Download PDF by John H. Miller: A Crude Look at the Whole: The Science of Complex Systems in

By John H. Miller

ISBN-10: 0465055699

ISBN-13: 9780465055692

Imagine attempting to comprehend a stained glass window by means of breaking it into items and analyzing it one shard at a time. when you may perhaps most likely research much approximately every piece, you are going to do not know approximately what the full photograph seems like. this can be reductionism—the concept that to appreciate the area we purely have to examine its pieces—and it's how such a lot social scientists process their work.

In A Crude examine the Whole, social scientist and economist John H. Miller indicates why we have to commence complete photos. For something, no matter if we're conversing approximately inventory markets, laptop networks, or organic organisms, person components merely make feel once we do not forget that they're a part of better 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 research of complicated adaptive platforms, finds miraculous worldwide styles linking the association of another way extensively varied buildings: it could actually look crude, yet a beehive’s temperature keep watch over approach may also help expect industry fluctuations and a mammal’s heartbeat may help us comprehend the “heartbeat” of a urban and adapt city making plans consequently. From enduring racial segregation to unexpected inventory industry failures, when we begin drawing hyperlinks among advanced platforms, we will commence fixing what another way can be absolutely intractable problems.

Thanks to this progressive point of view, we will eventually go beyond the bounds of reductionism and notice the most important new rules. Scientifically based and wonderfully written, A Crude examine the Whole is a robust exploration of the demanding situations that we are facing as a society. because it finds, taking the crude glance can be the single method to actually see.

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

Example text

The cost, however, is that individual fields have become increasingly separated from one another intellectually. ” That may seem a minor problem, but we see its importance when we look at the true places we wish to explore. Take any global-scale, societal challenge, such as financial collapse, climate change, terrorism, epidemics, revolution, or social change: not one neatly aligns with any particular academic field. Moreover, even if one did, the reductionist approach still may not let us understand the whole.

A good map eliminates as much spurious information as possible, so that what remains is just enough to guide our way. Moreover, when the map is well made we gain a deeper understanding of the world around us. We begin to recognize that rivers flow in certain directions, towns are not randomly placed, economic and political systems are tied to geography, and so on. Maps—and science—are often more about what we leave out than what we put in. As Jorge Luis Borges catalogs in his one-paragraph-long short story “On Exactitude in Science,” “The Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it.

Moreover, when the map is well made we gain a deeper understanding of the world around us. We begin to recognize that rivers flow in certain directions, towns are not randomly placed, economic and political systems are tied to geography, and so on. Maps—and science—are often more about what we leave out than what we put in. As Jorge Luis Borges catalogs in his one-paragraph-long short story “On Exactitude in Science,” “The Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it.

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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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