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[Editor's note: peterme.com
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The Obvious. This evolved (or devolved) towards link lists and shorter
thoughtpieces. These essays are getting a tad old, but have some good
Design Recommended Reading List
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All contents of peterme.com are © 1998 - 2002 Peter Merholz.
|The only thing that's surprising is how long it took me to get to reading it. Posted on 07/31/2002.
Recently finished Herbert Simon's The Sciences of the Artificial. Any regular reader of peterme.com will find lots of interest, for in this modest tome (8 essays, 200 pages), Simon touches on:cognitive psychology; artificial intelligence; memory; design practice; social and urban planning; complexity; self-organization; evolutionary models applied to damn near everything; and organizational dynamics. In some ways, it feels like the kind of book I'd write if I spent 50 years in academia studying whatever it was I wanted to study (which seems to have been Simon's path). From what I can tell, this is a "groundbreaking" work, which is harder to understand, since so many of Simon's ideas have permeated standard thought.
For further proof of how it was only a matter of time before I read this, there's this diagram depicting how Amazon links the book to other similar titles. (thanks bbj)
I've just started Linked: The New Science of Networks, which is getting much play on the blogs. It makes me wonder what Simon would have done had he spent time pursuing that topic.
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Previous entry: "Soon I'll be one of those folks who peers at the outside world through parted slats in the window blinds."
Next entry: "Humane isn't the same as human."
Another good book on networks is "Nexus" by Mark Buchanan.
"Linked" focuses more on scale-free networks, which Laszlo and students are famous for. "Nexus" focuses on the Watts-Strogatz small-world discoveries. "Nexus" also includes a chapter on Granovetter -- a sociologist who revealed the strength of 'weak ties' -- very cool stuff.
Read 'em both -- lot to learn about networks, much of it counter-intuitive.
Posted by Valdis @ 08/01/2002 01:50 PM PST [link to this comment]
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