a crude look at the whole

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A Crude Look At The Whole

Author : John H. Miller
ISBN : 9780465073863
Genre : Science
File Size : 68. 36 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 : 46. 55 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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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 : 71. 42 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?

Signals And Boundaries

Author : John H. Holland
ISBN : 9780262017831
Genre : Computers
File Size : 22. 49 MB
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An overarching framework for comparing and steering complex adaptive systems is developed through understanding the mechanisms that generate their intricate signal/boundary hierarchies.

Principles Of Systems Science

Author : George E Mobus
ISBN : 9781493919208
Genre : Science
File Size : 28. 49 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

Diversity And Complexity

Author : Scott E. Page
ISBN : 1400835143
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 34. 59 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

Complex And Adaptive Dynamical Systems

Author : Claudius Gros
ISBN : 9783319162652
Genre : Science
File Size : 79. 64 MB
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This primer offers readers an introduction to the central concepts that form our modern understanding of complex and emergent behavior, together with detailed coverage of accompanying mathematical methods. All calculations are presented step by step and are easy to follow. This new fourth edition has been fully reorganized and includes new chapters, figures and exercises. The core aspects of modern complex system sciences are presented in the first chapters, covering network theory, dynamical systems, bifurcation and catastrophe theory, chaos and adaptive processes, together with the principle of self-organization in reaction-diffusion systems and social animals. Modern information theoretical principles are treated in further chapters, together with the concept of self-organized criticality, gene regulation networks, hypercycles and coevolutionary avalanches, synchronization phenomena, absorbing phase transitions and the cognitive system approach to the brain. Technical course prerequisites are the standard mathematical tools for an advanced undergraduate course in the natural sciences or engineering. Each chapter includes exercises and suggestions for further reading, and the solutions to all exercises are provided in the last chapter. From the reviews of previous editions: This is a very interesting introductory book written for a broad audience of graduate students in natural sciences and engineering. It can be equally well used both for teac hing and self-education. Very well structured and every topic is illustrated with simple and motivating examples. This is a true guidebook to the world of complex nonlinear phenomena. (Ilya Pavlyukevich, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1146, 2008) Claudius Gros’ Complex and Adaptive Dynamical Systems: A Primer is a welcome addition to the literature. A particular strength of the book is its emphasis on analytical techniques for studying complex systems. (David P. Feldman, Physics Today, July, 2009).

The Seneca Effect

Author : Ugo Bardi
ISBN : 9783319572079
Genre : Science
File Size : 59. 79 MB
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The essence of this book can be found in a line written by the ancient Roman Stoic Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca: "Fortune is of sluggish growth, but ruin is rapid". This sentence summarizes the features of the phenomenon that we call "collapse," which is typically sudden and often unexpected, like the proverbial "house of cards." But why are such collapses so common, and what generates them? Several books have been published on the subject, including the well known "Collapse" by Jared Diamond (2005), "The collapse of complex societies" by Joseph Tainter (1998) and "The Tipping Point," by Malcom Gladwell (2000). Why The Seneca Effect? This book is an ambitious attempt to pull these various strands together by describing collapse from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. The reader will discover how collapse is a collective phenomenon that occurs in what we call today "complex systems," with a special emphasis on system dynamics and the concept of "feedback." From this foundation, Bardi applies the theory to real-world systems, from the mechanics of fracture and the collapse of large structures to financial collapses, famines and population collapses, the fall of entire civilzations, and the most dreadful collapse we can imagine: that of the planetary ecosystem generated by overexploitation and climate change. The final objective of the book is to describe a conclusion that the ancient stoic philosophers had already discovered long ago, but that modern system science has rediscovered today. If you want to avoid collapse you need to embrace change, not fight it. Neither a book about doom and gloom nor a cornucopianist's dream, The Seneca Effect goes to the heart of the challenges that we are facing today, helping us to manage our future rather than be managed by it.

Crude Volatility

Author : Robert McNally
ISBN : 9780231543682
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 71. 28 MB
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Oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization, ranking alongside food as one of our most critical commodities. It drives geopolitical, economic, and financial affairs, as well as environmental debates and policymaking. As the place of oil in our global economy has evolved, so too has the way we buy and sell it, with rudimentary transactions at the wellhead developing into a sophisticated and complex global market. Yet while today’s oil market bears little resemblance to the one born in the valleys and creeks of western Pennsylvania more than 150 years ago, one core feature remains: a natural tendency toward boom and bust price cycles that can devastate economies, trigger or prolong recessions, and undermine growth and investment. Tracing a history marked with conflict, intrigue, and extreme uncertainty, Robert McNally shows how—even from the very first years of the market—wild volatility in oil prices led to intensive efforts to stabilize price fluctuations and manage supply. First Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, then U.S. state regulators along with major international oil companies, and finally OPEC each enjoyed varying degrees of success in the pursuit of oil price stability. But the spectacular boom of 2008 and bust of 2015 have revealed a structural shift back to extreme oil price swings, the likes of which haven’t been seen for nearly a century. Crafting an engrossing journey from the gushing New England oil fields to the fraught and fractious Middle East, Crude Volatility provides a crucial perspective that discards distractions and tired myths, shows lessons learned from prior mistakes, and provides the historical foundation we need to face, understand, and surmount the challenges ahead.

A Crude World

Author : Russell Andresen
ISBN : 1681395800
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 34. 73 MB
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Adrenaline, stress, and avarice are the drugs that make up the addicting cocktail of the global oil and gasoline markets. It is an industry that entices young men and women to pursue their dreams of attaining wealth beyond their means. It is an environment that destroys as many as it rewards. In A Crude World-A Life of Drugs, Greed, and Power in the New York Mercantile Exchange, Russell Andresen opens the curtains behind of one of the most secretive industries in the world, where loyalty means nothing, ethics is a four letter word, and silence is the most valuable commodity.

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