Planet management: limits to growth, computer simulation, and the emergence of global spaces

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Northwestern University Press, 1999 - Nature - 131 pages
Planet Management is a study of, and contribution to, the history of "globality" -- the emergence of a complex organization of politics, economics, and culture at a planetary rather than a national level. This new book draws on historical archival research as well as recent theoretical work in science studies and critical theory to tell the story of the central role of technoscientific discourses and practices in the emergence of globality.A central argument of the book is that we are experiencing a paradigm shift from a world organized around the political space of the nation-state to one organized around the biopolitical space of the whole planet. Concomitant with this shift, we see the emergence of such new political powers as nongovernmental organizations, new forms of production as the global factory, new forms of knowledge as genetic engineering and global change science, and new forms of informational and managerial structures as the Internet and the virtual corporation. This book explores the role that technosciences -- such as computer modeling, satellite imaging, systems thinking and information processing -- have in bringing forth new ways of looking at and understanding the world.Planet Management addresses the subject of globality by considering the Limits to Growth Project. This project, one of the first examples of a global computer model of the interaction between human activity and the biosphere, was carried out by a computer team at MIT and sponsored by the Club of Rome, a group of high-level European, American, and Asian statesmen and industrialists. The results of the modeling, published in 1972, had a wide impact: more than ten million copies of the reportwere sold worldwide. By tracing the history of Systems Dynamics, the theoretical backbone of the Limits Project, the author illustrates how the practices at the core of global thinking emerged out of the transformation of knowledge production during World War II and its aft

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