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Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos epub ebook

by M. Mitchell Waldrop

Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos epub ebook

Author: M. Mitchell Waldrop
Category: History & Philosophy
Language: English
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 1, 1992)
Pages: 380 pages
ISBN: 0671767895
ISBN13: 978-0671767891
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 123
Other formats: mobi rtf azw docx

Why did the stock market crash more than 500 points on a single Monday in 1987? Why do ancient species often remain stable in the fossil record for millions of years and then suddenly disappear?

Why did the stock market crash more than 500 points on a single Monday in 1987? Why do ancient species often remain stable in the fossil record for millions of years and then suddenly disappear? In a world where nice guys often finish last, why do humans value trust and cooperation? At first glance these questions don't appear to have anything in common, but in fact every one of these statements refers to a complex system.

Why did the stock market crash more than 500 points on a single Monday.

While the nexus for these events is the formation of the Santa Fe Institute, Waldrop adopts a formula of describing each of the major players in terms of their personal intellectual journeys from early thinking about such concepts as adaptation and emergence to their recognition as top thinkers of our time in the area of complexity.

Complexity: The Emerging. has been added to your Cart. After just 358 pages, your imagination and knowledge of science leaps from Newton's linear models to the twentyfirst century stuff. One person found this helpful.

Includes bibliographical references (p. -363) and index. In a rented convent in Santa Fe, a revolution has been brewing. The activists are not anarchists, but rather Nobel Laureates in physics and economics such as Murray Gell-Mann and Kenneth Arrow, and pony-tailed graduate students, mathematicians, and computer scientists down from Los Alamos. They've formed an iconoclastic think tank called the Santa Fe Institute, and their radical idea is to create a new science called complexity.

If you liked Chaos, you’ll love Complexity. This book is their story-the story of how they have tried to forge what they like to call the science of the twenty-first century. Waldrop creates the most exciting intellectual adventure story of the year (The Washington Post). Lucidly shows physicists, biologists, computer scientists and economists swapping metaphors and reveling in the sense that epochal discoveries are just around the corner. has a special talent for relaying the exhilaration of moments of intellectual insight.

Mitchell Waldrop has his doctorate in elementary particle physics and is the author of Man-Made Minds. He spent ten years as a senior writer for Science magazine, where he is now a contributing correspondent. Bibliographic information. illustrated, reprint.

Drawing from diverse fields, scientific luminaries such as Nobel Laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Kenneth Arrow are studying complexity at a think tank called The Santa Fe Institute.

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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
Reviews (7)
This is the story of the creation of the Santa Fe Institute and the personalities and thinking of the scientists who came together to explore disciplines that just might relate to their own. So we have mathematicians, physicists, biologists, computer programmers and analysts, chemists, astronomers, and many more giving workshops and lectures to one another to explore what lies between order and chaos. (A car key is simple. A car is complicated. A car in traffic is complex.) This book is about complexity.
Author Waldrop tells stories and explores the personalities of the men and women who made the Santa Fe Institute happen, thereby creating a tale that enlightens the reader on many intellectual levels. This book was written in 1992, but it is timeless.

I am doing online courses offered by Santa Fe institute on various aspects of Complexity and Emergence, including Fractals. These courses are offered under Complexity Explorer from Santa Fe. I came across this book by accident, and since I am doing courses from that Institute, I decided to buy this book and read about the Institute.

It described how experts from different disciplines were brought together under one roof, physicists, economists, biologists, mathematicians etc. The idea being that they could cross stimulate each other from their own field, as Complexity exists in all areas of human lives and endeavours.

It's a fascinating read.

just one girl
Great book to discuss complexity especially how scientist use simulation to create complex system from bottom up. However, at that time, scientist still need to design the most fundamental rules which might not perfectly match with the truth. After reading the book, had a conversation with friends who just got his PHD in CS related to AI. The current method is to let algo design or find the rule which could get the best results. However, the total mechanism could be a black box. Interesting to compare two way and worth digging deeper.

This book consists of ~5% information on dealing with complex systems and 95% aimless storytelling.
If you are looking for an efficient way to increase your knowledge of complexity theory then go elsewhere.

This is a brilliant and riveting account of the birth of the science of Complexity at the Santa Fe Institute told in the form of detailed and human biographical profiles of some the leading scientific voices in the movement. Some reviewers here have complained that this isn't a book of science, per se, but more of history. While you will not find the math, code, detailed analysis of various models, or even illustrations of some of the compelling graphics; you will find well wrought descriptions of the basic theories and the evolution of thinking that delivered them. Getting the social and broader scientific context for the founders is a great introduction. Then you can read their books to get the nitty gritty, and you'll appreciate it better for having gained the long range perspective from Waldrop.

Complexity and emergence are some of the most compelling ideas to come out of the science of chaos - and are real paradigm changing ideas that promise to transform science in the 21st century and beyond. Complexity is the study of how agglomerations of agents behaving individually come to manifest dramatically complex group behaviors (called "emergent phenomena") with a richness you could never derive from the study of the simple components. Commonly studied emergent behaviors include the stock market, economies, flocks of birds and fish, the rise of life from pre-biotic molecular soup, the properties of complex molecules compared to the properties of their component atoms, etc... Methods of study are frequently computer simulations that model emergent complexity using simple rules in a recursive way reminiscent of chaos theory research. Indeed, Langton shows that emergent complexity is along the same continuum as chaos, but pitched at the edge between chaos and static order - literally the "edge of chaos". Some of the same scientists feature in both theories too - particularly Doyne Farmer of UCAL Santa Cruz.

The fact that informational order appears spontaneously seems to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics - but does not because only information is being created, not energy. Kauffman calls it "order for free". This emergent order is deeply significant in a number of ways. First of all it provides a way of studying the structures of reality that are too messy and dynamic to fit classical reductionist science. But, more importantly, the reality of emergent complexity says something deeper about a creative generative force in the universe which resonates deeply with human spiritual feelings. Seeing order emerge spontaneously feels like witnessing "creation". In the latter chapters we see that evolution moves complex systems closer towards the edge of chaos (lambda around 1/4). Not only does this give a mathematical model for "evolutionary fitness" (which previously had been only definable as a tautology: evolutionary fitness = higher rates of survival (i.e. fitness)) but this also suggests a deeper concordance between a particular degree of chaos and some powerful natural property of phase transition that somehow engenders all the amazing dynamical systems we marvel at - particularly life itself on all its levels, from the swirling metabolic action of cells to the cellular group behavior of complex organisms such as ourselves, and our higher level social behavior. It's not an accident of evolution - it's an important, universal and inevitable law of nature, like gravity or electromagnetism.

Waldrop gets this and he takes you into Langton's computer lab the night he has his epiphany while playing the game of "Life" and other critical moments of inspiration. While this book doesn't spur you to take out your calculator and do the math like Gleik's "Chaos" it makes you feel the magic and gives you a heck of reading list to pursue further.

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