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The Tangled World

Understanding human connections, networks and complexity

By Gerald Ashley and Terry Lloyd

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The Tangled World

Understanding human connections, networks and complexity

By Gerald Ashley and Terry Lloyd

Jacket text

Every form of life in the world is connected: individuals, groups, businesses, governments. There is no such thing as total isolation. Many of these connections are plain to see, and it is a commonplace to say we live in a global village. Crucially, though, the various links and relationships have been difficult for classical analysis to understand and predict.

As networks and connectivity are central to the human experience, there has been a long history of trying to understand these linkages and to predict their influences and impacts; but the traditional approaches have yielded unsatisfactory explanations.

Many attempts at analysis have centred round ideas of describing the world in terms of free independent agents. But it is agents’ ‘linkages’, both strong and weak, that underpin much of human activity. Whether it is stock market moves, sudden adoption of new technologies, or the unexpected consequences of long chains of events, the inter-connectivity of life appears to defy simple explanation.

In this revealing work the authors draw on multiple sources to uncover the answers to the big questions about group behaviour, connections and the complex relationships that drive our world. In particular:

– What happens when agents interact?

– Is it possible to make sense of all these connections?

– Why are some connections more important than others?

– In a world of hugely complex and intricate links, what are ‘super spreaders’, and why are they critical?

– Can we measure and model ’emergence’?

– What are the new approaches and thinking we need to embrace and understand the world around us?

About the author

Gerald Ashley is an advisor, writer and speaker on business risk and decision making. He has over thirty years experience in international finance, having worked for Baring Brothers in London and Hong Kong, and the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. He is now Managing Director of St. Mawgan & Co which he co-founded in 2001, a London-based consultancy specialising in strategy consulting, risk management and decision making in finance, business and risk-taking. He is a Visiting Fellow at Newcastle Business School and a regular contributor in the press.

About the author

Terry Lloyd has spent over thirty years in the world of development. After training as a mechanical engineer, he joined Rolls Royce Aero Engines in the compressor design office. He then joined the Mechanical Engineering Department of Nottingham University, within a team solving technical problems using early computer systems. During his time there he was awarded his PhD. He then moved into the mainstream computer world where, at Perkin Elmer, he helped to design and develop the first commercial software suite for mini-computers. From there he moved to the financial division of DataLogic where the first video and digital switches for trading room systems were built and then to Telerate a leading supplier of financial market data. He is now a director of St. Mawgan & Co., a London-based consultancy specialising in risk management, strategy consulting, and behavioural finance modelling in finance, business and risk-taking.

Media coverage


Want a free copy of The Tangled World– Group SetUp1st November 2011

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1. Social Sciences from Physical Sciences
2. Understanding Through Models
3. Short Term Forecasting Good, Long Term Forecasting Bad
4. No Man is an Island
5. Two Sorts of Statistics
6. Concluding Thoughts

About the authors
Further reading

Published: 07/11/2011
Edition: 1st
Pages: 45
Formats: ebook - ISBN 9780857191748
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