Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies

作者 : Geoffrey West


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定價 : NT 699

售價 : NT699








• 當城市與公司的規模加倍時,會發生什麼事? 
• 如果一棟建築物、一架飛機、一個經濟體或一隻動物的尺寸減半呢? 
• 如果某城市的人口變成兩倍,道路會不會也大約變成兩倍、犯罪率也變兩倍、專利也變兩倍? 
• 如果某公司的銷售加倍,獲利會不會也跟著加倍? 
• 如果某隻動物的體重減半,需要的食物是不是也只要一半? 



• 城市或企業要到多大才叫做大?紐約是大鯨魚?微軟是大象? 
• 為什麼人類只能活到120多歲,而不是千歲或萬萬歲? 
• 我們能從細胞和複雜分子的特性來計算生命期限嗎?我們能改變它們而延長壽命嗎? 
• 大象、老鼠和所有哺乳動物在一生中的心跳次數都差不多(15億次),為何壽命卻有差別? 
• 為什麼多數企業像老鼠一樣短命? 
• 我們能建立一個理論,同時解釋人類和企業為何死去嗎? 
• 我們能從數量上理解企業如何誕生、滅亡,並因此預測它們的壽命嗎? 
• 能預測微軟或Google何時倒閉嗎? 
• 城市有極限規模或最適規模嗎? 
• 為什麼生活節奏要一直加快?為什麼創新速率要不斷提升? 

"This is science writing as wonder and as inspiration." —The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal

From one of the most influential scientists of our time, a dazzling exploration of the hidden laws that govern the life cycle of everything from plants and animals to the cities we live in.

Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. The term “complexity” can be misleading, however, because what makes West’s discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities and our businesses.

Fascinated by aging and mortality, West applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer. The result was astonishing, and changed science: West found that despite the riotous diversity in mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other. If you know the size of a mammal, you can use scaling laws to learn everything from how much food it eats per day, what its heart-rate is, how long it will take to mature, its lifespan, and so on. Furthermore, the efficiency of the mammal’s circulatory systems scales up precisely based on weight: if you compare a mouse, a human and an elephant on a logarithmic graph, you find with every doubling of average weight, a species gets 25% more efficient—and lives 25% longer. Fundamentally, he has proven, the issue has to do with the fractal geometry of the networks that supply energy and remove waste from the organism’s body.

West’s work has been game-changing for biologists, but then he made the even bolder move of exploring his work’s applicability. Cities, too, are constellations of networks and laws of scalability relate with eerie precision to them. Recently, West has applied his revolutionary work to the business world. This investigation has led to powerful insights into why some companies thrive while others fail. The implications of these discoveries are far-reaching, and are just beginning to be explored. Scale is a thrilling scientific adventure story about the elemental natural laws that bind us together in simple but profound ways. Through the brilliant mind of Geoffrey West, we can envision how cities, companies and biological life alike are dancing to the same simple, powerful tune.
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Geoffrey West
Geoffrey West is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions in physics and biology. West is a Senior Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a distinguished professor at the Sante Fe Institute, where he served as the president from 2005-2009. In 2006 he was named to Time’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.”
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