## Complexification: explaining a paradoxical world through the science of surpriseWhy 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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### Contents

In the Beginning Is the World | 11 |

Its All in the Motion | 25 |

Twa THE CATASTROPHIC | 43 |

Copyright | |

13 other sections not shown

### Common terms and phrases

argument basic behavior brain Busy Beaver butterfly called Casti catastrophe theory cell Cellular Automata Chaitin's chaos chaotic chapter colors complex connection consider correlation dimension curve cusp Deeper section dimension dynamical system elements Epimenides Paradox example fact finite fixed point formal system fractal function geometry given Halting Problem human Hurst exponent idea initial input interaction involves kind leads logical look Lyapunov exponent Mandelbrot set mathematical mathematician measure move natural Newtonian notion objects observer output paradox parameters pattern physics play players possible predict problem quantity question random real-world relation represent result scientific sequence set of rules shown in Figure shows simple simplicial complex single situation space square stable statement strange attractor string structure surprise symbols teams termed trajectory truth Turing machine Turing test Turing's turn uncomputable University unstable vertices what's York