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Chaos: A Graphic Guide

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  522 ratings  ·  47 reviews
An accessible introduction to an astonishing and controversial theory explains how chaos makes its presence felt in many varieties of event, from the fluctuation of animal populations to the ups and downs of the stock market.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 15th 2004 by Totem Books (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  522 ratings  ·  47 reviews


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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.
...more
Khalid Almoghrabi
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Essam Munir
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
As an introduction to chaos theory, I guess this is a good book, although it is easy to forget most of the ideas in it, so it needs to be read again.
There are a lot of definitions which make it easier to be read.
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. ...more
Jon Nakapalau
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful overview of chaos theory - which would be chaotic for someone with my math background to understand - if not for this book.
Eszter
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: investigation, owned
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
...more
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
Matt
Jul 24, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
raghunadh
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caught me off guard and took me by surprise

When I started this book, I thought differently accepting things and pushing unknown phenomena in my life to my mind black box. After reading this book, it created a new perspective to my understanding about science, nature, technology and even social relationships. It's not simple to explain this choas in simple book, but this book is a great start for uncovering new interest to this discipline of subject. And the same way, please consider choas and co
...more
Joseph Harriott
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Irtaza Hussain
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Brent
Jun 03, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I love Beginners books.
Imran
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An awesome introduction. It lucidly presents all the quantitative, qualitative and applied aspects of chaos theory.
Obed M. Parlapiano
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
I loved this little book, the scientific explanations are great and since it's an introduction to a subject, it starts from the very beginning, everything is clear and very very few times I had to re-read a paragraph, something that is a good thing in a heavily scientific book.

I would rather read a text-only or a less heavy imagery book, the images, in my opinion, didn't add much value to the written text 9 out of 10 times. A lot of times they were just there to fill up space. I'm not taking aw
...more
Madhumita Bharde
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Let’s face it - Gleick’s ‘Chaos’, although a phenomenal masterpiece, is a daunting read. And I am always all for books “scratching the surface”; but IMO, this book doesn’t do a very good job of inviting the reader to “dig” more on the topic. Would have given it 3 stars if the repetitive and completely unnecessary fractal brain graphic were avoided. It’s gross - not sure if and when I would be able to have cauliflower back in my diet.
Vilém Zouhar
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
A brief introduction to how our view of chaos shaped throughout history. If you have an hour free time, read this book - the pages are mostly filled with illustrative cartoon. I wanted to give 3 stars to this book, but there was a picture of a Dalek saying "you will be assimilated", so two starts will do. ...more
Aynoor
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book overall but wouldn't recommend it to someone who doesn't have much knowledge about the theory, although it "introduces" the theory. Might be a bit boring what with all the definitions, but if you start this book with a bit of knowledge and a lot of interest, you'd be able to finish it in a day. ...more
David Ross
A good starting off point for further research. Not the easiest to read given the complexity of the topic and my limited understanding of the science. Thought it could've been a little more entertaining in the writing but certainly does what it sets out to do and that's start you down the road to understanding chaos theory. ...more
Harshit Vyas
Overall a good read. Chaos is an interesting subject and a bit difficult to explain. Having stated that, I felt the first part of the book is well thought and organised while the latter half is a bit boring.
Liz
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a reasonable introduction to chaos theory. I struggled with some of the descriptions/oversimplifications and some of the broad takeaways (global warming is fake, non-Western cultures/religions know everything). Also, the graphics didn't really add anything. ...more
Muhammad Ali Shahid
very well written primer to the basics of chaos.
Alexandru
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read on chaos. Fractals, astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and religion...
Josafat Ituarte
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The worldview is enhanced after reading this book, it describes things that have always been in front of us but have never been able to see.
Peter Lambert
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detailed introduction.
Great stuff for those who understand it.
Much was beyond me. Nonetheless, read it.
Aamir
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good
Poppie Gibson
Oct 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
boring didn’t care
Catherine Mason
I might have given this book more stars if it hadn't wandered into woo-land near the end (pages 150-167), but at least it had a counter in the last four pages which were titled: Criticism of Chaos - although this could have been more appropriately called: Criticism of Interpretations of Chaos. Maybe the problem was having a former science journalist now Professor of Post-Colonial Studies (whatever that is) write the book instead of a scientist. Once we enter into woo-land it seemed from certain ...more
Justin Tapp
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science, mathematics
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
...more
Seymour
Feb 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: concepts
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
...more
Isaac
Feb 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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