Systems

Making Things Work: Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World

By Yaneer Bar-Yam

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Part 1 presents concepts, and in Part 2 the author discusses real world problems such as war, health care, education, and international development. Bar-Yam writes about "relating the nature of the problem to the nature of the solution, a kind of yin-yang complementarity." There are some annoying editorial boo-boos, but the book's practical approach makes deciphering those mistakes worthwhile.

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Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking

By R. Buckminster Fuller

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Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller said that thought has shape. To follow the shape of his thought, I recommend this and Synergetics 2, published a few years later. Synergetics 2 has the index, which helps one navigate through that thought (It really does.). If you find these difficult to read, I recommend his I Seem to Be a Verb, and Critical Path. Synergetics, according to Arthur C. Clarke, was "The distilled wisdom of a lifetime."
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Complexity: A Guided Tour

By Melanie Mitchell

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This is a scholarly but highly readable trip through chaos theory, cellular automata, and networks. Several reviewers praise it as a very good introduction to the field of complexity.
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