Highlighted Article: Empirical Paradox, Complexity Thinking and Generating New Kinds of Knowledge

Empirical Paradox, Complexity Thinking and Generating New Kinds of Knowledge by Bruce J. West, Korosh Mahmoodi, and Paolo Grigolini has been included in an interesting recent article by PHYS. The piece reveals the significance of the book when thinking about the inevitability of another world war.

‘Is another world war inevitable? The answer is a resounding “yes” if we continue to think in terms of “either/or” outcomes. Adversaries think in such terms, you either get what you want, or you do not. Can a different way of thinking produce a different outcome? This book shows that the consistency demanded by the linear, logical either/or thinking is disrupted by paradox, whose resolution forces a consequent decision: war or peace, with no middle ground. If this were the only way of thinking then a person would be either a protagonist or an antagonist, but a person can be both, either, or neither; this opens the door to novel solutions. This is “both/and” thinking, which the book shows can be achieved by a dynamic resolution of paradox. Thus, a basically selfish individual can also be a hero; a consequence of the complexity of being human.’

Dr Bruce J. West is the Chief Mathematics Scientist at the Army Research Office (ARO), and holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Rochester, USA. Over a 50 year career, he has published 20 books, including Fractional Calculus View of Complexity, Tomorrow’s Science (2016) and Nature’s Patterns and the Fractional Calculus (2017), in addition to 26 book chapters. He has also published in excess of 300 scientific articles in referred scientific journals and magazines, and received the Army Samuel S. Wilks Memorial Award in 2011, the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 2012, and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award in 2017. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Army Research Laboratory, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr Korosh Mahmoodi is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, USA. He received his PhD in Physics from the Center for Nonlinear Science of the University of North Texas, and holds Master’s Degrees in Materials Science and Engineering and Physics. His research interests include artificial intelligence, evolutionary game theory, dynamic complex networks, and nanomaterials, among others.

Paolo Grigolini is a Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Nonlinear Science of the University of North Texas. He is the author of 369 publications, and leads the research program “From Sociology and Neuroscience to a New Physics”.

To read the article click here.

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