Generated at Thu, 21 Nov 2019 08:58:34 GMT exp-ck: undefined; xpa: undefined;
Electrode, Comp-845269211, DC-prod-dfw04, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-19.1.31, SHA-771c9ce79737366b1d5f53d21cad4086bf722e21, CID-e3b279e3-830-16e8d2f42291dd, Generated: Thu, 21 Nov 2019 08:58:34 GMT

Ubiquity - eBook

$7.99$7.99
<p><strong>Critically acclaimed science journalist, Mark Buchanan tells the fascinating story of the discovery that there is a natural structure of instability woven into the fabric of our world, which explains why catastrophes-- both natural and human-- happen.</strong></p> <p>Scientists have recently discovered a new law of nature and its footprints are virtually everywhere-- in the spread of forest fires, mass extinctions, traffic jams, earthquakes, stock-market fluctuations, the rise and fall of nations, and even trends in fashion, music and art. Wherever we look, the world is modelled on a simple template: like a steep pile of sand, it is poised on the brink of instability, with avalanches-- in events, ideas or whatever-- following a universal pattern of change. This remarkable discovery heralds what Mark Buchanan calls the new science of 'ubiquity', a science whose secret lies in the stuff of the everyday world. Combining literary flair with scientific rigour, this enthralling book documents the coming revolution by telling the story of the researchers' exploration of the law, their ingenious work and unexpected insights.</p> <p>Buchanan reveals that we are witnessing the emergence of an extraordinarily powerful new field of science that will help us comprehend the bewildering and unruly rhythms that dominate our lives and may even lead to a true science of the dynamics of human culture and history.</p>

About This Item

We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it.

Critically acclaimed science journalist, Mark Buchanan tells the fascinating story of the discovery that there is a natural structure of instability woven into the fabric of our world, which explains why catastrophes-- both natural and human-- happen.

Scientists have recently discovered a new law of nature and its footprints are virtually everywhere-- in the spread of forest fires, mass extinctions, traffic jams, earthquakes, stock-market fluctuations, the rise and fall of nations, and even trends in fashion, music and art. Wherever we look, the world is modelled on a simple template: like a steep pile of sand, it is poised on the brink of instability, with avalanches-- in events, ideas or whatever-- following a universal pattern of change. This remarkable discovery heralds what Mark Buchanan calls the new science of 'ubiquity', a science whose secret lies in the stuff of the everyday world. Combining literary flair with scientific rigour, this enthralling book documents the coming revolution by telling the story of the researchers' exploration of the law, their ingenious work and unexpected insights.

Buchanan reveals that we are witnessing the emergence of an extraordinarily powerful new field of science that will help us comprehend the bewildering and unruly rhythms that dominate our lives and may even lead to a true science of the dynamics of human culture and history.

Ubiquity - eBook

Specifications

Read This On
Android,Ereader,Desktop,IOS,Windows
Is Downloadable Content Available
Y
Digital Reader Format
Epub (Yes)
Language
en
Publisher
Crown/Archetype
Author
Mark Buchanan
ISBN-13
9780609504321
ISBN-10
0609504320

Customer Reviews

5 stars
2
4 stars
1
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
1-3 of 3 reviews

I have been fascinated...

I have been fascinated by critical point phase transition phenomena since I read Stanley's book on Phase Transitions back in college, probably 1974. In graduate school I worked on renormalization groups and critical phenomena. I even spoke at a small conference - I was the warm-up act for Stuart Kaufman! - on universality in critical point phenomena. One the one hand, all this baggage prejudices me in favor of the topic of this book. On the other hand, it gives me a good background to scout for errors in the presentation. I must say, I found this book delightfully clear and accurate! Of course it doesn't go into every detail, but there is quite a bit of detail here. I do tend to fall in love with theories like this, self-organized criticality. Sometimes that puts me on a popular bandwagon. Sometimes the area stays esoteric: will tree decomposition (see e.g. Hans Bodlander) ever take off? This book really is a sort of popular cheerleading. One of the real challenges with this stuff is that there is a lot of noise in the tails of statistical distributions: extreme events are rare, so any measurement is going to have a lot of uncertainty. Looking at these logarithmic plots and fitting a line, which will work well if the tail is fat - it is a bit like reading tea leaves. This books dates back to 1991 or so. The self-organized criticality bandwagon likely didn't have much momentum at the time. But some methodological caution is definitely needed. Buchanan does admit that fat tails are not as ubiquitous as his title suggests. But the challenge of determining where this model is useful and where it is not, he doesn't really address that. Anyway it is a great book. The phenomena it discusses is definitely real and important. It describes this simply, clearly and accurately. I don't think the book asks for anything more than high school mathematics.

Why do conspiracy theo...

Why do conspiracy theories do so well? Because we feel that it is only right that major events should have correspondingly major causes. I don't think Buchanan ever mentions conspiracy theorists in this work; but he does show how irrelevant the concept of cause is to explaining so much of what happens in our world. This book is very well written, presents a lot of mathematical ideas in an accessible way and may well turn out to be a truly seminal work. Quite frankly I am stunned that, at the time of writing this review, only 19 of us Librarythingers have this in our collections.

Once again were confr...

Once again we're confronting my bete noire, statistical physics, especially of the variety I kept hearing about while at Cornell. This book talks about Per Bak's sandpile models and many generalizations. The claim is that many aspects of the world (the stresses in a system before earthquakes, financial stresses before market movements, biological interactions before a mass extinction) order themselves to a critical state poised on the edge of disaster, and that when disaster strikes there is no natural scale to the system to provide an expected magnitude of disaster, rather there is simply a power law of the expected size of the "disaster" (a power law being the one mathematical formula you can provide that is scale-free). The author did a pretty good job, I think, of providing an overview of the subject, though the last two chapters, where he tried to apply this idea to human history, had an air of desperation about them. My main complaint will come as no surprise, that there was no mathematics. I'd also like to have heard the views of some naysayer; or are we to conclude that there are no nay-sayers?

Customer Q&A

Get specific details about this product from customers who own it.

Policies & Plans

Pricing policy

About our prices
We're committed to providing low prices every day, on everything. So if you find a current lower price from an online retailer on an identical, in-stock product, tell us and we'll match it. See more details atOnline Price Match.
webapp branch
Electrode, Comp-276504540, DC-prod-dfw7, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3-ebf-2, SHA-8c8e8dc1c07e462c80c1b82096c2da2858100078, CID-94c10113-fbd-16e8d39826c6b9, Generated: Thu, 21 Nov 2019 09:09:46 GMT