broken into parts beginning with qualitative descriptions that stand alone for students who have taken intermediate algebra. The second part presents quantitative descriptions that are based on pre-calculus and advanced algebra, providing a more formal treatment for students who have the necessary mathematical background. Numerous examples of systems from every realm of life, including the physical and biological sciences, humanities, social sciences, engineering, pre-med and pre-law, are based on the fundamental systems concepts of boundaries, components as subsystems, processes as flows of materials, energy, and messages, work accomplished, functions performed, hierarchical structures, and more. Understanding these basics enables further understanding both of how systems endure and how they may become increasingly complex and exhibit new properties or characteristics. Serves as a textbook for teaching systems fundamentals in any discipline or for use in an introductory course in systems science degree programs Addresses a wide range of audiences with different levels of mathematical sophistication Includes open-ended questions in special boxes intended to stimulate integrated thinking and class discussion Describes numerous examples of systems in science and society Captures the trend towards interdisciplinary research and problem solving

Complex Adaptive Systems

Author : John H. Miller
ISBN : 1400835526
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 78. 4 MB
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This book provides the first clear, comprehensive, and accessible account of complex adaptive social systems, by two of the field's leading authorities. Such systems--whether political parties, stock markets, or ant colonies--present some of the most intriguing theoretical and practical challenges confronting the social sciences. Engagingly written, and balancing technical detail with intuitive explanations, Complex Adaptive Systems focuses on the key tools and ideas that have emerged in the field since the mid-1990s, as well as the techniques needed to investigate such systems. It provides a detailed introduction to concepts such as emergence, self-organized criticality, automata, networks, diversity, adaptation, and feedback. It also demonstrates how complex adaptive systems can be explored using methods ranging from mathematics to computational models of adaptive agents. John Miller and Scott Page show how to combine ideas from economics, political science, biology, physics, and computer science to illuminate topics in organization, adaptation, decentralization, and robustness. They also demonstrate how the usual extremes used in modeling can be fruitfully transcended.

Sync

Author : Steven Strogatz
ISBN : 9780141933184
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 43. 51 MB
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'SYNC' IS A STORY OF A DAZZLING KIND OF ORDER IN THE UNIVERSE, THE HARMONY THAT COMES FROM CYCLES IN SYNC. THE TENDENCY TO SYCHRONIZE IS ONE OF THE MOST FAR- REACHING DRIVES IN ALL OF NATURE. IT EXTENDS FROM PEOPLE TO PLANETS, FROM ANIMALS TO ATOMS. IN 'SYNC' PROFESSOR STEVEN STROGATZ CONSIDERS A RANGE OF APPLICATIONS - HUMAN SLEEP AND CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS, MENSTRUAL SYNCHRONY, INSECT OUTBREAKS, SUPERCONDUCTORS, LASERS, SECRET CODES, HEART ARRHYTHMIAS AND FADS - CONNECTING ALL TRHOUGH AN EXPLORATION OF THE SAME MATHEMATICAL THEME: SELF- ORGANISATION, OR THE SPONTANEOUS EMERGENCE OF ORDER OUT OF CHAOS. FOCUSED ENOUGH TO PRESENT A COHERENT WORLD UNTO THEMSELVES, STROGATZ'S CHOSEN TOPICS TOUCH ON SEVERAL OF THE HOTTEST DIRECTIONS IN CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE.

Diversity And Complexity

Author : Scott E. Page
ISBN : 1400835143
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 38. 5 MB
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This book provides an introduction to the role of diversity in complex adaptive systems. A complex system--such as an economy or a tropical ecosystem--consists of interacting adaptive entities that produce dynamic patterns and structures. Diversity plays a different role in a complex system than it does in an equilibrium system, where it often merely produces variation around the mean for performance measures. In complex adaptive systems, diversity makes fundamental contributions to system performance. Scott Page gives a concise primer on how diversity happens, how it is maintained, and how it affects complex systems. He explains how diversity underpins system level robustness, allowing for multiple responses to external shocks and internal adaptations; how it provides the seeds for large events by creating outliers that fuel tipping points; and how it drives novelty and innovation. Page looks at the different kinds of diversity--variations within and across types, and distinct community compositions and interaction structures--and covers the evolution of diversity within complex systems and the factors that determine the amount of maintained diversity within a system. Provides a concise and accessible introduction Shows how diversity underpins robustness and fuels tipping points Covers all types of diversity The essential primer on diversity in complex adaptive systems

The Cunning Of Uncertainty

Author : Helga Nowotny
ISBN : 9780745687650
Genre : Education
File Size : 46. 25 MB
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Uncertainty is interwoven into human existence. It is a powerful incentive in the search for knowledge and an inherent component of scientific research. We have developed many ways of coping with uncertainty. We make promises, manage risks and make predictions to try to clear the mists and predict ahead. But the future is inherently uncertain - and the mist that shrouds our path an inherent part of our journey. The burning question is whether our societies can face up to uncertainty, learn to embrace it and whether we can open up to a constantly evolving future. In this new book, Helga Nowotny shows how research can thrive at the cusp of uncertainty. Science, she argues, can eventually transform uncertainty into certainty, but into certainty which remains always provisional. Uncertainty is never completely static. It is constantly evolving. It encompasses geological time scales and, at the level of human experience, split-second changes as cells divide. Life and death decisions are taken in the blink of the eye, while human interactions with the natural environment may reveal their impact over millennia. Uncertainty is cunning. It appears at unexpected moments, it shuns the straight line, takes the oblique route and sometimes the unexpected short-cut. As we acknowledge the cunning of uncertainty, its threats retreat. We accept that any scientific inquiry must produce results that are provisional and uncertain. This message is vital for politicians and policy-makers: do not be tempted by small, short-term, controllable gains to the exclusion of uncertain, high-gain opportunities. Wide-ranging in its use of examples and enriched by the author’s experience as President of the European Research Council, one of the world’s leading funding organisations for fundamental research. The Cunning of Uncertainty is a must-read for students and scholars of all disciplines, politicians, policy-makers and anyone concerned with the fundamental role of knowledge and science in our societies today.

Thinking Ahead Essays On Big Data Digital Revolution And Participatory Market Society

Author : Dirk Helbing
ISBN : 9783319150789
Genre : Computers
File Size : 66. 31 MB
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The rapidly progressing digital revolution is now touching the foundations of the governance of societal structures. Humans are on the verge of evolving from consumers to prosumers, and old, entrenched theories – in particular sociological and economic ones – are falling prey to these rapid developments. The original assumptions on which they are based are being questioned. Each year we produce as much data as in the entire human history - can we possibly create a global crystal ball to predict our future and to optimally govern our world? Do we need wide-scale surveillance to understand and manage the increasingly complex systems we are constructing, or would bottom-up approaches such as self-regulating systems be a better solution to creating a more innovative, more successful, more resilient, and ultimately happier society? Working at the interface of complexity theory, quantitative sociology and Big Data-driven risk and knowledge management, the author advocates the establishment of new participatory systems in our digital society to enhance coordination, reduce conflict and, above all, reduce the “tragedies of the commons,” resulting from the methods now used in political, economic and management decision-making. The author Physicist Dirk Helbing is Professor of Computational Social Science at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences and an affiliate of the Computer Science Department at ETH Zurich, as well as co-founder of ETH’s Risk Center. He is internationally known for the scientific coordination of the FuturICT Initiative which focuses on using smart data to understand techno-socio-economic systems. “Prof. Helbing has produced an insightful and important set of essays on the ways in which big data and complexity science are changing our understanding of ourselves and our society, and potentially allowing us to manage our societies much better than we are currently able to do. Of special note are the essays that touch on the promises of big data along with the dangers...this is material that we should all become familiar with!” Alex Pentland, MIT, author of Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread - The Lessons From a New Science "Dirk Helbing has established his reputation as one of the leading scientific thinkers on the dramatic impacts of the digital revolution on our society and economy. Thinking Ahead is a most stimulating and provocative set of essays which deserves a wide audience.” Paul Ormerod, economist, and author of Butterfly Economics and Why Most Things Fail. "It is becoming increasingly clear that many of our institutions and social structures are in a bad way and urgently need fixing. Financial crises, international conflicts, civil wars and terrorism, inaction on climate change, problems of poverty, widening economic inequality, health epidemics, pollution and threats to digital privacy and identity are just some of the major challenges that we confront in the twenty-first century. These issues demand new and bold thinking, and that is what Dirk Helbing offers in this collection of essays. If even a fraction of these ideas pay off, the consequences for global governance could be significant. So this is a must-read book for anyone concerned about the future." Philip Ball, science writer and author of Critical Mass “This collection of papers, brought together by Dirk Helbing, is both timely and topical. It raises concerns about Big Data, which are truly frightening and disconcerting, that we do need to be aware of; while at the same time offering some hope that the technology, which has created the previously unthought-of dangers to our privacy, safety and democracy can be the means to address these dangers by enabling social, economic and political participation and coordination, not possible in the past. It makes for compelling reading and I hope for timely action.”Eve Mitleton-Kelly, LSE, author of Corporate Governance and Complexity Theory and editor of Co-evolution of Intelligent Socio-technical Systems

The Mind Club

Author : Daniel M. Wegner
ISBN : 9781101606421
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 67. 57 MB
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“Compelling, and so beautifully written…’The Mind Club’ deftly brings the most up-to-date research about other minds to readers of all backgrounds. It may cause you to think differently about crime and punishment, about business transactions and health care, and even about the upcoming elections. Things might just start looking up.”–The Wall Street Journal From dogs to gods, the science of understanding mysterious minds—including your own. Nothing seems more real than the minds of other people. When you consider what your boss is thinking or whether your spouse is happy, you are admitting them into the "mind club." It’s easy to assume other humans can think and feel, but what about a cow, a computer, a corporation? What kinds of mind do they have? Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray are award-winning psychologists who have discovered that minds—while incredibly important—are a matter of perception. Their research opens a trove of new findings, with insights into human behavior that are fascinating, frightening and funny. The Mind Club explains why we love some animals and eat others, why people debate the existence of God so intensely, how good people can be so cruel, and why robots make such poor lovers. By investigating the mind perception of extraordinary targets—animals, machines, comatose people, god—Wegner and Gray explain what it means to have a mind, and why it matters so much. Fusing cutting-edge research and personal anecdotes, The Mind Club explores the moral dimensions of mind perception with wit and compassion, revealing the surprisingly simple basis for what compels us to love and hate, to harm and to protect. From the Hardcover edition.

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