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"You don't understand the software running your car or your iPhone. But here's a secret: neither do the geniuses at Apple or the Ph. D.'s at Toyota--not perfectly, anyway. No one, not accountants, engineers, or doctors, fully grasps the rules governing your tax return, your internet connection, or your hospital's medical machinery. The same technological advances that have simplified our lives have made the systems governing our lives incomprehensible, unpredictable, and overcomplicated. Complexity scientist Samuel Arbesman offers a fresh, insightful field guide to living with complex technologies that defy human comprehension. As technology grows more complex, Arbesman argues, its behavior mimics the vagaries of the natural world more than it conforms to a mathematical model. If we are to survive and thrive in this new age, we must abandon our need for governing principles and rules and accept the chaos. We will become better thinkers, scientists, and innovators as a result. Lucid and energizing, this book is a vital new analysis of the world heralded as "modern" for anyone who wants to live wisely."--Back cover.
Why did the New York Stock Exchange suspend trading without warning on July 8, 2015? Why did certain Toyota vehicles accelerate uncontrollably against the will of their drivers? Why does the programming inside our airplanes occasionally surprise its creators? After a thorough analysis by the top experts, the answers still elude us. You don’t understand the software running your car or your iPhone. But here’s a secret: neither do the geniuses at Apple or the Ph.D.’s at Toyota—not perfectly, anyway. No one, not lawyers, doctors, accountants, or policy makers, fully grasps the rules governing your tax return, your retirement account, or your hospital’s medical machinery. The same technological advances that have simplified our lives have made the systems governing our lives incomprehensible, unpredictable, and overcomplicated. In Overcomplicated, complexity scientist Samuel Arbesman offers a fresh, insightful field guide to living with complex technologies that defy human comprehension. As technology grows more complex, Arbesman argues, its behavior mimics the vagaries of the natural world more than it conforms to a mathematical model. If we are to survive and thrive in this new age, we must abandon our need for governing principles and rules and accept the chaos. By embracing and observing the freak accidents and flukes that disrupt our lives, we can gain valuable clues about how our algorithms really work. What’s more, we will become better thinkers, scientists, and innovators as a result. Lucid and energizing, this book is a vital new analysis of the world heralded as "modern" for anyone who wants to live wisely.
A scientometrics expert analyzes the changing nature of factual information to explain how knowledge in most fields evolves in systematic and predictable ways that, if properly understood, can be powerful tools for training and professional improvement.
The Dark Side of Technology is aimed at a mass market of intelligent people who are concerned about human progress, interested or amused by many of the unexpected consequences of technological advance, and probably unaware of the dangers which we are accruing for ourselves. Although the book spans a very wide spectrum of ideas, no previous scientific knowledge is required. Other books have focussed on different topic areas, but none have previously presented thegenerality of the patterns across medicine to agriculture, electronics, communications, a global economy and a burgeoning population. Technology invariably advances faster than our understanding of sideeffects, or our realisation that we have become vulnerable to natural events that could eliminate advanced nations, nor that mutagenic changes may not be apparent for one or two generations. This is therefore both an alarm call and a guide to survival.
Examines the user experience in the economic, sociological, and environmental movement to create sustainable products, and provides a framework for designing sustainable hardware, software, and packaging.
An argument for retaining the notion of personal property in the products we "buy" in the digital marketplace.
Climate change is a major topic of concern today, scientifically, socially, and politically. It will undoubtedly continue to be so for the foreseeable future, as predicted changes in global temperatures, rainfall, and sea level take place, and as human society adapts to these changes. In this remarkable new work, Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams demonstrate how the Earth's climate has continuously altered over its 4.5 billion-year history. The story can be read from clues preserved in the Earth's strata - the evidence is abundant, though always incomplete, and also often baffling, puzzling, infuriating, tantalizing, seemingly contradictory. Geologists, though, are becoming ever more ingenious at interrogating this evidence, and the story of the Earth's climate is now being reconstructed in ever-greater detail - maybe even providing us with clues to the future of contemporary climate change. The history is dramatic and often abrupt. Changes in global and regional climate range from bitterly cold to sweltering hot, from arid to humid, and they have impacted hugely upon the planet's evolving animal and plant communities, and upon its physical landscapes of the Earth. And yet, through all of this, the Earth has remained consistently habitable for life for over three billion years - in stark contrast to its planetary neighbours. Not too hot, not too cold; not too dry, not too wet, it is aptly known as 'the Goldilocks planet'.

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