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Scale

Author: Geoffrey West
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1594205582
Size: 44.95 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"--

Scale

Author: Geoffrey West
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101621508
Size: 36.31 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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: 13.41 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: 37.59 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: 80.27 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.

Quarks To Culture

Author: Tyler Volk
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231544138
Size: 35.60 MB
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Atoms combine to form molecules, molecules combine to form single-celled organisms. When people come together, they build societies. Our world is nested, both physically and socially, and at each level we find innovations that were necessary for the next level. Physics has gone far in mapping the basic mechanics of the simplest things and dynamics of the overall nesting, as have biology and the social sciences for their fields. But what if anything can we say about this beautifully complex whole? Might there be general processes we can identify? How do phases shape others, and what more can we learn about human existence through understanding an enlarged field of creation and being? Quarks to Culture explores the rhythm within what Tyler Volk calls the “grand sequence,” a series of levels of sizes and innovations building from elementary quanta to globalized human civilization. The key is “combogenesis,” the building-up from combination and integration to produce new things with innovative relations. Themes unfold in how physics and chemistry led to biological evolution, and biological evolution to cultural evolution. Volk develops an inclusive natural philosophy that brings clarity to our place in the world, a roadmap for our minds. As combogenesis repeats, patterns enrich like an expanding musical progression. Quarks to Culture provides new insights into linkages in our sciences and presents an exciting synthesis of ideas across a sequence of things and relations, from physical to living to cultural. It is high adventure for readers who seek to understand big history and wrestle with questions of how we came to be.

The China Factor

Author: Amy Karam
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119274249
Size: 76.47 MB
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The Innovation of Globalization – proven strategies to succeed and out-compete emerging competition Does your company know how to compete effectively in the evolving global business arena? What tactics must your company use to overcome price discounting wars that cut into your margins? What are the strategies your new rivals incorporate that may prove more valuable to customers than the superior products you offer? The China Factor equips Western businesses with a practical framework for competing successfully in today’s ever-changing global markets. Written by an expert in competitive strategy and global market expansion, this book is packed with insights gained through first-hand experience leading competitive programs at a high-tech multinational corporation and extensive research. When it comes to globalization, the rules have changed—what was once nice-to-know is now need-to-know, and this book lays it out in a clear, no-nonsense style. Based on cases with over 50 countries, you will learn why a premium product, though domestically successful, may not be well received in foreign markets. You’ll also discover the critical factors that contribute to success in both emerging and established markets. Disruptive competitors are transformed from threats to examples as you learn to recognize opportunities for re-evaluation, and shift your strategy to stay ahead of the curve. The economic rise of China and other new entrants is challenging Western companies in new ways. This book explains why, and provides actionable strategies for success in any market. Grow and maintain an Innovation Advantage using 5 models Learn from disruptors how to win your emerging markets customers Understand the power of politics in business Develop a deeper Culture IQ to expand your customer base Use a 5-part Strategic Framework to formulate new sales tactics You’re already well-aware of the global threat to Western business, and endless analysis only goes so far toward a solution. You need to know how to respond, survive, and thrive, and just how to regain the competitive edge. The truth is that Western companies must change they way they do business, and push innovation beyond the product and into every aspect of every operation – they need to be innovative in how they do business abroad. The China Factor provides a clear action plan, and case studies from global leaders like Cisco, Xiaomi, and Apple with insightful strategies for changing and winning the game. Endorsements “The China Factor is right on the mark. It addresses a real need, one that very few others are tackling—the action that US and other Western-based companies can take in response to the China challenge. Global competitiveness is a huge problem for the West and companies are ill-prepared.The China Factor goes beyond what other books do, providing an important, insightful, and practical prescription on how companies can shift their strategy…” — Ken Wilcox, former CEO and chairman, current Chairman Emeritus, Silicon Valley Bank “The China Factor’s case studies and practical resources make this book a must-read for any corporation that wants to win globally, particularly as innovation is being redefined.” —SIMON KHALAF, SVP, Yahoo Inc. “The China Factor provides a new strategic framework and an essential set of marketing guidelines for Western companies that have to compete or partner with Chinese firms in OECD countries, China or emerging market countries.” —DR. RAYMOND LEVITT, Kumagai Professor of Engineering, and Director, Global Projects Center, Stanford University “High tech companies need to shift their innovation approach when going global and The China Factor is the ultimate guide to sustainable success in Emerging Markets. Innovation does not apply solely to products but also to business strategies, especially when looking at international expansion.” — Jean-Baptiste Su, technology columnist, Forbes “A refreshing handbook for anyone interested in competing in the new global economy.” —CALESTOUS JUMA, Harvard Kennedy School, Professor of the Practice of International Development “This work is a compelling guide into the complexity and the great rewards of doing business in Emerging Markets—and for those who are looking for new growth opportunities for both products as well as services. The China Factor is the ultimate guide into sustainable success in Emerging Markets.” —ANTHONY R. VONSÉE, former Managing Director Sales, Emerging Africa, Cisco Systems “Amy Karam has done the business community a huge favor by making sense of many of the trends which are reshaping the global environment at a breathtaking rate, and then offering her thoughts on how to take advantage of the opportunities.” —BRUCE PICKERING, VP Global Programs, Asia Society, Northern California “In The China Factor, Amy Karam discusses how the way we innovate has changed and evolved. It can no longer be done in isolation but involves going beyond international borders. As she points out, learning about the culture and uniqueness of new markets and tapping into what has worked (and what has not!) in other regions is critical to success.” — Sangeeta Anand, SVP Product Management and Marketing, F5 Networks “I especially liked Karam’s advice on using U.S. Government resources—an often overlooked force multiplier for American businesses, and how best to leverage your own company’s Government Affairs groups to succeed. This is a must-read!” —FRED SCHWIEN, former Executive Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Boeing Executive “Amy was directly involved in developing a sales strategy customer by customer for several years. She lived and breathed the battle of protecting existing accounts, or winning new accounts with a competitor whose price was a fraction of Cisco’s.” — Tam Dell’ Oro, CEO of Dell’Oro Group “I loved this book. The China Factor will provide you specific guidance and invaluable insights for expanding your business and achieving success globally.” — Nanette J. Bulger, CEO, executive director of the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) Association “For today’s global strategists, Amy Karam’s book, The China Factor, offers compelling insights into how to effectively win in the 21st century. In addition to the traditional 4 Ps of marketing, she explores a fifth P, the P called politics, which US-based organizations need to recognize, leverage, and occasionally counteract in order to be competitive. The China Factor blazes a new trail for business to follow in striving to achieve global success.” — Dr. Juan P. Montermoso, professor of Practice in Marketing, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University “Amy Karam is a visionary writer! As a global mentor, not only am I going to use it myself as a reference, but will also suggest it to start-ups to use it as a guide! She has eloquently highlighted how to harness competition, partnerships and cross-cultural learning to stimulate innovation & business success.” — Hulya Koc, Serial Entrepreneur, Angel Investor & Global Mentor, co-founder of Keiretsu Forum Istanbul Chapter Amy Karam is a highly sought–after speaker, consultant, author, and corporate instructor of Stanford University courses, as well as her own workshops. As a strategy consultant, she equips startups and established corporations to succeed in global markets with actionable strategies and execution plans. She has worked with companies such as Cisco, Apple, Visa, Nationwide, Capital One, AT&T, and Bell.

A Crude Look At The Whole

Author: John Miller
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465073867
Size: 15.53 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.

Struck By Lightning

Author: Jeffrey S. Rosenthal
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309097345
Size: 20.31 MB
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From terrorist attacks to big money jackpots, Struck by Lightning deconstructs the odds and oddities of chance, examining both the relevant and irreverent role of randomness in our everyday lives. Human beings have long been both fascinated and appalled by randomness. On the one hand, we love the thrill of a surprise party, the unpredictability of a budding romance, or the freedom of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. We are inexplicably delighted by strange coincidences and striking similarities. But we also hate uncertainty's dark side. From cancer to SARS, diseases strike with no apparent pattern. Terrorists attack, airplanes crash, bridges collapse, and we never know if we'll be that one in a million statistic. We are all constantly faced with situations and choices that involve randomness and uncertainty. A basic understanding of the rules of probability theory, applied to real-life circumstances, can help us to make sense of these situations, to avoid unnecessary fear, to seize the opportunities that randomness presents to us, and to actually enjoy the uncertainties we face. The reality is that when it comes to randomness, you can run, but you can't hide. So many aspects of our lives are governed by events that are simply not in our control. In this entertaining yet sophisticated look at the world of probabilities, author Jeffrey Rosenthal--an improbably talented math professor--explains the mechanics of randomness and teaches us how to develop an informed perspective on probability.

The Broken Dice And Other Mathematical Tales Of Chance

Author: Ivar Ekeland
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226199924
Size: 55.54 MB
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Ivar Ekeland extends his consideration of the catastrophe theory of the universe begun in his widely acclaimed Mathematics and the Unexpected, by drawing on rich literary sources, particularly the Norse saga of Saint Olaf, and such current topics as chaos theory, information theory, and particle physics. "Ivar Ekeland gained a large and enthusiastic following with Mathematics and the Unexpected, a brilliant and charming exposition of fundamental new discoveries in the theory of dynamical systems. The Broken Dice continues the same theme, and in the same elegant, seemingly effortless style, but focuses more closely on the implications of those discoveries for the rest of human culture. What are chance and probability? How has our thinking about them been changed by the discovery of chaos? What are all of these concepts good for? . . . Ah, but, I mustn't give the game away, any more than I should if I were reviewing a detective novel. And this is just as gripping a tale. . . . Beg, borrow, or preferably buy a copy. . . . I guarantee you won't be disappointed."—Ian Stewart, Science