Confronting Complexity

The book you are seeing on your screen may look like a normal book; it is not. It is a conversation in which you are a participant. The book does not offer pat answers to hard questions. In fact, it barely even gives definition to hard questions. Rather, this book presents that stage in which science is most challenging and, arguably, most interesting—the period of identifying just what the problems and issues are. That is why we solicit your help in writing this story—the story of extreme events in social systems.

The participants in this book-writing enterprise are independent thinkers who wish to understand the forces impinging on social systems and the systems’ often dramatic and extreme responses to those forces. Extreme events, the sudden and discontinuous response of social systems to these forces, are what we for shorthand term X-Events. X-events We imagine the reader to be a person who wants to intelligently manage his or her actions and behaviors in the midst of an X-event—in short, to manage an organization in chaos. And not only manage, but be a beneficiary of that event. Explicitly, we understand that there are no simple answers to social questions. But but there is at least a gestalt that can help an individual anticipate and manage X-events. The program outlined here is to build the gestalt by total immersion in the topic—by examining the issues from many perspectives.

BIG IDEAS IN SCIENCE, ART, AND SOCIETY

Hello fellow space-time travelers. My name is Roger Jones. I am coming to you from steamy downtown Pensacola, Florida. It is 7:30 in the morning in late June, so you can see the morning sun streaming through the east-facing windows behind me. This is the first post on this channel, TheX-Press channel, so I thought…

Clinical Trials in the Era of Personalized Medicine

Excerpts from the book Confronting Complexity X-Events, Resilience, and Human Progress by John L. Casti Roger D. Jones Michael J. Pennock preface table-of-contents Click to Buy Paperback E-Book Bundled The cost of sequencing an individual human genome is rapidly dropping below $1000. Much of the population can now easily access the details of their susceptibility…

Goats, Cars, and Personalized Medicine

Personalized medicine will change the way physicians diagnose. With every person able to map his or her own gene, the complication in personalized diagnosis will increase beyond normal human mental capabilities. How will physicians of the future cope? The solution to the problem may start with something as incongruous as goats, cars, and game shows.

Information management that improves health outcomes and reduces costs

I would like to start this blog with a story about my college-age daughter. Like most college students, she likes pizza. Beth, because she is a modern child completely comfortable in the information age, orders her pizza over the internet. She can monitor the progress of her pizza online. She knows when the cheese has been applied and also the pepperoni. She knows when the pizza has been placed in the delivery car, and she knows, within a few seconds, when the deliveryman will knock on our door. She also knows the deliveryman’s name.