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 reading it one shard at a time. when you may perhaps most likely study much approximately every bit, you are going to don't know approximately what the complete photograph feels like. this can be reductionism—the concept that to appreciate the area we purely have to research its pieces—and it's how so much social scientists strategy their work.

In A Crude examine the Whole, social scientist and economist John H. Miller exhibits why we have to begin taking a look at complete images. For something, even if we're conversing approximately inventory markets, machine networks, or organic organisms, person components in basic terms make experience after we do not forget that they're a part of higher wholes. and maybe extra importantly, these wholes can tackle behaviors which are strikingly varied from that in their pieces.
Miller, a number one professional within the computational research of complicated adaptive structures, finds miraculous worldwide styles linking the association of in a different way significantly diverse constructions: it might probably look crude, yet a beehive’s temperature regulate procedure might help expect marketplace fluctuations and a mammal’s heartbeat can assist us comprehend the “heartbeat” of a urban and adapt city making plans hence. From enduring racial segregation to surprising inventory industry mess ups, when we commence drawing hyperlinks among complicated structures, we will begin fixing what in a different way may be absolutely intractable problems.

Thanks to this innovative point of view, we will be able to ultimately go beyond the bounds of reductionism and detect an important new rules. 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 will be the single solution 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

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This decentralized process allows the sites to be sorted out and suitably investigated, and ultimately it results in the swarm tending to choose the best site relatively quickly without any central direction. Understanding such decentralized processes has numerous benefits. It solves an interesting, life-or-death case of honeybee natural history. It also shows how decentralized mechanisms can be used to solve hard problems. This suggests an approach that we might be able to hijack for our own use in, say, coordinating computer networks or large-scale human organizations.

Science has proceeded by developing increasingly detailed maps of decreasingly small phenomena. At the heart of this reductionist strategy is a hope that once we have detailed maps of the smallest of parts, we can paste the mosaic together and have a useful map of Borges’s Empire. That strategy fails, and while the result might please Borges’s Cartographers Guild, the mosaic is as much a fool’s errand as Borges envisioned. The problem lies not in the incompleteness of our knowledge but in the dream—no, the fallacy—of reductionism.

Various social systems may evolve toward similar critical states. We might find ourselves in a world governed by the mathematics of the sand pile. Stock markets may be subject to numerous routine adjustments as typical world events transpire. Yet these same types of events will, on rare occasions, lead to a massive readjustment. Civilizations may be governed by political systems that tend to push people toward critical states, where small events occasionally result in the collapse of an ancient civilization or, as we saw in the Arab Spring, modern governments.

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