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Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  518 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Over the past two decades, no field of scientific inquiry has had a more striking impact across a wide array of disciplines–from biology to physics, computing to meteorology–than that known as chaos and complexity, the study of complex systems. Now astrophysicist John Gribbin draws on his expertise to explore, in prose that communicates not only the wonder but the substanc ...more
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Random House (first published 2004)
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Mohammed Yusuf
Apr 30, 2014 Mohammed Yusuf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
أشياء كبيرة تحدث نتيجة لحوادث صغيرة , هكذا كان لورنز يحاول تقريب الفكرة فقال مجازاً أن رفرفة فراشة في منطقة قد تقود لزلزال في منطقة أخرى , الكتاب علمي بكتابة أدبية جميلة

ولي بعد الملاحظات :

يبين هذا الكتاب التداخل الكبير بين علوم كالبيولوجيا و الرياضيات و الكيمياء مع الفيزياء ولا ننسى الانثروبولوجيا

من داخل الكتاب تلاحظ كيف أن كثير من النظريات تبدأ على أساس علمي مثلاً ومن ثم تصبح تعتمد على الطابع التخيلي ومن ثم إثبات هذا التخيل , حيث يحتاج الأمر لثقة بالنفس وتحديات كبيرة

هذه المعلومات عن الشواش وا
Josh Hamacher
Dec 09, 2011 Josh Hamacher rated it liked it
This book is about chaos and complexity, how the interaction of simple rules can result in complex behavior.

The first quarter of the book is a remarkably readable history of math. Starting with Galileo and moving forward to modern times, Gribbin mentions most of the major discoveries that led to the modern understanding of chaos. I was very much looking forward to the rest of the book after finishing this second chapter.

Unfortunately the rest of the book was a minor disappointment. Without a his
Apr 04, 2015 Yasser rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

“إنها البساطة التي تولِّد التعقد، مما يجعل الحياة ممكنة”
-مراي جلمان

الكتاب يتناول موضوعا شيقا جدا، وهو الفوضي وعلاقتها بالانتظام.. كلمتان متناقضتان ولكنهما مرتبطتان أكثر مما نعتقد..
من حركات الأجرام الفضائية للتنبؤ بالزلازل وانقراض الكائنات الحية، للتكاثر والتطور الدارويني.. كلها أمثلة على الانتظام عندما يخرج من العشوائية..

في سبعة فصول يحاول “جريبين” إظهار تلك العلاقة الوطيدة، فيبدأ بمحاولة وضع مفاهيم أساسية (الحالات الجاذبة، الزمن الدوري لبونكاريه، الموت الحراري للكون، وتأثير الفراشة)، وإظهار ب
Mohamed IBrahim
Jul 24, 2014 Mohamed IBrahim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: العلوم
بداية ما زلت لم انتهي تماماٌ من الكتاب لكن ساحدث الريفيو باستمرار الي حين اكتماله
موضوع الكتاب يمكن تلخيصه بالاقتباسة االتالية والتي وردت في نهاية مقمة الكتاب

"انها البساطة التي تولد التعقد , مما يجعل الحياة ممكنة "

في البداية الحديث المقارن بين مفاهيم الشواش والعشوائية في بداية عصر النهضة في الفيزياء والعلوم الطبيعية وبين المفاهيم المطورة عن الشواش كان رائعاٌ فبينما
الشواش كان يحكم العالم من خلال تدخلات الالهة وارادتها وتناسق الكون الذي يمكن تفسير انحرافاته بانها مجرد أمور يمكن للإرادة الإلهية ح
سعيد عبدالغنى
لهضم بعض ما جاء فى الكتاب يلزمك خلفية من أغلب العلوم كالكيمياء والأحياء والرياضايات والانثروبيولوجيا وبالطبع الفيزياء.
Sep 15, 2014 Tirath rated it really liked it
The beginning was too complex for me, it required a good amount of focus.
The author tries to tie in a lot of mental models which aids in the buildup towards the end of the book - covering the chaos in nature to the complexity of small systems and large systems, but how easy it can be to understand things.

Loved the bits on earthquakes, fractals, fjords, cloud formation, Gaia, power laws, the 5 extinctions that the Earth has witnessed, the effects of effects of infinitesimally small changes.

Sajith Kumar
Jan 11, 2016 Sajith Kumar rated it liked it
Shelves: popular-science
Noted science writer, John Gribbin, is on to a little known aspect of science related to chaos theory and self-organized complexity that is the basis of life and other complex systems. The book is organized as to be helpful for the initiate, and is a good attempt to bring this new concept into the public domain. Mathematics breaks down when the systems move from simple shapes or manipulations to complex objects and repetitive interactions begin on a large scale. Future states of such systems can ...more
May 24, 2016 Louisa rated it it was amazing
How did the zebra get its stripes? We've all come across the stories that provide us with some answer or another, mostly involving paint, scorching fire, or the animal in question standing quietly in the shade of some long grass blades. I thought they were beautiful stories, all of them, but none of the explanations were quite as convincing as the one we find in Deep Simplicity.

Gribbin takes us through the history of discoveries in the fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology that l
Deep Simplicity is a popular science book about the theory of chaos. As always, John Gribbin presents the subject in a remarkably accessible way - the educated layperson will be able to tackle this book. However, it is not without drawbacks.

(view spoiler)
Mar 03, 2011 Toby rated it liked it
John Gribbin is a polymath science writer, but his background is as an astrophysicist. His earlier works on quantum mechanics (In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics And Reality and Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality: Solving the Quantum Mysteries) were accessible, entertaining, as well as educational.

This book opens some deep wells of difficult-to-comprehend ideas, which I'm sure were just as difficult to translate to a popular science audience. In the Introduction, Gribb
Feb 13, 2014 Lorraine rated it really liked it
Deep simplicity is a scientific adventure filled with practical facts of the universe. It is simply captivating in that it doesn't only reveal to you facts that you already know but just sort of nails them right at home by filling in the loop holes left by most of our mean school science teachers. With practical and relatable anologies it is easy to follow through with exactly what John Gribbin was aiming for every reader to understand, and that is, the simple but complex nature of the universe.
Jun 21, 2014 James rated it really liked it
I found this to be a fairly thought provoking book. To be honest the chapter on fractals and chaos theory almost caused me to stop reading. I was not able to become very interested in it. However, the rest of the book is fairly interesting. Basically, it shows how just about everything, including the universe itself can seem very complex but is actually, controlled by simple rules. Many processed are just on the edge of chaos.
John Kowalczyk
May 07, 2016 John Kowalczyk rated it it was amazing
A very informative and enjoyable read from the basic Newtonian model, and how simple models are stepping stones up into Chaos and complexity and the resulting spontaneous order, ending in universe-scaled self-similiar systems.
Richard Ash
Jan 18, 2016 Richard Ash rated it really liked it
Shelves: physics
Overall good book:
- Some parts are t0o long
- author jumps around a lot (though I guess that's expected given the topic)
- main point of the book is fascinating, I'm curious to see where this research goes in the future, especially regarding the origin of life
Warren Parad
Jan 07, 2016 Warren Parad rated it it was ok
Interesting ideas on complexity, but overall I think it misses a real point. There are a number of scientific based books which more explicitly talk about solutions, which I would recommend.
Bryan Higgs
I have many John Gribbin books, and have enjoyed every one of them so far.

I found it interesting that this book covers material such as the emergence of life, chaos theory, thermodynamics and the arrow of time, and much more. I have read books on the arrow of time, and found them less satisfying than this one. I have read Richard Dawkins' "The Greatest Show on Earth", which powerfully argues for Evolution, but I found parts of this book to be more interesting than Dawkins' descriptions.

This book
Jan 09, 2013 Theo rated it it was ok
While this book starts strong, the author does not do the topic justice, as he sticks to "familiar" topics from other books he was written -he was fired from Wired for self-plagiarism- and has a tendency to drag on on minute details thus missing the opportunity to present more systems that show "chaotic" behaviour.

The first part of the book however serves as a good introduction on the topic and I have to say that the reference and further reading list shows a well researched book. However a list
Sanjay Vyas
Jun 26, 2015 Sanjay Vyas rated it really liked it
Hardest book I've read. "Seeking Wisdom" was close.
Requires the reader to be familiar with basics of thermodynamics, mechanics, biology, others.
I've been out of school for 20 years, so lots of cobwebs.

The author tries to boil things down, and he does a good job.
Systems which are driven by power law functions and involve feedback display chaotic attributes.

Good book, but alas I doubt I got out of it what I should have.
Muntaser Ibrahim
Dec 20, 2013 Muntaser Ibrahim rated it it was ok
كعادة معظم الكتب العلمية المترجمة، فيه إصرار غريب على ترجمة كل كلمة علمية، مالهاش نظير متداول ف العربية للغة العربية القصحى العتيقة، هو عافية كده. فاكر مرة مصطفى إبراهيم فهمي حاول يجتهد ويترجم كلمة داونلود للعربية بشكل يحفظ معناها تماماً، المشكلة إن مفيش كلمة ف العربي بتعمل كده، لكن مصطفى فهمي إفتكس كلمة إسمها "التنزيل المرحلي المتتالي" تقريباً. فطبعاً إنتا بتضيع وقت محترم جداً في محاولة فهم معنى الكلمة دي وتعتقد إنها وصف لظاهرة علمية معقدة جداً، وفي الآخر تكتشف إن المترجم الفاضل يقصد الداونلود ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Hemant rated it liked it
Need to re-read it some day... it is way too complex to understand in first pass.
Jul 19, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it
Gribbin hits another home run. Well written.
Neil Rempel
Jan 18, 2016 Neil Rempel rated it liked it
On Charlie Munger's List
May 28, 2015 Rich rated it really liked it
Gribbin does a fantastic job guiding the reader through an often mind-bending theory, leaving the reader with a decent grasp of some very complex concepts. Some of the insights I've gained from this book regarding life on Earth and how it came to exist did not mesh with ideas I'd gone into this book with, but I was compelled and finished the book more fascinated by the material than when I'd started. Deep Simplicity will likely not be the final book I read on the subject.
Mar 19, 2014 Liznemeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
It is complex, but simple. Deeply. OK, just kidding. Seriously, it is useful to read and think about the meaning of life.
Simon Eskildsen
Jun 01, 2015 Simon Eskildsen rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology, science
A book about how complexity arises from simplicity. The most interesting from this book I'll remember, was the ones about the working of weather prediction. But there are sporadic intersting insights about evolution, fractals, Turing, and power laws—however, the author tends to circle around the point for too long, which is unfortunate because they're generally good.
S.L. Moore
Sep 17, 2012 S.L. Moore rated it it was amazing
This book is just amazing. I can't praise it highly enough! If you are a lover of knowledge, like myself, this book will help demystify the Chaos theory and explain it simple enough for you to understand. It even goes into why the weather can't be predicted correctly AT ALL! This is just an amazing read all around and the author makes it fun to read as well.
Timothy Chklovski
Jan 22, 2012 Timothy Chklovski rated it really liked it
There seem to be multiple books on these themes. This one helped me see chaotic and complex systems in everyday world, eg in market fluctuations - providing a more nuanced understanding than "pendulum swings" (which, ironically, has a constant period for given mass and length" -- the opposite of what describes reversion
Leandro Melendez
Jan 18, 2016 Leandro Melendez rated it liked it
Interesante aunque un poco enredada explicación de teoría del caos, y de como esta lleva impacto en otras áreas de la naturaleza así como interesante retrocesos en dicho caos, una disminución de entropía.

Un poco elevado pero devela detalles muy peculiares que nunca había considerado.
Frank Bálint
Mar 18, 2015 Frank Bálint rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant.
Oct 29, 2011 Salma rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It starts slow paced but becomes captivating towards the end as Gribbin guide the reader through many diverse systems from animal spots to earthquakes to the population of cities, reflecting its deep simplicity and the mathematical beauty of complexity.
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John R. Gribbin is a British science writer, an astrophysicist, and a visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex. The topical range of his prolific writings includes quantum physics, biographies of famous scientists, human evolution, the origins of the universe, climate change and global warming. His also writes science fiction.

John Gribbin graduated with his bachelor's degree in phy
More about John Gribbin...

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“As I understood it, what really mattered was simply that some systems (‘system’ is just a jargon word for anything, like a swinging pendulum, or the Solar System, or water dripping from a tap) are very sensitive to their starting conditions, so that a tiny difference in the initial ‘push’ you give them causes a big difference in where they end up, and there is feedback, so that what a system does affects its own behaviour.” 0 likes
“Earth as our home in space, a single blue-white oasis of life surrounded by a black desert.” 0 likes
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