Get A Crude Look at the Whole: The Science of Complex Systems in PDF

By John H. Miller

ISBN-10: 0465055699

ISBN-13: 9780465055692

Imagine attempting to comprehend a stained glass window by way of breaking it into items and reading it one shard at a time. if you may well most likely research much approximately every bit, you'll do not know approximately what the full photograph seems like. this can be reductionism—the concept that to appreciate the area we merely have to examine its pieces—and it really is how so much social scientists process their work.

In A Crude examine the Whole, social scientist and economist John H. Miller indicates why we have to begin entire images. For something, no matter if we're speaking approximately inventory markets, laptop networks, or organic organisms, person components in basic terms make experience once we keep in mind that they're a part of greater wholes. and maybe extra importantly, these wholes can tackle behaviors which are strikingly diversified from that in their pieces.
Miller, a number one professional within the computational examine of advanced adaptive platforms, finds magnificent international styles linking the association of differently substantially various buildings: it will probably appear crude, yet a beehive’s temperature keep watch over process will help expect industry fluctuations and a mammal’s heartbeat will help us comprehend the “heartbeat” of a urban and adapt city making plans therefore. From enduring racial segregation to unexpected inventory marketplace mess ups, when we commence drawing hyperlinks among complicated platforms, we will be able to begin fixing what differently may be completely intractable problems.

Thanks to this progressive viewpoint, we will be able to ultimately go beyond the bounds of reductionism and observe the most important new principles. Scientifically based and fantastically written, A Crude examine the Whole is a robust exploration of the demanding situations that we are facing as a society. because it finds, taking the crude glance can be the single option to really see.

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Additional info for A Crude Look at the Whole: The Science of Complex Systems in Business, Life, and Society

Sample text

For example, in physics, individual atoms organize into magnets, in biology, cells organize into organisms, and in economics, traders organize into markets. The universality of these principles was a surprise to scientists accustomed to thinking in terms of scientific disciplines, and by necessity, this new science transcends the traditional boundaries imposed by our current academic institutions. It is a science where simple things produce complexity and complex things produce simplicity. It is a science that embraces new investigative tools, such as computers serving as modeling substrates, in order to escape the bounds imposed by our usual collection of scientific tools, such as the various pieces of mathematics, largely derived in the late 1600s, that we so often rely on today.

Cooperative agents develop a way to communicate so as to recognize one another. By doing so, they get the benefits of cooperation while minimizing losses when they encounter competitive agents. Through such a mechanism, cooperation can emerge and be sustained. The final principle we will explore is that of self-­organized criticality. Consider grains of sand being slowly piled on a table. As we drop each grain, it might land on a stable spot and increase the pile, but in doing so it makes that spot less stable than it was before.

As Jorge Luis Borges catalogs in his one-paragraph-long short story “On Exactitude in Science,” “The Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. ” Different maps—even of the same landscape—provide different insights into the world. A topographic map provides information on the various hills and dales in the world in just enough detail to be useful to a hiker. A road map, with its sparse set of major cities and the roads that connect them, provides just enough information for a cross-country drive.

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A Crude Look at the Whole: The Science of Complex Systems in Business, Life, and Society by John H. Miller

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