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An internationally renowned scientist who fears she’s taken one scientific risk too many; a distinguished archaeologist who’s haunted by taking too few; a world famous financier who’s lost everything except his money; an art gallery owner with a heartbreaking burden; a fugitive filmmaker; the head of a battered women’s shelter—these are some of the people who find themselves at the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail at the end of the 20th century. Chance has brought them from all over to beautiful, legendary Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they shape, illuminate, and even deform each other’s lives unexpectedly, as if on the very edge of chaos. This edge of chaos, a scientific term for that slender territory between frozen predictability and hopeless disorder, is a dangerously unstable place. Learning and change can only happen there, but always under threat of sliding back to frozen order—or over into the chaotic abyss. And Santa Fe’s sons and daughters, even now, keep a precarious foothold on “The Edge of Chaos,” bringing their own pasts and their city’s rich history into an uncertain but exhilarating future. PAMELA McCORDUCK has published eight other books, translated into most of the major European and Asian languages. She has written for magazines ranging from “Redbook” and “Cosmopolitan” to “Daedalus,” and was a contributing editor to “Wired.” She was a board member and officer of the American PEN Center in New York, the authors’ organization, and an officer of the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She has appeared on many television shows, including PBS’s News Hour and the CBS Evening News. CNN based a two-part documentary on her book, “The Futures of Women.”
Explore the unexplored - enter The Wilds of the Forgotten Realms(R)! On the border of a dangerous, magically unstable area called the Plaguewrought Lands, the leader of a cult seeking the spread of this wild magic and an alchemist who wants to control it join forces and create an elixir that allows pilgrims to survive the Plaguewrought Lands. But only one can succeed. A young man with strange powers and a priestess of the god of death will help determine who.
A look at the rebellious thinkers who are challenging old ideas with their insights into the ways countless elements of complex systems interact to produce spontaneous order out of confusion
Many agree that the foreign aid system - which today involves virtually every nation on earth - needs drastic change. But there is much conflict as to what should be done. In Aid on the Edge of Chaos, Ben Ramalingam argues that what is most needed is the creative and innovative transformation of how aid works. Foreign aid today is dominated by linear, mechanistic ideas that emerged from early twentieth century industry, and are ill-suited to the world we face today. The problems and systems aid agencies deal with on a daily basis have more in common with ecosystems than machines: they are interconnected, diverse, and dynamic; they cannot be just simply re-engineered or fixed. Outside of aid, social scientists, economists, business leaders, and policy makers have started applying innovative and scientific approaches to such problems, informed by ideas from the 'new science' of complex adaptive systems. Inspired by these efforts, aid practitioners and researchers have started experimenting with such approaches in their own work. This book showcases the experiences, insights, and often remarkable results of innovative thinkers and practitioners who are working to bring these approaches into the mainstream of aid. From transforming child malnutrition to rethinking economic growth, from building peace to reversing desertification, from rural Vietnam to urban Kenya, the ideas of complex systems thinking are starting to be used to make foreign aid more relevant, more appropriate, and more catalytic. Aid on the Edge of Chaos argues that such ideas and approaches should play a vital part of the transformation of aid. Aid should move from being an imperfect post-World War II global resource transfer system, to a new form of global cooperation that is truly fit for the twenty-first century.
Cyber-warfare: the kind that brings nations to their knees, switching off energy lifelines, crippling the financial markets, starving leaders of authority. An old Russian nuclear reactor goes into Chernobyl-style meltdown while, on the other side of the world, the US Eastern Seaboard is plunged into darkness. No one knows - yet - who is responsible for the chaos. Hidden from view of the rest of the world, an extraordinary meeting of the US President, the Russian President and the British Prime Minister is about to take place. They have the weekend to save the world - and they must do it alone. Something serious is going on in Beijing. Military manoeuvres. Troops on the streets. It's as though the Chinese are preparing for the final thrust against their old enemies, bringing them to their knees in a war that will see not a single shot being fired.
Life appears ungraspable, yet its understanding lies at the heart of current preoccupations. In our attempt to understand life through its origins, the ambition of the present collection is to unravel the network of the origin of the various spheres of sense that carry it onwards. The primogenital matrix of generation (Tymieniecka), elaborated as the fulcrum of this collection, elucidates the main riddles of the scientific / philosophical controversies concerning the status of various spheres that seek to make sense of life.
Every few years a book changes the way people think about a field. In psychology there is Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence. In science, James Gleick's Chaos. In economics and finance, Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street. And in business there is now Surfing the Edge of Chaos by Richard T. Pascale, Mark Millemann, and Linda Gioja. Surfing the Edge of Chaos is a brilliant, powerful, and practical book about the parallels between business and nature -- two fields that feature nonstop battles between the forces of tradition and the forces of transformation. It offers a bold new way of thinking about and responding to the personal and strategic challenges everyone in business faces these days. Pascale, Millemann, and Gioja argue that because every business is a living system (not just as metaphor but in reality), the four cornerstone principles of the life sciences are just as true for organizations as they are for species. These principles are: Equilibrium is death. Innovation usually takes place on the edge of chaos. Self-organization and emergence occur naturally. Organizations can only be disturbed, not directed. Using intriguing, in-depth case studies (Sears Roebuck, Monsanto, Royal Dutch Shell, the U.S. Army, British Petroleum, Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems), Surfing the Edge of Chaos shows that in business, as in nature, there are no permanent winners. There are just companies and species that either react to change and evolve, or get left behind and become extinct. Some examples: Parallels between Yellowstone National Park and Sears show why equilibrium is a dangerous place in both nature and business. How Monsanto used a "strange attractor" to move to the edge of chaos to alter its identity and transform its culture. The unlikely story of how the U.S. Army embraced the ideas of self-organization and emergence. Why the misapplication of linear logic (reengineering a business or attempting to eradicate predators in nature) will inevitably fail. The stories in Surfing the Edge of Chaos are of pioneering efforts that show how the principles of living systems produce bottom-line impact and profound transformational change. What's really striking about them, though, is their reality. They are about success and failure, breakthroughs and dead-ends. In short, they are like the business you are in and the challenges you face.

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