Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm totally in love with this book. Like, totally.
Why? Because it GETS ME, MAN.
Just kidding. I'm not anthropomorphizing a breakthrough in science. Although, if I was, I'd DEFINITELY be cuddling with this stream of seemingly random information that keeps repeating in regular ways, forming order from seeming chaos.
Give me a seed and I will make you a universe. Or one hell of a trippy fractal.
I think I'll leave butterflies out of this.
Small changes affect great extrapolations.
Our physics generators in video games relies on this. So do aeronautical research, weather forecasts, stock market prediction, presidential elections and the resulting public outrage, and the fluid dynamics of my creamer swirling in my coffee. Not to mention galaxy formation, fingerprints, shells, coastlines, or the thing that made the little dinos get the upper hand in those movies. :)
Truly, though, this book does a great job at explaining and giving us the unusual history of the science that brought pure mathematics out of the clouds and back into the real world, dealing with our observable reality. Newton was okay for some things but all these new equations describe just HOW little uncertainties can create huge chaotic messes... and still be reduced back to first causes. :)
Neat, huh? I'm totally stoked by these bad boys. Of course, we're all, yeah, we use those equations all the time now and it's old hat, but not so long ago, they were totally in left field and none of the big boys wanted to play with them.
So, yeah, it's like a total paradigm shift, man. I'm FEEL'N it.
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