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A Crude Look At The Whole

Author: John Miller
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465073867
Size: 55.84 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 H. Miller
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0465073867
Size: 63.65 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.

Diversity And Complexity

Author: Scott E. Page
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400835140
Size: 71.42 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

Dynamics Of Complex Systems

Author: Yaneer Bar-yam
Publisher: Westview Press
ISBN: 9780813341217
Size: 74.44 MB
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The study of complex systems in a unified framework has become recognized in recent years as a new scientific discipline, the ultimate in the interdisciplinary fields. Breaking down the barriers between physics, chemistry, and biology and the so-called soft sciences of psychology, sociology, economics and anthropology, this text explores the universal physical and mathematical principles that govern the emergence of complex systems from simple components. Dynamics of Complex Systems is the first text describing the modern unified study of complex systems. It is designed for upper-undergraduate/beginning graduate level students, and covers a broad range of applications in a broad array of disciplines. A central goal of this text is to develop models and modeling techniques that are useful when applied to all complex systems. This is done by adopting both analytic tools, including statistical mechanics and stochastic dynamics, and computer simulation techniques, such as cellular automata and Monte Carlo. In four sets of paired, self-contained chapters, Yaneer Bar-Yam discusses complex systems in the context of neural networks, protein folding, living organisms, and finally, human civilization itself. He explores fundamental questions about the structure, dynamics, evolution, development and quantitative complexity that apply to all complex systems. In the first chapter, mathematical foundations such as iterative maps and chaos, probability theory and random walks, thermodynamics, information and computation theory, fractals and scaling, are reviewed to enable the text to be read by students and researchers with a variety of backgrounds.

Self Organization In Biological Systems

Author: Scott Camazine
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691116242
Size: 40.54 MB
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Researchers are finding in certain patterns in nature - phenomena that have fascinated naturalists for centuries - a fertile approach to understanding biological systems: the study of self-organization. This work introduces readers to the basic concepts and tools for studying self-organization.

Complexity And Evolution

Author: David S. Wilson
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026233772X
Size: 11.82 MB
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Two widely heralded yet contested approaches to economics have emerged in recent years: one emphasizes evolutionary theory in terms of individuals and institutions; the other views economies as complex adaptive systems. In this book, leading scholars examine these two bodies of theory, exploring their possible impact on economics. Relevant concepts from evolutionary theory drawn on by the contributors include the distinction between proximate and ultimate causation, multilevel selection, cultural change as an evolutionary process, and human psychology as a product of gene-culture coevolution. Applicable ideas from complexity theory include self-organization, fractals, chaos theory, sensitive dependence, basins of attraction, and path dependence. The contributors discuss a synthesis of complexity and evolutionary approaches and the challenges that emerge. Focusing on evolutionary behavioral economics, and the evolution of institutions, they offer practical applications and point to avenues for future research.ContributorsRobert Axtell, Jenna Bednar, Eric D. Beinhocker, Adrian V. Bell, Terence C. Burnham, Julia Chelen, David Colander, Iain D. Couzin, Thomas E. Currie, Joshua M. Epstein, Daniel Fricke, Herbert Gintis, Paul W. Glimcher, John Gowdy, Thorsten Hens, Michael E. Hochberg, Alan Kirman, Robert Kurzban, Leonhard Lades, Stephen E. G. Lea, John E. Mayfield, Mariana Mazzucato, Kevin McCabe, John F. Padgett, Scott E. Page, Karthik Panchanathan, Peter J. Richerson, Peter Schuster, Georg Schwesinger, Rajiv Sethi, Enrico Spolaore, Sven Steinmo, Miriam Teschl, Peter Turchin, Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh, Sander E. van der Leeuw, Romain Wacziarg, John J. Wallis, David S. Wilson, Ulrich Witt

The Economy As An Evolving Complex System Ii

Author: W. Brian Arthur
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 0429965184
Size: 39.69 MB
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A new view of the economy as an evolving, complex system has been pioneered at the Santa Fe Institute over the last ten years, This volume is a collection of articles that shape and define this view?a view of the economy as emerging from the interactions of individual agents whose behavior constantly evolves, whose strategies and actions are always adapting.The traditional framework in economics portrays activity within an equilibrium steady state. The interacting agents in the economy are typically homogenous, solve well-defined problems using perfect rationality, and act within given legal and social structures. The complexity approach, by contrast, sees economic activity as continually changing?continually in process. The interacting agents are typically heterogeneous, they must cognitively interpret the problems they face, and together they create the structures?markets, legal and social institutions, price patters, expectations?to which they individually react. Such structures may never settle down. Agents may forever adapt and explore and evolve their behaviors within structures that continually emerge and change and disappear?structures these behaviors co-create. This complexity approach does not replace the equilibrium one?it complements it.The papers here collected originated at a recent conference at the Santa Fe Institute, which was called to follow up the well-known 1987 SFI conference organized by Philip Anderson, Kenneth Arrow, and David Pines. They survey the new study of complexity and the economy. They apply this approach to real economic problems and they show the extent to which the initial vision of the 1987 conference has come to fruition.

Resilience

Author: Andrew Zolli
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451683847
Size: 40.65 MB
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Discover a powerful new lens for viewing the world with fascinating implications for our companies, economies, societies, and planet as a whole. What causes one system to break down and another to rebound? Are we merely subject to the whim of forces beyond our control? Or, in the face of constant disruption, can we build better shock absorbers—for ourselves, our communities, our economies, and for the planet as a whole? Reporting firsthand from the coral reefs of Palau to the back streets of Palestine, Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy relate breakthrough scientific discoveries, pioneering social and ecological innovations, and important new approaches to constructing a more resilient world. Zolli and Healy show how this new concept of resilience is a powerful lens through which we can assess major issues afresh: from business planning to social develop­ment, from urban planning to national energy security—circumstances that affect us all. Provocative, optimistic, and eye-opening, Resilience sheds light on why some systems, people, and communities fall apart in the face of disruption and, ultimately, how they can learn to bounce back.

Complex Adaptive Systems

Author: John H. Miller
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400835522
Size: 39.20 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.

Scale

Author: Geoffrey West
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1594205582
Size: 23.78 MB
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"From one of the most influential scientists of our time, a dazzling exploration of the hidden laws that govern the life cycle of everything from plants and animals to the cities we live in. The former head of the Sante Fe Institute, visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. The term "complexity" can be misleading, however, because what makes West's discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities and our businesses. 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. If you know the size of a mammal, you can use scaling laws to learn everything from how much food it eats per day, what its heart-rate is, how long it will take to mature, its lifespan, and so on. Furthermore, the efficiency of the mammal's circulatory systems scales up precisely based on weight: if you compare a mouse, a human and an elephant on a logarithmic graph, you find with every doubling of average weight, a species gets 25% more efficient--and lives 25% longer. This speaks to everything from how long we can expect to live to how many hours of sleep we need. Fundamentally, he has proven, the issue has to do with the fractal geometry of the networks that supply energy and remove waste from the organism's body"--