By Mark Buchanan
As Chaos defined the technological know-how of affliction, Nexus finds the recent technological know-how of connection and the strange common sense of six levels of separation.
"If you ever desired to know the way many hyperlinks attach you and the Pope, or why whilst the U.S. Federal Reserve financial institution sneezes the worldwide economic climate catches chilly, learn this book," writes John L. Casti (Santa Fe Institute). This "cogent and interesting" (Nature) paintings provides the basic rules of the rising box of "small-worlds" theory—the concept that a hidden trend is the most important to how networks engage and alternate info, even if that community is the data street or the firing of neurons within the mind. Mathematicians, physicists, desktop scientists, and social scientists are operating to decipher this advanced organizational method, for it could possibly yield a blueprint of dynamic interactions inside of our actual in addition to social worlds.
Highlighting groundbreaking study in the back of community conception, "Mark Buchanan's sleek, lucid, nontechnical and exciting prose" (Mark Granovetter) records the mounting help between numerous disciplines for the small-worlds inspiration and demonstrates its sensible purposes to diversified problems—from the risky worldwide economic system or the Human Genome venture to the unfold of infectious ailment or ecological harm. Nexus is a thrilling creation to the hidden geometry that weaves our lives so inextricably jointly.
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Extra resources for Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Theory of Networks
Fundamental insights into these questions tumble straight out of the networks perspective, as do some tips on how business firms might organize their management networks so as to take advantage of the same principles of efficient design. The small-world networks first discovered by Duncan Watts and Steve Strogatz, as well as other kinds of networks that are close relatives, appear to be pervasive in both nature and human society. The World Wide Web now has well over one billion pages, and yet it does not take forever to get from one to another—a few clicks usually suffice, for the very same reason that it takes only six handshakes to go between any two people on our planet.
The Tangled Web 10. Tipping Points 11. Breaking Out, Small-World Style 12. Laws for the Living 13. Beyond Coincidence Notes ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am grateful to the many scientists who have generously supplied me with figures, data, or useful bits of information crucial to the writing of this book. My thanks go out especially to Duncan Watts, Steve Strogatz, Thomas Blass, Mark Granovetter, Albert-László Barabási, Hawoong Jeong, Jack Scannell, Harry Swinney, Nebojša Nakícenovíc, Luís Amaral, Gene Stanley, Peter Yodzis, Gennady Gorelik, John Potterat, Alden Klovdahl, William Darrow, Alessandro Vespignani, Paul Meakin, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Marc Mézard, Hal Cheswick, Daniel Goldman, David Lavigne, Valeri Makarov, Manuel Velarde, Bill Krantz, Nigel Gilbert, Klaus Troitzsch, Brad Werner, and Mark Kessler.
Fortunately, perhaps almost miraculously, a theory along these lines now seems to be coming into view. LAWS OF FORM THE STUDY OF networks is part of the general area of science known as complexity theory. In an abstract sense, any collection of interacting parts—from atoms and molecules to bacteria, pedestrians, traders on a stock market floor, and even nations—represents a kind of substance. Regardless of what it is made of, that substance satisfies certain laws of form, the discovery of which is the aim of complexity theory.
Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Theory of Networks by Mark Buchanan