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Gell-Mann M. The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex

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Gell-Mann M. The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex
New York: Freeman & Co., 1994. — 392 p.
From one of the architects of the new science of simplicity and complexity comes a highly personal, unifying vision of the natural world. As a theoretical physicist, Murray Gell-Mann has explored nature at its most fundamental level. His achievements include the 1969 Nobel Prize for work leading up to his discovery of the quark - the basic building block of all atomic nuclei throughout the universe. But Gell-Mann is a man of many intellectual passions, with lifelong interests in fields that seek to understand existence at its most complex: natural history, biological evolution, the history of language, and the study of creative thinking. These seemingly disparate pursuits come together in Gell-Mann's current work at the Santa Fe Institute, where scientists are investigating the similarities and differences among complex adaptive systems - systems that learn or evolve by utilizing acquired information. They include a child learning his or her native language, a strain of bacteria becoming resistant to an antibiotic, the scientific community testing new theories, or an artist implementing a creative idea.
The Quark and the Jaguar is Gell-Mann's own story of finding the connections between the basic laws of physics and the complexity and diversity of the natural world. The simple: a quark inside an atom. The complex: a jaguar prowling its jungle territory in the night. Exploring the relationship between them becomes a series of exciting intellectual adventures.
Preface
The Simple and the Complex
Prologue: An Encounter in the Jungle
Early Light
Information and Crude Complexity
Randomness
A Child Learning a Language
Bacteria Developing Drug Resistance
The Scientific Enterprise
The Power of Theory
What Is Fundamental?
The Quantum Universe
Simplicity and Randomness in the Quantum Universe
A Contemporary View of Quantum Mechanics: Quantum Mechanics and the Classical Approximation
Quantum Mechanics and Flapdoodle
Quarks and All That: The Standard Model
Superstring Theory: Unification at Last?
Time's Arrows: Forward and Backward Time
Selection and Fitness
Selection at Work in Biological Evolution and Elsewhere
From Learning to Creative Thinking
Superstition and Skepticism
Adaptive and Maladaptive Schemata
Machines That Learn or Simulate Learning
Diversity and Sustainability
Diversities Under Threat
Transitions to a More Sustainable World
Afterword
Index
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