Anatol Rapoport

Anatol Rapoport nsIn existographies, Anatol Rapoport (1911-2007) (CR:8) was a Russian-born American mathematical biologist noted for []

Overview
Rapoport, at some point, did general systems theory research, with individuals including Ludwig Bertalanffy and Kenneth Boulding.

Weak ties
In 1954, Rapoport stated the following view:

“It is a well-known fact that the likely contacts of two individuals who are closely acquainted tend to be more overlapping than those of two arbitrarily selected individuals.”

This would go on to form the basis of logic behind stimulating the idea behind American sociologists Mark Granovetter’s highly-cited 1973 theory of weak ties.

Information theory
In 1956, Rapoport, in his “The Promise and Pitfalls of Information Theory”, rebutted the use of information theory to make crack pot theories; the following is a noted quote:

“It is misleading in a crucial way to view ‘information’ as something that can be poured into an empty vessel, like a fluid or even energy.”
— Anatol Rapoport (1956), “The Promise and Pitfalls of Information Theory” [2]

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Other
Rapoport, in coordination with Mechthilde Knoller, of note, did the first English translation of Hungarian-born American physicist Leo Szilard’s 1929 article “On the Decrease in Entropy in a Thermodynamic System by the Intervention of Intelligent Beings”. [1]

References
1. (a) Szilárd, Leó. (1929). “On the Decrease in Entropy in a Thermodynamic System by the Intervention of Intelligent Beings” (Uber die Entropieverminderung in einem thermodynamischen System bei Eingriffen intelligenter Wesen), Zeitschrift fur Physik, 53, 840-56.
(b) English translation of “On the Decrease in Entropy in a Thermodynamic System by the Intervention of Intelligent Beings” by Anatol Rapoport and Mechthilde Knoller in Maxwell’s Demon 2 (pgs. 110-19) by Harvey Leff and Andrew Rex.
2. Rapoport, Anatol. (1956). “The Promise and Pitfalls of Information Theory” (abs), Behavioral Science, 1:303-09; in: Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist (editor: Walter Buckley) (pgs. 137-42). Aldine, 1968.

Further reading

● Rapoport, Anatol. (1986). General Systems Theory: Essential Concepts and Applications (§Exorcising Maxwell’s Demon, pgs. 130-). Taylor and Francis.

External links
Anatol Rapoport – Wikipedia.

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