Books on Chaos Theory, Systems Theory, Complexity

recycle
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:40 pm

Books on Chaos Theory, Systems Theory, Complexity

Post by recycle »

I am interested in books on Chaos theory, Complex Systems, Cybernetics. I have been reading them for about 5 years now. I am especially interested in:

1. The history of these related ideas. How did people develop them? What kinds of conversations and research were involved?

2. Applications to social sciences. Like psychology (your emotions, thoughts, behaviors), and management sciences (the organization/society as a complex adaptive system).

I have a list of books that I've read and commented on here:

Books

But I am always looking for more suggestions. The search function on "Amazon" and "Google" is mainly how I find books, plus bibliographies in the backs of books and articles I read. But some of them I just stumbled upon, and I am sure there are other sources out there that I haven't found yet.

Plus, I am wondering if there are any discussion forums or groups out there for nontechnically-oriented people like myself to discuss some of the possible applications of thinking systemically at our comfort level.

I have looked at "yahoo" and "google" and "facebook" discussion groups but the only really active groups seem to be kind of technical.
recycle
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:40 pm

Books on Chaos Theory, Systems Theory, Complexity

Post by recycle »

I just got hold of a copy of Charles Francois' "International encyclopedia of systems and cybernetics", 1997 ed, from interlibrary loan all the way from frozen Minnesota (I live on the east coast of USA).

I am so stoked. This book has about 3,600 entries. It costs about $500 on Amazon. Blessings to the good folks up in Minnesota for releasing this.

When I get some of this stuff absorbed I will be "Rockin' the free world", as my good friend Neil Y. used to sing.

Also I got a copy of "An introduction to systems science" by John N. Warfield at George Mason U. What an awsome book. Also from Interlibrary loan, from the Columbia U. library in NYC. Thanks, guys.

How come I never heard about this stuff before?
recycle
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:40 pm

Books on Chaos Theory, Systems Theory, Complexity

Post by recycle »

One of the valuable (for me) aspects of the "adapting systems" approach (which implies hierachy) or the "hieirachical systems" approach (which implies adaptation) is that with it one may connect seemingly disparate events and thus make sense of it all.

I say this in the aftermath of the recent horrific events in Norway, in which scores of innocents were slaughtered for some person to make a "political statement". The event is so jarring that it really is disconcerting to view it in our packaged news cycle. After presenting the Norway tragedy the newscaster went on to weather and then sports and then entertainment and finally a nice human interest story to wind up the news cycle.

But the event is so appalling that without some explanation beyond "There are nut-cases out there" it was really hard to just segue to other events. How was this crime connected to weather, and to sports, and to arts, and politics?

In reading the newspaper or a weekly newsmagazine like "Time" or "Newsweek" one has similar disconnect. Car advertisements, sports, celebrity gossip, and mass murder are neatly packaged side by side. How does all this fit together?

One attempt to bring everything together is what I might call "religious fundamentalism"; to posit that all things and events are controlled/arranged/allowed by God/Allah/Jehovah/Dharma according to some master plan.

Another attempt is to use science. The Big Bang created a thermodynamic flow (entropy) which caused matter to "clump" into stars and planets and whatnot which somehow speeds the entropic rate; in turn some of those clumps (planets, e.g. Earth)rearranged matter under the energy bath and formed adapting, biotic agents, known as "life", some of which became specialists at using low-grade energy (communication) to increase thermodynamic depth. Voila, you have CNN Headline News, the Bolshoi Ballet, and so forth.

I know this is a rather truncated version, but in a sense all human behavior, for all its variety, is under various scientific "laws" just as much as are comets and quasars.

The interesting thing, for me, beyond merely making cocktail conversation, is that low-grade energy arranged into information suddenly makes sense. So Santa Claus and the Beatles at Shea Stadium and MLK's "I have a dream" speech all fit with daffodils and rivers and clouds. Energy formed into information increases, ultimately, the dissipation of energy.

And also that's why people who talk usually make more money than people who do, i.e. work. Symbolic manipulators are ultimately responsible for more energy being dissipated than are the laborers. So in the aftermath of some horriffic event such as what happened in Norway, or the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, or the 2005 hurricane Katrina, the symbolic manipulators frantically manipulate symbols, and the pontificators energetically pontificate and the bloviators furiously bloviate.
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chonsigirl
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Books on Chaos Theory, Systems Theory, Complexity

Post by chonsigirl »

recycle;1347214 wrote: I am interested in books on Chaos theory, Complex Systems


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