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Publisher's Summary

“If you liked Chaos, you’ll love Complexity. Waldrop creates the most exciting intellectual adventure story of the year” (The Washington Post).

In a rarified world of scientific research, a revolution has been brewing. Its activists are not anarchists, but rather Nobel Laureates in physics and economics and pony-tailed graduates, mathematicians, and computer scientists from all over the world. They have formed an iconoclastic think-tank and their radical idea is to create a new science: complexity. They want to know how a primordial soup of simple molecules managed to turn itself into the first living cell--and what the origin of life some four billion years ago can tell us about the process of technological innovation today.

This book is their story--the story of how they have tried to forge what they like to call the science of the 21st century.

“Lucidly shows physicists, biologists, computer scientists and economists swapping metaphors and reveling in the sense that epochal discoveries are just around the corner...[Waldrop] has a special talent for relaying the exhilaration of moments of intellectual insight.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Where I enjoyed the book was when it dove into the actual question of complexity, talking about complex systems in economics, biology, genetics, computer modeling, and so on. Snippets of rare beauty here and there almost took your breath away.” (Medium)

“[Waldrop] provides a good grounding of what may indeed be the first flowering of a new science.” (Publishers Weekly)

Cover design by Mauricio Díaz

©1995 M. Mitchell Waldrop (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Complexity

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-03-2020

Amazing

As someone with degrees in math physics and computer science and an ex research fellow at the Santa Fe Institute I absolutely loved this book! The story, the way it was told everything about it was perfect! You never get to really hear a story about someone taking a long time to finish their PhD and still being an amazing scientist or the struggles for grants or how humane these people we idolize are! They are brilliant but books such as this one bring their genius closer to earth. This book inspired me in so many ways. What a joy!

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  • Chris
  • 22-08-2020

History of complexity

A great story of the start of the field of complexity. Gives a lot of other names and books to follow up on. Puts the AI of todat into perspective and let's you see where it comes from.

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  • Tim
  • 21-07-2020

A simply told story of complexity

I found this book an interesting read. I had heard a few of the characters give seminars, and have a reasonable understanding of complexity theory. But I did not know the history of the field. I really enjoyed learning about it. The story is very well told, and engaging. I enjoyed this book. It would have perhaps been improved with a slightly deeper exploration of some of the concepts and consequences of complexity science, in places. However, it is possible I am being too critical, as some of these insights may have been achieved after the book was published.

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  • MJ
  • 25-11-2020

Hooray for Santa Fe

Complexity at the edge of chaos, just about sums it up. Fascinating hearing about all the different people and ideas converging on the same insights.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-09-2020

interesting book

interesting insight into the early days of a field. would also suggest the book chaos if you enjoy this

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  • Ali Alderete
  • 03-09-2020

amazing!

I'm familiar with the topic, and still it blew my Mind!! the narrative is almost poetic!

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