In a Flight of Starlings: The Wonder of Complex Systems

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In a Flight of Starlings: The Wonder of Complex Systems

In a Flight of Starlings: The Wonder of Complex Systems

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Part elegant scientific treatise, part thrilling intellectual journey, In a Flight of Starlings is an invitation to find wonder in the world around us. In so doing, he removes the practice of science from the confines of the laboratory and into the real world.

We had a meeting of academics at the G7 in Paris in 2019, and one thing that we were very worried about was weapons systems controlled by AI. Parisi knows, knew or at least acknowledges pretty much everyone who ever won a Nobel Prize in Physics (He won his in 2021). Parisi’s voice is amiable and conversational, which endows [In a Flight of Starlings ] with the feel of a conversation with a wise and generous elder. Especially now, when I have left a room, and people talking, and the stone flags ring out with my solitary footsteps, and I behold the moon rising, sublimely, indifferently, over the ancient chapel — then it becomes clear that I am not one and simple, but complex and many.

I was really excited for what I thought this book was (a book from a Nobel prize winning physicist about complex systems) and ended up reading a memoir/essay collection instead. He goes on endlessly about the three phases of water and the physics of phase transition, for example. The deceptively slim volume serves as a forceful argument for the value of scientific literacy at a time when it’s increasingly being challenged by misinformation .

However, while there was closed captioning, it was only in Italian (fair enough), and there were even more (and more daunting) charts in his video presentation than in his book.If citizens and politicians do not trust science, we will move inexorably in the wrong direction, and the struggle against any number of global ills—global warming, infectious disease, hunger and poverty, the depletion of the planet’s natural resources— will fail. To this end, in this book I have told something of my own story through select reports on significant episodes in my scientific life. And therefore if for any reason whatsoever someone needs a comment from a Nobel laureate, they ask me. Now that climate change is starting to affect people’s lives, there is perhaps a stronger reaction, but we need much more forceful measures to be taken.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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