'Why Cities Keep Growing, Corporations and People Always Die, and Life Gets Faster'

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by midcan5, May 31, 2011.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Cities can grow past control and businesses can stagnant and die. The following is a fascinating look at scale and what it means when applied to more than just living things. It is long but interesting.

    "The question is, as a scientist, can we take these ideas and do what we did in biology, at least based on networks and other ideas, and put this into a quantitative, mathematizable, predictive theory, so that we can understand the birth and death of companies, how that stimulates the economy?"

    A Conversation With Geoffrey West

    "The great thing about cities, the thing that is amazing about cities is as they grow, so to speak, their dimensionality increases. That is, the space of opportunity, the space of functions, the space of jobs just continually increases. And the data shows that. If you look at job categories, it continually increases. I'll use the word "dimensionality." It opens up. And in fact, one of the great things about cities is that it supports crazy people. You walk down Fifth Avenue, you see crazy people. There are always crazy people. Well, that's good. Cities are tolerant of extraordinary diversity. ..." Why Cities Keep Growing, Corporations And People Always Die, And Life Gets Faster | Conversation | Edge

    More conversations here. Conversations | Edge
     
  2. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Why is this in the science forum?
     
  3. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    From comments:

    "I knew of Geoffrey West thirty years ago or more when we both worked on the parton model in theoretical particle physics. I just read the Edge interview this evening. It's a beautiful description of the application of the techniques of physics to the social sciences in a way that recognizes and respects the essential nature of the objects it focuses on. When physical scientists tackles the social sciences they often seek laws like the laws of physics, and their models end up simplifying the object. This doesn't -- it seems to combine observation and theorizing in such productive proportions. The Edge description of West's work is inspiring. I spent a summer at Santa Fe a few years ago working on my book, and I wish I had spent more time learning then what Geoffrey had been doing." Emanuel Derman
     
  4. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Social sciences are not science just because a scientist talks about them.

    But it is nice to see that you still think quoting other people counts as thinking.
     

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