"Vicious Loops and Pendulums" illustrates the application of
certain scientific principles to everyday life. They play an important part in
determining the performance of numerous systems in sociology, psychology,
finance, economics and many others.
For example a positive feedback loop
can be dangerous unless kept under control - it is often known as a vicious
circle. It is nevertheless a necessary ingredient if any activity is to
perpetuate itself. It plays a part in successful businesses and failures. The
self-confidence of people is subject to this phenomena and so too is confidence
in financial institutions - especially when rumours are spread. There are
numerous other examples.
The Scoldent list is introduced to consider
methods for optimising situations and preventing them spiralling out of control.
This book started as a result of the interest shown whenever the topics were
introduced. The aim is to spread that interest around a wider readership.