New Publications on Emergence and Complexity from ISEC Press

Posted on May 4, 2009 by


Dr Kurt A. Richardson, Director of ISCE Publishing has announced the following new publications  on complexity by ISCE Publishing.

1. The Boids and the Bees: Guiding Adaptation to Improve our Health, Healthcare, Schools, and Society – Written by Alonso H. Jones with Jerry Bozeman. ISBN 9780981703268 (264 pages + index);

2. Dynamical Psychology: Complexity, Self-Organization and Mind – Written Jay Friedenberg. ISBN 9780981703299 (306 pages + index);

3. Systemic Development: Local Solutions in a Global Environment – Edited by James Sheffield. ISBN/ISSN 9780981703275 (784 pages);

4. Knots, Lace and Tartan: Making Sense of Complex Human Systems in Military Operations Research – Written/Edited by: Graham L. Mathieson & Kurt A. Richardson
ISBN 9780981703244 (256 pages + index);

5. The Dialectical Tragedy of the Concept of Wholeness: Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s Biography Revisited, Written David Pouvreau. ISBN 9780981703282 (264 pages + index), and;

6. Work and Organization: The Aesthetic Dimension – Edited by David Boje, Adrian Carr & Philip Hancock.ISBN 9780981703251 (212 pages).

Dr. Richardson continues: “Further details of each book are available below. I hope you find one or all of them of interest. All book can be ordered securely online at

“If you have an idea for a book you think ISCE-P would be interested in publishing then please feel free to send me your suggestions. These could be single author monographs, requests for the republication of out-of-print classics, edited volumes, conference proceedings, etc. Please bear in mind we are only interested in subjects related to the development and application of complex systems thinking.”

He adds, and I urge you to act on his urging.

“Please support independent non-profit book publishers by buying directly from the publisher’s website whenever possible. Distributors such as Amazon take a staggering 55% commission which is slowly pushing up the price of small distribution academic books to unacceptable levels. Books purchased directly from ISCE-P automatically receive at least a 20% discount off the full retail price. The more books we sell directly through our website, the quicker we can bring down prices as we will not than have to price-in the 55% distributor commission rate.”

Below are more detailed descriptions of these new titles provided by ISCE Publishing.

The Boids and the Bees: Guiding Adaptation to Improve our Health, Healthcare, Schools, and Society
Written by: A.H. Jones with Jerry Bozeman
2009, ISBN/ISSN 9780981703268 (264 pages + index), ISCE Publishing

HARDBACK: $48.99

Regulations are not successful when dealing with complex systems:

* The pharmaceutical industry has tried to help us cope with illness by regulating the body with drugs; and the unintended side effects that lead to drug recalls years after the drugs are released shows the dangers of this approach.
* Our schools have tried to better educate our children by regulating their learning with frequent testing, controlled curricula, and the application of scientific learning—mostly rewards and punishment (operant conditioning) and repetition; and the results have been continued dropouts and poor test results.
* We use the same methods in our foreign relations when we attempt to maintain a balance of power or coerce a nation with rewards or sanctions; and the violence in our world is testament to how well this works.
* We even use it on our bodies when we use drugs to block its allergic response to noxious substances; and the increases in asthma in this country and world-wide demonstrate how well this works.

Very few if any of the experts in these respective fields see a relationship between the methods they use and the poor results that follow. In order to see this relationship one has to see differently. That is what The Boids and the Bees is all about.

For the past several centuries the dominant method of seeing and dealing with our problems has been the analytical one where we take the system apart, find the faulty element, correct it, and hope the machine works better as a result.  This method works well on cars and other machines, but it doesn’t work well on people. People are not machines; they can adapt and their adaptations are often novel and unpredictable. And adaptability continues into the organizations people create when they join together. Living agents and the organizations they create are better modeled as complex adaptive systems—we call them CASYs—than they are as machines.

CASYs do have rules, but they don’t fit well with the mechanical model. Based on the ‘boid’ rules for flocking behavior outlined by Craig Reynolds more than two decades ago, those suggested by Paul Plsek for dealing with healthcare, and observations on early childhood development—because after all a child is the CASY archetype—we look at our past attempts to cope that have relied on the regulatory mechanical approach and suggest alternatives that would be more friendly to living adapting agents, and likely more successful as well.

Dynamical Psychology: Complexity, Self-Organization and Mind
Written/Edited by: Jay Friedenberg
2009, ISBN/ISSN 9780981703299 (306 pages + index), ISCE Publishing

HARDBACK: $55.99

Over the past several decades, the sciences have witnessed a significant paradigm shift. Our traditional notions of order, energy, causality and methodology have all been upended. A new set of views has arisen that enables us to better understand and examine the complexity of nature. In this perspective, behavior is nonlinear, order emerges spontaneously and responses are best understood as the movement of trajectories through multi-dimensional space. This book examines the role that dynamical systems, complexity science, networks, and fractals play in helping to explain the most difficult thing of all: ourselves.

“While so many researchers in dynamical cognition are busy writing books that describe theirs and related research in deliciously excruciating detail in books that are perfect for graduate courses, no one seems to be writing novice-friendly introductory dynamical cognition textbooks that will prepare undergraduates for reading those more detailed books when they go to graduate school, until now. Not only should all undergraduate psychology majors read Friedenberg’s Dynamical Psychology, I think all undergraduates in every major should read this book.”

Michael Spivey
Professor of Cognitive Science
Humanities and Arts, University of California.

“Dynamical Psychology is a well written, thoughtfully organized synthesis of a host of findings from the fields of nonlinear dynamics, chaos, complexity and self-organization that demonstrates the relevance of these developing areas of study vis a vis the brain. The goal of the book is the establishment of a broad ideological movement in psychology inspired or based on these findings, a movement similar in scope to the ecological, gestalt or connectionist schools.”

Daniel Graham
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Department of Mathematics, Dartmouth College.

Systemic Development: Local Solutions in a Global Environment
Written/Edited by: James Sheffield
2009, ISBN/ISSN 9780981703275 (784 pages), ISCE Publishing

HARDBACK: $65.99
CD-ROM: $55.99

Currently the globally-connected world creates complexity for local decision makers. Environmental, social, organizational, and informational problems are pluralistic and messy. Systems approaches are required to reduce conflict and confusion. A key challenge is to apply holistic systems concepts to improve the lives of those served by systems of all kinds. This challenge motivated the theme for 2007’s ANZSYS conference—‘Systemic development: local solutions in a global environment’. This volume brings together nearly seventy papers covering the following topics:

* A globally-connected virtual world;
* Applications of creativity to systemic problem-solving;
* Conceptual modelling;
* Critical systems;
* Information systems;
* Managing systemic development;
* Organizational systems;
* Regional and environmental systems;
* Social systems;
* System dynamics;
* Systems theory/systems thinking.

CONTRIBUTORS Aldo A. Zagonel, Andrew Gill, Andrey Korotayev, Anita Hrast, Anson Li, Björn Johansson, Brian W. Bush, Bronwyn Howell, Bruce McKenzie, Bryan Bender, Carlos Comperatore, Chris Goldspink, Claes Svensson , Craig Standing, Cynthia Mitchell, Damjan Prosenak, Danuvasin Charoen, Darek Eriksson, David Matthews, David R. Thompson, Dennis R. Powell, Dmitri Bondarenko, Don Houston, Elena Sitnikova, Eli Berniker, Gerald Midgley, Greg Newbold, Hai Zhang, Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano, Ioannis C. Theocharopoulos, Ivan Jensen, Ivan Tomek, J. Myles, J.P. Kropp, Jack Meek, Jacqueline Margetts, James Sheffield, Jan Gregor, Jane Palmer, Janet McIntyre-Mills, Jason Markham, Jeffrey Foote, Jiangning Wu, John Barton, John Davies, John Molineux, John Stephens, Jonas Hedman, Jorge Vélez-Castiblanco, Julia Göbel, Juliet Willetts, K. Eisenack, Kambiz Maani, Kaoru Yamaguchi, Kevin Laws, Leonid Grinin, Li Di, Lilac Berniker, Lili Rong, Lincoln Wood, Linus Vallén, Ljubica Mamula-Seadon, Lori Dauelsberg, Lorne Olfman, M.K.B. Lüdeke, Maria Hepi, Maria M. Konstantopoulou, Martin Tobias, Mary Ewers, N. Sriskandarajah, Nikiras A. Assimakopoulos, Nikolay Popov, P. Dobson, Paul Jackson, Pik Kwan Rivera, Qingquan Wang, R.G. Packham, R.J. Bawden, Ray Ison, Rick Giles, Robert Cavana, Robert Kay, Robert McLeod, Rod Barnett, Rod Sarah, Roger Attwater, Rosalind Armson, Salesio M. Kiura, Sean Devine, Sharon M. DeLand, Simon Chun Kwan Chui, Sohail Asghar, Stefan Henningsson, Stephen Cook, Stephen H. Conrad, Stephen McKernon, Stephen Russell, Steve Tighe, Susanna Nilsson, T. Cooper, Takahisa Yokoyama, Takayoshi Kato, Tanzi Smith, Terence Love, Terry Ryan, Tim Haslett, Timothy Ferris, Victoria Mabin, Vincent Vesterby, Virginia Baker, Wayne Hobbs, Yanzhong Dang, Yonggui Wang, Yoshitaka Nitta, Zdenka Ženko & Zhongtuo Wang.

Knots, Lace and Tartan: Making Sense of Complex Human Systems in Military Operations Research – The Selected Works of Graham L. Mathieson
Written/Edited by: Graham L. Mathieson & Kurt A. Richardson
2009, ISBN/ISSN 9780981703244 (256 pages + index), ISCE Publishing

HARDBACK: $39.99

Graham Mathieson was a Fellow of the UK MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory where he was a member of the Human Systems Team. He was an innovative thinker who made significant contributions to the understanding and analysis of military command and control, with particular emphasis in recent years on the proper representation of humans in models. His work had an impact not only in the UK, but worldwide via NATO working groups, the DOD’s CCRP, and collaborative international projects. He was a major contributor to the NATO Code of Best Practice for C2 Analysis.

Graham was passionate about the rigorous use of science to inform decision making, and was well known for challenging his colleagues’ ideas with constructive arguments that were based on his own clear and innovative thinking.

This volume brings together selected works from Graham’s published writings on complex human systems in military operations research, which should be of interest to human systems researchers in both the military and civilian domains.

Part I (“Scoping the Problem Space”) brings together three chapters that represent Graham’s later works on complexity thinking and how it might be applied to human organizations. The extent to which he embraced the new complexity paradigm is clear, and how he was beginning to weave it into the needs of OA customers. Part II (“Confronting the Problem Space”) contains papers that are much less general and abstract, and address specific issues in the complex world of human systems modeling.

All profits to go to a charity chosen by Graham’s widow.

The Dialectical Tragedy of the Concept of Wholeness: Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s Biography Revisited
Written/Edited by: David Pouvreau
2009, ISBN/ISSN 9780981703282 (264 pages + index), ISCE Publishing

SOFTBACK: $29.99

The recent discovery of an archive full of personal documents of the philosopher and biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy, founder of the General System Theory, paved the way for a reconsideration of important elements concerning his life and thought. This updated biography of a thinker, who is equally often cited as misjudged, takes into consideration all of his publications, his correspondence, as well as the secondary sources devoted to him, and attempts to reveal his richness and complexity to a general reader. This biography thus aims at initiating and promoting a study that is both critical and appreciative of his oeuvre. It equally seeks to navigate between two all too common pitfalls found in connection with von Bertalanffy: hagiographic temptation and reductive judgements, which are often ideologically motivated.

Work and Organization: The Aesthetic Dimension

Written/Edited by: David Boje, Adrian Carr & Philip Hancock
2009, ISBN/ISSN 9780981703251 (212 pages), ISCE Publishing

SOFTBACK: $25.99

Over recent years the field of organization studies has exhibited an increasing interest in the aesthetic dimension of work and its organization. The chapters in this volume owe their origins to a conference held at the University of Manchester in July 2001. This conference, The Second International Critical Management Studies Conference, contained a stream on art and aesthetics which was convened by the editors of this volume. The chapters that constitute this volume should be understood as being inter-related, and are clearly focussed upon the topic of art and aesthetics. Notwithstanding, the chapters in this volume can be seen to speak to three major themes which could be broadly described as: Art and aesthetics as a way of knowing organization; the organization of work itself is an aesthetically ordered activity; and, critical engagements with aesthetics at work.

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