Scale: the universal laws of growth, innovation, sustainability, and the pace of life in organisms, cities, economies, and companies

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Publisher:
Penguin Press,
Pub. Date:
2017.
Language:
English
Description
From one of the most influential scientists of our time, a dazzling exploration of the hidden laws that govern the life cycle of everything from plants and animals to the cities we live in.Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. The term “complexity” can be misleading, however, because what makes West’s discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities and our businesses. Fascinated by aging and mortality, West applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer. The result was astonishing, and changed science: West found that despite the riotous diversity in mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other. If you know the size of a mammal, you can use scaling laws to learn everything from how much food it eats per day, what its heart-rate is, how long it will take to mature, its lifespan, and so on. Furthermore, the efficiency of the mammal’s circulatory systems scales up precisely based on weight: if you compare a mouse, a human and an elephant on a logarithmic graph, you find with every doubling of average weight, a species gets 25% more efficient—and lives 25% longer. Fundamentally, he has proven, the issue has to do with the fractal geometry of the networks that supply energy and remove waste from the organism’s body. West’s work has been game-changing for biologists, but then he made the even bolder move of exploring his work’s applicability. Cities, too, are constellations of networks and laws of scalability relate with eerie precision to them. Recently, West has applied his revolutionary work to the business world. This investigation has led to powerful insights into why some companies thrive while others fail. The implications of these discoveries are far-reaching, and are just beginning to be explored. Scale is a thrilling scientific adventure story about the elemental natural laws that bind us together in simple but profound ways. Through the brilliant mind of Geoffrey West, we can envision how cities, companies and biological life alike are dancing to the same simple, powerful tune.
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ISBN:
9781594205583
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full_title scale the universal laws of growth innovation sustainability and the pace of life in organisms citie
author west geoffrey b
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-07-21 09:29:27AM

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display_description "Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks... Fascinated by issues of aging and mortality, West applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer. The result was astonishing, and changed science, creating a new understanding of energy use and metabolism: West found that despite the riotous diversity in the sizes of mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other... West's work has been gaming changing for biologists, but then he made the even bolder move of exploring his work's applicability...and applied...[it] to the business and social world."--
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physical 479 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
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subject_facet Evolution (Biology), Evolution -- Molecular aspects, Scaling (Social sciences), Science -- Philosophy, Social sciences -- Methodology, Sustainable development, Urban ecology (Sociology)
table_of_contents The big picture -- The measure of all things: an introduction to scaling -- The simplicity, unity, and complexity of life -- The fourth dimension of life: growth, aging, and death -- From the Anthropocene to the Urbanocene: a planet dominated by cities -- Prelude to a science of cities -- Toward a science of cities -- Consequences and predictions: from mobility and the pace of life to social connectivity, diversity, metabolism, and growth -- Toward a science of companies -- The vision of a grand unified theory of sustainability.
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title Scale : the universal laws of growth, innovation, sustainability, and the pace of life in organisms, cities, economies, and companies
title_display Scale : the universal laws of growth, innovation, sustainability, and the pace of life in organisms, cities, economies, and companies
title_full Scale : the universal laws of growth, innovation, sustainability, and the pace of life in organisms, cities, economies, and companies / Geoffrey West
title_short Scale :
title_sort scale the universal laws of growth, innovation, sustainability, and the pace of life in organisms, cities, economies, and companies
title_sub the universal laws of growth, innovation, sustainability, and the pace of life in organisms, cities, economies, and companies