Complexity Explained

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Springer Science & Business Media, 2007 M11 9 - 397 páginas
This book is, of course about complexity. The title of the book, as you may recognize was motivated (excuse me for using this very mild expression) by Daniel Dennett’s Consciousness Explained [130]. Dennett’s intention was to explain consciousness as the emergent product of the interaction among c- stituents having physical and neural character. The goal of this book is to explain how various types of complexity emerge due to the interaction among constituents. There are many questions to be answered, how to understand, control, decompose, manage, predict the many-faced complexity. After tea- ing thissubjectforseveralyearsIfeelthatthe time hascome toputthe whole story together. The term “complex system” is a buzzword, but we certainly don’t have a single de?nition for it. There are several predominant features of compl- ity. Complex processes may show unpredictable behavior (which we still try to predict somehow), may lead to uncontrolled explosion (such in case of epilepsy, earthquake eruptions or stock market crashes). One of the char- teristic feature of simple systems is, that there is a single cause which implies a single e?ect. For large class of complex systems it is true that e?ects are fed back to modify causes. Biological cells belong to this class. Furthermore they are open to material, energetic and information ?ow by interaction with their environment, still they are organizationallyclosed units. Another aspect of complexity is the question how collective phenomena emerge by some se- organized mechanisms.

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Contenido

The Intellectual Landscape
1
History of Complex Systems Research 2 1 Reductionist Success Stories Versus the Importance
25
From the Clockwork World View to Irreversibility
56
The Dynamic World View in Action
109
Deductive Versus Inductive 165
164
From Symmetric to Asymmetric
185
7
200
Structure Function
237
From Models to Decision Making 305
304
How Many Cultures We Have?
353
References
365
Index 393
392
Derechos de autor

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Página 74 - Sir Isaac Newton, and his followers, have also a very odd opinion concerning the work of God. According to their doctrine, God Almighty wants to wind up his watch from time to time: otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion.
Página 2 - There once were two watchmakers, named Hora and Tempus, who manufactured very fine watches. Both of them were highly regarded, and the phones in their workshops rang frequently new customers were constantly calling them. However, Hora prospered, while Tempus became poorer and poorer and finally lost his shop. What was the reason? The watches the men made consisted of about 1,000 parts each. Tempus had so constructed his that if he had one partly assembled and had to put it down - to answer the phone,...
Página 2 - The better the customers liked his watches, the more they phoned him, the more difficult it became for him to find enough uninterrupted time to finish a watch. The watches that Hora made were no less complex than those of Tempus. But he had designed them so that he could put together subassemblies of about ten elements each.
Página 2 - The watches that Hora made were no less complex than those of Tempus. But he had designed them so that he could put together subassemblies of about ten elements each. Ten of these subassemblies again, could be put together into a larger subassembly; and a system of ten of the latter subassemblies constituted the whole watch. Hence, when Hora had to put down a partly assembled watch in order to answer the phone, he lost only a small part of his work, and he assembled his watches in only a fraction...
Página 37 - Bertalanffy (1969), who summed up its aims in reference to the following points: (1) There is a general tendency towards integration in the various sciences, natural and social. (2) Such integration seems to be centered in a general theory of systems. (3) Such theory may be an important means for aiming at exact theory in the nonphysical fields of science. (4) Developing unifying principles running ''vertically...
Página 74 - ... and his followers, have also a very odd opinion concerning the work of God. According to their doctrine, God Almighty wants to wind up his watch from time to time: otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion. Nay, the machine of God's making, is so imperfect, according to these gentlemen; that he is obliged to clean it now and then by an extraordinary concourse, and even to mend it, as a clockmaker mends his work...
Página 37 - Developing unifying principles running ''vertically" through the universe of the individual sciences, this theory brings us nearer to the goal of the unity of science.

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