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The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life by Len Fisher

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EIGHT
Decision Rules OK?
In his famous Australian short story “The Golden Shanty,” Edward Dyson tells the tale of an outback pub near a newly discovered gold-field where the owner is unknowingly sitting on a fortune. The bricks of the pub are made of the local gold-bearing clay, a fact that itinerant miners have realized and that leads them to start stealing the pub walls, brick by brick. Only when the landlord accidentally breaks a brick and sees the shining specks of gold within does he realize the true situation.
Those miners discovered gold in the bricks by keeping their eyes open for the obvious. Mostly, though, miners were forced to collect rocks, nuggets, and gravel indiscriminately from a creek bed, and then swill them around in a pan ...

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