The Collapse of Chaos

Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World

Author: Jack Cohen,Ian Stewart

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0140291253

Category: Science

Page: 512

View: 681

Do we live in a simple or a complex universe? Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart explore the ability of complicated rules to generate simple behaviour in nature through 'the collapse of chaos'. 'The most startling, thought-provoking book I've read all year. I was pleased to learn that most of the things I thought I knew were wrong' -- Terry Pratchett
Posted in Science

Figments of Reality

The Evolution of the Curious Mind

Author: Ian Stewart,Jack Cohen

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521663830

Category: Psychology

Page: 340

View: 7068

Addressing the nature of free will and humanity itself, the authors argue that the mind, consciousness, and culture have evolved interdependently to create the human species and show how the mind is constantly adjusting to its environment. UP.
Posted in Psychology

Evolving the Alien

Author: Jack Cohen,Ian Stewart

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780091879273

Category: Exobiology

Page: 369

View: 8396

What would life on other planets look like? Forget the little green men, alien life is likely to be completely unrecognisable -we haven't even discovered all the life on our own planet. This visionary book offers some of the most radical but scientifically accurate thinking on the possibility of life on other planets ever conceived. Using broad principles of Earthly biology and expanding on them laterally, Cohen and Stewart examine what could be out there. Redefining our whole concept of what 'life' is, they ask whether aliens could live on the surface of a star, in the vacuum of space or beneath the ice of a frozen moon. And whether life could exist without carbon or DNA -or even without matter at all. They also look at 'celebrity aliens' from books and films -most of which are biologically impossible. Jack Cohen is an 'alien consultant' to many writers, advising what an alien could and couldn't look like. (E. T. go home -you do not pass the test). But this book is as much about the latest discoveries in Earthly biology as well as life on other planets. It's a serious yet entertaining science book, as you'd expect from the bestselling authors of THE SCIENCE OF DISCWORLD.
Posted in Exobiology

Complexity

The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos

Author: Mitchell M. Waldrop

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0671872346

Category: Mathematics

Page: 380

View: 3605

A look at the rebellious thinkers who are challenging old ideas with their insights into the ways countless elements of complex systems interact to produce spontaneous order out of confusion
Posted in Mathematics

A World in Disarray

American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order

Author: Richard Haass

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399562370

Category: Political Science

Page: 352

View: 6442

"A valuable primer on foreign policy: a primer that concerned citizens of all political persuasions—not to mention the president and his advisers—could benefit from reading." —The New York Times An examination of a world increasingly defined by disorder and a United States unable to shape the world in its image, from the president of the Council on Foreign Relations Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. Meanwhile, great power rivalry is returning. Weak states pose problems just as confounding as strong ones. The United States remains the world’s strongest country, but American foreign policy has at times made matters worse, both by what the U.S. has done and by what it has failed to do. The Middle East is in chaos, Asia is threatened by China’s rise and a reckless North Korea, and Europe, for decades the world’s most stable region, is now anything but. As Richard Haass explains, the election of Donald Trump and the unexpected vote for “Brexit” signals that many in modern democracies reject important aspects of globalization, including borders open to trade and immigrants. In A World in Disarray, Haass argues for an updated global operating system—call it world order 2.0—that reflects the reality that power is widely distributed and that borders count for less. One critical element of this adjustment will be adopting a new approach to sovereignty, one that embraces its obligations and responsibilities as well as its rights and protections. Haass also details how the U.S. should act towards China and Russia, as well as in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He suggests, too, what the country should do to address its dysfunctional politics, mounting debt, and the lack of agreement on the nature of its relationship with the world. A World in Disarray is a wise examination, one rich in history, of the current world, along with how we got here and what needs doing. Haass shows that the world cannot have stability or prosperity without the United States, but that the United States cannot be a force for global stability and prosperity without its politicians and citizens reaching a new understanding.
Posted in Political Science

Adam's Navel

A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form

Author: Michael Sims

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781440677953

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 5088

In this amusing and brilliantly conceived book, Michael Sims introduces you to your body. Moving from head to toe, Sims blends cultural history with evolutionary theory to produce a wonderfully original narrative in which he analyzes the visible parts of the body. In this fascinating brew of science and storytelling, readers encounter not only accessible explanations of the mechanics of their anatomy, but also the layers of mythology, religious lore, history, Darwinian theory, and popular culture that have helped to shape our understanding of any given body part. A titillating and unique book, Adam’s Navel is learned and entertaining, a marvelous lens through which to study the form we all inhabit—but may not really understand.
Posted in Science

Scale

The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies

Author: Geoffrey B. West

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1594205582

Category: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

Page: 479

View: 7918

"Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks... Fascinated by issues of aging and mortality, West applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer. The result was astonishing, and changed science, creating a new understanding of energy use and metabolism: West found that despite the riotous diversity in the sizes of mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other... West's work has been gaming changing for biologists, but then he made the even bolder move of exploring his work's applicability...and applied...[it] to the business and social world."--
Posted in BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

Getting Things Done

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Author: David Allen

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698161866

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 5869

"The Bible of business and personal productivity" —Lifehack "A completely revised and updated edition of the blockbuster bestseller from 'the personal productivity guru'"—Fast Company Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots. Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with important perspectives on the new workplace, and adding material that will make the book fresh and relevant for years to come. This new edition of Getting Things Done will be welcomed not only by its hundreds of thousands of existing fans but also by a whole new generation eager to adopt its proven principles. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Posted in Business & Economics

Spatial Economic Science

New Frontiers in Theory and Methodology

Author: Aura Reggiani

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3642597874

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 457

View: 9998

With the dawn of the twenty-first century comes the awareness that current rapid political-economic-social and technological transformations will affect our of living, by producing new forms of information, communications, common way market, work-style and leisure. In this context, human behaviour will certainly change its 'fixed' parameters. It is likely that the relationships between internal structures and external influences, between individual components and collective behaviour, as well as between multi-scale networks and interrelated dynamics, will show spatio-temporal patterns which will be difficult to predict by means of our usual tools. As a consequence, academic research is increasingly being required to play an active role in addressing new ways of understanding and forecasting the sets of interacting structures, ranging from the technical to the organizational, and from the social to the economic and political levels, while at the same time incorporating concerns about the 'new' economy, environment, society, information and technology. It is now evident that social science - especially spatial and economic scienc- needs innovative 'paths', together with continuous cross-fertilization among the many disciplines involved. In order to investigate these intriguing perspectives, we seem to have embarked on an era of methodological reflections - rather than developing strong theoretical foundations. This volume aims to provide an overview of these new insights and frontiers for theoretical/methodological studies and research applications in the space-economy.
Posted in Business & Economics

Decision Science and Technology

Reflections on the Contributions of Ward Edwards

Author: James Shanteau,Barbara A. Mellers,David A. Schum

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1461550890

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 434

View: 8719

Decision Science and Technology is a compilation of chapters written in honor of a remarkable man, Ward Edwards. Among Ward's many contributions are two significant accomplishments, either of which would have been enough for a very distinguished career. First, Ward is the founder of behavioral decision theory. This interdisciplinary discipline addresses the question of how people actually confront decisions, as opposed to the question of how they should make decisions. Second, Ward laid the groundwork for sound normative systems by noticing which tasks humans can do well and which tasks computers should perform. This volume, organized into five parts, reflects those accomplishments and more. The book is divided into four sections: `Behavioral Decision Theory' examines theoretical descriptions and empirical findings about human decision making. `Decision Analysis' examines topics in decision analysis.`Decision in Society' explores issues in societal decision making. The final section, `Historical Notes', provides some historical perspectives on the development of the decision theory. Within these sections, major, multi-disciplinary scholars in decision theory have written chapters exploring some very bold themes in the field, as an examination of the book's contents will show. The main reason for the health of the Decision Analysis field is its close links between theory and applications that have characterized it over the years. In this volume, the chapters by Barron and Barrett; Fishburn; Fryback; Keeney; Moreno, Pericchi, and Kadane; Howard; Phillips; Slovic and Gregory; Winkler; and, above all, von Winterfeldt focus on those links. Decision science originally developed out of concern with real decision problems; and applied work, such as is represented in this volume, will help the field to remain strong.
Posted in Business & Economics

Meltdown

Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It

Author: Chris Clearfield,András Tilcsik

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735222649

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 8040

A groundbreaking take on how complexity causes failure in all kinds of modern systems--from social media to air travel--this practical and entertaining book reveals how we can prevent meltdowns in business and life "Endlessly fascinating, brimming with insight, and more fun than a book about failure has any right to be, Meltdown will transform how you think about the systems that govern our lives. This is a wonderful book."--Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better A crash on the Washington, D.C. metro system. An accidental overdose in a state-of-the-art hospital. An overcooked holiday meal. At first glance, these disasters seem to have little in common. But surprising new research shows that all these events--and the myriad failures that dominate headlines every day--share similar causes. By understanding what lies behind these failures, we can design better systems, make our teams more productive, and transform how we make decisions at work and at home. Weaving together cutting-edge social science with riveting stories that take us from the frontlines of the Volkswagen scandal to backstage at the Oscars, and from deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico to the top of Mount Everest, Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik explain how the increasing complexity of our systems creates conditions ripe for failure and why our brains and teams can't keep up. They highlight the paradox of progress: Though modern systems have given us new capabilities, they've become vulnerable to surprising meltdowns--and even to corruption and misconduct. But Meltdown isn't just about failure; it's about solutions--whether you're managing a team or the chaos of your family's morning routine. It reveals why ugly designs make us safer, how a five-minute exercise can prevent billion-dollar catastrophes, why teams with fewer experts are better at managing risk, and why diversity is one of our best safeguards against failure. The result is an eye-opening, empowering, and entirely original book--one that will change the way you see our complex world and your own place in it.
Posted in Business & Economics

In the Bubble

Designing in a Complex World

Author: John Thackara

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262250375

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 336

View: 6969

We're filling up the world with technology and devices, but we've lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing for a Complex World. These are tough questions for the pushers of technology to answer. Our economic system is centered on technology, so it would be no small matter if "tech" ceased to be an end-in-itself in our daily lives. Technology is not going to go away, but the time to discuss the end it will serve is before we deploy it, not after. We need to ask what purpose will be served by the broadband communications, smart materials, wearable computing, and connected appliances that we're unleashing upon the world. We need to ask what impact all this stuff will have on our daily lives. Who will look after it, and how?In the Bubble is about a world based less on stuff and more on people. Thackara describes a transformation that is taking place now -- not in a remote science fiction future; it's not about, as he puts it, "the schlock of the new" but about radical innovation already emerging in daily life. We are regaining respect for what people can do that technology can't. In the Bubble describes services designed to help people carry out daily activities in new ways. Many of these services involve technology -- ranging from body implants to wide-bodied jets. But objects and systems play a supporting role in a people-centered world. The design focus is on services, not things. And new principles -- above all, lightness -- inform the way these services are designed and used. At the heart of In the Bubble is a belief, informed by a wealth of real-world examples, that ethics and responsibility can inform design decisions without impeding social and technical innovation.
Posted in Business & Economics

Mind of God

The Scientific Basis for a Rational World

Author: Paul Davies

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0671797182

Category: Religion

Page: 254

View: 9811

A physicist uses science and philosophy to answer the ancient, unsolvable question: why does the universe exist?
Posted in Religion

Hermeneutic Philosophy of Science, Van Gogh’s Eyes, and God

Essays in Honor of Patrick A. Heelan, S.J.

Author: Babette Babich

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401717672

Category: Science

Page: 500

View: 3110

This richly textured book bridges analytic and hermeneutic and phenomenological philosophy of science. It features unique resources for students of the philosophy and history of quantum mechanics and the Copenhagen Interpretation, cognitive theory and the psychology of perception, the history and philosophy of art, and the pragmatic and historical relationships between religion and science.
Posted in Science

Hit Makers

The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction

Author: Derek Thompson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 110198032X

Category: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

Page: 344

View: 8824

Presents an investigation into the lucrative quality of popularity in the twenty-first century to share economic insights into what makes ideas, productions, and products successful.
Posted in BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

Dynamic Sustainabilities

Technology, Environment, Social Justice

Author: Melissa Leach,Ian Scoones,Andy Stirling

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1849710937

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 212

View: 7349

Introducing a new pathways approach for understanding and responding to sustainability challenges, this title explores practical ways forward for building pathways to sustainability.
Posted in Business & Economics

Conversations on Science, Culture, and Time

Author: Michel Serres,Bruno Latour

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 9780472065486

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 204

View: 2847

Illuminating conversations with one of France's most respected--and controversial--philosophers
Posted in Literary Criticism

Deep Simplicity

Chaos, Complexity and the Emergence of Life

Author: John Gribbin

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141042214

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 4945

'Gribbin takes us through the basics with his customary talent for accessibility and clarity' Sunday Times The world around us can be a complex, confusing place. Earthquakes happen without warning, stock markets fluctuate, weather forecasters seldom seem to get it right - even other people continue to baffle us. How do we make sense of it all? In fact, John Gribbin reveals, our seemingly random universe is actually built on simple laws of cause and effect that can explain why, for example, just one vehicle braking can cause a traffic jam; why wild storms result from a slight atmospheric change; even how we evolved from the most basic materials. Like a zen painting, a fractal image or the pattern on a butterfly's wings, simple elements form the bedrock of a sophisticated whole. Synthesizing chaos and complexity theory for the perplexed, Deep Simplicity brilliantly illuminates the harmony underlying our existence.
Posted in Science

New Rules for the New Economy

10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World

Author: Kevin Kelly

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101221836

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

View: 5089

The classic book on business strategy in the new networked economy— from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Inevitable Forget supply and demand. Forget computers. The old rules are broken. Today, communication, not computation, drives change. We are rushing into a world where connectivity is everything, and where old business know-how means nothing. In this new economic order, success flows primarily from understanding networks, and networks have their own rules. In New Rules for the New Economy, Kelly presents ten fundamental principles of the connected economy that invert the traditional wisdom of the industrial world. Succinct and memorable, New Rules explains why these powerful laws are already hardwired into the new economy, and how they play out in all kinds of business—both low and high tech— all over the world. More than an overview of new economic principles, it prescribes clear and specific strategies for success in the network economy. For any worker, CEO, or middle manager, New Rules is the survival kit for the new economy.
Posted in Business & Economics