Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Simple)

Book - 2008
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Draws on cutting-edge theories to describe the basic workings of everyday objects and principles in accessible language, covering a wide variety of topics from cell phones and viruses to economics and parenting.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, c2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781401303013
Call Number: 501 KLUGER
Characteristics: viii, 324 p. ; 22 cm
Subjects: Simplicity.
Complexity (Philosophy)
Science -- Miscellanea.


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Jun 25, 2016

Complexity and disorder are not the same thing. The premise of this book is that complexity is an arc. Pure disorder (for instance, a room full of gas) is very simple, as is pure order (for instance, a block of carbon), and true complexity is in the middle of the arc. This thesis is left unproved. Why just one arc, instead of a squiggle with multiple high points of complexity? How do you know there IS an arc, and there can be complex systems all along the disorder spectrum?
What follows are a series of chapters exploring this arc, and how it plays out in so many fields of science and human behavior. The book was fascinating, but at times felt like a list of cool facts strung together on a weak metaphor.


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