Coping with Uncertainty: Insights from the New Sciences of Chaos, Self-Organization, and Complexity

Coping with Uncertainty: Insights from the New Sciences of Chaos, Self-Organization, and Complexity

Coping with Uncertainty: Insights from the New Sciences of Chaos, Self-Organization, and Complexity

Coping with Uncertainty: Insights from the New Sciences of Chaos, Self-Organization, and Complexity

Synopsis

This study applies the findings of the new nonlinear sciences to understanding the processes of growing complexity and intensifying chaos in the modern world. It also identifies and reviews approaches for living and coping with these trends. Uri Merry seeks to clarify the role of chaos in the transformation of the social sciences to new orders by re-examining and re-evaluating some of the basic tenets of modern social and behavioral science in light of theories of chaos, self-organization, and complexity. Divided into three sections, the work provides an overview of the major findings of the new science of chaos; analyzes why chaos is on the upsurge and why human society is experiencing such anxiety about it; and surveys some of the major approaches for dealing with chaos in society, organizations, and our personal lives.

Excerpt

We are living in a world that is becoming more and more complex. As individuals and as societies, people are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with a world that daily becomes more complex and uncertain. This is an endeavor to trace how and why this is happening, where it is leading, and to examine what options are open to people, as individuals and as societies, to find ways of coping with uncertainty. This will be done with the help of findings from the New Sciences of Chaos, Self-organization, Complexity, and new understandings of evolution. The New Sciences throw light on the intensification of complexity and chaos in the world at the turn of this century, and help to enhance understanding of its background and causes.

This book is about the intensification of uncertainty in people's lives. It is about what is happening to us, today and tomorrow, as we live through a very eventful, awesome, and chaotic period in human history. Based on the New Sciences, this is an attempt to describe the growing magnitude of uncertainty in the world, to trace how it has come about, and where it is leading.

All of this leads to the question of how people will be able to live in such an increasingly turbulent world, both as individuals and as societies, and what possibilities are open to them under these complex conditions. The final part of the book attempts to describe some ways of coping and functioning with the burgeoning uncertainty in the world and in people's lives.

A number of excellent books on the New Sciences have been published. These books brought the sciences of Chaos, Complexity, Self-organization, and evolution to the educated reader who was willing to devote time and concentration to the subject. This book is different. It is not a book about the New Sciences, but rather about these New Sciences as applied to human affairs in our times. It focuses on how they manifest themselves in the human world, ranging from cultures, societies, nations, institutions to families and personal lives. It analyzes why complexity, emergent novelty, and often chaos are . . .

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