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An engaging journey through the key ideas and moments,
This review is from: Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos (Paperback)
The principal tenets of complexity theory could be stated - to be trite - as follows: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Waldrop's book examines the broader picture, explaining how collections of differing systems can interact to produce a dynamically stable state, emerging spontaneously from their interactions with no external management, and how the most interesting stuff (in biology, economics, physics, etc.) happens at the point where there is neither too much nor too little order or disorder. It offers an introduction to the science behind the now-familiar buzzphrases 'emergent behaviour' and 'self-organisation'.
While Gell-Mann's 'The Quark and the Jaguar' is an important but slightly challenging read, Mitchell Waldrop's overview is a stimulating journey though the key ideas and origins of an interdisciplinary science which has affected our thinking across a number of disciplines, and our view of the natural world.