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In a Flight of Starlings: The Wonder of Complex Systems

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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 explains the way in which he is able to to see connections hidden from others simply because of the multiplicity of the projects he has worked on over time. At this moment in time, perhaps more than any before it, it is essential that the public have a fundamental understanding of the practice of science—that is to say, not only the results at which scientists arrive but how they do so.

We have seen how measures to contain the pandemic were often taken too late, only when they could no longer be postponed. Its a step-back and think-about-how-things-work book that is important for understanding what real science is and how it is achieved. I watched about five minutes of it before being distracted by a series of articles about Parisi’s controversial statements about cooking pasta . It was clear to us that this had to be done by physicists, because of the huge amount of data that had to be analysed.A bunch of Italian physicists concocted a gizmo of numerous synced cameras, each taking stills of a murmuration. Along the way, he reflects on the lessons he has taken from a life in pursuit of scientific truth: the importance of serendipity to the discovery of new ideas, the surprising kinship between physics and other disciplines, and the value of science to a thriving society.

You caused quite a stir in Italy recently when you claimed to have found a more energy efficient way to make pasta, by turning the heat off and putting the lid on two minutes after adding the pasta to boiling water.All very interesting even if I didn't grasp the more detailed parts of atomic structures and their behaviors with each other. With In a Flight of Starlings , celebrated physicist Giorgio Parisi guides us through his unorthodox yet exhilarating work, starting with investigating the principles of physics by observing the flight of flocks of birds. Studying the movements of these communities, he has realized, proves an illuminating way into understanding complex systems of all kinds—collections of everything from atoms and planets to other animals, such as ourselves. As a young child, I was interested in numbers – my mother told me I learned to read numbers aged three.

It is important to understand how scientific consensus is achieved, how individual discoveries become validated by the scientific community. 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 . Our viewpoint was that if one decides to kill some human being, that decision should be taken by people and not machines. To this end, in this book I have told something of my own story through select reports on significant episodes in my scientific life.

These concepts echo through nature, with nature being random in its initial selection and deterministic in its outcome. Einstein began thinking about relativity after he watched a housepainter falling from the scaffold around his apartment building. Unfortunately, the actions taken by governments to date have not been up to this challenge, and the results so far have been extremely modest.

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