Examines the field of complexity science, with sections focusing on how the discipline works within computer simulations, natural ecosystems, and various social systems.
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
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.
This book argues that psychoanalysis has a unique role to play in the climate change debate through its placing emphasis on the unconscious dimensions of our mental and social lives. Exploring contributions from Freudian, Kleinian, Object Relations, Self Psychology, Jungian, and Lacanian traditions, the book discusses how psychoanalysis can help to unmask the anxieties, deficits, conflicts, phantasies and defences crucial in understanding the human dimension of the ecological crisis. Yet despite being essential to studying environmentalism and its discontents, psychoanalysis still remains largely a 'psychology without ecology.' The philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari, combined with new developments in the sciences of complexity, help us to build upon the best of these perspectives, providing a framework able to integrate Guattari's 'three ecologies' of mind, nature and society. This book thus constitutes a timely attempt to contribute towards a critical dialogue between psychoanalysis and ecology. Further topics of discussion include: ecopsychology and the greening of psychotherapy our ambivalent relationship to nature and the non-human complexity theory in psychoanalysis and ecology defence mechanisms against eco-anxiety and eco-grief Deleuze|Guattari and the three ecologies becoming-animal in horror and eco-apocalypse in science fiction films nonlinear ecopsychoanalysis. In our era of anxiety, denial, paranoia, apathy, guilt, hope, and despair in the face of climate change, this book offers a fresh and insightful psychoanalytic perspective on the ecological crisis. As such this book will be of great interest to all those in the fields of psychoanalysis, psychology, philosophy, and ecology, as well as all who are concerned with the global environmental challenges affecting our planet's future.
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.
John Gribbin is currently a Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.
Every few years a book changes the way people think about a field. In psychology there is Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence. In science, James Gleick's Chaos. In economics and finance, Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street. And in business there is now Surfing the Edge of Chaos by Richard T. Pascale, Mark Millemann, and Linda Gioja. Surfing the Edge of Chaos is a brilliant, powerful, and practical book about the parallels between business and nature -- two fields that feature nonstop battles between the forces of tradition and the forces of transformation. It offers a bold new way of thinking about and responding to the personal and strategic challenges everyone in business faces these days. Pascale, Millemann, and Gioja argue that because every business is a living system (not just as metaphor but in reality), the four cornerstone principles of the life sciences are just as true for organizations as they are for species. These principles are: Equilibrium is death. Innovation usually takes place on the edge of chaos. Self-organization and emergence occur naturally. Organizations can only be disturbed, not directed. Using intriguing, in-depth case studies (Sears Roebuck, Monsanto, Royal Dutch Shell, the U.S. Army, British Petroleum, Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems), Surfing the Edge of Chaos shows that in business, as in nature, there are no permanent winners. There are just companies and species that either react to change and evolve, or get left behind and become extinct. Some examples: Parallels between Yellowstone National Park and Sears show why equilibrium is a dangerous place in both nature and business. How Monsanto used a "strange attractor" to move to the edge of chaos to alter its identity and transform its culture. The unlikely story of how the U.S. Army embraced the ideas of self-organization and emergence. Why the misapplication of linear logic (reengineering a business or attempting to eradicate predators in nature) will inevitably fail. The stories in Surfing the Edge of Chaos are of pioneering efforts that show how the principles of living systems produce bottom-line impact and profound transformational change. What's really striking about them, though, is their reality. They are about success and failure, breakthroughs and dead-ends. In short, they are like the business you are in and the challenges you face. From the Hardcover edition.
An internationally renowned scientist who fears she’s taken one scientific risk too many; a distinguished archaeologist who’s haunted by taking too few; a world famous financier who’s lost everything except his money; an art gallery owner with a heartbreaking burden; a fugitive filmmaker; the head of a battered women’s shelter—these are some of the people who find themselves at the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail at the end of the 20th century. Chance has brought them from all over to beautiful, legendary Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they shape, illuminate, and even deform each other’s lives unexpectedly, as if on the very edge of chaos. This edge of chaos, a scientific term for that slender territory between frozen predictability and hopeless disorder, is a dangerously unstable place. Learning and change can only happen there, but always under threat of sliding back to frozen order—or over into the chaotic abyss. And Santa Fe’s sons and daughters, even now, keep a precarious foothold on “The Edge of Chaos,” bringing their own pasts and their city’s rich history into an uncertain but exhilarating future. PAMELA McCORDUCK has published eight other books, translated into most of the major European and Asian languages. She has written for magazines ranging from “Redbook” and “Cosmopolitan” to “Daedalus,” and was a contributing editor to “Wired.” She was a board member and officer of the American PEN Center in New York, the authors’ organization, and an officer of the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She has appeared on many television shows, including PBS’s News Hour and the CBS Evening News. CNN based a two-part documentary on her book, “The Futures of Women.”
Shows how to use complexity science to make businesses more flexible and spur employees to become more involved with their work
A powerful guide to thinking and managing your way into the new economy. A how to think book for practicing managers.
Russ Marion describes formal and social organizations from the perspective of chaos and complexity theories. The book is generously illustrated and includes references plus an annotated bibliography.
Helen Shulman integrates experiences of synchronicity, altered states of consciousness, trance, ritual, Buddhist meditation practice and creativity into a broad perspective on cross-cultural psychology. What emerges is a comprehensive way to understand pyschological illness and healing as a perpetual work-in-progress near "the edge of chaos," where the seeds for new models of reality lie. With mental illness as the focus, she leads us on a fascinating interdisciplinary exploration, linking such areas as cultural studies, anthropology, evolutionary science and new work in mathematics and computer science - known as complexity theory - to Jungian psychology. A new paradigm for postmodern psychology emerges as the author presents a dynamic theoretical model containing rational and irrational aspects of individual and collective life.
A groundbreaking book explores the dynamic, emerging concept of complexity and its relationship to mathematics, physics, biology, and chemistry, and provides an arresting account of how far science has come and what to expect in the rapidly approaching future. Reprint.
The authors present a new approach to leadership based on findings from complexity science. Integrating real case studies with rigorous research results, they explore the biggest challenges being faced in fast-paced organizations, and provide a host of concrete tools for leading during critical periods.
A challenge to existing Newtonian and Darwinian paradigms, Ecology, the Ascendent Perspective demonstrates that a theoretically reshaped science of ecology, better suited to portraying the dynamics of the natural world, can be a more effective means of ensuring its health.
A pioneering book that shows how the two great themes of classic science, order and chaos, are being reconciled in a new and unexpected synthesis. Order Out of Chaos is a sweeping critique of the discordant landscape of modern scientific knowledge. In this landmark book, Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine and acclaimed philosopher Isabelle Stengers offer an exciting and accessible account of the philosophical implications of thermodynamics. Prigogine and Stengers bring contradictory philosophies of time and chance into a novel and ambitious synthesis. Since its first publication in France in 1978, this book has sparked debate among physicists, philosophers, literary critics and historians.
Do we live in a simple or a complex universe? Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart explore the ability of complicated rules to generate simple behaviour in nature through 'the collapse of chaos'. 'The most startling, thought-provoking book I've read all year. I was pleased to learn that most of the things I thought I knew were wrong' -- Terry Pratchett
The IgNobel Prize-winner and author of Rock, Paper, Scissors applies science-based solutions to seemingly complex problems in life.
An astrophysicist presents a lucid, accessible explanation of the fundamental principles of chaos and complexity theory, incorporating the latest research with frequent analogies and examples to explore simple applications of the theory in everyday life. By the author of In Search of Schrödinger's Cat and The Scientists. 22,000 first printing.

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