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HarperCollins, Apr 12, 1995 - Science - 336 pages
3 Reviews
Why does time seem to fly on some occasions and drag on others? Why do some societies seem more prone to totalitarianism than others? Why does atonal music sound "worse" to most of us than traditional music? How can a butterfly in Brazil affect the weather in Alaska? The set of ingenious interdisciplinary approaches that are, together, called the science of complexity offers answers to these and dozens of other questions that beg the larger question of why our universe seems so paradoxical. John L. Casti, renowned mathematician and science writer, argues that a complexity that defies human logic is only natural, and he shows directly, engagingly, and with a wealth of illustrations how complexity arises and how it works. Casti explores several types of phenomena that have, until now, consistently eluded science's attempts to understand them: the catastrophic, where a tiny change in a system produces a huge effect (as happens in earthquakes or political revolutions); the chaotic, which includes odd correlations like the ones that make predicting the weather or the stock market so difficu

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User Review  - JohnCR437 - LibraryThing

A fascinating book; one that I read over & over & over in order to incorporate its concepts into my analytic thinking. Read full review

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

An entertaining look at the concept of complexity, written in an engaging style designed to draw in readers. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

American complexity scientist and systems theoristJohn Casti, is cofounder of The X-Center, a Viennabasedresearch institute focusing on human-causedextreme events and how to anticipate them. Casti haspublished nearly twenty volumes of academic and popularscience and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from theUniversity of Southern California. He lives in Vienna, Austria.

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