Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

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pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

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Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

But he seems to have had little interest in the environments that make those collisions possible: living environments, office environments, media environments. On a basic level, it is true that ideas happen inside minds, but those minds are invariably connected to external networks that shape the flow of information and inspiration out of which great ideas are fashioned. Koestler was hardly alone in his interest in the roots of scientific breakthrough. Thomas Kuhn’s even more influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions had been published two years before The Act of Creation. Since those two books were published, countless dissertations and scholarly essays have explored the psychology and sociology of scientific progress. Some focused on biographical accounts of legendary scientists at work; others tested theories through lab experiments that simulated the kind of cognitive work involved in scientific discovery.

I have tried to include a broad survey of these works in the bibliography, but several works have been disproportionately influential on my argument and method in this book. Dean Keith Simonton’s Origins of Genius and Howard Gruber’s Darwin on Man both explicitly take a Darwinian approach to innovation, and use that approach to make sense of Darwin’s own distinct genius. Arthur Koestler’s Act of Creation and Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions remain essential platforms for the understanding of new ideas. Richard Florida’s Rise of the Creative Class looks at creativity in an urban context. Richard Ogle’s Smart World explores the intellectual and physical context of idea formation, as does Howard Gardner’s Creating Minds. Everett M. Rogers’s Diffusion of Innovations is the canonical study of the way good ideas spread through organizations and society.


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The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Commentariolus, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge economy, lone genius, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, placebo effect, QWERTY keyboard, Republic of Letters, spice trade, spinning jenny, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

For Koyré, it was, following on Gaston Bachelard’s concept of an ‘epistemological break’, identified with a single intellectual mutation: the replacement of the Aristotelian idea of place (in which there was always an up and a down, a left and a right) by a geometrical idea of space, a substitution which made possible, he argued, the invention of the idea of inertia, which was the foundation of modern physics.11 Koyré had a vast influence in America, and his Bachelardian conception of an intellectual mutation was adopted by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Laski and Butterfield had a comparable influence in England on works such as Rupert Hall’s The Scientific Revolution (1954), which denied any connection between the Scientific and Industrial revolutions, and J. D. Bernal’s Science in History, whose second volume, The Scientific and Industrial Revolutions (1965), insisted on the closeness of the connection. There is a fundamental difference between these two conceptions of the Scientific Revolution.

The most influential arguments in favour of relativism flow from the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951).xliv Wittgenstein taught in Cambridge on and off from 1929 to 1947 – he left the year before Butterfield lectured on the Scientific Revolution – but it would never have occurred to Butterfield that he needed to consult Wittgenstein, or indeed any other philosopher, to learn how to think about science. It was not until the late 1950s, following the publication of the Philosophical Investigations in 1953, that arguments drawn from Wittgenstein began to transform the history and philosophy of science; their influence can already be seen, for example, in Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.72 Thereafter it became common to claim that Wittgenstein had shown that rationality was entirely culturally relative: our science may be different from that of the ancient Romans, but we have no grounds for claiming that it is better, for their world was utterly unlike ours. There is no common standard by which the two can be compared. Truth, according to Wittgenstein’s doctrine that meaning is use,73 is what we choose to make it; it requires a social consensus but not any correspondence between what we say and how the world is.74 This first wave of relativism was later supplemented by other, profoundly different intellectual traditions: the linguistic philosophy of J.

Anachronism, driven in disgrace out of the back door, re-enters in triumph through the front. It may be hard to believe, but proponents of the strong programme have acquired a dominant position within the history of science. The most striking example of this approach in action is Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer’s Leviathan and the Air-pump (1985), generally acknowledged as the most influential work in the discipline since Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions.xlix The new history of science offered, in Steven Shapin’s phrase, a social history of truth.l Scientific method, it was now argued, kept changing, so that there was no such thing as the scientific method: a famous book by Paul Feyerabend was entitled Against Method,li its catchphrase ‘Anything goes’; it was followed by Farewell to Reason.78 Some philosophers and nearly all anthropologists agreed: standards of rationality were, they insisted, local and highly variable.79 But we must reject the Wittgensteinian notion that truth is simply consensus, a notion incompatible with an understanding of one of the fundamental things science does, which is to show that a consensus view must be abandoned when it is at odds with the evidence.lii The classic text here is Galileo’s ‘Letter to Christina of Lorraine’ (1615) in defence of Copernicanism.


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The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson

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Albert Einstein, Chance favours the prepared mind, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, Danny Hillis, discovery of DNA, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kevin Kelly, planetary scale, side project, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

And they were all fundamentally correct, at least in their contention that class identity, capital, and technological acceleration would be prime movers in the coming centuries, and that each one had an independent life, outside the direct control of human decision-makers. Humans made the steam engine, but the steam engine ended up remaking humanity, in ways that the original inventors never anticipated. The contemporary view of intellectual progress is dominated by one book: Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, published in 1962, from which the now conventional terms “paradigm” and “paradigm shift” originate. By some measures, Kuhn’s book was the most cited text in the last quarter of the twentieth century, and it regularly ranks among the most influential books of the entire century. In Revolutions, Kuhn set out to dismantle the idea that scientific progress happens in a linear fashion, as a series of indisputable facts unearthed one after another, each breakthrough another definitive step toward absolute truth.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

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1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

Available from http://www.dwheeler.com/sloc/ redhat71-v1/redhat71sloc.html 9 Juan José Amor-Iglesias, Jesús M. González-Barahona, Gregorio Robles-Martínez and Israel Herráiz-Tabernero, ‘Measuring Libre Software Using Debian 3.1 (Sarge) as a Case Study: Preliminary Results’, UPGRADE6.3, June 2005. Available from http://www.upgrade-cepis.org/ issues/2005/3/up6-3Amor.pdf 10 Steven Weber, The Success of Open Source (Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 2004) 11 Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press, 1962), p. 10 12 Richard K. Lester and Michael Piore, Innovation: The Mission Dimension (Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 2004) 13 Andrew Hargadon, How Breakthroughs Happen (Boston, MA: HBS Press, 2003) 14 James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds (Little, Brown, 2004) 15 Scott E. Page, The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies (Princeton University Press, 2007) 16 Bart Nooteboom, Learning and Innovation in Organizations and Economies (Oxford University Press, 2000) 17 Steven Weber, The Success of Open Source (Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 2004) 18 Articles by Lakhani, Ghosh and Lerner in Joseph Feller, Brian Fitzgerald, Scott A.

From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry by Martin Campbell-Kelly

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Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business process, card file, computer age, computer vision, continuous integration, deskilling, Grace Hopper, inventory management, John von Neumann, linear programming, Menlo Park, Network effects, popular electronics, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

.: New Riders), was updated and published on the World Wide Web in 1994 (http://www.fourmilab.ch/autofile/). See also Jonathan Richardson, “A Decade of CAD,” CAD User, March 1998: 20–22, 26, 28. 22. Walker, The Autodesk File, p. 24 23. Ibid., p. 299. 24. Ibid., pp. 296–304. 25. The concepts of paradigm shift, technological closure, and critical problems are informed by the works of Thomas Kuhn, Thomas Parke Hughes, and Nathan Rosenberg, among others. See Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press, 1962); Thomas Parke Hughes, Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880–1930 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983); Nathan Rosenberg, Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics (Cambridge University Press, 1982). 26. Douglas K. Smith and R. C. Alexander, Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer (Morrow, 1988); Michael A.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

(Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1991), 52. 10 “A cook . . . is not a man who first has a vision of a pie”: Michael Oakeshott, “The Idea of a University,” Academic Questions 17, no. 1 (2004): 23. 10 “the book speaks only to those who know already”: Oakeshott, “Political Education.” 11 what’s going on in our kitchens: this section draws considerably on an earlier article of mine: Evgeny Morozov, “Stay Out of My Kitchen, Robots,” Slate, August 27, 2012, http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/08/why_you_don_t_want_a_robot_in_your_kitchen.html. 11 British magazine New Scientist recently covered: Jacob Aron, “Smart Kitchens Keep Novice Chefs on Track,” New Scientist 215, no. 2877 (August 11, 2012): 17, http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528774.900-augmented-reality-kitchens-keep-novice-chefs-on-track.html. 11 “For example, if the system detects sugar pouring into a bowl”: ibid. 14 “life, the universe and everything”: reference to Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything (Los Angeles, CA: Del Rey, 1995). 14 In the afterword to my first book, The Net Delusion: Morozov, The Net Delusion, 337. 14 French philosopher Bruno Latour: Bruno Latour, The Pasteurization of France (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), 15. 15 What Would Google Do?: Jeff Jarvis, What Would Google Do?, 1st ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 2009). 16 Following the work of Latour and Thomas Kuhn: see Bruno Latour, Science in Action (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987), and Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). Chapter 2: The Nonsense of “the Internet”—and How to Stop It 17 “The internet is not territory to be conquered”: Nicholas Mendoza, “Metal, Code, Flesh: Why we Need a ‘Rights of the Internet’ Declaration,” February 15, 2012, AlJazeera .com, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/02/201228715322807.html. 17 “What made Blockbuster close?”

,” The Atlantic, May 6, 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/05/why-do-our-best-and-brightest-end-up-in-silicon-valley-and-not-dc/256767. 135 “nothing would be more fatal”: Theodore M. Porter, Karl Pearson: The Scientific Life in a Statistical Age (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), 293. 136 “in the new political order”: quoted in Crick, In Defence of Politics, 73. 136 “Suppose the ‘arbitrariness’ which Saint-Simon”: ibid., 74. 136 following Thomas Kuhn’s work on scientific paradigms: Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). 136 much of the presumed unity is a myth: see Peter Galison and David Stump, eds., The Disunity of Science: Boundaries, Contexts, and Power, 1st ed. (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996). 137 “rescue mankind from the lack of certainty”: Crick, In Defense of Politics, 70. 137 “everything in society is . . . capable”: ibid., 71. 137 “one of the most important components”: quoted in Robert D.


pages: 436 words: 123,488

Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine by John Abramson

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germ theory of disease, Louis Pasteur, medical malpractice, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, p-value, placebo effect, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, stem cell, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Our belief that we are too scientifically grounded to succumb to such nonrational beliefs may, in fact, be our myth. How else can we explain the widespread agreement that statins or the new antidepressants or the COX-2 inhibitors are genuine breakthroughs that will preserve and restore our health in ways never before possible? These are our myths, merging science and hope into our shared belief. It is exactly myths such as these that Thomas Kuhn was referring to in his groundbreaking book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, published in 1962. Kuhn coined the term “paradigm” to describe the unspoken professional values, beliefs, and techniques shared by a community of scientists or professionals. The shared paradigm then defines the range of problems that are legitimate to investigate, the range of legitimate solutions, and the criteria that justify belief that the findings are true.

Michael Polyani developed the idea: “When we accept a certain set of presuppositions and use them as our interpretative framework, we may be said to dwell in them as we do in our own body.. . . As they are themselves our ultimate framework, they are essentially inarticulable.” Quoted in Jan Golinski, Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism and the History of Science, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 17. 203 shared paradigm defines the range: Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962, pp. 64–65. 203 criteria that justify belief: Susan Haack, Evidence and Inquiry: Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1993, p. 206. 204 “The Need for a New Medical Model: G. L. Engel, “The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biomedicine,” Science 196:129–136, 1977. 204 “half of all deaths: A.


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Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz

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affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, car-free, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, cosmological constant, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, desegregation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, lake wobegon effect, Ronald Reagan, six sigma, stem cell, Steven Pinker, Tenerife airport disaster, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route

But the scientific method as we understand it today was introduced to the world through the work of Francis Bacon in his 1620 Novum Organum, and René Descartes in his 1637 Discourse on the Method. Whether or not this method has ever been practiced as such (that is, to what extent scientists, especially as individuals, seek to replicate experiments and falsify hypotheses) is an open question, as Thomas Kuhn made abundantly clear in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. But my point here concerns the method as an intellectual ideal more than an actual practice. “For Satan himself.” The Bible, New International Version (HarperTorch, 1993), 2 Corinthians 11:14–15. errors as ignes fatui. Bates, 46. Pierre-Simon Laplace. Bates touches on this development toward the end of Enlightenment Aberrations (248), but my primary source here was Steven M.

There is no way around the fact that we crave justification for our core beliefs and believe them only because we think such justification is, at the very least, in the offing.” David Hume. Hume lays out the problem of induction in his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Oxford University Press, 2006). “the poverty of the stimulus” (FN). Chomsky describes this problem in his Rules and Representations (Columbia University Press, 2005). Thomas Kuhn. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (The University of Chicago Press, 1996). The anecdote about Chinese and Western astronomers appears on p. 116. As Alan Greenspan pointed out. http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20081024163819.pdf “interpreting increased violence in Iraq.” George Packer, “History Boys,” the New Yorker, June 11, 2007. The NASA higher-ups responsible for the…Columbia. Henry Petroski, Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design (Princeton University Press, 2006), 166.


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Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life by J. Craig Venter

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bioinformatics, borderless world, Brownian motion, clean water, discovery of DNA, double helix, epigenetics, experimental subject, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing machine

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102, no. 44 (2005): pp. 15971–76. doi:10.1073/pnas.0503868102. 15. V. Larionov, N. Kouprina, J. Graves, X. N. Chen, J. R. Korenberg, and M. A. Resnick. “Specific cloning of human DNA as yeast artificial chromosomes by transformation-associated recombination.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 93, no. 1 (1996): pp. 491–96. Chapter 7 1. Thomas Kuhn. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), pp. 84–85. 2. C. Lartigue, J. I. Glass, N. Alperovich, R. Pieper, P. P. Parmar, C. A. Hutchison III, H. O. Smith, and J. C. Venter. “Genome transplantation in bacteria: Changing one species to another.” Science 317, no. 5838 (August 3, 2007): pp. 632–38. 3. I. Wilmut, A. E. Schnieke, J. McWhir, A. J. Kind, and K. H. Campbell.


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Think Complexity by Allen B. Downey

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Benoit Mandelbrot, cellular automata, Conway's Game of Life, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discrete time, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Guggenheim Bilbao, mandelbrot fractal, Occupy movement, Paul Erdős, sorting algorithm, stochastic process, strong AI, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing complete, Turing machine, We are the 99%

Models like Schelling’s don’t look like classical science, and many people find them less compelling, at least at first. But as I will try to demonstrate, these models do useful work, including prediction, explanation, and design. One of the goals of this book is to explain how. Paradigm Shift? When I describe this book to people, I am often asked if this new kind of science is a paradigm shift. I don’t think so, and here’s why. Thomas Kuhn introduced the term “paradigm shift” in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962. It refers to a process in the history of science where the basic assumptions of a field change, or where one theory is replaced by another. He presents as examples the Copernican revolution, the displacement of phlogiston by the oxygen model of combustion, and the emergence of relativity. The development of complexity science is not the replacement of an older model, but (in my opinion) a gradual shift in the criteria by which models are judged and in the kinds of models that are considered acceptable.

Determinism indeterminism Determinism is the view that all events are inevitably caused by prior events. Forms of indeterminism include randomness, probabilistic causation, and fundamental uncertainty. We come back to this topic in the sections Determinism and Free Will. These trends are not universal or complete, but the center of opinion is shifting along these axes. As evidence, consider the reaction to Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which was reviled when it was published and is now considered almost uncontroversial. These trends are both cause and effect of complexity science. For example, highly abstracted models are more acceptable now because of the diminished expectation that there should be a unique, correct model for every system. Conversely, developments in complex systems challenge determinism and the related concept of physical law.


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Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik

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airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, fudge factor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loss aversion, low skilled workers, market design, market fundamentalism, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, open economy, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, white flight

Samuelson, “Protection and Real Wages,” Review of Economic Studies 9, no. 1 (1941): 58–73. ¶ While currency appreciation is the more immediate mechanism, the same effect can be caused by an increase in domestic wages. Crowding out requires simply that domestic wages increase in foreign currency terms, which can happen because of a rise in wages, an increase in the value of the domestic currency, or some combination of the two. # Ever since Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), it has become commonplace to question whether even the natural sciences fit this idealized mold. Kuhn pointed out that scientists work within “paradigms” that they’re unwilling to give up even in the presence of evidence that violates them. My point about economics will be different. It is that economics as a science advances “horizontally” (by multiplying models) rather than “vertically” (by newer ones replacing older ones). ** Here is the physicist Steven Weinberg: “None of the laws of physics known today (with the possible exception of the general principles of quantum mechanics) are exactly and universally valid.


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The New Science of Asset Allocation: Risk Management in a Multi-Asset World by Thomas Schneeweis, Garry B. Crowder, Hossein Kazemi

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asset allocation, backtesting, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, commodity trading advisor, correlation coefficient, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, diversified portfolio, fixed income, high net worth, implied volatility, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, market microstructure, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, passive investing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Sharpe ratio, short selling, statistical model, systematic trading, technology bubble, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve

While a summary of empirical tests of various equity based pricing models is not the focus of this book, the changing market structure and risk and return opportunities are. Just as the CAPM and its empirical variant (e.g., the market model) became a primary expected factor model for decades, the Fama and French three-factor model plus one (momentum) has somewhat dominated the academic world for the past 20 years, despite evidence that the underlying factors may have become less important in terms of explaining return. Thomas Kuhn (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed. 1970) offers one explanation as to why the movement from one mode of explaining market returns to another is so difficult. The point is simple: there is risk in the use of any risk or return model. 12. One can always take this to various extremes. The fact that over time return to risk is correctly priced does not mean that at some point assets may offer known excess to risk opportunities for which others take the anticipated loss (e.g., government policy may force losses on some for the benefit of others); however, this is simply another risk that must be considered when investing.


pages: 243 words: 66,908

Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Meadows. Donella, Diana Wright

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, game design, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, peak oil, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Review

For an example, see Dennis Meadows’s model of commodity price fluctuations: Dennis L. Meadows, Dynamics of Commodity Production Cycles (Cambridge, MA: Wright-Allen Press, Inc., 1970). 6. John Kenneth Galbraith, The New Industrial State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967). 7. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “War,” lecture delivered in Boston, March, 1838. Reprinted in Emerson’s Complete Works, vol. XI, (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1887), 177. 8. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). Chapter Seven 1. G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1927). 2. For a beautiful example of how systems thinking and other human qualities can be combined in the context of corporate management, see Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (New York: Doubleday, 1990). 3.

The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy by Seth Mnookin

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Albert Einstein, AltaVista, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, en.wikipedia.org, illegal immigration, index card, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, neurotypical, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

But misguided, ill-informed, and cavalier coverage of science and medicine is not always so benign: It influences how hundreds of millions of research dollars are spent, it sucks up the time and energy of public health officials already stretched thin, and it bestows credibility on people’s delusions and fantasies, with occasionally calamitous results. 17 By the 1980s, the majority of Bettelheim’s conclusions had been called into question. After he committed suicide in 1990, dozens of former patients of the residential treatment program he ran at the University of Chicago claimed they’d been physically and mentally abused while in his care. 18 The notion that scientific progress can be understood only within specific social contexts was articulated most famously by Thomas Kuhn in his 1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In it, Kuhn argued that scientific advances are not merely the result of the steady accumulation of more sophisticated data; instead, scientific thought undergoes “paradigm shifts” in which accepted “ways of knowing” are replaced by new methods of understanding the world. Kuhn’s prototypical illustration of a paradigm shift at work occurred in sixteenth-century, pre-Enlightenment Europe: It wasn’t until the all-enveloping primacy of the Catholic Church was challenged by a growing belief in empiricism and experimentation that Ptolemy’s earth-centric theory of the universe was overturned by Copernicus’s heliocentric one, in which the earth is just one of the planets orbiting the sun. 19 One of the most significant factors in this regard was Rain Man, the 1988 blockbuster film starring Dustin Hoffman as an autistic, card-counting savant named Raymond Babbitt and Tom Cruise as his self-absorbed younger brother.

Spitzer, “The Diagnostic Status of Homosexuality in the DSM-III: A Reformulation of the Issues,” The American Journal of Psychiatry 1981;138: 210–15. 80 Jonathan Metzl writes about one: Jonathan Metzl, The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease (Boston: Beacon Press, 2010). 80 The evolution of the DSM’s handling of autism: Richard Roy Grinker, Unstrange Minds (Philadelphia: Basic Books, 2007), 111–35. 80 The notion that scientific progress: Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). Originally published 1962. See also: Thomas Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985). Originally published 1957. 81 the heading of “schizophrenic reaction, childhood type,” which listed: American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Mental Disorders (Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association Mental Hospital Service), 28. 81 In the DSM-II: American Psychiatric Association, DSM-II: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2nd ed.


pages: 230 words: 61,702

Future Files: A Brief History of the Next 50 Years by Richard Watson

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Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Black Swan, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, citizen journalism, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deglobalization, digital Maoism, disintermediation, epigenetics, failed state, financial innovation, Firefox, food miles, future of work, global supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, linked data, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Northern Rock, peak oil, pensions crisis, precision agriculture, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, self-driving car, speech recognition, telepresence, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing test, Victor Gruen, white flight, women in the workforce, Zipcar

However, for most people, if they think they need it, it will already be too late. A study by Harvard Medical School found that after the age of 40 around 400 genes become lazy, which affects learning, memory and communication skills. Another study found that workplace coordination and dexterity start to fall after the age of 25 and decline Work and Business 281 dramatically after 35. This more or less fits with the theory put forward by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions that radical breakthroughs tend to come from just three sources: young people, accidents and the cross-fertilization of disciplines. In other words, it’s younger people who tend to create value. This is obviously problematic from one standpoint — that workplace remuneration tends to be based on age and experience — so maybe in the future we’ll see employers putting more time and effort into keeping older minds young and also linking pay to results rather than just age.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Zipcar

We are, it appears, in the early stages of a game-changing transformation in economic paradigms. A new economic model is emerging in the twilight of the capitalist era that is better suited to organize a society in which more and more goods and services are nearly free. The term paradigm shift has been thrown around so much in recent years, in reference to virtually any kind of change, that it might be helpful to revisit the words of Thomas Kuhn, whose book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions made the word paradigm part of the general discourse. Kuhn described a paradigm as a system of beliefs and assumptions that operate together to establish an integrated and unified worldview that is so convincing and compelling that it is regarded as tantamount to reality itself. He used the term to refer to standard and nearly universally accepted models in science, like Newtonian physics and Darwinian evolution.17 A paradigm’s narrative power rests on its all-encompassing description of reality.

John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Persuasion (Project Gutenberg eBook, 2011), 358–74, http://gutenberg.ca/ebooks/keynes-essaysinpersuasion/keynes-essaysinpersuasion-00-h.html (accessed January 23, 2013). 8. Ibid. 9. J. Bradford Delong and Lawrence H. Summers, “The ‘New Economy’: Background, Historical Perspective, Questions and Speculations,” Economic Policy for the Informational Economy (2001): 16. 10. Ibid., 35. 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid., 16. 13. Ibid. 14. Ibid. 15. Ibid. 16. Ibid., 16, 38. 17. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). 18. Isaac Asimov, “In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even,” Smithsonian, August 1970, 9. 19. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier, Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) 59. 20. Ibid., 89. 21. Steve Lohr, “The Internet Gets Physical,” The New York Times, December 17, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/sunday-review/the-internet-gets-physical.html?


pages: 286 words: 90,530

Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think by Alan Grafen; Mark Ridley

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Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, bioinformatics, cognitive bias, computer age, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Haight Ashbury, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, loose coupling, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, phenotype, profit maximization, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Yogi Berra

Dennett, ‘The New Replicators’, in Mark Page (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Evolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), vol. 1, E83-E92. 36 J. M. Balkin, Cultural Software: A Theory of Ideology (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998). 37 Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell (London: Penguin, 2006). 38 A. Turing, ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’, Mind, 59 (1950): 433-46°. 39 Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). The invention of an algorithmic biology Seth Bullock BIOLOGY and computing might not seem the most comfortable of bedfellows. It is easy to imagine nature and technology clashing as the green-welly brigade rub up awkwardly against the back-room boffins. But collaboration between the two fields has exploded in recent years, driven primarily by massive investment in the emerging field of bioinformatics charged with mapping the human genome.


pages: 287 words: 99,131

Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom by Mary Catherine Bateson

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affirmative action, Berlin Wall, Celebration, Florida, desegregation, double helix, estate planning, feminist movement, invention of writing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce

Marc Freedman, Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America (New York: Public Affairs Press, 2001), and Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life (New York: Public Affairs Press, 2007). 10. Mary Catherine Bateson, Composing a Life (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989). II. Small and Beautiful 1. Erik H. Erikson, Young Man Luther (New York: W. W. Norton, 1958), pp. 100-104. 2. Nevil Shute, Trustee from the Toolroom (New York: William Morrow, 1960). III. Liberation Time 1. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). 2. Ibid. IV. From Strength to Strength 1. Arnold Gesell, An Atlas of Infant Behavior (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934). 2. Sigmund Freud, “Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex,” in The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud, ed. A. A. Brill (New York: Modern Library, 1938). 3. G. Stanley Hall, Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education (New York: D.


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Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance by Nessa Carey

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Albert Einstein, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, conceptual framework, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, life extension, mouse model, phenotype, stem cell, stochastic process, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

At this point, smile smugly and then say ‘Oh, in that case he’s karyotypically abnormal. He has an XXY karyotype, rather than XY’. And if you’re feeling particularly mean, you can tell them that Tom is infertile. That should shut them up. Chapter 10 The Message is Not the Medium Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed. Thomas Henry Huxley One of the most influential books on the philosophy of science is Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, published in 1962. One of the claims in Kuhn’s book is that science does not proceed in an orderly, linear and polite fashion, with all new findings viewed in a completely unbiased way. Instead, there is a prevailing theory which dominates a field. When new conflicting data are generated, the theory doesn’t immediately topple. It may get tweaked slightly, but scientists can and often do continue to believe in a theory long after there is sufficient evidence to discount it.


pages: 429 words: 114,726

The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise by Nathan L. Ensmenger

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barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Grace Hopper, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, loose coupling, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, performance metric, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

Information and the Transformation of Molecular Biology,” Science in Context 8 (1995): 609–634; Ronald Kline, “Cybernetics, Management Science, and Technology Policy: The Emergence of ‘Information Technology’ as a Keyword, 1948–1985,” Technology and Culture 47, no. 3 (2006): 513–535. 63. Karl Steinbuch, INFORMATIK: Automatische Informationsverarbeitung (Berlin: SEG-Nachrichten, 1957). 64. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), 138. 65. Donald Ervin Knuth, The Art of Computer programming, Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1968). 66. Paul Ceruzzi, “Electronics Technology and Computer Science, 1940–1975: A Coevolution,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 10, no. 4 (1989): 257–275. 67. Peter Wegner, “Three Computer Cultures: Computer Technology, Computer Mathematics, and Computer Science,” Advances in Computers 10 (1970): 7–78. 68.


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Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey


pages: 492 words: 149,259

Big Bang by Simon Singh

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, V2 rocket, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam

Narlikar, A Different Approach to Cosmology (CUP, 2000) The authors, who remain unconvinced by the Big Bang model, put forward their own arguments and challenge the interpretations of various observations. Epilogue Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (Routledge, 2002) First published in 1959, Popper presents an academic and revolutionary view of the philosophy of science. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press, 1996) First published in 1962, this is Kuhn’s alternative view of the nature of scientific progress. Steve Fuller, Kuhn vs Popper (Icon, 2003) A re-examination of the Kuhn versus Popper debate on the philosophy of science, which is more accessible than their original publications cited above. Lewis Wolpert, The Unnatural Nature of Science (Faber & Faber, 1993) A discussion of what science is, what it can do, what it cannot do, and how it works.


pages: 281 words: 78,317

But What if We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present as if It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, citizen journalism, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Gerolamo Cardano, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, non-fiction novel, obamacare, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Y2K

But his central point is my obsession: the possibility that we are unable to isolate or imagine something fundamental about the construction of reality, and that the eventual realization of whatever that fundamental thing is will necessitate a rewrite of everything else. Here again, I’m not the first person to fantasize about this possibility. It’s the controversial premise of Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 masterwork The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn’s take was that science does not advance through minor steps, but through major ones—basically, that everyone believes all the same things for long stretches of time, only to have the entire collective worldview altered by a paradigm shift36 transforming the entire system. Prior to these massive shifts, researchers conduct what Kuhn called “normal science,” where scientists try to solve all the puzzles inside the existing paradigm, inadvertently propping up its dominance.


pages: 453 words: 132,400

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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Albert Einstein, Bonfire of the Vanities, centralized clearinghouse, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, double helix, fear of failure, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, pattern recognition, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

This perspective claims that knowing how a person sees his or her own past is one of the best ways to predict what he or she will do in the future. Every home a museum. Csikszentmihalyi & Rochberg-Halton (1981) studied over 300 members of three-generational families around Chicago, who were asked in their homes to show interviewers their favorite objects, and to explain the reasons for cherishing them. The four quotations from Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) are from pages 24, 38, 38, and 36, respectively. One of the most exciting promises of flow theory is that it may help explain why certain ideas, practices, and products are adopted, while others are ignored or forgotten—since at this point the histories of ideas, institutions, and cultures work almost exclusively within a paradigm informed by economic determinism. In addition, it might be revealing to consider how history is directed by the enjoyment people derive or anticipate from different courses of action.


pages: 692 words: 127,032

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor

They found common cause with political activists representing feminism, environmentalism, African Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, humanism, the peace movement, gay rights, animal rights, antinuclear activists, and other disempowered groups. Science came to be seen as the province of a hawkish, probusiness political-right power structure—polluting, uncaring, greedy, mechanistic, sexist, racist, imperialistic, oppressive, and not to be trusted. KUHNIANISM In 1962, this broad ambivalence toward science crystallized with the publication of American philosopher Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Stunningly, it became one of the most cited academic books of the twentieth century. It sold about a million copies, a figure unheard of for a philosophical text, and gave clarity to Americans’ increasingly ambivalent attitudes toward science and the nature of reality. Science was not the gradual and painstaking accumulation of knowledge, Kuhn said, but rather a sociological and thus political phenomenon that happens in sudden paradigm shifts.


pages: 778 words: 227,196

The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes

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Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, British Empire, Copley Medal, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Etonian, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Harrison: Longitude, music of the spheres, placebo effect, polynesian navigation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade route, unbiased observer, University of East Anglia, éminence grise

He announced, ‘An undevout astronomer is mad,’ though he had some doubts about the size and complication of the cosmos as revealed by Newton’s mathematics: ‘Perhaps a seraph’s computation fails!’ (Book IX, lines 1, 226-35). A later edition of the poem was superbly illustrated with William Blake’s watercolour engravings, a consolation for those terrified by the new cosmology. Bibliography The Bigger Picture (In chronological order of publication) Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago UP, 1962-70 Albert Bettex, The Discovery of Nature (with 482 illustrations), Thames & Hudson, 1965 James D. Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, 1968/2001 Arthur Koestler, The Act of Creation, Danube edition, 1969 Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man, 1973 Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin, Penguin, 1992 Lewis Wolpert, The Unnatural Nature of Science, Faber, 1992 James Gleick, Richard Feynman and Modern Physics, Pantheon Books, 1992 Michael J.


pages: 381 words: 101,559

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Gobal Crisis by James Rickards

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Asian financial crisis, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, game design, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, high net worth, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, New Journalism, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, price mechanism, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, time value of money, too big to fail, value at risk, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus


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The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street by Justin Fox

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, impulse control, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, libertarian paternalism, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market design, New Journalism, Nikolai Kondratiev, Paul Lévy, pension reform, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pushing on a string, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, Yogi Berra

Robert Merton sprang to the defense of the rational market hypothesis against Shiller’s critique mainly because Franco Modigliani—presumably trying to bring more attention to the matter—asked him to do it. Merton’s colleagues figured they had better things to do. However absurd and reality denying that may seem from the outside, it’s how science works. “Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like,” wrote Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. “Much of the success of the enterprise derives from the community’s willingness to defend that assumption, if necessary at considerable cost.” Attacks from outside are thus likely to fail. It is only when hard-to-explain anomalies start cropping up within the paradigm of a science that change is possible. In finance, such anomalies had actually been cropping up from the beginning.


pages: 662 words: 180,546

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown by Philip Mirowski

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, constrained optimization, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, incomplete markets, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loose coupling, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, sealed-bid auction, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, working poor

Smith, “What I Learned in Grad School.” 20 This dynamic is described from various vantage points in Weintraub, The Future of the History of Economics; Lee, A History of Heterodox Economics; and Haring, “Economics Is Losing Its Memory.” 21 Available for viewing at www.aeaweb.org/webcasts/assa2010.php. 22 For a video admission by Alan Blinder, see www.cengagesites.com/academic/?site=5322&secID=5312. And for that of John Taylor: www.cengagesites.com/academic/?site=5724&SecID=7344. 23 The texts were “The Methodology of Positive Economics” in Friedman, Essays in Positive Economics, and Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. See, for instance, http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/ 2009/08/why-this-new-crisis-needs-a-new-paradigm-of-economic-thought.html#more;or www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/3210; or www.rieti.go.jp/en/rieti_report/108.html. It was instructive how economists instinctively and unself-consciously turned to the writings of members of the Mont Pèlerin Society such as Friedman and Popper when they were forced to access “philosophy.”


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The end of history and the last man by Francis Fukuyama

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, centre right, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, labour mobility, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, nuclear winter, open economy, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

The fact that Newtonian mechanics fails at speeds approach­ ing the speed of light and is not an adequate basis for developing atomic power or the hydrogen bomb does not mean that it was inadequate as a means of mastering other aspects of nature, such as global navigation, steam locomotion, or the long-range gun. There is, moreover, a hierarchy among paradigms that is established by nature rather than man: the theory of relativity could not have been discovered before having discovered the Newtonian laws of motion. It is this hierarchy among paradigms that ensures a coherence and unidirectionality to the advancement of scientific knowledge. See Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, second edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), particularly pp. 9 5 - 1 1 0 , 1 3 9 - 1 4 3 , and 1 7 0 - 1 7 3 . For a review of criticisms of Kuhn, see Terence Ball, "From Paradigms to Research Programs: Toward a Post-Kuhnian Political Science," American Journal of Political Science 20, no. 1 (February 1976): 151—177. 3. There are instances of less technologically advanced powers "defeating" more advanced ones, like Vietnam and the United States or Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, but the reasons for these defeats lay in the very different political stakes of the two sides.


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Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon S. Wolin

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affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, illegal immigration, invisible hand, mutually assured destruction, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, single-payer health, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen

We need only recall that “democracy” was not in favor among many of our Founding Fathers; that the original Constitution explicitly accepted slavery and did not include a bill of rights. 18. Cited in Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom (New York: Norton, 2003), 210–11. 19. The classic statement of this view is Max Weber’s “Science as a Vocation,” in From Max Weber, 129–56. 20. See Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), chap. 2; J. Bronowski, Science and Human Values (New York: Harper, 1956), especially 65 ff. 21. See Sheldon Krimsky, Science in the Private Interest (San Francisco: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). 22. In the nineteenth century there were several proposals for substituting science for religion as the basis of society, the most notable being that of Auguste Comte. 23.


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The Clockwork Universe: Saac Newto, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern WorldI by Edward Dolnick

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Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, clockwork universe, complexity theory, double helix, Edmond Halley, Isaac Newton, lone genius, music of the spheres, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Bernard Cohen discusses in detail Newton’s use of calculus in the “Introduction” to his translation of the Principia, pp. 122–27. 298 “Newton’s geometry seems to shriek”: Roche, “Newton’s Principia,” in Fauvel et al., eds., Let Newton Be!, p. 50. 299 “By the help of the new Analysis”: Westfall, Never at Rest, p. 424. 299 “There is no letter”: Cohen, “Introduction,” p. 123. 300 “As we read the Principia”: Chandrasekhar, “Shakespeare, Newton, and Beethoven.” CHAPTER 51. JUST CRAZY ENOUGH 301 Molière long ago made fun: Thomas Kuhn famously cited Molière in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 104. 302 “We are all agreed that your theory is crazy”: Bohr made the remark to Wolfgang Pauli and added, “My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough.” Dael Wolfle, ed., Symposium on Basic Research (Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1959), p. 66. 302fn In time, this bewilderment: J. J. MacIntosh, “Locke and Boyle on Miracles and God’s Existence,” p. 196. 303 “He claims that a body attracts”: Brown, “Leibniz-Caroline Correspondence,” p. 273. 303 “Mysterious though it was”: John Henry, “Pray do not Ascribe that Notion to me: God and Newton’s Gravity,” in Force and Popkin, eds., The Books of Nature and Scripture, p. 141. 303 “even if an angel”: Brown, “Leibniz-Caroline Correspondence,” p. 291. 304 If the sun suddenly exploded: Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe (New York: Norton, 1999), p. 56. 305 “so great an absurdity”: Westfall, Never at Rest, p. 505. 305 “To tell us that every Species”: From the end of Opticks, quoted in Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution, p. 259. 306 “as if it were a Crime”: Westfall, Never at Rest, p. 779. 306 “Ye cause of gravity”: Ibid., p. 505. 306 “I have not been able to discover”: Cohen’s translation of the Principia, p. 428.


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Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger

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airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

You can take the story of science over the past couple of generations as being about loosening the idea that science has a firm, unambiguous grip on the truth: • Karl Popper in 1934 gave us a way to cleanly separate science from pseudo-science by telling us that a truly scientific statement is falsifiable—that is, there is a way to prove it false.47 “Chewing gum quickly dissolves in human saliva” can be shown to be false, and thus is a scientific statement. “Chewing gum likes to be chewed” cannot be shown to be false and is therefore not scientific. What places a statement within the realm of science is not that we know it is true but that there is some conceivable way we could prove it to be false. • Thomas Kuhn in 1962 published The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which itself revolutionized our idea of science. Kuhn argued that science was not simply a progressive march of discoveries that build on prior hard-won discoveries, bringing us ever closer to the truth. Rather, it turns out that the questions science asks, the facts it takes as relevant, and the explanations it gives all occur within an overarching scientific “paradigm” such as Aristotelian, Newtonian, or Einsteinian physics.


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Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler

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Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, impulse control, index fund, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, late fees, law of one price, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market clearing, Mason jar, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, mortgage debt, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, New Journalism, nudge unit, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, presumed consent, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel


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Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor

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bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, index card, Indoor air pollution, information retrieval, invention of gunpowder, John Snow's cholera map, language of flowers, life extension, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, speech recognition, stem cell, telemarketer, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

And that’s that and you can’t talk your way out of it. HARVEY GRAHAM, SMOKING—THE FACTS, PUBLISHED BY THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL ASSOCIATION, 1957 We like to think of scientific knowledge as cumulative, that ideas once established as true cannot be undone. But the reality is that facts can come undone, there is forgetfulness, and not every good thing flourishes. That was part of the insight of Thomas Kuhn’s great Structure of Scientific Revolutions: our views of the world change not so much by steady pilings-on of fact but rather by gestalt shifts in how we see the world. Science advances by leaping over the canyons of dried-up ideas, which also means that a certain kind of forgetting—or unlearning—is key to any scientific change. Old points of view must be abandoned, the strange becomes familiar, the familiar strange.


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The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, jitney, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve


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The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't by Nate Silver

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airport security, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Freestyle chess, fudge factor, George Akerlof, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pets.com, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, security theater, short selling, Skype, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

Andrew Gelman and Cosma Tohilla Shalizi, “Philosophy and the Practice of Bayesian Statistics,” British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, pp. 1–31, January 11, 2012. http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/research/published/philosophy.pdf. 63. Although there are several different formulations of the steps in the scientific method, this version is mostly drawn from “APPENDIX E: Introduction to the Scientific Method,” University of Rochester. http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/appendixe/appendixe.html. 64. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Kindle edition). 65. Jacob Cohen, “The Earth Is Round (p<.05),” American Psychologist, 49, 12 (December 1994), pp. 997–1003. http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~maccoun/PP279_Cohen1.pdf. 66. Jeff Gill, “The Insignificance of Null Hypothesis Significance Testing,” Political Research Quarterly, 52, 3 (September 1999), pp. 647–674. http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~jgill/papers/hypo.pdf. 67.


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The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

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Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, planetary scale, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl


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Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

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agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey


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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, knowledge worker, the map is not the territory, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

THE POWER OF A PARADIGM SHIFT Perhaps the most important insight to be gained from the perception demonstration is in the area of paradigm shifting, what we might call the" Aha!" experience when someone finally "sees" the composite picture in another way. The more bound a person is by the initial perception, the more powerful the" Aha!" experience is. It's as though a light were suddenly turned on inside. The term paradigm shift was introduced by Thomas Kuhn in his highly influential landmark book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn shows how almost every significant breakthrough in the field of scientific endeavor is. first a break with tradition, with old ways of thinking, with old paradigms. For Ptolemy, the great Egyptian astronomer, the earth was the center of the universe. But Copernicus created a paradigm shift, and a great deal of resistance and persecution as well, by placing the sun at the center.


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What's Next?: Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy by David Hale, Lyric Hughes Hale

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversification, energy security, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global village, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, index fund, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve

Often seen as a center of radical Islam, Iran is also the birthplace of the Reformist Movement of Islam (led by the recently deceased Grand Ayatollah Montazeri), which moves beyond textual literalism and posits democracy, human rights, and nonviolence as central to the societal affairs of Muslims. A Modern Iran, at Last In the late 1970s the philosopher Thomas Kuhn coined the phrase “paradigm shift” in his seminal book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He was referring to the phenomena of scientists detecting a need to change their underlying presumptions and worldviews in order to better explain (instead of discarding) surprising experimental results. Arguably, a similar phenomenon is under way that is changing global perceptions of Iranian society. In the aftermath of the June 12, 2009 elections and the spontaneous outbreak of widespread protests, vivid images were broadcast by global media outlets depicting a modern Iranian polity demanding its democratic rights.


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Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis by Anatole Kaletsky

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bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, global rebalancing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Washington Consensus


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