on 21 February 2001
This is an excellent book - covering all the topics a book with such a title should do! From complexity and chaos to artificial intelligence and artificial life, Flake balances readability with information and theory perfectly.
His introduction to neural networks is easily one of the best I've read, and coverage of the iterated prisoner's dilemma is also as comprehensive as they come.
If you're reading this review, you're obviously interested...buy now :)
on 16 December 2002
The book is an interesting and well written book, and is good value, but it is very dense, and cannot be read very easily. A high standard of mathematics /knowledge of computer science is assumed. Overall - a good buy but only for those confident in such a subject - definitely not a coffee table book
on 27 May 2011
This is a astonishing book that introduces the reader to the wonder that lies within the world that surrounds us. It helps us view the whole gamut of physical and biological processes through the perspective of computation. Though eminently readable, the book presents all the information, equations, and code that one needs to actually think articulately about the concepts exposed and even "get stuck in". It's really one of a kind.
on 22 December 2014
Awesome book. This is one of those rare books that has equations in that make you feel you are really smart for following them and don't depress you by saying things like "and trivially we see that AHSG is now YQWE." You can read without needing to have any more than schoolboy maths and occasional access to wikipedia, yet it covers a huge subject area, providing a good introduction to each of the separate fields.