"Put together one of the world's best science writers with one of the universe's most fascinating subjects and you are bound to produce a wonderful book. . . . The subject of complexity is vital and controversial. This book is important and beautifully done."--Stephen Jay Gould "ÝComplexity ̈ is that curious mix of complication and organization that we find throughout the natural and human worlds: the workings of a cell, the structure of the brain, the behavior of the stock market, the shifts of political power. . . . It is time science . . . thinks about meaning as well as counting information. . . . This is the core of the complexity manifesto. Read it, think about it . . . but don't ignore it."--Ian Stewart, "Nature" This second edition has been brought up to date with an essay entitled "On the Edge in the Business World" and an interview with John Holland, author of "Emergence: From Chaos to Order."
For the past few years, convinced of the potential of Complexity Theory, multinationals and large consultancy firms have put large amounts of money in research into the business application of the theory. This book is based on the findings of these programmes and the authors' own extensive research. It includes detailed case studies of companies.
Comprehensive overview of the inroads made by Complexity Thinking approaches and ideas in the study and practice of world politics. Why are policymakers, scholars, and the general public so surprised when the world turns out to be unpredictable? World Politics at the Edge of Chaos suggests that the study of international politics needs new forms of knowledge to respond to emerging challenges such as the interconnectedness between local and transnational realities; between markets, migration, and social movements; and between pandemics, a looming energy crisis, and climate change. Asserting that Complexity Thinking (CT) provides a much-needed lens for interpreting these challenges, the contributors offer a parallel assessment of the impact of CT to anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric (post-human) International Relations. Using this perspective, the result should be less surprise when confronting the dynamism of a fragile and unpredictable global life.
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.
The faculty at the University of Houston's program in Futures Studies share their comprehensive, integrated approach to preparing foresight professionals and assisting others doing foresight projects. Provides an essential guide to developing classes on the future or even establishing whole degree programs.
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.