Complexity

The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos

Author: Mitchell M. Waldrop

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0671872346

Category: Mathematics

Page: 380

View: 5869

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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
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The Nature of Chaos

Author: Tom Mullin

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Chaotic behavior in systems.

Page: 314

View: 4142

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Chaos and complexity theory have emerged as extremely popular new conceptual approaches in scientific understanding. They have served to elucidate fields long considered resistant to meticulous study--such as those involving large numbers of random patterns-- while capturing the public imagination as well through a series of best-selling books like James Gleick's Chaos and M. Mitchell Waldrop's Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos. Time magazine put it this way in a recent feature article: "The new field of complexity may explain mysteries from the stock market to the emergence of . . . life, the universe and everything." This new book brings together a group of acknowledged experts who capture the excitement of working at the forefront of this new area of scientific research. In addition to giving simple expositions of the fundamental ideas, their chapters cover ongoing work in chemistry, physics, meteorology, biology, quantum mechanics, and engineering--detailing the latest developments and applications of chaos theory. The text is accessible to nonspecialists, but includes technical details that are often skipped over in popular treatments of the subject. It will be read with interest by a wide range of scientific professionals as well as general readers seeking information on some of the most imaginative research taking place today.
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At Home in the Universe

The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity

Author: Stuart Kauffman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199840304

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 5554

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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.
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The Age of Spiritual Machines

When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence

Author: Ray Kurzweil

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101077887

Category: Computers

Page: 400

View: 5120

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Ray Kurzweil is the inventor of the most innovative and compelling technology of our era, an international authority on artificial intelligence, and one of our greatest living visionaries. Now he offers a framework for envisioning the twenty-first century--an age in which the marriage of human sensitivity and artificial intelligence fundamentally alters and improves the way we live. Kurzweil's prophetic blueprint for the future takes us through the advances that inexorably result in computers exceeding the memory capacity and computational ability of the human brain by the year 2020 (with human-level capabilities not far behind); in relationships with automated personalities who will be our teachers, companions, and lovers; and in information fed straight into our brains along direct neural pathways. Optimistic and challenging, thought-provoking and engaging, The Age of Spiritual Machines is the ultimate guide on our road into the next century. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Creativity

Theory, History, Practice

Author: Rob Pope

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134273525

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 370

View: 3775

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Creativity: Theory, History, Practice offers important new perspectives on creativity in the light of contemporary critical theory and cultural history. Innovative in approach as well as argument, the book crosses disciplinary boundaries and builds new bridges between the critical and the creative. It is organised in four parts: Why creativity now? offers much-needed alternatives to both the Romantic stereotype of the creator as individual genius and the tendency of the modern creative industries to treat everything as a commodity defining creativity, creating definitions traces the changing meaning of 'create' from religious ideas of divine creation from nothing to advertising notions of concept creation. It also examines the complex history and extraordinary versatility of terms such as imagination, invention, inspiration and originality dreation as myth, story, metaphor begins with modern re-tellings of early African, American and Australian creation myths and – picking up Biblical and evolutionary accounts along the way – works round to scientific visions of the Big Bang, bubble universes and cosmic soup creative practices, cultural processes is a critical anthology of materials, chosen to promote fresh thinking about everything from changing constructions of 'literature' and 'design' to artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. Rob Pope takes significant steps forward in the process of rethinking a vexed yet vital concept, all the while encouraging and equipping readers to continue the process in their own creative or 're-creative' ways. Creativity: Theory, History, Practice is invaluable for anyone with a live interest in exploring what creativity has been, is currently, and yet may be.
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The Story of Post-Modernism

Five Decades of the Ironic, Iconic and Critical in Architecture

Author: Charles Jencks

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1119960096

Category: Architecture

Page: 296

View: 3359

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In The Story of Post-Modernism, Charles Jencks, the authority on Post-Modern architecture and culture, provides the defining account of Post-Modern architecture from its earliest roots in the early 60s to the present day. By breaking the narrative into seven distinct chapters, which are both chronological and overlapping, Jencks charts the ebb and flow of the movement, the peaks and troughs of different ideas and themes. The book is highly visual. As well as providing a chronological account of the movement, each chapter also has a special feature on the major works of a given period. The first up-to-date narrative of Post-Modern Architecture - other major books on the subject were written 20 years ago. An accessible narrative that will appeal to students who are new to the subject, as well as those who can remember its heyday in the 70s and 80s.
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Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy

Author: D. C. Phillips

Publisher: SAGE Publications

ISBN: 1483364755

Category: Education

Page: 952

View: 9365

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Education is a field sometimes beset by theories-of-the-day and with easy panaceas that overpromise the degree to which they can alleviate pressing educational problems. The two-volume Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy introduces readers to theories that have stood the test of time and those that have provided the historical foundation for the best of contemporary educational theory and practice. Drawing together a team of international scholars, this invaluable reference examines the global landscape of all the key theories and the theorists behind them and presents them in the context needed to understand their strengths and weaknesses. In addition to interpretations of long-established theories, this work offers essays on cutting-edge research and concise, to-the-point definitions of key concepts, ideas, schools, and figures. Features: Over 300 signed entries by trusted experts in the field are organized into two volumes and overseen by a distinguished General Editor and an international Editorial Board. Entries are followed by cross references and further reading suggestions. A Chronology of Theory within the field of education highlights developments over the centuries; a Reader’s Guide groups entries thematically, and a master Bibliography facilitates further study. The Reader’s Guide, detailed index, and cross references combine for strong search-and-browse capabilities in the electronic version. Available in a choice of print or electronic formats, Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy is an ideal reference for anyone interested in the roots of contemporary educational theory.
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Coherence in the Midst of Complexity

Advances in Social Complexity Theory

Author: H. Letiche,M. Lissack,Ron Schultz

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137001801

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 297

View: 2758

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A discussion on the social complexity approach, where dialogue and stories allow for the degrees of freedom needed for the opportunities of emergence to take root. The authors focus on the experience of coherence and how such experiential lessons differ from the establishment and maintenance of categories and labels.
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What Works for GE May Not Work for You

Using Human Systems Dynamics to Build a Culture of Process Improvement

Author: Lawrence Solow,Brenda Fake

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1439826005

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 206

View: 9252

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What Works for GE May Not Work for You: Using Human Systems Dynamics to Build a Culture of Process Improvement provides new tools for managing and sustaining process improvement in today’s complex non-linear environments and helps readers apply new, relevant theory to their own management practices. With more than 50 combined years of change management and process improvement consulting experience, the authors offer valuable practical insights for creating dynamic organizational change. The first section of the book describes the key bodies of knowledge and process improvement processes (Lean, Six Sigma, and Human Systems Dynamics) used throughout the text. The next two sections focus on the case story of TryinHard Marine. The authors first highlight the dynamics of a typical linear process improvement implementation. They then present ways to combat a range of complex, non-linear, and emergent organizational issues as they arise during the implementation of a Six Sigma initiative. The last part explains how to assess readiness to begin a process improvement initiative, select consultants and internal "Belt" candidates, and choose the appropriate tools for projects. The authors also introduce additional tools and concepts to enable adaptive action at all levels of an organization. This book provides useful information for thinking and behaving in adaptive ways that can be applied to any organization. By using the concepts, models, and tools presented, readers can improve their own business improvement processes. The book has an accompanying website with more information.
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The Astrology Book

The Encyclopedia of Heavenly Influences

Author: James R Lewis

Publisher: Visible Ink Press

ISBN: 1578593018

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 928

View: 8710

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The scientific, historic, and popular basis behind the ancient art of astrology is explored in this comprehensive reference. The guide also includes a table of astrological glyphs and abbreviations, a section on casting a chart, and a chapter that explains and interprets every planet in every house and sign.
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