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Fuzzy Thinking: The New Science of Fuzzy Logic (1993)
by Bart Kosko
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Fuzzy Thinking is the first popular book to explain clearly and provocatively how fuzzy logic is changing our lives - and how it will revolutionize the world in the decades ahead. Fuzzy thinking is the wave of the future, and the leading exponent of fuzzy logic, philosopher-scientist Dr. Bart Kosko, explains it better than anyone else can. Invented in America, fuzzy logic has broad implications for the way we think. What is the fuzzy principle? Everything is a matter of degree - nothing is absolute. In this mind-bending book, Kosko argues that for centuries the West has been locked into the concept of black or white, right or wrong, all or nothing. Consequently Western scientists have largely resisted fuzzy logic. Eastern philosophy, however, emphasizes yin and yang, unity, and the need to consider the universe from several different perspectives at once - so Asia has been more open than the West to concepts such as fuzzy logic. Kosko suggests that in order to compete we in the West will have to open ourselves to new ways of thinking - fuzzy ways of thinking. Fuzzy logic mimics the working of the human brain and is used in machines so they will think more like human beings. Japanese and Korean companies already apply fuzzy technology to the tune of billions of dollars a year in such products as air conditioners (instead of producing an all-or-nothing blast of cold air, fuzzy air conditioners constantly adjust to the precise temperature in the room and emit a corresponding degree of cooling air); computers; cameras and camcorders; auto engines, brakes, transmissions, and cruise controls; dishwashers; elevators; washing machines and dryers; microwave ovens; and televisions. Fuzzy logic is used in palmtop computers that recognize and translate handwritten characters. On tap are "smarter" computers and such medical advances as smart artificial body parts. Fuzzy logic even applies to ethical questions. For example, when does life begin ? At fertilization? When the fetus is six months old? At the time of birth? Fuzzy thinking says that life begins at all of these times - to a certain degree. It is the challenge of juggling apparently conflicting concepts, several seemingly different truths, that makes fuzzy logic so controversial - and so potentially rewarding in all areas of life from the bedroom to the boardroom. The first antiscience science book, Fuzzy Thinking is a truly important book that can forever change the way you look at the world.
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