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A general look at the three books

To throw the contents of Mirror Worlds, Serious Play and Linked into two sentences while being ridiculously general..."mirror worlds are a type of simulation that map out the networks of our lives. To understand our world, we must simulate it." To be somewhat less general:

  • In "Serious Play," Schrage says that we need to innovate to understand ourselves and our business. In "Linked," Barabasi writes from a similar vein of thought: we need to map out our networks to truly understand them. Without these maps, we do not understand the complexity of networks (the importance of hubs, the existence of the power laws, etc.)
  • Gelernter's Mirror Worlds is about "simulation for innovation," and thereby contributes to Schrage's belief that simulation helps us understand the institutions that we are involved in. A Gelernter-style Mirror World (a simulation "hooked up" to the system it simulates such that it becomes a "dashboard for driving" the system) accomplishes this by converting the theoretically public into the actually public. By mapping (hooking up) our real world systems to their simulated representations, we msy allow increased access to them.
  • Mirror Worlds are a way of stepping back and seeing the whole ("topsight"), allowing us greater understanding of and access to our worlds. Mapping networks, likewise, allows us to take a step back and understand the details of our networks.