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Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
12
Complexity and the Arrow of Time
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$24.49+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on January 3, 2015
Nice summary of current state-of-the-art of multi-disciplinary complexity science and entropy, but unfortunately I didn't find anything new to add further insight beyond what has already been written over the past 20 years on the subject. I found the numerous chapters delving into serious mathematics of entropy and complexity to be somewhat contrived and very abstract at best. The book reads like Stuart Kauffman plus physicists describe complexity with mathematics. Kauffman tends to be rather heavy with mathematical concepts (for a biologist), and the physicists only up the ante. I found Melanie Mitchell's "Complexity: A Guided Tour" a more enjoyable contemporary treatment of the same subject matter with more new modern insight and less abstract math.
7 helpful votes
8 helpful votes
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on May 23, 2015
I have several interests that seem tied together -- complexity, emergent properties (the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, as with the human brain and ant colonies) and the arrow of time, which I think is an emergent property of matter when sufficiently organized. This is not all easy reading, as it is edited lectures and such; but it is informative. No one yet has a complete handle on how nature creates greater complexity; but it's worth reading about current thinking on the matter.
1 helpful vote
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on September 11, 2016
Exciting eclectic mixture of accessible and professional discussions on the meaning of complexity and whether it is increasing.
1 helpful vote
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on March 22, 2015
I enjoyed some of the authors of what really is a compilation of articles about complexity and ultimately its relationship to life. I would have been more interested in reading about complexity and time. Unfortunately, that wasn't really the point of the manuscript. I didn't finish this book - and probably won't
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on July 10, 2015
Requires concentration as it is a subject most are not familar with
1 helpful vote
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on November 25, 2015
A compendium of research material.
1 helpful vote
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on February 23, 2014
This is a series of essay of the topic of complexity. I am no expert but to me this is an interesting philosophical topic. I found the essays variously penetrating, or impenetrable. I strongly recommend Stuart Kauffman's thoughts on re-enchanting the world. The study of complexity is a vary incomplete science, maybe so incomplete it ought not be called science. Non-the-less it dances on the edge new and magical understanding of what our world is.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on June 26, 2015
This book's author is full of himself and uses over complicated language. It is difficult reading. For example "The advent of individuality brings into existance Darwinian selection, as a specialized subset of Markovian stochastic processes." Really! NO THANKS.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on July 12, 2014
Fascinating stuff. I wish I understood more of it, but what I could understand was extremely provocative. Time is so mysterious and so ubiquitous.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on December 18, 2013
I am not a mathematician or physicist but nevertheless understood even these sections. I teach elementary biology courses at the college level and find this compendium very useful.
9 helpful votes
10 helpful votes
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