Complexification: Explaining a Paradoxical World Through the Science of Surprise

John L. Casti, Author, J. L. Casti, Author HarperCollins Publishers $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-016888-9
Most books on complexity theory promise to lead the epistemological thrill-seeker far out on the limb of theory. Not so Casti ( Searching for Certainty ). He admits early on to a major ``surprise'' about chaos and other formal systems: that even with artificial intelligence as a new tool, theory cannot capture nature. After an almost old-fashioned undergraduate review of basic concepts of dynamical systems, Casti shows how formal complexity models proceed from the basic ``surprises.'' Always more interested in instructing than in dazzling with sensational and obtuse ideas, Casti steers the reader toward an understanding of the field. He's a good teacher and this is the kind of grounding lay readers should have before they step farther out on a new paradigm. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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