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Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, by Philip Ball

Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, by Philip Ball | CxBooks | Scoop.it

There was a time when curiosity was condemned. To be curious was to delve into matters that didn't concern you - after all, the original sin stemmed from a desire for forbidden knowledge. Through curiosity our innocence was lost.

Yet this hasn't deterred us. Today we spend vast sums trying to recreate the first instants of creation in particle accelerators, out of pure desire to know. There seems now to be no question too vast or too trivial to be ruled out of bounds: Why can fleas jump so high? What is gravity? What shape are clouds? Today curiosity is no longer reviled, but celebrated.

Examining how our inquisitive impulse first became sanctioned, changing from a vice to a virtue, Curiosity begins with the age when modern science began, a time that spans the lives of Galileo and Isaac Newton. It reveals a complex story, in which the liberation - and the taming - of curiosity was linked to magic, religion, literature, travel, trade and empire.

By examining the rise of curiosity, we can ask what has become of it today: how it functions in science, how it is spun and packaged and sold, how well it is being sustained and honoured, and how the changing shape of science influences the kinds of questions it may ask.

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Beyond Bibliometrics: Harnessing Multidimensional Indicators of Scholarly Impact (edited by Blaise Cronin & Cassidy R. Sugimoto)

Bibliometrics has moved well beyond the mere tracking of bibliographic citations. The web enables new ways to measure scholarly productivity and impact, making available tools and data that can reveal patterns of intellectual activity and impact that were previously invisible: mentions, acknowledgments, endorsements, downloads, recommendations, blog posts, tweets. This book describes recent theoretical and practical advances in metrics-based research, examining a variety of alternative metrics -- or "altmetrics" -- while also considering the ethical and cultural consequences of relying on metrics to assess the quality of scholarship. Once the domain of information scientists and mathematicians, bibliometrics is now a fast-growing, multidisciplinary field that ranges from webometrics to scientometrics to influmetrics. The contributors to Beyond Bibliometrics discuss the changing environment of scholarly publishing, the effects of open access and Web 2.0 on genres of discourse, novel analytic methods, and the emergence of next-generation metrics in a performance-conscious age.

 

 

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Visual Ecology (by Thomas W. Cronin et al.)

Visual Ecology

~ Eric J. Warrant (author) More about this product
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Visual ecology is the study of how animals use visual systems to meet their ecological needs, how these systems have evolved, and how they are specialized for particular visual tasks. Visual Ecology provides the first up-to-date synthesis of the field to appear in more than three decades. Featuring some 225 illustrations, including more than 140 in color, spread throughout the text, this comprehensive and accessible book begins by discussing the basic properties of light and the optical environment. It then looks at how photoreceptors intercept light and convert it to usable biological signals, how the pigments and cells of vision vary among animals, and how the properties of these components affect a given receptor's sensitivity to light. The book goes on to examine how eyes and photoreceptors become specialized for an array of visual tasks, such as navigation, evading prey, mate choice, and communication.

 

 

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Enigmas of Health and Disease: How Epidemiology Helps Unravel Scientific Mysteries (by Alfredo Morabia)

This book is the principal account of epidemiology's role in the development of effective measures to identify, prevent, and treat diseases. Throughout history, epidemiologists have challenged conventional knowledge, elucidating mysteries of causality and paving the way for remedies. From the outbreak of the bubonic plague, cholera, and cancer to the search for an effective treatment of AIDS and the origins of Alzheimer's disease, epidemiological thought has been crucial in shaping our understanding of population health issues.

Alfredo Morabia's lucid retelling sheds new light on the historical triumphs of epidemiological research and allows for contemporary readers, patients, and nontechnical audiences to make sense of the immense amount of health information disseminated by the media. By drawing from both historical and contemporary sources, Morabia provides the reader with the tools to differentiate health beliefs from health knowledge. The book covers important topics, including the H1N1 swine flu epidemic, breast cancer, the effects of aspirin, and the link between cigarettes and lung cancer.

 

 

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Blue Urbanism: Exploring Connections Between Cities and Oceans (by Timothy Beatley)

Blue Urbanism: Exploring Connections Between Cities and Oceans

~ Timothy Beatley (author) More about this product
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What would it mean to live in cities designed to foster feelings of connectedness to the ocean? As coastal cities begin planning for climate change and rising sea levels, author Timothy Beatley sees opportunities for rethinking the relationship between urban development and the ocean. Modern society is more dependent upon ocean resources than people are commonly aware of—from oil and gas extraction to wind energy, to the vast amounts of fish harvested globally, to medicinal compounds derived from sea creatures, and more. In Blue Urbanism, Beatley argues that, given all we’ve gained from the sea, city policies, plans, and daily urban life should acknowledge and support a healthy ocean environment.

The book explores issues ranging from urban design and land use, to resource extraction and renewable energy, to educating urbanites about the wonders of marine life. Beatley looks at how emerging practices like “community supported fisheries” and aquaponics can provide a sustainable alternative to industrial fishing practices. Other chapters delve into incentives for increasing use of wind and tidal energy as renewable options to oil and gas extraction that damages ocean life, and how the shipping industry is becoming more “green.” Additionally, urban citizens, he explains, have many opportunities to interact meaningfully with the ocean, from beach cleanups to helping scientists gather data.

While no one city “has it all figured out,” Beatley finds evidence of a changing ethic in cities around the world: a marine biodiversity census in Singapore, decreasing support for shark-finning in Hong Kong, “water plazas” in Rotterdam, a new protected area along the rocky shore of Wellington, New Zealand, “bluebelt” planning in Staten Island, and more. Ultimately he explains we must create a culture of “ocean literacy” using a variety of approaches, from building design and art installations that draw inspiration from marine forms, to encouraging citizen volunteerism related to oceans, to city-sponsored research, and support for new laws that protect marine health.

 

 

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Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree: The Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order (by J. David. Archibald)

Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree: The Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order

~ J. David. Archibald (author) More about this product
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Leading paleontologist J. David Archibald explores the rich history of visual metaphors for biological order from ancient times to the present and their influence on humans' perception of their place in nature, offering uncommon insight into how we went from standing on the top rung of the biological ladder to embodying just one tiny twig on the tree of life. He begins with the ancient but still misguided use of ladders to show biological order, moving then to the use of trees to represent seasonal life cycles and genealogies by the Romans. The early Christian Church then appropriated trees to represent biblical genealogies. The late eighteenth century saw the tree reclaimed to visualize relationships in the natural world, sometimes with a creationist view, but in other instances suggesting evolution. Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) exorcised the exclusively creationist view of the "tree of life," and his ideas sparked an explosion of trees, mostly by younger acolytes in Europe.

Although Darwin's influence waned in the early twentieth century, by midcentury his ideas held sway once again in time for another and even greater explosion of tree building, generated by the development of new theories on how to assemble trees, the birth of powerful computing, and the emergence of molecular technology. Throughout Archibald's far-reaching study, and with the use of many figures, the evolution of "tree of life" iconography becomes entwined with our changing perception of the world and ourselves.

 

 

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Social Dynamics (by Brian Skyrms)

Social Dynamics

~ Brian Skyrms (author) More about this product
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Brian Skyrms presents eighteen essays which apply adaptive dynamics (of cultural evolution and individual learning) to social theory. Altruism, spite, fairness, trust, division of labor, and signaling are treated from this perspective. Correlation is seen to be of fundamental importance. Interactions with neighbors in space, on static networks, and on co-evolving dynamics networks are investigated. Spontaneous emergence of social structure and of signaling systems are examined in the context of learning dynamics.

 

 

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Beyond Energy, Matter, Time and Space

Beyond Energy, Matter, Time and Space | CxBooks | Scoop.it
Humans might think we can figure out the ultimate mysteries, but there is no reason to believe that we have all the pieces necessary for a theory of everything.

Via Jorge Louçã
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Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness (by Joel Gold & Ian Gold)

Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness

~ Ian Gold (author) More about this product
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What if you woke up with the alarming suspicion that you were being watched?

One day in 2003, a patient unlike any other that Dr. Joel Gold had seen before was admitted to his unit at Bellevue Hospital. This man claimed he was being filmed constantly and that his life was being broadcast around the world like The Truman Show—the 1998 film depicting a man who is unknowingly living out his life as the star of a popular soap opera. Over the next few years, Dr. Gold saw a number of patients suffering from what he and his brother, Dr. Ian Gold, began calling the “Truman Show delusion,” launching them on a quest to understand the nature of this particular phenomenon, of delusions more generally, and of madness itself.

The current view of delusions is that they are the result of biology gone awry, of neurons in the brain misfiring. In contrast, the Golds argue that delusions are the result of the interaction between the brain and the social world. By exploring the major categories of delusion through fascinating case studies and marshaling the latest research in schizophrenia, the brothers reveal the role of culture and the social world in the development of psychosis—delusions in particular. Suspicious Minds presents a groundbreaking new vision of just how dramatically our surroundings can influence our brains.

 

 

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A Systems Theoretic Approach to Systems and Synthetic Biology I: Models and System Characterizations (edited by Vishwesh Kulkarni et al.)

The complexity of biological systems has intrigued scientists from many disciplines and has given birth to the highly influential field of systems biology wherein a wide array of mathematical techniques, such as flux balance analysis, and technology platforms, such as next generation sequencing, is used to understand, elucidate, and predict the functions of complex biological systems.  More recently, the field of synthetic biology, i.e., de novo engineering of biological systems, has emerged. Scientists from various fields are focusing on how to render this engineering process more predictable, reliable, scalable, affordable, and easy. 

Systems and control theory is a branch of engineering and applied sciences that rigorously deals with the complexities and uncertainties of interconnected systems with the objective of characterising fundamental systemic properties such as stability, robustness, communication capacity, and other performance metrics. Systems and control theory also strives to offer concepts and methods that facilitate the design of systems with rigorous guarantees on these properties. Over the last 100 years, it has made stellar theoretical and technological contributions in diverse fields such as aerospace, telecommunication, storage, automotive, power systems, and others. Can it have, or evolve to have, a similar impact in biology? The chapters in this book demonstrate that, indeed, systems and control theoretic concepts and techniques can have a significant impact in systems and synthetic biology. 

Volume I provides a panoramic view that illustrates the potential of such mathematical methods in systems and synthetic biology.  Recent advances in systems and synthetic biology have clearly demonstrated the benefits of a rigorous and systematic approach rooted in the principles of systems and control theory - not only does it lead to exciting insights and discoveries but it also reduces the inordinately lengthy trial-and-error process of wet-lab experimentation, thereby facilitating significant savings in human and financial resources.  In Volume I, some of the leading researchers in the field of systems and synthetic biology demonstrate how systems and control theoretic concepts and techniques can be useful, or should evolve to be useful, in order to understand how biological systems function. 

As the eminent computer scientist Donald Knuth put it, "biology easily has 500 years of exciting problems to work on". This edited book presents but a small fraction of those for the benefit of (1) systems and control theorists interested in molecular and cellular biology and (2) biologists interested in rigorous modelling, analysis and control of biological systems.

 

 

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Zoom: How Everything Moves: From Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees (by Bob Berman)

Zoom: How Everything Moves: From Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees

~ Bob Berman (author) More about this product
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From the speed of light to moving mountains--and everything in between--ZOOM explores how the universe and its objects move.

If you sit as still as you can in a quiet room, you might be able to convince yourself that nothing is moving. But air currents are still wafting around you. Blood rushes through your veins. The atoms in your chair jiggle furiously. In fact, the planet you are sitting on is whizzing through space thirty-five times faster than the speed of sound.

Natural motion dominates our lives and the intricate mechanics of the world around us. In ZOOM, Bob Berman explores how motion shapes every aspect of the universe, literally from the ground up. With an entertaining style and a gift for distilling the wondrous, Berman spans astronomy, geology, biology, meteorology, and the history of science, uncovering how clouds stay aloft, how the Earth's rotation curves a home run's flight, and why a mosquito's familiar whine resembles a telephone's dial tone.

 

 

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The Custom-Made Brain: Cerebral Plasticity, Regeneration, and Enhancement (by Jean-Didier Vincent & Pierre-Marie Lledo)

The Custom-Made Brain: Cerebral Plasticity, Regeneration, and Enhancement

~ Pierre-Marie Lledo (author) More about this product
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Two leading neuroscientists introduce the concepts of "cerebral plasticity" and the "regenerating brain," describing what we know now about the processes through which the brain constantly reconstructs itself and the potential benefits this knowledge could have in addressing concerns for neurological, cognitive, and emotional health.

The authors begin with a survey of the fundamental scientific developments that led to our current understanding of the regenerative mind, elucidating the breakthrough neurobiological studies that paved the way for our present understanding of the brain's plasticity and regenerative capabilities. They then discuss the application of these findings to such issues as depression, dyslexia, schizophrenia, and cognitive therapy, incorporating the latest technologies in neuroimaging, optogenetics, and nanotechnology. Their work shows the brain is anything but a static organ, ceasing to grow as human beings become adults. Rather, the brain is dynamic, evolving organically in relation to physical, cultural, historical, and affective stimuli, a plasticity that provides early hope to survivors of trauma and degenerative disorders.

 

 

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Complexity Science and World Affairs (by Walter C. Clemens Jr.)

Complexity Science and World Affairs (Suny Series, James N. Rosenau Series in Global Politics)

~ Walter C. Clemens Jr. (author) More about this product
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Applies complexity science to the study of international politics. Why did some countries transition peacefully from communist rule to political freedom and market economies, while others did not? Why did the United States enjoy a brief moment as the sole remaining superpower, and then lose power and influence across the board? What are the prospects for China, the main challenger to American hegemony? In Complexity Science and World Affairs, Walter C. Clemens Jr. demonstrates how the basic concepts of complexity science can broaden and deepen the insights gained by other approaches to the study of world affairs. He argues that societal fitness—the ability of a social system to cope with complex challenges and opportunities—hinges heavily on the values and way of life of each society, and serves to explain why some societies gain and others lose. Applying theory to several rich case studies, including political developments across post–Soviet Eurasia and the United States, Clemens shows that complexity science offers a powerful set of tools for advancing the study of international relations, comparative government, and, more broadly, the social sciences.

 

 

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Frontiers in Ecology Evolution and Complexity

Frontiers in Ecology Evolution and Complexity | CxBooks | Scoop.it

Advances in molecular biology, remote sensing, systems biology, bioinformatics, non-linear science, the physics of complex systems and other fields have rendered a great amount of data that remain to be integrated into models and theories that are capable of accounting for the complexity of ecological systems and the evolutionary dynamics of life. It is thus necessary to provide a solid basis to discuss and reflect on these and other challenges both at the local and global scales. This volume aims to delineate an integrative and interdisciplinary view that suggests new avenues in research and teaching, critically discusses the scope of the diverse methods in the study of complex systems, and points at key open questions. Finally, this book will provide students and specialists with a collection of high quality open access essays that will contribute to integrate Ecology, Evolution and Complexity in the context of basic research and in the field of Sustainability Sciences


Frontiers in Ecology, Evolution and Complexity
Editors: Mariana Benítez, Octavio Miramontes and Alfonso Valiente-Banuet
Prologue by Stuart A. Kauffman
http://scifunam.fisica.unam.mx/mir/copit/TS0012EN/TS0012EN.html 

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Quantum Effects in Biology (edited by Masoud Mohseni et al.)

Quantum mechanics provides the most accurate microscopic description of the world around us, yet the interface between quantum mechanics and biology is only now being explored. This book uses a combination of experiment and theory to examine areas of biology believed to be strongly influenced by manifestly quantum phenomena. Covering subjects ranging from coherent energy transfer in photosynthetic light harvesting to spin coherence in the avian compass and the problem of molecular recognition in olfaction, the book is ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in physics, biology and chemistry seeking to understand the applications of quantum mechanics to biology.

 

 

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Great Minds: Reflections of 111 Top Scientists (by Balazs Hargittai et al.)

Great Minds: Reflections of 111 Top Scientists

~ Istvan Hargittai (author) More about this product
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Throughout the 1990s and the 2000s, Istvan, Balazs, and Magdolna Hargittai conducted hundreds of interviews with leading scientists in physics, chemistry, materials, and biomedical research. These interviews appeared in a variety of publications, including Chemical Intelligencer, Mathematical Intelligencer, and Chemical Heritage. In four-thousand pages of interviews, the Hargittais had conversations with over a hundred Nobel laureates, along with many other top minds and personalities in various scientific fields.
Now, in a single volume, the Hargittais have gathered the best and most notable moments of these interviews, creating a survey of the past, present, and future of science, as told by some of the most influential members of many scientific disciplines. Figures like James D. Watson, Francis Crick, and Glenn T. Seaborg share their thoughts in these pages, in a collection that includes 68 Nobel Laureates. Without exaggeration, their backgrounds come from all over the globe: scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan are featured. These interviews discuss many of the most prominent debates and issues in today's scientific climate. Great Minds is a synthesis of scientific thought, as told by some of the most notable scientists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

 

 

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Time in Powers of Ten: Natural Phenomena and Their Timescales (by Gerard 't Hooft & Stefan Vandoren)

Time in Powers of Ten: Natural Phenomena and Their Timescales

~ Stefan Vandoren (author) More about this product
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In this richly illustrated book, Nobel Laureate Gerard 't Hooft and Theoretical Physicist Stefan Vandoren describe the enormous diversity of natural phenomena that take place at different time scales.

In the tradition of the bestseller Powers of Ten, the authors zoom in and out in time, each step with a factor of ten. Starting from one second, time scales are enlarged until processes are reached that take much longer than the age of the universe. After the largest possible eternities, the reader is treated to the shortest and fastest phenomena known. Then the authors increase with powers of ten, until again the second is reached at the end of the book.

At each time scale, interesting natural phenomena occur, spread over all scientific disciplines: orbital and rotation periods of planets and stars, decay times of elementary particles and atoms, biological rhythms and evolution processes, but also the different geological time scales.

 

 

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Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (by Nick Bostrom)

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

~ Nick Bostrom (author) More about this product
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Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.

But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?

This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.

 

 

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Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos: With Applications to Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering - 2nd edition (by Steven H. Strogatz)

This textbook is aimed at newcomers to nonlinear dynamics and chaos, especially students taking a first course in the subject. The presentation stresses analytical methods, concrete examples, and geometric intuition. The theory is developed systematically, starting with first-order differential equations and their bifurcations, followed by phase plane analysis, limit cycles and their bifurcations, and culminating with the Lorenz equations, chaos, iterated maps, period doubling, renormalization, fractals, and strange attractors.

A unique feature of the book is its emphasis on applications. These include mechanical vibrations, lasers, biological rhythms, superconducting circuits, insect outbreaks, chemical oscillators, genetic control systems, chaotic waterwheels, and even a technique for using chaos to send secret messages. In each case, the scientific background is explained at an elementary level and closely integrated with mathematical theory.

In the twenty years since the first edition of this book appeared, the ideas and techniques of nonlinear dynamics and chaos have found application to such exciting new fields as systems biology, evolutionary game theory, and sociophysics. This second edition includes new exercises on these cutting-edge developments, on topics as varied as the curiosities of visual perception and the tumultuous love dynamics in Gone With the Wind.

 

 

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The Arrow Impossibility Theorem (by Eric Maskin et al.)

The Arrow Impossibility Theorem (Kenneth J. Arrow Lecture Series)

~ Amartya Sen (author) More about this product
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Kenneth J. Arrow's pathbreaking "impossibility theorem" was a watershed innovation in the history of welfare economics, voting theory, and collective choice, demonstrating that there is no voting rule that satisfies the four desirable axioms of decisiveness, consensus, nondictatorship, and independence.

In this book Eric Maskin and Amartya Sen explore the implications of Arrow's theorem. Sen considers its ongoing utility, exploring the theorem's value and limitations in relation to recent research on social reasoning, and Maskin discusses how to design a voting rule that gets us closer to the ideal -- given the impossibility of achieving the ideal. The volume also contains a contextual introduction by social choice scholar Prasanta K. Pattanaik and commentaries from Joseph E. Stiglitz and Kenneth J. Arrow himself, as well as essays by Maskin, Dasgupta, and Sen outlining the mathematical proof and framework behind their assertions.

 

 

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The Social Metabolism: A Socio-Ecological Theory of Historical Change (by Manuel González de Molina & Víctor M. Toledo)

The Social Metabolism: A Socio-Ecological Theory of Historical Change (Environmental History)

~ Víctor M. Toledo (author) More about this product
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Today, the most notable feature of the modern world is the growing concern for the future, since human society is immersed in a “giant, uncontrolled experiment” (McNeill, 2000), which it has caused, where natural and social processes are connected in an unprecedented way, generating new unpredictable and surprising dynamics and synergies that are threatening the human species, planetary equilibrium and the whole of life itself. Faced with the above situation, science as a whole is compelled to look back in order to learn from the past (lessons), and to adopt a rigorous historical perspective that will provide a thorough understanding of current situations from a socio-ecological perspective, capable of orchestrating interdisciplinary research into relations between society and nature.

Over this last decade, the concept of social metabolism has gained prestige as a theoretical instrument for the required analysis, to such an extent that there are now dozens of researchers, hundreds of articles and several books that have adopted and use this concept. However, there is a great deal of variety in terms of definitions and interpretations, as well as different methodologies around this concept, which prevents the consolidation of a unified field of new knowledge. The fundamental aim of the book is to conduct a review of the past and present usage of the concept of social metabolism, its origins and history, as well as the main currents or schools that exist around this concept. At the same time, the reviews and discussions included are used by the authors as starting points to draw conclusions and propose a theory of socio-ecological transformations.      

The theoretical and methodological innovations of this book include: a. the rigorous definition of a basic model for the process of social metabolism;

b. the distinction of two types of metabolic processes: tangible and intangible;

c. detailed discussion regarding the concept of nature appropriation;

d. analysis of the social metabolism at different scales (spatial dimension);

e. historical analysis of the social metabolism (temporal dimension and socio-ecological change);

f. overcoming the merely “systemic” or “cybernetic” nature of approaches, giving protagonism to collective action; and consequence and explanation of the above:

g. integration of an ethical and political dimension to the theory.

 

 

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A Systems Theoretic Approach to Systems and Synthetic Biology II: Analysis and Design of Cellular Systems (edited by Vishwesh Kulkarni at al.)

Volume II contains chapters contributed by leading researchers in the field of systems and synthetic biology that concern modeling physiological processes and bottom-up constructions of scalable biological systems.  The modeling problems include characterisation and synthesis of memory, understanding how homoeostasis is maintained in the face of shocks and relatively gradual perturbations, understanding the functioning and robustness of biological clocks such as those at the core of circadian rhythms, and understanding how the cell cycles can be regulated, among others. Some of the bottom-up construction problems investigated in Volume II are as follows: How should biomacromolecules, platforms, and scalable architectures be chosen and synthesised in order to build programmable de novo biological systems? What are the types of constrained optimisation problems encountered in this process and how can these be solved efficiently?

 

 

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Complexity: A Very Short Introduction (by John H. Holland)

The importance of complexity is well-captured by Hawking's comment: "Complexity is the science of the 21st century". From the movement of flocks of birds to the Internet, environmental sustainability, and market regulation, the study and understanding of complex non-linear systems has become highly influential over the last 30 years.

In this Very Short Introduction, one of the leading figures in the field, John Holland, introduces the key elements and conceptual framework of complexity. From complex physical systems such as fluid flow and the difficulties of predicting weather, to complex adaptive systems such as the highly diverse and interdependent ecosystems of rainforests, he combines simple, well-known examples -- Adam Smith's pin factory, Darwin's comet orchid, and Simon's 'watchmaker' -- with an account of
the approaches, involving agents and urn models, taken by complexity theory.

 

 

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Tom Cockburn's curator insight, July 16, 12:34 AM

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The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do about It (by Ian Goldin & Mike Mariathasan)

The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do about It

~ Mike Mariathasan (author) More about this product
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Global hyperconnectivity and increased system integration have led to vast benefits, including worldwide growth in incomes, education, innovation, and technology. But rapid globalization has also created concerns because the repercussions of local events now cascade over national borders and the fallout of financial meltdowns and environmental disasters affects everyone. The Butterfly Defect addresses the widening gap between systemic risks and their effective management. It shows how the new dynamics of turbo-charged globalization has the potential and power to destabilize our societies. Drawing on the latest insights from a wide variety of disciplines, Ian Goldin and Mike Mariathasan provide practical guidance for how governments, businesses, and individuals can better manage risk in our contemporary world.

Goldin and Mariathasan assert that the current complexities of globalization will not be sustainable as surprises become more frequent and have widespread impacts. The recent financial crisis exemplifies the new form of systemic risk that will characterize the coming decades, and the authors provide the first framework for understanding how such risk will function in the twenty-first century. Goldin and Mariathasan demonstrate that systemic risk issues are now endemic everywhere--in supply chains, pandemics, infrastructure, ecology and climate change, economics, and politics. Unless we are better able to address these concerns, they will lead to greater protectionism, xenophobia, nationalism, and, inevitably, deglobalization, rising conflict, and slower growth.

 

 

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Complexity in Economics: Cutting Edge Research (edited by Marisa Faggini & Anna Parziale)

Complexity in Economics: Cutting Edge Research (New Economic Windows)

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In this book, leading experts discuss innovative components of complexity theory and chaos theory in economics.

The underlying perspective is that investigations of economic phenomena should view these phenomena not as deterministic, predictable and mechanistic but rather as process dependent, organic and always evolving.

The aim is to highlight the exciting potential of this approach in economics and its ability to overcome the limitations of past research and offer important new insights. The book offers a stimulating mix of theory, examples and policy.

By casting light on a variety of topics in the field, it will provide an ideal platform for researchers wishing to deepen their understanding and identify areas for further investigation.

 

 

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Artificial Life 14

Artificial Life 14 | CxBooks | Scoop.it

ALIFE 14, the Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems, presents the current state of the art of Artificial Life—the highly interdisciplinary research area on artificially constructed living systems, including mathematical, computational, robotic, and biochemical ones. The understanding and application of such generalized forms of life, or “life as it could be,” have been producing significant contributions to various fields of science and engineering.
This volume contains papers that were accepted through rigorous peer reviews for presentations at the ALIFE 14 conference. The topics covered in this volume include: Evolutionary Dynamics; Artificial Evolutionary Ecosystems; Robot and Agent Behavior; Soft Robotics and Morphologies; Collective Robotics; Collective Behaviors; Social Dynamics and Evolution; Boolean Networks, Neural Networks and Machine Learning; Artificial Chemistries, Cellular Automata and Self-Organizing Systems; In-Vitro and In-Vivo Systems; Evolutionary Art, Philosophy and Entertainment; and Methodologies.


Artificial Life 14

Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems

Edited by Hiroki Sayama, John Rieffel, Sebastian Risi, René Doursat and Hod Lipson

http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/artificial-life-14

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ComplexInsight's curator insight, July 10, 10:30 PM

I remember reading the first one of these and my imagination being captured by Chris Langton's introduction. Look forward to reading this one.