Modesty, humor, compassion, and wisdom are the traits most evident in this illuminating selection of personal papers from the Albert Einstein Archives. The illustrious physicist wrote as thoughtfully to an Ohio fifth-grader, distressed by her discovery that scientists classify humans as animals, as to a Colorado banker who asked whether Einstein believed in a personal God. Witty rhymes, an exchange with Queen Elizabeth of Belgium about fine music, and expressions of his devotion to Zionism are but some of the highlights found in this warm and enriching book.
What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? In this remarkably clear and companionable book, leading complex systems scientist Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. Richly illustrated, Complexity: A Guided Tour--winner of the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science--offers a wide-ranging overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for its contribution to solving some of the most important scientific questions of our time.
The influence of Einstein's thought extends beyond physics into other fields such as psychology, linguistics, and ethics. 23 papers delivered at a 1979 symposium examine the range of one of the 20th century's great minds.
Prefatory Explanation It must be remarked at once that I am 'editor' of this volume only in that I had the honor of presiding at the symposium on Spinoza and the Sciences at which a number of these papers were presented (exceptions are those by Hans Jonas, Richard Popkin, Joe VanZandt and our four European contributors), in that I have given some editorial advice on details of some of the papers, including translations, and finally, in that my name appears on the cover. The choice of speakers, and of addi tional contributors, is entirely due to Robert Cohen and Debra Nails; and nearly all the burden of readying the manuscript for the press has been borne by the latter. In the introduction to another anthology on Spinoza I opened my remarks by quoting a statement of Sir Stuart Hampshire about inter pretations of Spinoza's chief work: All these masks have been fitted on him and each of them does to some extent fit. But they remain masks, not the living face. They do not show the moving tensions and unresolved conflicts in Spinoza's Ethics. (Hampshire, 1973, p. 297) The double theme of 'moving tensions' and 'unresolved conflicts' seems even more appropriate to the present volume. What is Spinoza's rela tion to the sciences? The answers are many, and they criss-cross one another in a number of complicated ways.
By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk—a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate—became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals. These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the last century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.