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Scientists have recently discovered a new law of nature. Its footprints are virtually everywhere - in the spread of forest fires, mass extinctions, traffic jams, earthquakes, stock-market fluctuations, the rise and fall of nations, and even trends in fashion, music and art. Wherever we look, the world is modelled on a simple template: like a steep pile of sand, it is poised on the brink of instability, with avalanches - in events, ideas or whatever - following a universal pattern of change.This remarkable discovery heralds what Mark Buchanan calls the new science of 'ubiquity', a science whose secret lies in the stuff of the everyday world. Combining literary flair with scientific rigour, this enthralling book documents the coming revolution by telling the story of the researchers' exploration of the law, their ingenious work and unexpected insights. Mark Buchanan reveals how the principle of ubiquity will help us to manage, control and predict the future. More controversially, he claims that it may well contain the beginnings of a mathematics of cultural and historical change.Every decade sees a major scientific breakthrough that has implications that go way beyond science. 'Ubiquity' is one of them. This book, the world's first on the topic, will change how we think about the world and our place in it.Chaos Disorder from order.Complexity Complexity from simplicity.UBIQUITY World has a natural 'rhythm': there is a mysterious archetypal organisation that works in the world at all levels and which gives rise to a universal pattern of change - in groups of people, things or ideas.
Mark Buchanan has a PhD from the University of Virginia. Formerly an editor at Nature and New Scientist, he is now a science writer whose articles have appeared in numerous professional and general science magazines including Scientific American and New Scientist.