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Complex Systems

Environmental Disturbance and the Emergence of Tropical Disease: Lessons From the Gold Fields of Ghana

Mario Machado | Posted 11.29.2014 | World
Mario Machado

The wealth contained within this land does not belong to those that live and work it, but to those with the might to control it.

Peculiar Books Reviewed: Grigori Medvedev's "The Truth About Chernobyl"

Brian Troutwine | Posted 11.05.2014 | Huffpost Code
Brian Troutwine

Let me tell you a joke. It's not a very funny, I'm afraid, but such were the jokes of the Liquidators, the soldiers and volunteers tasked with the cleanup of the Chernobyl Disaster.

Peculiar Books Reviewed: Henry S. F. Cooper Jr.'s "Thirteen: The Apollo Flight that Failed"

Brian Troutwine | Posted 10.01.2014 | Huffpost Code
Brian Troutwine

In the first Peculiar Books Reviewed we discussed David A. Mindell's delightful book "Digital Apollo" and, in particular, took from the book th...

Peculiar Books Reviewed: Charles Perrow's "Normal Accidents"

Brian Troutwine | Posted 07.01.2014 | Huffpost Code
Brian Troutwine

Can we build systems which function perfectly in all circumstances? Can we avoid all accidents with enough time, enough information, enough practice running the system or enough process around it?

Peculiar Books Reviewed: David A. Mindell's "Digital Apollo"

Brian Troutwine | Posted 05.31.2014 | Huffpost Code
Brian Troutwine

The US space program is a treasure trove of insight into engineering at the extremes of human ability. It is a field which concerns itself deeply with human-machine interaction. Spacecrafts are not fully automated, nor are they under the total control of the human operators (the astronauts "in the can" and the ground control crew).

Paradigm Shifts, the New and the Old

Said Elias Dawlabani | Posted 05.11.2014 | Politics
Said Elias Dawlabani

A system proves it's in the decay stage when small changes no longer move our economy forward. In worse cases, old remedies only add toxicity to the current mess.

Appreciation: One Small Action with a Big Effect

Birute Regine | Posted 05.04.2014 | Business
Birute Regine

Expressing appreciation is one small change that each one of us can make. One small change that can make a big difference in the workplace.

The Obama Presidency and Complex Systems

Said Elias Dawlabani | Posted 03.25.2014 | Politics
Said Elias Dawlabani

If you're wondering why every president ends up with white hair when he leaves office, please read on because this post is for you. I have been critic...

Winding up the Global Spring of Planetary Catastrophe

Mark Boslough | Posted 10.30.2013 | Green
Mark Boslough

I was always taught that if you don't know how something works, you shouldn't mess with it. The Earth's climate represents a wonderfully complex dynamical system that we do not fully understand.

Can Reality Set Us Free? The Puzzle of Complementarity (Part 3)

Deepak Chopra | Posted 07.20.2013 | Healthy Living
Deepak Chopra

As the uniting factor that sets us free, "consciousness" is a term that is repugnant to many scientists -- mostly from an older generation -- and mysterious to all. But that doesn't excuse blindness and neglect.

Can Reality Set Us Free? The Puzzle of Complementarity (Part 2)

Deepak Chopra | Posted 07.06.2013 | Healthy Living
Deepak Chopra

Reality has gone into a strange, dark place -- quite literally. Historically, quantum physics and the theory of relativity are responsible for demolishing the familiar world presented to us by the five senses.

Kung Fu Farming: Toward Understanding Complex Systems

Leah Mayor | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Leah Mayor

Nourishing the relationship between seed and land is critical to restoring sustainability. And by visiting Chubby Bunny Farm, I took a small but important step in feeling connected to the food and people that sustain my life.

The Importance of Care in Business

Birute Regine | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Birute Regine

I once gave a talk about the important role care plays in the workplace. Once I used that word, "care," I had lost my audience. Who needs to care when you are king of the mountain?

When Complex Systems Fail

Tom Loughlin | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Tom Loughlin

It's precisely because of the success and vigor of complex systems that we often take their reliability for granted. Most of us rarely consider the safety of an oil rig until something goes awry.

The Cardinal Sins - and the Cardinal Virtue - of Our Time

Ervin Laszlo | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Ervin Laszlo

Informed activism is the cardinal virtue in these critical times. It's our best hope for taking control of our destiny: for creating a world we can live in, and can leave in good conscience to our children.