"Society is complicated. But this book argues that this does not place it beyond the reach of a science that can help to explain and perhaps even to predict social behaviour. As a system made up of many interacting agents - people, groups, institutions and governments, as well as physical and technological structures such as roads and computer networks - society can be regarded as a complex system. In recent years, scientists have made great progress in understanding how such complex systems operate, ranging from animal populations to earthquakes and weather. These systems show behaviours that cannot be predicted or intuited by focusing on the individual components, but which emerge spontaneously as a consequence of their interactions: they are said to be 'self-organized'. Attempts to direct or manage such emergent properties generally reveal that 'top-down' approaches, which try to dictate a particular outcome, are ineffectual, and that what is needed instead is a 'bottom-up' approach that aims to guide self-organization towards desirable states. This book shows how some of these ideas from the science of complexity can be applied to the study and management of social phenomena, including traffic flow, economic markets, opinion formation and the growth and structure of cities. Building on these successes, the book argues that the complex-systems view of the social sciences has now matured sufficiently for it to be possible, desirable and perhaps essential to attempt a grander objective: to integrate these efforts into a unified scheme for studying, understanding and ultimately predicting what happens in the world we have made. Such a scheme would require the mobilization and collaboration of many different research communities, and would allow society and its interactions with the physical environment to be explored through realistic models and large-scale data collection and analysis. It should enable us to find new and effective solutions to major global problems such as conflict, disease, financial instability, environmental despoliation and poverty, while avoiding unintended policy consequences. It could give us the foresight to anticipate and ameliorate crises, and to begin tackling some of the most intractable problems of the twenty-first century."--Publisher's website.
Includes bibliographical references.
On the road: predicting traffic
Every move you make: patterns of crowd movement
Making your mind up: norms and decisions
Broken windows: the spread and control of crime
The social web: networks and their failures
Spreading it around: mobility, disease and epidemics
After the crash: economic and financial systems
Love thy neighbour: how to foster cooperation
Living cities: urban development as a complex system
The transformation of war: modelling modern conflict
New ways to promote sustainability and social well-being in a complex, strongly interdependent world: the FuturICT approach.
What is the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer?
The Tomatometer measures the percentage of Approved Tomatometer Critics who recommend a certain movie --
or the number of good reviews divided by the total number of reviews.
A good review is denoted by a FRESH tomato.
A bad review is denoted by a ROTTEN tomato.
In order for a movie to receive an overall rating of FRESH on Rotten Tomatoes, the reading on the Tomatometer for that movie must be at
least 60%. Otherwise, it is ROTTEN. The ratings and reviews are licensed by the Phoenix Public Library from Rotten Tomatoes. For more information,
please visit the Rotten Tomatoes website at www.rottentomatoes.com