Book of Extremes

Why the 21st Century Isn’t Like the 20th Century

Authors: Lewis, Ted G.

  • Why was the first decade of the 21st century as eventful and significant as the last 50 years of the previous century?
  • Proposes theories to explain extremes in a scientific as well as entertaining way
  • Describes why punctuated reality is bursty why systems that have worked for decades suddenly fail and why the well-being of entire nations is no longer in the hands of their leaders
  • Explains social movements such as the Arab Spring, as well as online social media movements like Occupy Wall Street
  • Shows how rigorous methods like network science and complex systems theory can be applied to explain seemingly unexplainable events
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About this book

What makes the 21st century different from the 20th century? This century is the century of extremes -- political, economic, social, and global black-swan events happening with increasing frequency and severity. Book of Extremes is a tour of the current reality as seen through the lens of complexity theory – the only theory capable of explaining why the Arab Spring happened and why it will happen again; why social networks in the virtual world behave like flashmobs in the physical world; why financial bubbles blow up in our faces and will grow and burst again; why the rich get richer and will continue to get richer regardless of governmental policies; why the future of economic wealth and national power lies in comparative advantage and global trade; why natural disasters will continue to get bigger and happen more frequently; and why the Internet – invented by the US -- is headed for a global monopoly controlled by a non-US corporation. It is also about the extreme innovations and heroic innovators yet to be discovered and recognized over the next 100 years.Complexity theory combines the predictable with the unpredictable. It assumes a nonlinear world of long-tailed distributions instead of the classical linear world of normal distributions. In the complex 21st century, almost nothing is linear or normal. Instead, the world is highly connected, conditional, nonlinear, fractal, and punctuated. Life in the 21st century is a long-tailed random walk – Levy walks -- through extreme events of unprecedented impact. It is an exciting time to be alive.

About the authors

Ted G. Lewis is an author, speaker, and consultant with expertise in applied complexity theory, homeland security, infrastructure systems, and early-stage startup strategies. He has served in both government, industry and academe over a long career, including, Executive Director and Professor of Computer Science, Center for Homeland Defense and Security, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. 93943, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA., Senior Vice President of Eastman Kodak, President and CEO of DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology, North America, Inc. and Professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. In addition, he has served as the Editor-in-Chief of a number of periodicals: IEEE Computer Magazine, IEEE Software Magazine, as a member of the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors and is currently Advisory Board Member of ACM Ubiquity and Cosmos + Taxis Journal (The Sociology of Hayek). He has published more than 30 books, most recently including Book of Extremes: The Complexity of Everyday Things, Bak's Sand Pile: Strategies for a Catastrophic World, Network Science: Theory and Practice and Critical Infrastructure Protection in Homeland Security: Defending a Networked Nation. Lewis has authored or co-authored numerous scholarly articles in cross-disciplinary journals such as Cognitive Systems Research, Homeland Security Affairs Journal, Journal of Risk Finance, Journal of Information Warfare and IEEE Parallel & Distributed Technology. Lewis resides with his wife and dog, in Monterey, California.

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-06926-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $27.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-06925-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Book of Extremes
Book Subtitle
Why the 21st Century Isn’t Like the 20th Century
Authors
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Copernicus
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-06926-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-06926-5
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-06925-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 184
Number of Illustrations and Tables
38 b/w illustrations, 15 illustrations in colour
Topics