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Understanding Complexity

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Recent years have seen the introduction of concepts from the new and exciting field of complexity science that have captivated the attention of economists, sociologists, engineers, businesspeople, and many others. These include tipping points, the sociological term used to describe moments when unique or rare phenomena become more commonplace; the wisdom of crowds, the ...more
60 pages
Published 2009 by The Great Courses
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Otto Lehto
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding series of lectures. One of the best courses I've ever taken, both in delivery and contents. I might be biased, since I was already extremely interested in complexity. However, it is hard not to be impressed by the structure of the lectures and the enthusiasm of the speaker. Highly recommended.
אין לי הרבה מה לאמר על הספר כי חלקים שלו לא הבנתי עד הסוף. גם כשהבנתי בזמן ההקשבה, אני לא מסוגלת לשחזר את דברים במרחק הזמן, כי ההבנה שלי היתה נקודתית ולא משהו קוהרנטי.

אני בטוחה שזו אני, צריך רקע מסויים במודלים מתמטים וסטטיסטיים, דבר שאין לי. הוא דן בנושאים מאוד מעניינים כמו אחידות, שונות, מגוון, אנטרופיה, מורכבות ועוד. אבל שוב, אני לא יודעת להסביר חלק מהדברים שהבנתי באופן אינטואיטיבי כשהוא הסביר אותם.

הבעיה היא שזה אודיו של קורס ואין ספר שניתן לחזור ולעקוב אחרי ההסברים. בנוסף חלק מהפרקים/ הרצאות
Tarmo Tali
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not to mention interesting topic, this is probably one of the most amazing learning experiences I ever had.
Joe Kraus
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I picked this one up because Scott Page is an old college friend, and hearing his voice – not so much as a reader as a lecturer – was part of the deep pleasure of listening to it. I remember him back in his student government days with the same mix of seriousness and good humor – putting energy into the work but never taking himself too seriously.

So, biased as I am, I declare his presence, his voice, worth the price of admission.

But there’s much more here as well. I guess I could have provided a
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was FASCINATING!! Highly recommended, but with one big caveat.

The caveat is that this book isn't actually about complexity but rather about complex systems. That might seem like a minor distinction but on the heels of Big History: The Big Bang, Life On Earth, And The Rise Of Humanity I've been wrestling ever since with his contention that the arc of existence is toward ever greater complexity. A comment from someone in the past year or two noting that computer science is really the
Vivek Kotecha
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a nice, brief introduction to the subject. Explains many concepts like self organised criticality, agent based modeling, phase transitions, tipping points, emergence etc.. in complex systems. Highly recommend
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This course touches on many different topics to try to explain and illustrate complexity (such as systems, networks, economics, evolution, and games). It's good in providing a framework around complexity. When the rules are known and the outcome is predictable, it's simple (like a game of tic-tac-toe). When the rules are not known and the outcome is unpredictable, it's chaos. Complexity is in the range between those two extremes. The subject of complexity isn't mature enough that it could be ...more
Kunal Sen
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rare and distinctive example of taking something complex and making it completely understandable, without oversimplification. Moreover, it is a topic every curious person should know about. Many of the interesting phenomenon we encounter in real life, be it, consciousness, biology, climate change, or financial markets, can only be understood by seeing them as complex systems. I would strongly recommend this series of lectures to all my friends.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite Great Courses. There's lots in here that's both practical and explanatory. I think tipping points are crucial to understand in many different areas of life, and diversity isn't just about ethics, it's logistically best practice in a complex system.
Lis Carey
This is a set of interesting, entertaining, informative lectures on the science of complexity.

Much of the world we live in consists of complex systems, inherently changing, always in motion, or, as the author says, "dancing." They can't be controlled, but if we take the time to understand them, we can influence them. Properly applied, this could help prevent financial crashes, or prevent or contain epidemic. It can help design buildings better designed to enable people to evacuate safely in the
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complex, indeed. Page uses a whirlwind of examples to illustrate features of complexity. These examples can change quickly within a lecture and leave you on the edge of your seat, rewinding the last sixty seconds, over and over, like a cocaine monkey in a lab test. As it is, the dizzying array of illustrations helpfully reinforces the omnipresence of complexity in our daily lives—you can apply principles of complexity science to almost anything.

Scott Page advocates a “many-model” approach to
Vesa Linja-Aho
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mitä yhteistä on pörssiromahduksilla, sodilla, terrori-iskuilla ja tautien leviämisellä? Kaikki ovat kompleksisten järjestelmien tuotoksia. Kirja päättyy mielenkiintoiseen esimerkkiin: millaiset organisaatiot selviävät kompleksisessa maailmassa? Kun listataan yli 500-vuotiaita organisaatioita, listalla ei ole pankkeja ja rakennusliikkeitä vaan yliopistoja, panimoita ja herkkutehtaita. Näissä organisaatioissa ei ole optimoitu tehokkuutta tappiin asti vaan on tilaa epäonnistua ja löysäillä, siksi ...more
Carl Rannaberg
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very nice introduction to complexity theory with approachable examples and explanations. It discusses rugged and dancing landscapes, exploration vs exploitation dilemma, game theory, evolution, networks, algorithms, global vs local optimums, robust and fragile systems, emergence etc.

One of the takeaways was that in order to solve complex problems as a leader you need diversity:
* Rotate peoples jobs and offices
* Create parallel work teams
* Bring in outsiders
* Hire people with diverse training
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This author-read audiobook from Great Courses is well presented. Chapters are the right length to present complicated ideas so they can actually be absorbed. Examples are well-chosen to illustrate concepts. He is obviously used to the lecture format. Complexity theory explains much of our modern world and will become increasingly more pertinent as our lives and worlds become more complex. So glad I started with learning about it with this presentation.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read_2019
While it does not go deep into the subject, this is an excellent and thoroughly accessible introduction to the science of complexity. Scott Page is a talented and articulate lecturer who makes the subject into a compelling narrative. Highly recommended if you're looking for an audio-based introduction.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a lecture on Complex systems. It covers all the basics concepts in Complex systems. But what really stood out was how simple examples Scott used to explain the concepts, take them apart and then put them back together. It is an audio version and it will need most of your attention to follow through the entire concept. But it was a blast going through this material.
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I did not know complexity was a subject this rich and with such depth. I found it a little hard to follow at times, but it was one of the best courses I've gone through this year. I will certainly look for other books on the subject to understand more of this fascinating concept.
Saad Ali
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great intro to complexity theory. Will definitely be looking for more on the subject.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good
Adrian van Eeden
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable explanation of a very difficult topic. Mr Page keeps the jargon and formulae to a minimum and simplifies the concepts beautifully. Now to level up!
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! Professor Page covers this fascinating topic in a way that is accessible to people who lack an advanced math degree, but do have intellectual curiosity.
Carey Renee
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
File this one under audiobooks for nerds who are studying systems theories in their doctoral program. (That would be me).
Douglas O'laughlin
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very good intro to the subject, I think I’m going to become obsessed with this topic, what a great course and an interesting subject.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
While the subject matter of these lectures is increasingly important they come off a bit dry as a whole.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Complex Systems Are Everywhere. This course starts with many definitions that are needed to understand what Complexity is and then the details around modeling complexity using gaming theory. I enjoyed it and learned a lot.
Greg Smith
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listening to this one on Audible to and from work each day..... First impression is that complexity is a very complex subject! :)
Scott Fairbanks
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very stimulating. It gave me a new set of goggles, better yet a new dictionary to describe. We encounter complex systems daily. When does a system become complex? Now I know! And I have insight to the tensions and dynamics that govern these systems. Please read this book, the ideas here are fundamental and should be taught alongside geometry and chemistry.
An Audible Daily Deal. I wasn't sure about this one as I wasn't sure if the subject material would go over my head. But the lectures sounded so interesting! They were interesting--all of it was--and I only got a little lost when it came to the very few (like one or two) complicated mathematical formulas. Thankfully, there was always a verbal illustration or thought-experiment to explain what was meant and some of this stuff was just so fascinating, I wanted to knock on stranger's doors and start ...more
Victor Negut
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This felt more like a real lecture than than usual

(Read again)
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting ideas, definitely warrants a second listen.
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