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Chaos for Beginners

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Sardar examines the roots of chaos in modern mathematics and physics, and explores the relationship between chaos and complexity--the new unifying theory which suggests that all complex systems evolve from a few simple rules. Illustrations.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 12th 1994 by Totem Books
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Before reading this book, all I knew about chaos theory came from reading Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently novels back in my teens. After reading it, I don't feel as if I know a great deal more. Obviously chaos is hard for a non-mathematician to fathom, and this book needs a rudimentary grasp of a lot of related concepts which it only mentions.

It does a good job of surveying the history and development of chaos theory with specific reference to the important pieces of research and the people who publ
Jagrut Gadit
Non-periodic oscillations = nonlinear feedback = unstable equilibrium = positive feedback = fractals = aperiodic dynamics = Non-deterministic systems = sensitivity to initial conditions = strange attractors = nonlinear phase-space = butterfly effect = turbulence = period doubling = bifurcations = self-organization = Non-irreversibility = Breakdown of second law of thermodynamics = universe = quantum mechanics = Law of increasing returns = period three = complexity = adaptive systems = emergent s ...more
Khalid Almoghrabi
truly amazing theory that will make your mind boggles :). i found the book quite interesting yet some parts, especially the physics and maths parts, are difficult to digest. the drawing can be better as well but still a good book to read about the subject of chaos theory.
Justin Tapp
Last year I mentioned a couple of times that I wanted to learn more about Chaos Theory. The last book I read was written by Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry, and fractals are a cornerstone in chaos theory.

This book is basically like a Cliffs Notes, except much weirder. Each page tries to explain some aspect of chaos theory and its evolution, and each page features a large picture--usually a manipulated photograph-- to try and bring the point home. But the picures are all pretty
This is a book for amateurs interested in what makes the world go round in terms of physical circumstances. While giving a step by step, no-nonsense explanation driven through a thread leading to more and more insight, it never made me feel it was either too much or too little - or rather that I was any of those. Actually, it was exciting.

Probably the objective of the book could be most appropriately summmarized by saying that it lets you go beyond what up till now has been perceived only withi
The James Gleick book 'Chaos' provides a lot of background and story that something like this can't really encompass. Chaos is such a sensational buzzword anyway, but I guess you couldn't really sell a book with a title like 'Current mathematical trends in the analysis of multi-variable systems as found in most real world scenarios'. To me, the reader who wants a concise explanation of the idea behind it without too much detail at first, this job does a pretty good job of explaining what a stran ...more
I have little experience with narcotics, so I don't know if so-called "gateway drugs" are by their very nature supposed to be unsatisfying, leading the disappointed user by dint of this deficiency to seek out "the hard stuff," but it seems to me like the "Introducing..." series is just such a "gateway drug" for information junkies. I should have known by the title that the book wouldn't go in-depth on the subject (or any of the subjects that it covers) but it doesn't make any of the main points ...more
Tanya Lemke
The book itself is a bit chaotic. I'm not sure I understand the concepts more completely after reading, but I did enjoy their surreal presentation.
Apr 13, 2008 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: complexity-obsessed dilettantes like myself
To me this book veered between opposing poles of obvious and incomprehensible (the latter probably being both my fault and the author's, since he's a professor of postcolonial studies & I'm sure as hell no physicist myself; reading wikis of the various topics to supplement the discussion helped).

It can be seen as a tasting menu that could send one searching for other books by authors mentioned in the text.
Joseph Harriott
marvellous. Blew apart my cosy enlightenment style fantasy that science has the whole picture. With increased computational abilities came an ability to look at the disordered scientifically, and to discover patterns there too. What's astonishing is that chaotic systems are the norm, so getting to grips with them is necessary for our understanding of our universe to move forward.
ok, now I'm confused. but a little enlightened.
Shane Hall
The weakness of the "Introducing..." series is that some of the topics they tackle require more than what the format allows for. This book falls victim to that. Chaos theory is highly mathematical with a lot of connected disciplines - certainly a lot to swallow. And the chick with the cauliflower on her head was just creepy.
Very unsatisfactory treatment of an exciting topic. Neither the math-experienced reader nor the complete greenhorn will gain much from it. I generally like the Graphic Guides series , but in this guide the concepts are explained very sloppily, the illustrations are not at all helpful and only vaguely connected with the text.
Bill  Kerwin

This is a short, illustrated (with cartoons!) introduction to Chaos Theory. Being a math-challenged poet type, I understood just enough of this to inspire me with wonder and to add a few strangely attractive words to my vocabulary--like "strange attractor," for instance.
"Satu kepakan kupu-kupu di Afrika bisa menyebabkan badai di Brazil "

Begitulah kata-kata(lupa persisnya, mohon koreksi bila salah) yang sering disebut ketika Chaos disebut. Aku membaca buku ini sebentar saja, kala aku bermain sejenak di kos teman ku.
This book is what you'd expect it to be. I wanted a simple and fun review of chaos theory and that's what I got. I don't have the time in my life to reread some of the more involved books. Don't underestimate the value of these graphic guides.
Joseph Wetterling
Not the clearest in some places, but a good broad introduction to the basic terms and concepts. I think it lost clarity in the more complex (no pun intended) concepts. This book points to lots of other foundational reading in the subject.
Irtaza Hussain
To a layman like myself who is trying to make sense of it all, the guide introduced me to a lot of things and that's all I wanted so the book gets a good rating from me just because it was cheap and gave me direction.
nyaaa.. membaca ini di waktu senggang kuliah. yah, cukup mudah diikuti untuk pemula seperti saya :P
Not sure it really clarified or introduced this troubled subject.
Jun 03, 2012 Brent marked it as to-read
I love Beginners books.
Hoàng Quang
Jun 16, 2013 Hoàng Quang marked it as to-read
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Ziauddin Sardar has written or edited 45 books over a period of 30 years, many with his long-time co-author Merryl Wyn Davies. Recent titles include Balti Britain: a Journey Through the British Asian Experience (Granta, 2008); and How Do You Know: Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations (Pluto, 2006). The first volume of his memoirs is Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journey ...more
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