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Why Information Grows

Author: Cesar Hidalgo
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465039715
Size: 61.80 MB
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What is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions, geography, finances, and psychology. But according to MIT’s antidisciplinarian César Hidalgo, understanding the nature of economic growth demands transcending the social sciences and including the natural sciences of information, networks, and complexity. To understand the growth of economies, Hidalgo argues, we first need to understand the growth of order. At first glance, the universe seems hostile to order. Thermodynamics dictates that over time, order—or information—disappears. Whispers vanish in the wind just like the beauty of swirling cigarette smoke collapses into disorderly clouds. But thermodynamics also has loopholes that promote the growth of information in pockets. Although cities are all pockets where information grows, they are not all the same. For every Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Paris, there are dozens of places with economies that accomplish little more than pulling rocks out of the ground. So, why does the US economy outstrip Brazil’s, and Brazil’s that of Chad? Why did the technology corridor along Boston’s Route 128 languish while Silicon Valley blossomed? In each case, the key is how people, firms, and the networks they form make use of information. Seen from Hidalgo’s vantage, economies become distributed computers, made of networks of people, and the problem of economic development becomes the problem of making these computers more powerful. By uncovering the mechanisms that enable the growth of information in nature and society, Why Information Grows lays bear the origins of physical order and economic growth. Situated at the nexus of information theory, physics, sociology, and economics, this book propounds a new theory of how economies can do not just more things, but more interesting things.

Why Information Grows

Author: Cesar Hidalgo
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0465039715
Size: 67.96 MB
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"Hidalgo has made a bold attempt to synthesize a large body of cutting-edge work into a readable, slender volume. This is the future of growth theory." --Financial Times What is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions, geography, finances, and psychology. But according to MIT's antidisciplinarian César Hidalgo, understanding the nature of economic growth demands transcending the social sciences and including the natural sciences of information, networks, and complexity. To understand the growth of economies, Hidalgo argues, we first need to understand the growth of order. At first glance, the universe seems hostile to order. Thermodynamics dictates that over time, order-or information-disappears. Whispers vanish in the wind just like the beauty of swirling cigarette smoke collapses into disorderly clouds. But thermodynamics also has loopholes that promote the growth of information in pockets. Although cities are all pockets where information grows, they are not all the same. For every Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Paris, there are dozens of places with economies that accomplish little more than pulling rocks out of the ground. So, why does the US economy outstrip Brazil's, and Brazil's that of Chad? Why did the technology corridor along Boston's Route 128 languish while Silicon Valley blossomed? In each case, the key is how people, firms, and the networks they form make use of information. Seen from Hidalgo's vantage, economies become distributed computers, made of networks of people, and the problem of economic development becomes the problem of making these computers more powerful. By uncovering the mechanisms that enable the growth of information in nature and society, Why Information Grows lays bear the origins of physical order and economic growth. Situated at the nexus of information theory, physics, sociology, and economics, this book propounds a new theory of how economies can do not just more things, but more interesting things.

Why Information Grows

Author: César Hidalgo
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141978031
Size: 11.30 MB
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In Why Information Grows, rising star César Hidalgo offers a radical interpretation of global economics While economists often turn to measures like GDP or per-capita income, César Hidalgo turns to information theory to explain the success or failure of a country's economic performance. Through a radical rethinking of what the economy is, Hidalgo shows that natural constraints in our ability to accumulate knowledge, knowhow and information explain the evolution of social and economic complexity. This is a rare tour de force, linking economics, sociology, physics, biology and information theory, to explain the evolution of social and economic systems as a consequence of the physical embodiment of information in a world where knowledge is quite literally power. César Hidalgo leads the Macro Connections group at the MIT Media Lab. A trained statistical physicist and an expert on Networks and Complex Systems, he also has extensive experience in the field of economic development and has pioneered research on how big data impacts economic decision-making.

The Atlas Of Economic Complexity

Author: Ricardo Hausmann
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262317737
Size: 10.52 MB
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Why do some countries grow and others do not? The authors of The Atlas of Economic Complexity offer readers an explanation based on "Economic Complexity," a measure of a society's productive knowledge. Prosperous societies are those that have the knowledge to make a larger variety of more complex products. The Atlas of Economic Complexity attempts to measure the amount of productive knowledge countries hold and how they can move to accumulate more of it by making more complex products.Through the graphical representation of the "Product Space," the authors are able to identify each country's "adjacent possible," or potential new products, making it easier to find paths to economic diversification and growth. In addition, they argue that a country's economic complexity and its position in the product space are better predictors of economic growth than many other well-known development indicators, including measures of competitiveness, governance, finance, and schooling.Using innovative visualizations, the book locates each country in the product space, provides complexity and growth potential rankings for 128 countries, and offers individual country pages with detailed information about a country's current capabilities and its diversification options. The maps and visualizations included in the Atlas can be used to find more viable paths to greater productive knowledge and prosperity.

The Emergence Of Organizations And Markets

Author: John Frederick Padgett
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691148872
Size: 12.60 MB
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The social sciences have sophisticated models of choice and equilibrium but little understanding of the emergence of novelty. Where do new alternatives, new organizational forms, and new types of people come from? Combining biochemical insights about the origin of life with innovative and historically oriented social network analyses, John Padgett and Walter Powell develop a theory about the emergence of organizational, market, and biographical novelty from the coevolution of multiple social networks. They demonstrate that novelty arises from spillovers across intertwined networks in different domains. In the short run actors make relations, but in the long run relations make actors. This theory of novelty emerging from intersecting production and biographical flows is developed through formal deductive modeling and through a wide range of original historical case studies. Padgett and Powell build on the biochemical concept of autocatalysis--the chemical definition of life--and then extend this autocatalytic reasoning to social processes of production and communication. Padgett and Powell, along with other colleagues, analyze a very wide range of cases of emergence. They look at the emergence of organizational novelty in early capitalism and state formation; they examine the transformation of communism; and they analyze with detailed network data contemporary science-based capitalism: the biotechnology industry, regional high-tech clusters, and the open source community.

Entropy And The Time Evolution Of Macroscopic Systems

Author: Grandy Jr.
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191562955
Size: 74.49 MB
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This book is based on the premise that the entropy concept, a fundamental element of probability theory as logic, governs all of thermal physics, both equilibrium and nonequilibrium. The variational algorithm of J. Willard Gibbs, dating from the 19th Century and extended considerably over the following 100 years, is shown to be the governing feature over the entire range of thermal phenomena, such that only the nature of the macroscopic constraints changes. Beginning with a short history of the development of the entropy concept by Rudolph Clausius and his predecessors, along with the formalization of classical thermodynamics by Gibbs, the first part of the book describes the quest to uncover the meaning of thermodynamic entropy, which leads to its relationship with probability and information as first envisioned by Ludwig Boltzmann. Recognition of entropy first of all as a fundamental element of probability theory in mid-twentieth Century led to deep insights into both statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, the details of which are presented here in several chapters. The later chapters extend these ideas to nonequilibrium statistical mechanics in an unambiguous manner, thereby exhibiting the overall unifying role of the entropy.

The Sorcerers And Their Apprentices

Author: Frank Moss
Publisher: Crown Pub
ISBN: 0307589102
Size: 51.11 MB
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"From the director of the famed MIT Media Laboratory comes an exhilarating behind the-scenes exploration of the research center where our nation's foremost scientists are creating the innovative new technologies that will transform our future"--

The Wealth Of Humans

Author: Ryan Avent
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466887192
Size: 48.18 MB
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None of us has ever lived through a genuine industrial revolution. Until now. Digital technology is transforming every corner of the economy, fundamentally altering the way things are done, who does them, and what they earn for their efforts. In The Wealth of Humans, Economist editor Ryan Avent brings up-to-the-minute research and reporting to bear on the major economic question of our time: can the modern world manage technological changes every bit as disruptive as those that shook the socioeconomic landscape of the 19th century? Traveling from Shenzhen, to Gothenburg, to Mumbai, to Silicon Valley, Avent investigates the meaning of work in the twenty-first century: how technology is upending time-tested business models and thrusting workers of all kinds into a world wholly unlike that of a generation ago. It's a world in which the relationships between capital and labor and between rich and poor have been overturned. Past revolutions required rewriting the social contract: this one is unlikely to demand anything less. Avent looks to the history of the Industrial Revolution and the work of numerous experts for lessons in reordering society. The future needn't be bleak, but as The Wealth of Humans explains, we can't expect to restructure the world without a wrenching rethinking of what an economy should be.

Evolution Of Networks

Author: S. N. Dorogovtsev
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199686718
Size: 80.22 MB
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We live in a world of networks, where everything is amazingly close to everything else. The notion of 'network' turns out to be central to our times: the Internet and WWW are changing our lives; our physical existence is based on various biological networks; we are involved in all-enveloping networks of economic and social relations. Only in the 1990s did physicists begin to explore real networks, both natural and artificial, as evolving systems with intriguingly complex and effective architectures. Progress has been so immediate and astounding that we actually face a new science based on a new set of concepts, and, one may even say, on a new philosophy: the natural philosophy of a small world. Old ideas from mathematics, statistical physics, biology, computer science, and so on take on quite new forms in applications to real evolving networks. - What is common to all networks? - What are the general principles of the organization and evolution of networks? - How do the laws of nature work in communication, biological, and social networks? - What are networks? This book, written by physicists, answers these questions and presents a general insight into the world of networks.

Sync

Author: Steven H. Strogatz
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 140130446X
Size: 31.76 MB
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At the heart of the universe is a steady, insistent beat, the sound of cycles in sync. Along the tidal rivers of Malaysia, thousands of fireflies congregate and flash in unison; the moon spins in perfect resonance with its orbit around the earth; our hearts depend on the synchronous firing of ten thousand pacemaker cells. While the forces that synchronize the flashing of fireflies may seem to have nothing to do with our heart cells, there is in fact a deep connection. Synchrony is a science in its infancy, and Strogatz is a pioneer in this new frontier in which mathematicians and physicists attempt to pinpoint just how spontaneous order emerges from chaos. From underground caves in Texas where a French scientist spent six months alone tracking his sleep-wake cycle, to the home of a Dutch physicist who in 1665 discovered two of his pendulum clocks swinging in perfect time, this fascinating book spans disciplines, continents, and centuries. Engagingly written for readers of books such as Chaos and The Elegant Universe, Sync is a tour-de-force of nonfiction writing.