By John H. Miller

ISBN-10: 0465055699

ISBN-13: 9780465055692

Imagine attempting to comprehend a stained glass window by way of breaking it into items and interpreting it one shard at a time. once you may perhaps most likely examine much approximately every piece, you'll do not know approximately what the full photo seems like. this can be reductionism—the concept that to appreciate the realm we merely have to research its pieces—and it truly is how so much social scientists technique their work.

In A Crude examine the Whole, social scientist and economist John H. Miller exhibits why we have to begin complete photos. For something, no matter if we're conversing approximately inventory markets, desktop networks, or organic organisms, person components in simple terms make experience after we do not forget that they're a part of greater wholes. and maybe extra importantly, these wholes can tackle behaviors which are strikingly varied from that in their pieces.
Miller, a number one specialist within the computational learn of complicated adaptive structures, unearths fantastic international styles linking the association of differently appreciably various constructions: it might probably look crude, yet a beehive’s temperature regulate method may help are expecting marketplace fluctuations and a mammal’s heartbeat will help us comprehend the “heartbeat” of a urban and adapt city making plans for this reason. From enduring racial segregation to surprising inventory marketplace failures, after we begin drawing hyperlinks among advanced structures, we will be able to begin fixing what another way can be completely intractable problems.

Thanks to this progressive point of view, we will eventually go beyond the bounds of reductionism and notice an important new principles. Scientifically based and fantastically written, A Crude examine the Whole is a strong exploration of the demanding situations that we are facing as a society. because it finds, taking the crude glance could be the single approach to really see.

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Extra resources for A Crude Look at the Whole: The Science of Complex Systems in Business, Life, and Society

Sample text

One critical aspect of interactions is feedback. Sometimes feedback stabilizes the system, as happens when we install a not-too-touchy thermostat to control the furnace. Other times feedback causes a system to go out of control, as happens when we place a microphone too close to a loudspeaker, producing an ever-increasing screech. The recent growth of market interconnectivity has resulted in a system rife with feedbacks. This has come about through new communication links, the rise of derivative securities, and the use of high-speed, computer-automated trading.

We find ourselves in a race for knowledge and control of the complex world around us. This is a race that we must win if we are to thrive, and perhaps even survive, as a species. Our very existence relies on the complex systems that bind our food supplies to our energy networks to our global climate to every institution in our society. We have grown to a sheer size and degree of connectivity where local actions now have global consequences. We thrash about, with the potential of emergent bliss or disaster with every twitch.

One critical aspect of interactions is feedback. Sometimes feedback stabilizes the system, as happens when we install a not-too-touchy thermostat to control the furnace. Other times feedback causes a system to go out of control, as happens when we place a microphone too close to a loudspeaker, producing an ever-increasing screech. The recent growth of market interconnectivity has resulted in a system rife with feedbacks. This has come about through new communication links, the rise of derivative securities, and the use of high-speed, computer-automated trading.

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A Crude Look at the Whole: The Science of Complex Systems in Business, Life, and Society by John H. Miller


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