The second scientific revolution

Indeed, the movement from the mechanical view of the world to the biological view of the world has been called the “second scientific revolution.” After three hundred years, the Newtonian world, the mechanized world operating in perfect equilibrium, is now the old science. The old science is about a universe of individual parts, rigid laws, and simple forces. The systems are linear: Change is proportional to the inputs. Small changes end in small results, and large changes make for large results. In the old science, the systems are predictable. The new science is connected and entangled. In the new science, the system is nonlinear and unpredictable, with sudden and abrupt changes. Small changes can have large effects while large events may result in small changes. In nonlinear systems, the individual parts interact and exhibit feedback effects that may alter behavior. Complex adaptive systems must be studied as a whole, not in individual parts, because the behavior of the system is greater than the sum of the parts.

Investing: The Last Liberal Art (Columbia Business School Publishing) by Robert G Hagstrom


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