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A Crude Look at the Whole: The Science of Complex Systems in Business, Life, and Society by John H. Miller

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ten

From Water Temples to Evolving Machines: Cooperation

Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.

—William Shakespeare, Henry VI

Balinese farmers have grown rice on terraced hillsides for the last few centuries (see Figure 10.1). Rice demands water, as several important biochemical cycles that govern the production of the rice paddy ecosystem, such as soil pH, temperature, nutrient circulation, aerobic conditions, and microorganism growth, are directly tied to the carefully controlled flow of water. Thus, accompanying the terraces is an elaborate, gravity-fed irrigation system dependent on seasonal rivers, groundwater flows, and the creation and maintenance of various irrigation canals, tunnels, and diversion weirs. While these ...

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