Scale: The Universal Laws of Life and Death in Organisms, Cities and Companies
A startlingly original 'theory of everything' that invites us to rethink our understanding of the connections between human civilization and the laws of nature.
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Description of this Book
Geoffrey West's research centres on a quest to find unifying principles and patterns connecting everything, from cells and ecosystems to cities, social networks and businesses.'An absolutely riveting read . . . groundbreaking' Marcus du Sautoy'This book will expand your thinking from three dimensions to four' Nassim Nicholas Taleb'Scale is a firework display of popular science' Niall Ferguson'This is an important and original book, of immense scope' Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer RoyalScale addresses big, urgent questions about global sustainability, population explosion, urbanization, ageing, cancer, human lifespans and the increasing pace of life, but also encourages us to question the world around us. Why can we live for 120 years but not for a thousand? Why does the pace of life continually increase? Why do mice live for just two or three years and elephants for up to 75? Why do companies behave like mice, and are they all destined to die? Do cities, companies and human beings have natural, pre-determined lifespans? Are we just a fascinating experiment in natural selection that is ultimately doomed to fail? And what is the origin of the magic number 4 that seems to determine much of physiology and life-history from birth to death?
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||'An absolutely riveting read. Like the best detective story, West lays out the amazing challenge of understanding why animals, cities and companies all scale so uniformly and then skilfully lets us into the secrets that his detective work has uncovered. This book captures the spirit of science in the 21st century, revealing the deep connections not just across physics and biology but society and life. The book is a perfect balance between the big scientific story and West's own personal narrative. We accompany the author on his quest to face up to his own mortality while at the same time being exposed to the theoretical discoveries that West has pioneered in his groundbreaking work' Marcus du Sautoy, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and author of THE GREAT UNKNOWN 'It's rare in the history of science that someone has a big, bold, beautiful, stunningly simple new idea that also turns out to be right. Geoffrey West had one. And SCALE is its story' Steven Strogatz, Professor of Mathematics, Cornell University and author of THE JOY OF X
||Bertrams Star Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
GEOFFREY WEST is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions in physics, biology and global sustainability. West is a distinguished professor at the Santa Fe Institute, where he served as the president from 2005 to 2009. He also holds visiting positions at Oxford University, Imperial College and Nanyang Technical University in Singapore. West has been cited and admired in the works of many other writers and thinkers, and has given numerous presentations and popular online appearances on TED, Pop-Tech, World Economic Forum and Google Talks. In 2006, he was named to Time magazine's list of the '100 Most Influential People in the World'. www.ted.com/speakers/geoffrey_west