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

By John H. Miller

Imagine attempting to comprehend a stained glass window by means of breaking it into items and studying it one shard at a time. when you may well most likely examine much approximately every bit, you are going to do not know approximately what the complete photo seems like. this can be reductionism—the concept that to appreciate the area we in basic terms have to research its pieces—and it truly is how such a lot social scientists technique their work.

In A Crude examine the Whole, social scientist and economist John H. Miller exhibits why we have to commence entire photos. For something, no matter if we're speaking approximately inventory markets, desktop networks, or organic organisms, person components purely make experience after we keep in mind that they're a part of higher wholes. and maybe extra importantly, these wholes can tackle behaviors which are strikingly assorted from that in their pieces.
Miller, a number one specialist within the computational learn of complicated adaptive structures, finds outstanding worldwide styles linking the association of in a different way extensively diversified buildings: it could look crude, yet a beehive’s temperature keep watch over procedure will help are expecting marketplace fluctuations and a mammal’s heartbeat can assist us comprehend the “heartbeat” of a urban and adapt city making plans for this reason. From enduring racial segregation to unexpected inventory marketplace failures, when we begin drawing hyperlinks among advanced platforms, we will be able to commence fixing what in a different way should be absolutely intractable problems.

Thanks to this innovative standpoint, we will be able to eventually go beyond the boundaries of reductionism and realize the most important new principles. Scientifically based and fantastically written, A Crude examine the Whole is a robust exploration of the demanding situations that we are facing as a society. because it unearths, taking the crude glance will be the one strategy to really see.

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

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Thus, at a price of $5, no one is willing to sell, while at a price of $25, both of the suppliers with costs of $10 will offer their goods to the market, while the two suppliers with costs of $30 will abstain, and so on. Similarly, we can summarize the demand side of the market by graphing the potential actions of the demanders. Suppose we have three demanders who would be willing to pay up to $20 for a good, and one that is willing to pay $40. Then, at a price of $30, only the demander with the $40 value for the good will want to buy, while at a price of $20 or below, all four demanders will want to purchase a good.

Thus, some of the work discussed here is well grounded in long-standing research efforts, while other parts are of a more speculative nature. My hope is that the combination will convey the excitement of the ongoing quest while also establishing the future prospects for the complex-systems point of view. Of course, any such excursion will, by necessity, be a selective swath through a large field of existing ideas. Some of the research discussed in this book is the result of past or ongoing collaborations with Simon DeDeo, Russell Golman, Steve Lansing, Scotte Page, Tom Seeley, Michele Tumminello, and Ralph Zinner.

Darwin’s keen insight, the one that put grandeur in his view of life, was that reproduction with variable inheritance and natural selection could move us from simple beginnings to extraordinary ends. A related insight, first postulated by physicist Phil Anderson in 1972, sits at the heart of complex systems. It holds that simple pieces, interacting together, can result in the emergence of new, most wonderful forms. The potential emergence of new forms from the aggregation of simple pieces is known as the “more is different” hypothesis.

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