The central theme of this book is the extent to which the structure of the free dynamical boundaries of a system controls the evolution of the system as a whole. Applying three orthogonal types of thinking - mathematical, constructivist and morphological, it illustrates these concepts using applications to selected problems from the social and life sciences, as well as economics.
In a broader context, it introduces and reviews some modern mathematical approaches to the science of complex systems. Standard modeling approaches (based on non-linear differential equations, dynamic systems, graph theory, cellular automata, stochastic processes, or information theory) are suitable for studying local problems. However they cannot simultaneously take into account all the different facets and phenomena of a complex system, and new approaches are required to solve the challenging problem of correlations between phenomena at different levels and hierarchies, their self-organization and memory-evolutive aspects, the growth of additional structures and are ultimately required to explain why and how such complex systems can display both robustness and flexibility.
This graduate-level text also addresses a broader interdisciplinary audience, keeping the mathematical level essentially uniform throughout the book, and involving only basic elements from calculus, algebra, geometry and systems theory.
People recovering from codependency, adult children of dysfunctional families, and those seeking healthier relationships will find welcome wisdom and inspiration in the first four "A Moment to Reflect "booklets, Hazelden's newest inspirational series for Twelve Step living. Each of these four take-along booklets contains 30 topical affirmations that guide us as we work to improve our relationships. The first four booklets in this series address setting boundaries, letting go, accepting ourselves, and living our own lives.
Setting Boundaries begins our recovery from the effects of our relationships with addicted, compulsive, or abusive people. As Melody Beattie wrote, "We need to set limits on what we'll give to others and what we'll take from them. We need to let others know where our boundaries are and that we are serious about them. Then, we need to change our behavior accordingly, backing ourselves up with positive action."
By setting clear boundaries on our behavior and what we will accept from others, we begin to take back our lives from being controlled by other people's thoughts, feelings, and problems. We claim ownership of and responsibility for ourselves.
Parodi shows that boundary disputes have and continue to play a major role in creating tensions in South America. Of the 25 international territorial boundaries that exist in South America, eight were marked with major wars, eight with lesser wars, and five with some level of violence. As recently as 1995, the armies of Ecuador and Peru were at war to define a boundary. In 1982 Argentina went to war, inspired by the call to restore a piece of its mutilated national territory. Venezuela and Guyana, Guyana and Suriname, and Suriname and French Guiana have not completed boundary demarcation agreements. Bolivia's insistence on its right for sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean is a source of tension with Chile and Peru. Colombia and Venezuela have unresolved boundary issues in the Gulf of Venezuela. Clearly, boundary disputes have and continue to play a major role in creating larger conflicts within South America. Territorial boundaries are marks on the ground, but, as Parodi shows, their staying power or stability depends on their grip on consciousness. By examining the boundary theory of South American states and its implementation, he also explains how the symbolic system of South American boundaries is used to instill national identity, mobilize people to war, and control population and territory. This text will be of particular interest to scholars, students, and researchers involved with Latin American politics, diplomacy, and international relations.