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Scale

Author: Geoffrey B. West
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1594205582
Size: 53.15 MB
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"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."--

Scale

Author: Geoffrey West
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101621508
Size: 54.90 MB
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"This is science writing as wonder and as inspiration." —The Wall Street Journal Wall Street Journal 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. 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 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: West found that despite the riotous diversity in 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. 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. West’s work has been game-changing for biologists, but then he made the even bolder move of exploring his work’s applicability. Cities, too, are constellations of networks and laws of scalability relate with eerie precision to them. Recently, West has applied his revolutionary work to the business world. This investigation has led to powerful insights into why some companies thrive while others fail. The implications of these discoveries are far-reaching, and are just beginning to be explored. Scale is a thrilling scientific adventure story about the elemental natural laws that bind us together in simple but profound ways. Through the brilliant mind of Geoffrey West, we can envision how cities, companies and biological life alike are dancing to the same simple, powerful tune.

Scale

Author: Geoffrey West
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 9780297609476
Size: 37.27 MB
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Geoffrey West's research centres on a quest to find unifying principles and patterns connecting everything from cells and ecosystems to cities, social networks and businesses. SCALE addresses big, urgent questions about global sustainability, population explosion, urbanization, ageing, cancer, human lifespans and the increasing pace of life, but also encourages us to question the world around us. Why can we live for 120 years but not for a thousand? Why does the pace of life continually increase? Why do mice live for just two or three years and elephants for up to 75? Why do companies behave like mice, and are they all destined to die? Do cities, companies and human beings have natural, pre-determined lifespans? Why, in fact, do we die? Are we just a fascinating experiment in natural selection that is ultimately doomed to fail? And what is the origin of the magic number 4 that seems to determine much of physiology and life-history from birth to death?SCALE is a seminal book of breathtaking originality and scope.

The Knowledge Illusion

Author: Steven Sloman
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0399184341
Size: 40.76 MB
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“The Knowledge Illusion is filled with insights on how we should deal with our individual ignorance and collective wisdom.” —Steven Pinker We all think we know more than we actually do. Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don’t even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it. The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individual-oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. The Knowledge Illusion contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the community around us.

Waking Up

Author: Sam Harris
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451636032
Size: 78.35 MB
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For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s latest New York Times bestseller is a guide to meditation as a rational practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. From Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of numerous New York Times bestselling books, Waking Up is for the twenty percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that important truths can be found in the experiences of such figures as Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history. Throughout this book, Harris argues that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow, and that how we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the quality of our lives. Waking Up is part memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.

Economic Risks Of Climate Change

Author: Trevor Houser
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023153955X
Size: 11.75 MB
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Climate change threatens the economy of the United States in myriad ways, including increased flooding and storm damage, altered crop yields, lost labor productivity, higher crime, reshaped public-health patterns, and strained energy systems, among many other effects. Combining the latest climate models, state-of-the-art econometric research on human responses to climate, and cutting-edge private-sector risk-assessment tools, Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus crafts a game-changing profile of the economic risks of climate change in the United States. This prospectus is based on a critically acclaimed independent assessment of the economic risks posed by climate change commissioned by the Risky Business Project. With new contributions from Karen Fisher-Vanden, Michael Greenstone, Geoffrey Heal, Michael Oppenheimer, and Nicholas Stern and Bob Ward, as well as a foreword from Risky Business cochairs Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Thomas Steyer, the book speaks to scientists, researchers, scholars, activists, and policy makers. It depicts the distribution of escalating climate-change risk across the country and assesses its effects on aspects of the economy as varied as hurricane damages and violent crime. Beautifully illustrated and accessibly written, this book is an essential tool for helping businesses and governments prepare for the future.

The Mathematical Corporation

Author: Josh Sullivan
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1610397894
Size: 55.81 MB
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The most powerful weapon in business today is the alliance between the mathematical smarts of machines and the imaginative human intellect of great leaders. Together they make the mathematical corporation, the business model of the future. We are at a once-in-a-decade breaking point similar to the quality revolution of the 1980s and the dawn of the internet age in the 1990s: leaders must transform how they run their organizations, or competitors will bring them crashing to earth--often overnight. Mathematical corporations--the organizations that will master the future--will outcompete high-flying rivals by merging the best of human ingenuity with machine intelligence. While smart machines are weapon number one for organizations, leaders are still the drivers of breakthroughs. Only they can ask crucial questions to capitalize on business opportunities newly discovered in oceans of data. This dynamic combination will make possible the fulfillment of missions that once seemed out of reach, even impossible to attain. Josh Sullivan and Angela Zutavern's extraordinary examples include the entrepreneur who upended preventive health care, the oceanographer who transformed fisheries management, and the pharmaceutical company that used algorithm-driven optimization to boost vaccine yields. Together they offer a profoundly optimistic vision for a dazzling new phase in business, and a playbook for how smart companies can manage the essential combination of human and machine.

Human Behavior And The Principle Of Least Effort

Author: George Kingsley Zipf
Publisher: Ravenio Books
ISBN:
Size: 67.56 MB
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This classic is arranged as follows: Preface 1. The Question of Practical Application. 2. The Question of Natural Science. 1. Introduction and Orientation I. The Selection of a Path II. The “Singleness of the Superlative” III. The Principle of Least Effort IV. The Scope of the Principle: “Tools-and-Jobs” V. Previous Studies VI. Prospectus 2. On the Economy of Words I. In Medias Res: Vocabulary Usage, and the Forces of Unification and Diversification II. The Question of Vocabulary Balance III. The Orderly Distribution of Meanings IV. The Integrality of Frequencies V. The Integrality of Rank VI. The Length of Intervals Between Repetitions VII. The Problem of Spreading Work Over Time (The Even Distribution of Work Over Time) 3. Formal Semantic Balance and the Economy of Evolutionary Process I. The “Minimum Equation” Of Arrangement II. The Law of Abbreviation of Words III. The Law of Diminishing Returns of Tools IV. The Law of Diminishing Returns of Words 4. Children’s Verbalizations and the “Origin of Speech” I. The Problem II. Quantitative Data III. Theoretical Discussion of the “Origin” Of Speech IV. Summary 5. Language as Sensation and Mentation I. The Comparative Conservatism of Tools in the Risks and Opportunities of the Environment II. The Economy of Sensation III. Mentation: The Correlation of Sensory Data IV. A Mind as a Unit Semantic System V. Intellectual Rigidity and Death: Miscellanea V. Summary: The N Minimum 6. The Ego as the “Origin” Of a Frame of Reference I. A Definition of an Organism II. The Biosocial Population of Organisms III. The Economy of Procreation IV. The Synchrony of the Biosocial Continuum 7. Mind and the Economy of Symbolic Process: Sex, Culture, and Schizophrenia I. Human Sexual Activity II. The Economy of Symbolic Process (Substitution III. Culture, Society, and the Superego IV. Autism and the Confusion of Kinds of Reality V. On Schizophrenic Speech VI. Semantic Dynamics: Summary VI. Language and the Structure of the Personality 8. The Language of Dreams and of Art I. The Language of Dreams II. The Language of Art III. Language and the Structure of the Personality: Mary of Part One 9. The Economy of Geography I. A Lemma in Which a Number of Human Beings Becomes Increasingly More Organized II. The Hypothesis of the “Minimum Equation” III. Empiric Tests IV. Concluding Remarks 10. Intranational and International Cooperation and Conflict I. Canadian Data II. Unstable and Stable Intranational Conditions III. Stable and Unstable International Equilibria 11. The Distribution of Economic Power and Social Status I. Theoretical Considerations II. Empiric Data III. The Interaction Between Individuals: Dominance and Submission IV. Summary 12. Prestige Symbols and Cultural Vogues I. Theoretical Considerations II. Pioneer Empiric Data III. Musical Composers and Compositions IV. Samples of Congressional Action V. Summary

The Runaway Species

Author: David Eagleman
Publisher: Catapult
ISBN: 1936787679
Size: 79.97 MB
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“The authors look at art and science together to examine how innovations—from Picasso’s initially offensive paintings to Steve Jobs’s startling iPhone—build on what already exists and rely on three brain operations: bending, breaking and blending. This manifesto . . . shows how both disciplines foster creativity.” —The Wall Street Journal “The Runaway Species approach[es] creativity scientifically but sensitively, feeling its roots without pulling them out.” —The Economist The Runaway Species is a deep dive into the creative mind, a celebration of the human spirit, and a vision of how we can improve our future by understanding and embracing our ability to innovate. David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt seek to answer the question: what lies at the heart of humanity’s ability—and drive—to create? Our ability to remake our world is unique among all living things. But where does our creativity come from, how does it work, and how can we harness it to improve our lives, schools, businesses, and institutions? Eagleman and Brandt examine hundreds of examples of human creativity through dramatic storytelling and stunning images in this beautiful, full-color volume. By drawing out what creative acts have in common and viewing them through the lens of cutting-edge neuroscience, they uncover the essential elements of this critical human ability, and encourage a more creative future for all of us.

Quarks To Culture

Author: Tyler Volk
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231544138
Size: 30.39 MB
Format: PDF
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Our world is nested, both physically and socially, and at each level we find innovations that are necessary for the next. Consider: atoms combine to form molecules, molecules combine to form single-celled organisms; when people come together, they build societies. Physics has gone far in mapping the basic mechanics of the simplest things and the dynamics of the overall nesting, as have biology and the social sciences for their fields. But what can we say about this beautifully complex whole? How does one stage shape another, and what can we learn about human existence through understanding an enlarged field of creation and being? In Quarks to Culture, Tyler Volk answers these questions, revealing how a universal natural rhythm—building from smaller things into larger, more complex things—resulted in a grand sequence of twelve fundamental levels across the realms of physics, biology, and culture. He introduces the key concept of “combogenesis,” the building-up from combination and integration to produce new things with innovative relations. He explores common themes in how physics and chemistry led to biological evolution, and biological evolution to cultural evolution. Volk also provides insights into linkages across the sciences and fields of scholarship, and presents an exciting synthesis of ideas along a sequence of things and relations, from physical to living to cultural. The resulting inclusive natural philosophy brings clarity to our place in the world, offering a roadmap for those who seek to understand big history and wrestle with questions of how we came to be.