Why do certain civilizations, societies, and ecosystems collapse? How does the domino effect relate to the credit crunch? When can mathematics help explain marriage? And how on earth do toads predict earthquakes? The future is uncertain. But science can help foretell what lies ahead. Drawing on ecology and biology, math and physics, Crashes, Crises, and Calamities offers four fundamental tools that scientists and engineers use to forecast the likelihood of sudden change: stability, catastrophe, complexity, and game theories. In accessible prose, Len Fisher demonstrates how we can foresee and manage events that might otherwise catch us by surprise. At the cutting edge of science, Fisher helps us find ways to act before a full-fledged catastrophe is upon us. Crashes, Crises, and Calamities is a witty and informative exploration of the chaos, complexity, and patterns of our daily lives.
Scott M. Cooper, MIT Research Affiliate, co-author of "Coolhunting""
""With this third book in his trilogy of exploration into how to address some of society's most complex and vexing problems, Len Fisher challenges us to rethink how science and mathematics is used in what might be called 'crisis prediction and management.' This book is getting me to rethink some of my own work."
Simon A. Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology, Princeton University; author of"Fragile Dominion""
""Fisher is a master story-teller, making difficult scientific concepts seem simple through elegant exposition. "Crashes, Crises, and Calamities" addresses the challenge of disaster prediction in socio-economic, ecological, and physical systems by a brilliant and engaging integration of diverse scientific perspectives."
Ian Stewart, author of "Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities""
""Len Fisher is a natural storyteller, and his tales about the mathematics of crashes, crises, and calamities keep the pages turning. A great way to find out what the world's mathematicians are doing to forecast and prevent disasters of all kinds."
Yaneer Bar-Yam, Professor and President, New England Complex Systems Institute
"Excellent discussion of the most important problem of our time."
"PsycCRITIQUES"""Crashes, Crises, and Calamities" is a small book that opens its readers' eyes to the big picture. The language is simple, even homey, and Fisher deftly illustrates complex mathematical concepts with familiar examples.... [T]he value in this work is the nudge it gives us to step back from our narrow interests and consider possible connections with other fields, perhaps even inducing a critical transition in our own thought processes."" ""CHOICE" "The lighthearted approach takes the form of a series of questions and anecdotes frequently forcing one to laugh out loud--seriousness in disguise that should keep the reader involved from beginning to end, or provide a potpourri th
Len Fisher, Ph.D., is author of "The Perfect Swarm; Rock, Paper, Scissors; Weighing the Soul"; and the prize winning "How to Dunk a Doughnut." He lives in Wiltshire, England, and Blackheath, Australia.