- Paperback: 306 pages
- Publisher: Necsi Knowledge Pr; 1 edition (May 30, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0965632822
- ISBN-13: 978-0965632829
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Making Things Work: Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World 1st Edition
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Part I explains concepts central to complex systems, such as: parts, wholes and relationships; patterns; networks and collective memory; possibilities; and evolution. The second and major part of the book focuses on how we can apply complex systems ideas to help solve such major real-world challenges as: military warfare and conflict; health care (the system and errors); learning and the educational system; international development; enlightened evolutionary engineering; and global control, ethnic violence and terrorism. The first hurdle is to comprehend these problems using our knowledge of complex systems and then begin to address them using a complex systems framework.
The book is intellectually refreshing and bold. Its content is expansive, enlightening, and mind-stimulating.
For a more technical treatment, I'd recommend Yaneer's earlier book or better yet, take a course at NECSI.
Nevertheless, its final part on ethnic violence, terrorism and global conflicts is nothing but disappointing. Bar-Yam fails to look at one of the world's most complex and urgent problems with the same cold intelligence he applies to engineering design. Maybe still under the 9/11 trauma, he seems to see it as a problem of Muslims against Christians and only suggests that maybe we should maintain frontiers between "them" and "us". The solution has to be transparency and replicating the best traits of every culture. For instance, community values from Islam, for instance, respect to human rights from Western culture. But, if in a "war against terrorism" we agree to forget about human rights, what is left?