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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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Prologue

Humanity today is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.

—E. O. Wilson, The Social Conquest of Earth

Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.

—Edward Abbey

Complexity abounds.

Yet our traditional scientific way of thinking relies on reductionism, an idea that has given us both the Archimedean tools to move the world and the delusion that we understand what we are doing. We ...

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