WHY SOCIETY IS A COMPLEX MATTER

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Why Society Is A Complex Matter

Author : Philip Ball
ISBN : 9783642290008
Genre : Science
File Size : 34.41 MB
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Society is complicated. But this book argues that this does not place it beyond the reach of a science that can help to explain and perhaps even to predict social behaviour. As a system made up of many interacting agents – people, groups, institutions and governments, as well as physical and technological structures such as roads and computer networks – society can be regarded as a complex system. In recent years, scientists have made great progress in understanding how such complex systems operate, ranging from animal populations to earthquakes and weather. These systems show behaviours that cannot be predicted or intuited by focusing on the individual components, but which emerge spontaneously as a consequence of their interactions: they are said to be ‘self-organized’. Attempts to direct or manage such emergent properties generally reveal that ‘top-down’ approaches, which try to dictate a particular outcome, are ineffectual, and that what is needed instead is a ‘bottom-up’ approach that aims to guide self-organization towards desirable states. This book shows how some of these ideas from the science of complexity can be applied to the study and management of social phenomena, including traffic flow, economic markets, opinion formation and the growth and structure of cities. Building on these successes, the book argues that the complex-systems view of the social sciences has now matured sufficiently for it to be possible, desirable and perhaps essential to attempt a grander objective: to integrate these efforts into a unified scheme for studying, understanding and ultimately predicting what happens in the world we have made. Such a scheme would require the mobilization and collaboration of many different research communities, and would allow society and its interactions with the physical environment to be explored through realistic models and large-scale data collection and analysis. It should enable us to find new and effective solutions to major global problems such as conflict, disease, financial instability, environmental despoliation and poverty, while avoiding unintended policy consequences. It could give us the foresight to anticipate and ameliorate crises, and to begin tackling some of the most intractable problems of the twenty-first century.
Category: Science

A Giant Reborn

Author : Johan Van Overtveldt
ISBN : 9781572847507
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 42.16 MB
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The world is in turmoil. Whether one looks at Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East, Africa, or Latin America, uncertainty and upheaval seem to be the order of the day. Nevertheless, there seems to be an odd certainty in the minds of many pundits, writers, and citizens in this highly volatile world of geopolitics: the days of the United States as the world's sole superpower are over. The consensus tells us that the United States will not be able to keep a status as a major power among China, the European community, and a resurgent Russia. How realistic is this perspective, though? Is the "air of inevitability" concerning America's demise merely a passing breeze? How solid is the "unstoppable rise" of the Chinese? How likely is it for Europe to right its ship? A Giant Reborn, from critically acclaimed author and leading economic journalist Johan Van Overtveldt, dispels many of these ingrained assumptions and argues that the 21st century will be defined by the country currently best set up to succeed: the United States of America. In the current chaotic political climate it seems risky to say any country will be able to maintain its current status. But Van Overtveldt provides a measured, insightful, and thoroughly engaging examination of the evidence. In his richly detailed style and straightforward explanations, he masterfully lays out a case for why America, against many pundits' best predictions, is set up to continue its 20th-century success into this millennium. A Giant Reborn shows readers that the reports of America's death, to paraphrase the father of American literature, have been greatly exaggerated.
Category: Business & Economics

The Changing Fortunes Of Central Banking

Author : Philipp Hartmann
ISBN : 9781108542913
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 45.42 MB
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Understanding the changing role of central banks and their recent novel policies is essential for analysing many economic and financial issues, ranging from financial regulation and crisis, to exchange rate dynamics and regime changes, and QE and prolonged low interest rates. This book features contributions by the world's leading experts on central banking, providing in accessible essays a fascinating review of today's key issues for central banks. Luminaries including Stephen Cecchetti, Takatoshi Ito, Anil Kashyap, Mervyn King, Donald Kohn, Otmar Issing and Hyun Shin are joined by Charles Goodhart of the London School of Economics and Political Science, whose many achievements in the field of central banking are honoured as the inspiration for this book. The Changing Fortunes of Central Banking discusses the developing role of central banks in seeking monetary and financial stabilisation, while also giving suggestions for model strategies. This comprehensive review will appeal to central bankers, financial supervisors and academics.
Category: Business & Economics

Complexity In Language

Author : Salikoko S. Mufwene
ISBN : 9781107054370
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 52.81 MB
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This book is about dynamical, social-interactional aspects of the emergence of complexity in language, explained by linguists, cognitivists, and modelers.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Why Music Matters

Author : David Hesmondhalgh
ISBN : 9781118535813
Genre : Music
File Size : 24.17 MB
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Listen to David Hesmondhalgh discuss the arguments at the core of 'Why Music Matters' with Laurie Taylor on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed here. In what ways might music enrich the lives of people and of societies? What prevents it from doing so? Why Music Matters explores the role of music in our lives, and investigates the social and political significance of music in modern societies. First book of its kind to explore music through a variety of theories and approaches and unite these theories using one authoritative voice Combines a broad yet theoretically sophisticated approach to music and society with real clarity and accessibility A historically and sociologically informed understanding of music in relation to questions of social power and inequality By drawing on both popular and academic talk about a range of musical forms and practices, readers will engage with a wide musical terrain and a wealth of case studies
Category: Music

Why The Net Matters

Author : David Eagleman
ISBN : 9780857860538
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 24.9 MB
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The advent of the internet has been one of the most significant technological developments in history. In this thought-provoking and groundbreaking work David Eagleman, author of international bestseller SUM, presents six ways in which the net saves us from major existential threats: epidemics, poor information flow, natural disasters, political corruption, resource depletion and economic meltdown. Praise for Why the Net Matters: ‘Clever, informative, intriguing and fresh’ Observer ‘An impressive and intriguing work’ Sunday Telegraph A New York Times ‘SuperBook’
Category: Social Science

Why Girls Talk And What They Re Really Saying

Author : Susan Morris Shaffer
ISBN : 9780071460668
Genre : Family & Relationships
File Size : 60.17 MB
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Helps parents cut through the drama of teenage daughters and maintain positive emotional connections Because adolescent girls tend to talk so much, parents often assume that girls are easier to communicate with than boys. In reality, much of what teenage girls say is the opposite of a healthy expression of emotion--often taking the form of fighting, brooding hostility, or, at times, overinvolvement. While recent bestsellers such as Queen Bees and Odd Girl Out explore the social and psychological pressures that inform teenage girls' behavior, they provide little or no guidance on how to manage the communication problems that develop between parents and their daughters. Why Girls Talk--and What They're Really Saying does that and much more. Based on the authors' years of clinical and research experience, it: Deconstructs the ways girls communicate with their parents--especially mothers Arms parents with tools for cutting through the chatter and drama and getting at what their daughters are really saying Helps moms and dads to avoid becoming overinvolved in their daughters lives and to set healthy boundaries
Category: Family & Relationships

Why Knowledge Matters In Curriculum

Author : Leesa Wheelahan
ISBN : 9780415522007
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 40.1 MB
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What should we teach in our schools and vocational education and higher education institutions? Is theoretical knowledge still important? This book argues that providing students with access to knowledge should be the raison d'être of education. Its premise is that access to knowledge is an issue of social justice because society uses it to conduct its debates and controversies. Theoretical knowledge is increasingly marginalised in curriculum in all sectors of education, particularly in competency-based training which is the dominant curriculum model in vocational education in many countries. This book uses competency-based training to explore the negative consequences that arise when knowledge is displaced in curriculum in favour of a focus on workplace relevance. The book takes a unique approach by using the sociology of Basil Bernstein and the philosophy of critical realism as complementary modes of theorising to extend and develop social realist arguments about the role of knowledge in curriculum. Both approaches are increasingly influential in education and the social sciences and the book will be helpful for those seeking an accessible introduction to these complex subjects. Why Knowledge Matters in Curriculum is a key reading for those interested in the sociology of education, curriculum studies, work-based learning, vocational education, higher education, adult and community education, tertiary education policy and lifelong learning more broadly.
Category: Social Science

Why Sports Morally Matter

Author : William Morgan
ISBN : 9781134246793
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 32.62 MB
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When we accept that advertisers and sponsors dictate athletic schedules, that success in sport is measured by revenue, that athletes’ loyalties lie with their commercial agents instead of teams and that game rules exist to be tested and broken in the pursuit of a win, what does our regard for sport say about the moral and political well-being of our society? Why Sports Morally Matter is a deeply critical examination of pressing ethical issues in sports – and in society as a whole. Exploring the broad historical context of modern America, William J. Morgan argues that the current state of sports is a powerful indictment of our wealth-driven society and hyper-individualistic way of life. Taking on critics from all sides of the political debate, Morgan makes the case that, despite the negating effect of free market values, sport still possesses important features that encourage social, moral and political values crucial to the flourishing of a democratic polity. It is this potential to transform society and the individual that makes sport a key battleground in the struggle for the moral soul of twenty-first century America.
Category: Business & Economics