Advertisement

Of Ants and Men

The Unexpected Side Effects of Complexity in Society

  • David G. Green

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. David G. Green
    Pages 1-9
  3. David G. Green
    Pages 11-19
  4. David G. Green
    Pages 21-33
  5. David G. Green
    Pages 35-44
  6. David G. Green
    Pages 45-56
  7. David G. Green
    Pages 57-65
  8. David G. Green
    Pages 67-80
  9. David G. Green
    Pages 81-94
  10. David G. Green
    Pages 95-102
  11. David G. Green
    Pages 103-115
  12. David G. Green
    Pages 117-129
  13. David G. Green
    Pages 131-144
  14. David G. Green
    Pages 145-158
  15. David G. Green
    Pages 159-170
  16. David G. Green
    Pages 171-184
  17. David G. Green
    Pages 185-193
  18. David G. Green
    Pages 195-209
  19. David G. Green
    Pages 211-223
  20. David G. Green
    Pages 225-239
  21. David G. Green
    Pages 241-255
  22. Back Matter
    Pages 257-271

About this book

Introduction

Why do things go wrong? Why, despite all the planning and care in the world, do things go from bad to worse? This book argues that it is because we are like the ants. Just as ants create an anthill without being aware of it, unintended side effects of human activity create all manner of social trends and crises. The book traces the way these trends emerge and the role they play in some of the major issues of our time. One of the greatest challenges today is the complexity of our social and economic systems. Every action has side effects that people often ignore or fail to see. The book examines the ways in which limitations in our thinking and behaviour lead to unintended side effects. It looks at the role played by complex networks of interactions. Finally, it looks at the way side effects of new technologies, especially computers and communication, have created an Information Revolution, the full repercussions of which are yet to be seen. In our race to create new technologies and sustain indefinite economic growth, we are at best dimly aware of the ways in which we are transforming society and threatening our environment.

Keywords

Complexity Feedback connectivity social networks

Authors and affiliations

  • David G. Green
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Information TechnologyMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-55230-4
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
  • Publisher Name Copernicus, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Engineering
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-55229-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-55230-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site