('CHAOS: making a new science' by James Gleik)
Open this book & you enter a bizarre world of Strange Attractors, fractal coastlines, & phase space. It may sound like Science Fiction but in fact it's not. Chaos Theory maps the real world - perhaps more accurately than the linear reductionist abstractions of classical science. Old compartmentalisations are transcended & disparate disciplines united in a vision that is holistic & universal. The implications of this are wide-ranging, far-reaching, profound. What we are talking is mega Paradigm Shift!
Wrap your brain cells round mind-blowing paradoxes like how a finite area can be enclosed by an infinitely long line. It's really quite simple when you know how, & this book will show you.
You've heard of the Butterfly Effect. Well, here you can find out who first named it. We are introduced to the people behind the discoveries, the human interest angle in this curious geometry.
Author James Gleick, a science reporter for the New York Times, demystifies the difficult & esoteric, making it readable & accessible to the layperson (&, believe me, I'm one of 'em!) You don't have to be a maths or computer freak to dig this stuff but those that are will have even more fun.
If the words don't grab you, then the pictures will. There are copious illustrations throughout, including a generous eight pages in full colour. Images to intrigue & haunt. As for the now-famous Mandelbrot set, every home should have a copy on video! It's psychedelia on a macro/ micro-cosmic scale. The message is: straight lines are for squares! Go with that flow! As Blake said, "Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand"...
Hardly an exaggeration to proclaim that Chaos sketches the outlines of a new worldview in embryo. Read & reread.
Davy King (1987)
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