Scale

Scale Author Geoffrey West
ISBN-10 9781101621509
Year 2017-05-16
Pages 496
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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From one of the most influential scientists of our time, a dazzling exploration of the hidden laws that govern the life cycle of everything from plants and animals to the cities we live in. Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. The term “complexity” can be misleading, however, because what makes West’s discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities and our businesses. Fascinated by aging and mortality, West applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer. The result was astonishing, and changed science: West found that despite the riotous diversity in mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other. If you know the size of a mammal, you can use scaling laws to learn everything from how much food it eats per day, what its heart-rate is, how long it will take to mature, its lifespan, and so on. Furthermore, the efficiency of the mammal’s circulatory systems scales up precisely based on weight: if you compare a mouse, a human and an elephant on a logarithmic graph, you find with every doubling of average weight, a species gets 25% more efficient—and lives 25% longer. Fundamentally, he has proven, the issue has to do with the fractal geometry of the networks that supply energy and remove waste from the organism’s body. West’s work has been game-changing for biologists, but then he made the even bolder move of exploring his work’s applicability. Cities, too, are constellations of networks and laws of scalability relate with eerie precision to them. Recently, West has applied his revolutionary work to the business world. This investigation has led to powerful insights into why some companies thrive while others fail. The implications of these discoveries are far-reaching, and are just beginning to be explored. Scale is a thrilling scientific adventure story about the elemental natural laws that bind us together in simple but profound ways. Through the brilliant mind of Geoffrey West, we can envision how cities, companies and biological life alike are dancing to the same simple, powerful tune. Scale makes a great Father's Day gift!

Scale

Scale Author Geoffrey West
ISBN-10 9780297869665
Year 2017-05-18
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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Geoffrey West's research centres on a quest to find unifying principles and patterns connecting everything, from cells and ecosystems to cities, social networks and businesses. 'An absolutely riveting read . . . groundbreaking' Marcus du Sautoy 'This book will expand your thinking from three dimensions to four' Nassim Nicholas Taleb 'Scale is a firework display of popular science' Niall Ferguson 'This is an important and original book, of immense scope' Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal Scale addresses big, urgent questions about global sustainability, population explosion, urbanization, ageing, cancer, human lifespans and the increasing pace of life, but also encourages us to question the world around us. Why can we live for 120 years but not for a thousand? Why does the pace of life continually increase? Why do mice live for just two or three years and elephants for up to 75? Why do companies behave like mice, and are they all destined to die? Do cities, companies and human beings have natural, pre-determined lifespans? Are we just a fascinating experiment in natural selection that is ultimately doomed to fail? And what is the origin of the magic number 4 that seems to determine much of physiology and life-history from birth to death?

Scale

Scale Author Geoffrey West
ISBN-10 9781594205583
Year 2017-05-16
Pages 496
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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"From one of the most influential scientists of our time, a dazzling exploration of the hidden laws that govern the life cycle of everything from plants and animals to the cities we live in. The former head of the Sante Fe Institute, visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. The term "complexity" can be misleading, however, because what makes West's discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities and our businesses. Fascinated by issues of aging and mortality, West applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer. The result was astonishing, and changed science, creating a new understanding of energy use and metabolism: West found that despite the riotous diversity in the sizes of mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other. If you know the size of a mammal, you can use scaling laws to learn everything from how much food it eats per day, what its heart-rate is, how long it will take to mature, its lifespan, and so on. Furthermore, the efficiency of the mammal's circulatory systems scales up precisely based on weight: if you compare a mouse, a human and an elephant on a logarithmic graph, you find with every doubling of average weight, a species gets 25% more efficient--and lives 25% longer. This speaks to everything from how long we can expect to live to how many hours of sleep we need. Fundamentally, he has proven, the issue has to do with the fractal geometry of the networks that supply energy and remove waste from the organism's body"--

The Broken Dice and Other Mathematical Tales of Chance

The Broken Dice  and Other Mathematical Tales of Chance Author Ivar Ekeland
ISBN-10 0226199924
Year 1996-06-15
Pages 190
Language en
Publisher University of Chicago Press
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Ivar Ekeland extends his consideration of the catastrophe theory of the universe begun in his widely acclaimed Mathematics and the Unexpected, by drawing on rich literary sources, particularly the Norse saga of Saint Olaf, and such current topics as chaos theory, information theory, and particle physics. "Ivar Ekeland gained a large and enthusiastic following with Mathematics and the Unexpected, a brilliant and charming exposition of fundamental new discoveries in the theory of dynamical systems. The Broken Dice continues the same theme, and in the same elegant, seemingly effortless style, but focuses more closely on the implications of those discoveries for the rest of human culture. What are chance and probability? How has our thinking about them been changed by the discovery of chaos? What are all of these concepts good for? . . . Ah, but, I mustn't give the game away, any more than I should if I were reviewing a detective novel. And this is just as gripping a tale. . . . Beg, borrow, or preferably buy a copy. . . . I guarantee you won't be disappointed."—Ian Stewart, Science

The Improbability Principle

The Improbability Principle Author David J. Hand
ISBN-10 9780374711399
Year 2014-02-11
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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In The Improbability Principle, the renowned statistician David J. Hand argues that extraordinarily rare events are anything but. In fact, they're commonplace. Not only that, we should all expect to experience a miracle roughly once every month. But Hand is no believer in superstitions, prophecies, or the paranormal. His definition of "miracle" is thoroughly rational. No mystical or supernatural explanation is necessary to understand why someone is lucky enough to win the lottery twice, or is destined to be hit by lightning three times and still survive. All we need, Hand argues, is a firm grounding in a powerful set of laws: the laws of inevitability, of truly large numbers, of selection, of the probability lever, and of near enough. Together, these constitute Hand's groundbreaking Improbability Principle. And together, they explain why we should not be so surprised to bump into a friend in a foreign country, or to come across the same unfamiliar word four times in one day. Hand wrestles with seemingly less explicable questions as well: what the Bible and Shakespeare have in common, why financial crashes are par for the course, and why lightning does strike the same place (and the same person) twice. Along the way, he teaches us how to use the Improbability Principle in our own lives—including how to cash in at a casino and how to recognize when a medicine is truly effective. An irresistible adventure into the laws behind "chance" moments and a trusty guide for understanding the world and universe we live in, The Improbability Principle will transform how you think about serendipity and luck, whether it's in the world of business and finance or you're merely sitting in your backyard, tossing a ball into the air and wondering where it will land.

Curve Ball

Curve Ball Author Jim Albert
ISBN-10 9780387215129
Year 2007-11-23
Pages 350
Language en
Publisher Springer Science & Business Media
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A look at baseball data from a statistical modeling perspective! There is a fascination among baseball fans and the media to collect data on every imaginable event during a baseball game and this book addresses a number of questions that are of interest to many baseball fans. These include how to rate players, predict the outcome of a game or the attainment of an achievement, making sense of situational data, and deciding the most valuable players in the World Series. Aimed at a general audience, the text does not assume any prior background in probability or statistics, although a knowledge of high school abgebra will be helpful.

The End of Theory

The End of Theory Author Richard Bookstaber
ISBN-10 9781400884964
Year 2017-04-17
Pages 240
Language en
Publisher Princeton University Press
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An in-depth look at how to account for the human complexities at the heart of today's financial system Our economy may have recovered from the Great Recession—but not our economics. In The End of Theory, Richard Bookstaber discusses why the human condition and the radical uncertainty of our world renders the standard economic model—and the theory behind it—useless for dealing with financial crises. What model should replace it? None. At least not any version we've been using for the past two hundred years. Instead, Bookstaber argues for a new approach called agent-based economics, one that takes as a starting point the fact that we are humans, not the optimizing automatons that standard economics assumes we are. Bookstaber's groundbreaking paradigm promises to do a far better job at preventing crises and managing those that break out. As he explains, our varied memories and imaginations color our economic behavior in unexpected hues. Agent-based modeling embraces these nuances by avoiding the mechanistic, unrealistic structure of our current economic approach. Bookstaber tackles issues such as radical uncertainty, when circumstances take place beyond our anticipation, and emergence, when innocent, everyday interactions combine to create sudden chaos. Starting with the realization that future crises cannot be predicted by the past, he proposes an approach that recognizes the human narrative while addressing market realities. Sweeping aside the historic failure of twentieth-century economics, The End of Theory offers a novel and innovative perspective, along with a more realistic and human framework, to help prevent today's financial system from blowing up again.

Struck By Lightning

Struck By Lightning Author Jeffrey S. Rosenthal
ISBN-10 9781443401678
Year 2010-08-01
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher HarperCollins Canada
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From lotteries, opinion polls and insurance to worries about murder rates, natural disasters and terrorism, probability plays a major part in our everyday lives—a part that is frequently and needlessly misunderstood. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, a math professor and improvisational comedian, comes to the rescue with this irreverent, bestselling exploration of the odds and oddities of randomness. Looking at such familiar topics as poker hands, e-mail spam, political elections and game shows, Struck by Lightning puts probability into perspective and has fun along the way.

Behave

Behave Author Robert M. Sapolsky
ISBN-10 9780735222786
Year 2017-05-02
Pages 800
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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Why do we do the things we do? Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its genetic inheritance. And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. What goes on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happens? Then he pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell triggers the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones act hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli which trigger the nervous system? By now, he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened. Sapolsky keeps going--next to what features of the environment affected that person's brain, and then back to the childhood of the individual, and then to their genetic makeup. Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than that one individual. How culture has shaped that individual's group, what ecological factors helped shape that culture, and on and on, back to evolutionary factors thousands and even millions of years old. The result is one of the most dazzling tours de horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.

A Crude Look at the Whole

A Crude Look at the Whole Author John H. Miller
ISBN-10 9780465073863
Year 2016-01-05
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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Imagine trying to understand a stained glass window by breaking it into pieces and examining it one shard at a time. While you could probably learn a lot about each piece, you would have no idea about what the entire picture looks like. This is reductionism—the idea that to understand the world we only need to study its pieces—and it is how most social scientists approach their work. In A Crude Look at the Whole, social scientist and economist John H. Miller shows why we need to start looking at whole pictures. For one thing, whether we are talking about stock markets, computer networks, or biological organisms, individual parts only make sense when we remember that they are part of larger wholes. And perhaps more importantly, those wholes can take on behaviors that are strikingly different from that of their pieces. Miller, a leading expert in the computational study of complex adaptive systems, reveals astounding global patterns linking the organization of otherwise radically different structures: It might seem crude, but a beehive's temperature control system can help predict market fluctuations and a mammal's heartbeat can help us understand the “heartbeat” of a city and adapt urban planning accordingly. From enduring racial segregation to sudden stock market disasters, once we start drawing links between complex systems, we can start solving what otherwise might be totally intractable problems. Thanks to this revolutionary perspective, we can finally transcend the limits of reductionism and discover crucial new ideas. Scientifically founded and beautifully written, A Crude Look at the Whole is a powerful exploration of the challenges that we face as a society. As it reveals, taking the crude look might be the only way to truly see.

The Water Kingdom

The Water Kingdom Author Philip Ball
ISBN-10 9780226369204
Year 2017-05-05
Pages 349
Language en
Publisher University of Chicago Press
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In The Water Kingdom popular science writer Philip Ball navigates the turbulent and often confusing currents of Chinese history and culture by tracing peoples' relationships with water, from pre-historical founding myths to today. Water has been an enduring metaphor for philosophical thought and artistic expression in China, and from the Han emperors to Mao, the ability to manage water became a barometer of political legitimacy. Attempts at controlling China's vast waterways has involved engineering works on a scale unmatched the world over - for better or worse. Yet the strain that economic growth is putting on the country's water resources today may be the greatest threat to China's future. In characteristic style, Ball delivers an original portrait and as yet unseen cultural history of a country that becomes easier to understand when water is brought to the table.

Burn Out

Burn Out Author Dieter Helm
ISBN-10 9780300225624
Year 2017
Pages 304
Language en
Publisher Yale University Press
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An energy revolution is under way with far-reaching consequences for nations, companies, and the way we address climate change Low oil prices are sending shockwaves through the global economy, and longtime industry observer Dieter Helm explains how this and other shifts are the harbingers of a coming energy revolution and how the fossil fuel age will come to an end. Surveying recent surges in technological innovations, Helm's provocative new book documents how the global move toward the internet-of-things will inexorably reduce the demand for oil, gas, and renewables--and prove more effective than current efforts to avert climate change. Oil companies and energy utilities must begin to adapt their existing business models or face future irrelevancy. Oil-exporting nations, particularly in the Middle East, will be negatively impacted, whereas the United States and European countries that are investing in new technologies may find themselves leaders in the geopolitical game. Timely and controversial, this book concludes by offering advice on what governments and businesses can and should do now to prepare for a radically different energy future.

The Great Unknown

The Great Unknown Author Marcus du Sautoy
ISBN-10 9780735221819
Year 2017-04-11
Pages 464
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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“Brilliant and fascinating. No one is better at making the recondite accessible and exciting.” —Bill Bryson A captivating journey to the outer reaches of human knowledge Ever since the dawn of civilization we have been driven by a desire to know. But are there limits to human knowledge? Are some things beyond the predictive powers of science and the capacities of the human brain? Or are those challenges the next big discovery waiting to happen? In The Great Unknown, one of the world’s most brilliant mathematicians takes us into the minds of science’s greatest innovators as he probes the many mysteries we have yet to solve. From the very large to the very small, from the distant future to the deep past, from the complexities of the human brain to the infinities of mathematics, Marcus du Sautoy invites us to join him on a journey to the seven frontiers of knowledge, the outer edges where scientists are actively grappling with the unknown. Can we locate consciousness in the brain? What is dark energy made of? Can we speak of time before the Big Bang? Is it possible to predict the future? At once exhilarating and mind bending, The Great Unknown will challenge you to think in new ways about every aspect of the known world. Du Sautoy reminds us that major breakthroughs were often ridiculed at the time of their discovery and invites us to consider big questions—about who we are and the nature of God—that even the most creative scientists have yet to answer definitively.

Lone Eagle

Lone Eagle Author Danielle Steel
ISBN-10 9781409093008
Year 2009-12-01
Pages 496
Language en
Publisher Random House
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It is Christmas, 1940, and Kate is making her debut in New York society. Joe, the brilliant protégé of Charles Lindbergh, seems just out of her reach. As the months pass, they meet again, and although Kate goes off to university and Joe skyrockets to fame in modern aviation, he is always drawn back to her, as a moth to a flame. When the war is over Kate wants a marriage and family - while Joe wants the world. Unwilling to wait any longer, Kate moves on with her life. But when a chance encounter brings them together again, the time has come to make a choice, one that will have profound consequences for the rest of their lives... Lone Eagle is a novel of extraordinary grace and compassion from a master storyteller.

Just Six Numbers

Just Six Numbers Author Martin Rees
ISBN-10 9781780227757
Year 2014-03-20
Pages 208
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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Astronomer Royal Martin Rees shows how the behaviour and origins of the universe can be explained by just six numbers. How did a single genesis event create billions of galaxies, black holes, stars and planets? How did atoms assemble - here on Earth, and perhaps on other worlds - into living beings intricate enough to ponder their origins? This book describes the recent avalanche of discoveries about the universe's fundamental laws, and the deep connections that exist between stars and atoms - the cosmos and the microscopic world. Just six numbers, imprinted in the big bang, determine the essence of our world, and this book devotes one chapter to explaining each.