John H. Holland





John H. Holland



Average rating: 3.85 · 542 ratings · 38 reviews · 6 distinct works · Similar authors
Hidden Order: How Adaptatio...

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3.86 avg rating — 226 ratings — published 1995 — 2 editions
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Emergence: From Chaos To Order

3.94 avg rating — 149 ratings — published 1998 — 4 editions
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Complexity: A Very Short In...

3.62 avg rating — 88 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
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Adaptation in Natural and A...

3.89 avg rating — 44 ratings — published 1992 — 5 editions
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Signals and Boundaries: Bui...

3.96 avg rating — 26 ratings — published 2012 — 6 editions
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Induction: Processes of Inf...

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3.78 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 1986 — 3 editions
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“A brief look at the role of tested building blocks in technical innovations will help us understand the role of building blocks in the specific case of rule innovation. A scan of history shows that technical innovations almost always arise as a particular combination of well-known building blocks. Take two technological innovations that have revolutionized twentieth-century society, the internal combustion engine and the digital computer. The internal combustion engine combines Volta's sparking device, Venturi's (perfume) sprayer, a water pump's pistons, a mill's gear wheels, and so on. The first digital computers combined Geiger's particle counter, the persistence (slow fade) of cathode ray tube images, the use of wires to direct electrical currents, and so on. In both cases most of the building blocks were already in use, in different contexts, in the nineteenth century. It was the specific combination, among the great number possible, that provided the innovation. When a new building block is discovered, the result is usually a range of innovations. The transistor revolutionized devices ranging from major appliances to portable radios and computers. Even new building blocks are often derived, at least in part, by combining more elementary building blocks. Transistors were founded on knowledge of selenium rectifiers and semiconductors.”
John H. Holland, Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity

“The diversity of 'cas'(complex adaptive systems) is a dynamic patter, often persistent and coherent like the standing wave we alluded to earlier. If you disturb the wave, say with a stick or paddle, the wave quickly repairs itself once the disturbance is removed. Similarly in 'cas', a pattern of interactions disturbed by the extinction of component agents often reasserts itself, though the new agents may differ in detail from the old. There is, however, a crucial difference between the standing wave pattern and 'cas' patterns: 'cas' patterns evolve. The diversity observed in 'cas' is the product of progressive adaptations. Each new adaptation opens the possibility for further interactions and new niches.”
John H. Holland, Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity

“Analysing complexity Analysis of complex systems almost always turns on finding recurring patterns in the system’s ever-changing configurations. The game of chess provides a useful analogy: a dozen rules determine”
John H. Holland, Complexity: A Very Short Introduction



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