Noise, USC professor Kosko (Fuzzy Thinking) says, may be properly defined as ""a signal we don't like,"" but as his book shows, there's much more to noise than idling buses and loud neighbors. The author makes the claims that the universe itself may be no more than noise, and that life might not have evolved without it. And though white may be the most widely recognized color of noise, Kosko describes others, including pink and black. Particularly informative are his passages on the development and use of noise-canceling technology (used as commonly by racecar drivers to block out engine noise as by physicians to listen to a fetus's heartbeat). Kosko's book will appeal mainly to science buffs; despite the author's accessible prose, swaths of the book assume an acquaintance with physics and electrical engineering. However, passages on topics such as actress Hedy Lamar's patent for a WWII-era ""secret communication system,"" hold some attraction for a wider audience.
Reviewed on: 09/04/2006 Release date: 09/01/2006 Genre: Nonfiction