Alidade Incorporated home Complex Systems Research Process Innovation & Analysis Strategic Investment Advice Future Concept Generation Corporate/Government War Games & Events

Alidade Incorporated > resources > reading

links  |  pretty good rules  |  suggested reading

Suggested Reading

Listed in order of difficulty and sequence.

Micromotives and Macrobehavior (Fels Lectures on Public Policy Analysis)
cover
Thomas C. Schelling
W.W. Norton & Company, 1978
Accounts of "tipping points" in the popular press can be traced to Schelling's original research into the subject. A clear and readable treatment of mathematics of complex systems without the mathematics! Full of mental exercises and real-life examples that illustrate the logic of interconnected systems.
Blown to Bits: How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy
cover
Philip Evans and Thomas S. Wurster
Harvard Business School Press, 1999
Although most reviewers focus on the notions of information "richness" (quality of connections) and "reach" (number of connections), the understated story of this book is how organizations can change their processes, redefine the terms of competition and dominate their competitors.
Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology
cover
Valentino Braitenberg
MIT Press, 1986
Lots of folks advocate autonomous robotics in warfare. Braitenberg shows how such vehicles can be built and explores the difficulty in engineering complex functions into robots (I often quote his Law of Downhill Experimentation and Uphill Analysis: it's easier to induce interesting behavior in complex machines than to figure out where such behavior comes from).
The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size
cover
Tor Norretranders (Jonathon Sydenham, translator)
Viking Press, 1999
Makes me wish I could have read the Danish version in the early 1990s. Many of the early discoveries and propositions of the complexity community are summarized and placed in context in this very readable (but nonetheless deep) text.
Dynamics of Complex Systems (Studies in Nonlinearity)
cover
Yaneer Bar-Yam
Perseus Press, 1997
The most complete reference text for the mathematics and logic of distributed, information rich systems. The inside joke: everything you'd want to know about complex systems is contained in the first chapter. Punchline: the first chapter is 278 pages long.