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 : 76. 4 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 : 53. 60 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
Download : 572
Read : 426

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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 : 54. 26 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?

Thinking In Complexity

Author : Klaus Mainzer
ISBN : 9783662132142
Genre : Science
File Size : 64. 98 MB
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This new edition also treats smart materials and artificial life. A new chapter on information and computational dynamics takes up many recent discussions in the community.

The Cunning Of Uncertainty

Author : Helga Nowotny
ISBN : 9780745687650
Genre : Education
File Size : 22. 94 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.

Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned

Author : Kenneth O Stanley
ISBN : 9783319155241
Genre : Computers
File Size : 75. 76 MB
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Why does modern life revolve around objectives? From how science is funded, to improving how children are educated -- and nearly everything in-between -- our society has become obsessed with a seductive illusion: that greatness results from doggedly measuring improvement in the relentless pursuit of an ambitious goal. In Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned, Stanley and Lehman begin with a surprising scientific discovery in artificial intelligence that leads ultimately to the conclusion that the objective obsession has gone too far. They make the case that great achievement can't be bottled up into mechanical metrics; that innovation is not driven by narrowly focused heroic effort; and that we would be wiser (and the outcomes better) if instead we whole-heartedly embraced serendipitous discovery and playful creativity. Controversial at its heart, yet refreshingly provocative, this book challenges readers to consider life without a destination and discovery without a compass.

Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Author : Al Franken
ISBN : 9780141924755
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 59. 13 MB
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Al Franken, one of America's savviest satirists has been studying the rhetoric of the Right. He has listened to their cries of 'slander', 'bias' and even 'treason'. He has examined the Bush administration's policies of squandering our surplus, ravaging the environment, and alienating the rest of the world. He's even watched Fox News. A lot. And in this fair and balanced report, Al bravely exposes them all for what they are: liars. Lying, lying, liars.

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