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Listing all resources tagged with the tag = 'Complexity'


Book : Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software (2002)

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

Categories: ComplexityNatural World

Tags: antbookcomplexityemergencejohnson


Author(s):Johnson, Steven

Published: 2002 • ISBN: 0684868768 • 288 pages • Delivery Format: Hard Copy - Paperback

Available from: Amazon (DE)Amazon (UK)Amazon (US)


From the Publisher

This book is about the mystery of why the whole is sometimes smarter than the sum of its parts.

Emergence is what happens when an interconnected system of relatively simple elements self-organizes to form more intelligent, more adaptive higher-level behavior. It’s a bottom-up model; rather than being engineered by a general or a master planner, emergence begins at the ground level. Systems that at first glance seem vastly different—ant colonies, human brains, cities, immune systems—all turn out to follow the rules of emergence. In each of these systems, agents residing on one scale start producing behavior that lies a scale above them: ants create colonies, urbanites create neighborhoods.

In the tradition of Being Digital and The Tipping Point, Steven Johnson, acclaimed as a “cultural critic with a poet’s heart” (The Village Voice), takes readers on an eye-opening intellectual journey from the discovery of emergence to its applications. He introduces us to our everyday surroundings, offering suprising examples of feedback, self-organization, and adaptive learning. How does a lively neighborhood evolve out of a disconnected association of shopkeepers, bartenders, and real estate developers? How does a media event take on a life of its own? How will new software programs create an intelligent World Wide Web?

Drawing upon evolutionary theory, urban studies, neuroscience, and computer games, Emergence is a guidebook to one of the key components of twenty-first-century culture. Until recently, Johnson explains, the disparate philosophers of emergence have worked to interpret the world. But today they are starting to change it. This book is the riveting story of that change and what it means for the future. If you’ve searched for information on the Web, played a recent video game, or accepted a collect call using voice recognition software, you’ve already encountered the new world of artificial emergence. Provocative, engaging, and sophisticated, Emergence puts you on the front lines of a sweeping revolution in science and thought.

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Book : Systems One : An Introduction to Systems Thinking (1980)

Systems One : An Introduction to Systems Thinking

Publisher:Future Systems Inc

Author(s):Kauffman, Draper L.

Published: 1980 • ISBN: 9996280519 • • Delivery Format: Hard Copy - Paperback

Available from: Amazon (US)Amazon (UK)Amazon (DE)


Draper Kauffman, in ‘Systems 1: An Introduction to Systems Thinking’ provides a list of 10 characteristics of, and 22 rules of thumb for the operation of complex systems. Complex System Characteristics

  • Self-Stabilizing
  • Goal-Seeking
  • Program-following
  • Self-Reprogramming
  • Anticipation
  • Environment Modifying
  • Self-Replicating
  • Self-Maintaining and Repairing
  • Self-Reorganizing
  • Self-Programming

Complex System Rules of Thumb

  • Everything is connected to everything else
  • You can never do just one thing
  • There is no “away.”
  • There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch
  • Nature knows best
  • If ain’t what you don’t know that hurts you; it’s what you DO know that ain’t so
  • “Obvious solutions” do more harm than good
  • Look for high leverage points
  • Nothing grows forever
  • Don’t fight positive feedback; support negative feedback instead
  • Don’t try to control the players, just change the rules
  • Don’t make rules that can’t be enforced
  • There are no simple solutions
  • Good intentions are not enough
  • High morality depends on accurate prophecy
  • If you can’t make people self-sufficient, your aid does more harm than good
  • There are no final answers
  • Every solution creates new problems
  • Loose systems are often better
  • Don’t be fooled by system cycles
  • Remember the Golden Mean
  • Beware the empty compromise
  • Don’t be a boiled frog
  • Watch our for thresholds
  • Competition is often cooperation in disguise
  • Bad boundaries make bad governments
  • Beware the Tragedy of the Commons
  • Foresight always wins in the long run.

This brief primer on ecological and societal systems was to have been the first in a series on systems thinking, but the rest of the series never materialized. Its easy vocabulary, creative cartoons, and use of white space make it a non-threatening place to begin learning about systems.


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Course : T306_1 Managing Complexity: A Systems Approach (2000)

T306_1 Managing Complexity: A Systems Approach

Publisher:The Open University


Published: 2000 • Delivery Format: Online (Internet)


Provided by The Open University under their OpenLearn website as a free study units with a discussion forum. Study independently at your own pace or join a group and use the free learning tools to work with others.

Time: 20 hours
Level: Advanced

From The Open University:

Do you need to change the way you think when faced with a complex situation? This unit examines how systemic thinking and practice enables you to cope with the connections between things, events and ideas. By taking a broader perspective complexity becomes manageable and it is easier to accept that gaps in knowledge can be acceptable.



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