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• Complex Systems Publications
The proceedings of the First ICCS is available from Perseus Press through bookstores and on-line (at e.g. amazon.com).
Unifying Themes in Complex Systems: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Complex Systems
(ICCS, Hosted by NECSI)
The integration of ideas and methods from many disciplines into the study of complex systems has recently generated excitement in the scientific community and among the general public about the possibilities this new field holds. Armed with the knowledge that real-world events and actions have multiple causes and consequences, and that order and structure exist at many different scales of time, space and organization, scientists are coming up with new ways to address questions about the world that cannot be answered by focusing on individual forces or parts.
As this volume of proceedings for the widely-acclaimed first International Conference on Complex Systems shows, the study of complex systems holds extraordinary promise for topics in physical, biological and social systems, from meteorology to individual psychology, from the dynamics of social and economic change to the human genome. Unifying Themes in Complex Systems creates a common foundation, knowledge base, language, and context for the discipline that is essential to the growth of the field.
A book by NECSI co-faculty John Sterman (J. Spencer Standish Professor of Management at MIT Director, MIT System Dynamics Group) is just out. The details are:
Sterman, John (2000) Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World
From the preface:
This book introduces you to system dynamics modeling for the analysis of policy and strategy, with a focus on business and public policy applications. System dynamics is a perspective and set of conceptual tools that enable us to understand the structure and dynamics of complex systems. System dynamics is also a rigorous modeling method that enables us to build formal computer simulations of complex systems and use them to design more effective policies and organizations. Together, these tools allow us to create management flight simulators—microworlds where space and time can be compressed and slowed so we can experience the long-term side effects of decisions, speed learning, develop our understanding of complex systems, and design structures and strategies for greater success.
A preprint is available:
“Formalizing the gene centered view of evolution.”
Y. Bar-Yam, New England Complex Systems Institute.
Advances in Complex Systems (in press).
A historical dispute in the conceptual underpinnings of evolution is the validity of the gene centered view of evolution (Dawkins, Lewontin). We transcend this debate by formalizing the gene centered view as a dynamic version of the mean field approximation. This establishes the conditions under which it is applicable and when it is not. In particular, it breaks down for trait divergence which corresponds to symmetry breaking in evolving populations.
• Narralogues: Truth in Fiction
Ronald Sukenick’s new book, Narralogues: Truth in Fiction, has just been published by SUNY Press.
In Narralogues, Ronald Sukenick continues his important and original contributions to the cutting edge of contemporary fiction. Here he proposes fiction as a medium for telling the truth, while recognizing that the implicit contradiction in these terms is more than cheap paradox. The Narralogues, simultaneously narrative and argument, story and rhetorical pleading, exemplify and argue fiction as persuasion in a sequence that moves from Socratic dialogue to outright narrative, using throughout all the traditional techniques of fiction, from comedy and irony to suspense and the erotic.
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