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Author : Mitchell M. Waldrop
ISBN : 9780671872342
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 52.25 MB
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A look at the rebellious thinkers who are challenging old ideas with their insights into the ways countless elements of complex systems interact to produce spontaneous order out of confusion
Category: Mathematics


Author : M. Mitchell Waldrop
ISBN : 0140179682
Genre : Chaotic behavior in systems
File Size : 30.95 MB
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In a rarified world of scientific research, a revolution has been brewing. Its activists are not anarchists, but rather Nobel Laureates in physics and economics and pony-tailed graduates, mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. They have formed an iconoclastic think-tank and their radical idea is to create a new science: complexity. They want to know how a primordial soup of simple molecules managed to turn itself into the first living cell - and what the origin of life some four billion years ago can tell us about the process of technological innovation today. This book is their story - the story of how they have tried to forge what they like to call the science of the 21st century.
Category: Chaotic behavior in systems


Author : Roger Lewin
ISBN : 0226476553
Genre : Science
File Size : 34.57 MB
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Examines the field of complexity science, with sections focusing on how the discipline works within computer simulations, natural ecosystems, and various social systems.
Category: Science

At Home In The Universe

Author : Stuart Kauffman
ISBN : 9780199761852
Genre : Science
File Size : 50.18 MB
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A major scientific revolution has begun, a new paradigm that rivals Darwin's theory in importance. At its heart is the discovery of the order that lies deep within the most complex of systems, from the origin of life, to the workings of giant corporations, to the rise and fall of great civilizations. And more than anyone else, this revolution is the work of one man, Stuart Kauffman, a MacArthur Fellow and visionary pioneer of the new science of complexity. Now, in At Home in the Universe, Kauffman brilliantly weaves together the excitement of intellectual discovery and a fertile mix of insights to give the general reader a fascinating look at this new science--and at the forces for order that lie at the edge of chaos. We all know of instances of spontaneous order in nature--an oil droplet in water forms a sphere, snowflakes have a six-fold symmetry. What we are only now discovering, Kauffman says, is that the range of spontaneous order is enormously greater than we had supposed. Indeed, self-organization is a great undiscovered principle of nature. But how does this spontaneous order arise? Kauffman contends that complexity itself triggers self-organization, or what he calls "order for free," that if enough different molecules pass a certain threshold of complexity, they begin to self-organize into a new entity--a living cell. Kauffman uses the analogy of a thousand buttons on a rug--join two buttons randomly with thread, then another two, and so on. At first, you have isolated pairs; later, small clusters; but suddenly at around the 500th repetition, a remarkable transformation occurs--much like the phase transition when water abruptly turns to ice--and the buttons link up in one giant network. Likewise, life may have originated when the mix of different molecules in the primordial soup passed a certain level of complexity and self-organized into living entities (if so, then life is not a highly improbable chance event, but almost inevitable). Kauffman uses the basic insight of "order for free" to illuminate a staggering range of phenomena. We see how a single-celled embryo can grow to a highly complex organism with over two hundred different cell types. We learn how the science of complexity extends Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection: that self-organization, selection, and chance are the engines of the biosphere. And we gain insights into biotechnology, the stunning magic of the new frontier of genetic engineering--generating trillions of novel molecules to find new drugs, vaccines, enzymes, biosensors, and more. Indeed, Kauffman shows that ecosystems, economic systems, and even cultural systems may all evolve according to similar general laws, that tissues and terra cotta evolve in similar ways. And finally, there is a profoundly spiritual element to Kauffman's thought. If, as he argues, life were bound to arise, not as an incalculably improbable accident, but as an expected fulfillment of the natural order, then we truly are at home in the universe. Kauffman's earlier volume, The Origins of Order, written for specialists, received lavish praise. Stephen Jay Gould called it "a landmark and a classic." And Nobel Laureate Philip Anderson wrote that "there are few people in this world who ever ask the right questions of science, and they are the ones who affect its future most profoundly. Stuart Kauffman is one of these." In At Home in the Universe, this visionary thinker takes you along as he explores new insights into the nature of life.
Category: Science


Author : Steven H. Strogatz
ISBN : 9781401304461
Genre : Science
File Size : 29.57 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.
Category: Science

Simply Complexity

Author : Neil Johnson
ISBN : 9781780740492
Genre : Science
File Size : 56.56 MB
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What do traffic jams, stock market crashes, and wars have in common? They are all explained using complexity, an unsolved puzzle that many researchers believe is the key to predicting – and ultimately solving—everything from terrorist attacks and pandemic viruses right down to rush hour traffic congestion. Complexity is considered by many to be the single most important scientific development since general relativity and it promises to make sense of no less than the very heart of the Universe. Using it, scientists can find order emerging from seemingly random interactions of all kinds, from something as simple as flipping coins through to more challenging problems such as the patterns in modern jazz, the growth of cancer tumours, and predicting shopping habits.
Category: Science


Author : John H. Holland
ISBN : 0192862111
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 81.17 MB
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'He's the man who taught computers how to have sex. And now, for an encore, he's working on a theory to explain the complexity of life and its myriad manifestations on planet earth.' New York Times In this book, one of today's most innovative thinkers, John H. Holland, explains the theory of emergence-a simple theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Emergence demonstrates that a small number of rules or laws can generate incredibly complex systems. From thecheckers-playing computer that learnt to beat its creator again and again, to a fertilized egg that can program the development of a trillion-cell organism, to the ant colonies that build bridges over chasms and navigate leaf-boats on streams, this fascinating and groundbreaking book containswide-ranging implications for science, business, and the arts. 'John Holland is an exceptionally imaginative person. Often surprising, and always engaging, he takes the reader on a journey from simplicity to complexity' Sir Robert May
Category: Mathematics

The Origins Of Order

Author : Stuart A. Kauffman
ISBN : 9780199826674
Genre : Science
File Size : 84.9 MB
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Stuart Kauffman here presents a brilliant new paradigm for evolutionary biology, one that extends the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution to accommodate recent findings and perspectives from the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. The book drives to the heart of the exciting debate on the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems. It focuses on the concept of self-organization: the spontaneous emergence of order that is widely observed throughout nature Kauffman argues that self-organization plays an important role in the Darwinian process of natural selection. Yet until now no systematic effort has been made to incorporate the concept of self-organization into evolutionary theory. The construction requirements which permit complex systems to adapt are poorly understood, as is the extent to which selection itself can yield systems able to adapt more successfully. This book explores these themes. It shows how complex systems, contrary to expectations, can spontaneously exhibit stunning degrees of order, and how this order, in turn, is essential for understanding the emergence and development of life on Earth. Topics include the new biotechnology of applied molecular evolution, with its important implications for developing new drugs and vaccines; the balance between order and chaos observed in many naturally occurring systems; new insights concerning the predictive power of statistical mechanics in biology; and other major issues. Indeed, the approaches investigated here may prove to be the new center around which biological science itself will evolve. The work is written for all those interested in the cutting edge of research in the life sciences.
Category: Science

Hidden Order

Author : John Henry Holland
ISBN : 0201407930
Genre : Science
File Size : 89.39 MB
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al readers how Complexity--the watershed science agenda for at least the nexttwo decades--is affecting our lives.
Category: Science

Surfing The Edge Of Chaos

Author : Richard T. Pascale
ISBN : 9780609808832
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 24.65 MB
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The co-author of The Art of Japanese Management presents a powerful and practical study that examines why business management is marked by a continual battle between the preserving forces of tradition and those of transforming change, and argues that a company should be viewed as a living system rather than as a machine. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
Category: Business & Economics