Ubiquity: Why Catasttrophes Happen
Why do catastrophes happen? What sets off earthquakes, for example? What about mass extinctions of species? The outbreak of major wars? Massive traffic jams that seem to appear out of nowhere? Why does the stock market periodically suffer dramatic crashes? Why do some forest fires become superheated infernos that rage totally out of control?
Experts have never been able to explain the causes of any of these disasters. Now scientists have discovered that these seemingly unrelated cataclysms, both natural and human, almost certainly all happen for one fundamental reason. More than that, there is not and never will be any way to predict them.
Critically acclaimed science journalist Mark Buchanan tells the fascinating story of the discovery that there is a natural structure of instability woven into the fabric of our world. From humble beginnings studying the physics of sandpiles, scientists have learned that an astonishing range of things–Earth’s crust, cars on a highway, the market for stocks, and the tightly woven networks of human society–have a natural tendency to organize themselves into what’s called the “critical state,” in which they are poised on what Buchanan describes as the “knife-edge of instability.” The more places scientists have looked for the critical state, the more places they’ve found it, and some believe that the pervasiveness of instability must now be seen as a fundamental feature of our world.
Ubiquity is packed with stories of real-life catastrophes, such as the huge earthquake that in 1995 hit Kobe, Japan, killing 5,000 people; the forest fires that ravaged Yellowstone National Park in 1988; the stock market crash of 1987; the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs; and the outbreak of World War I. Combining literary flair with scientific rigor, Buchanan introduces the researchers who have pieced together the evidence of the critical state, explaining their ingenious work and unexpected insights in beautifully lucid prose.
At the dawn of this new century, Buchanan reveals, we are witnessing the emergence of an extraordinarily powerful new field of science that will help us comprehend the bewildering and unruly rhythms that dominate our lives and may even lead to a true science of the dynamics of human culture and history.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Review: Ubiquity: Why Catastrophes HappenUser Review - Collin Clark - Goodreads
Interesting book on historical science and how one seemingly small event can lay the ground work for future events. Think of the hypothetical situation where a butterfly flaps its wings in Africa ... Read full review
Review: Ubiquity: Why Catastrophes HappenUser Review - Jim Morrison - Goodreads
I liked it very much. It made me skeptical about some of the science I learned when I was young. Mostly, not everything is normally distributed like you might think. Science class, at least in the ... Read full review
Ubiquity: The Science of History, Or why the World is Simpler Than We Think
No preview available - 2000
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JHT :: Evil, Structural Stability, and Predisposed Movements
Ubiquity - Why Catastrophes Happen. New York: Three Rivers Press.  Thims, L. (2005). Field Data - Interview of 100 Chicagoans in '03 and '05 regarding ...
Chaos Theory [encyclopedia]
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Reading Buchanan (2000)
破局もまた世の常 / Ubiquity (Buchanan). Mark BUCHANAN 著, 2000年: Ubiquity -- Why Catastrophes Happen. uk: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; [Paperback版] 2001年, ...
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External Newsletters Model - Interest Bearing Notes November 2003
In one of the better popular science books that your editors have read in quite some time, (Ubiquity: Why Catastrophes Happen, Three Rivers Press), ...
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Kosovo independence & WW3 - Gd Info - Singapore Bikes Forums
In his excellent book Ubiquity: Why Catastrophes Happen, science writer Mark Buchanan ponders the World War I question before going on to talk about ...
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書名： 改變世界的簡單法則(Ubiquity: Why Catastrophes Happen?) 作者： 馬克. 布坎南（Mark Buchanan）. 譯者： 陳雅雲. 出版商： 究竟. 出版時間： 2004/8/30 ...
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