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At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. November 1996


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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 336 Seiten
  • Verlag: Oxford Univ Pr; Auflage: Revised. (21. November 1996)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0195111303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195111309
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,4 x 2,2 x 14,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (37 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 96.083 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

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The best treatment I have yet encountered about how order emerges naturally -- and possibly even necessarily -- out of chaos. Profoundly important, and considerably more informed than better-known pop-science treatments of chaos theory. Very highly recommended.

Pressestimmen


"Courageous....I guarantee that any reader whose imagination has survived an academic education--or has never been exposed to one--will learn a lot, and be changed forever."--Ian Stewart, Nature


"A new and far-reaching theory of order in the universe, introduced by a pioneer in that theory's development."--The Washington Post Book World


"Kauffman has done more than anyone else to supply the key missing piece of the propensity for self-organization that can join the random and the deterministic forces of evolution into a satisfactory theory of life's order."--Stephen Jay Gould, author of The Panda's Thumb



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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Einleitungssatz
Out my window, just west of Santa Fe, lies the near spiritual landscape of northern New Mexico-barrancas, mesas, holy lands, the Rio Grande-home to the oldest civilization in North America. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Dianelos Georgoudis am 24. März 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
The basic idea of Kauffman's book is that the complexity we see in nature (including life or technology) is contingent to math, i.e. can be explained and predicted by mathematical reasoning. The same is true of statistical thermodynamics and evolution. He states that Darwin's evolutionary theory explains only how complex life emerged from simple life, but it does not explain how simple life emerged from matter. There is probably a larger jump in complexity from matter to the first simple cell, than from that simple cell to a modern human being. Darwin does not explain that first jump. Kauffman doesn't either even though he is convincing in showing that life must have started through autocatalytic sets of molecules. He points out that these sets are self-organizing, stable and can vary as a reflex to external stimuli. What he mentions, but does not explain, is that autocatalytic sets can (or must) self-reproduce, a necessary step before evolution sets in. On page 66 of the paperback edition he states that "such breaking in two happens spontaneously as such [auto-catalytic] sets increase in volume", but, maddeningly, he does not explain how or why. One has to wonder: if life is such a necessary result of matter (therefore the title "at home in the universe") why then has it proven so difficult to synthesize anything approaching life in the laboratory? He doesn't say.
The book is full of incredibly interesting ideas. He explains ontogeny (the transformation of a fertilized egg to a highly complex and differentiated organism) using a simple model of on/off enzymes which allows him to build a Boolean network in which different cell types correspond to different "attractors", which are intrinsic in such a network.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Slacker79 am 20. Januar 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
...in either direction, for or against this book. Extremely high variance reviews are a good sign that reviewers are posting their own preconceptions, rather than reactions to this book.
There is a lot of good stuff in here. The descriptions of the patch procedure and simulated annealing, for instance, are very nice. This book can be useful to the motivated general reader, and to a scientist who wants to see the very basics of some novel ideas. It can also be useful for those familiar with complexity as an account of how different pieces fit together.
It's important to remember that the book is not a text in, say, biochemistry. Rather, it's about a way to see the world. At this stage of the idea development life cycle and in a basic treatment like this, it would be counterproductive to insist that these modeling tools reproduce everything we know or start at the level of complication of a mature science. If the book deals in toy examples that relate to a different view for pieces of the world and how they relate, it has done most of its job.
On the other hand, the book definitely has the mildly unpleasant tenor of a popularization. So, for example, any new idea is dressed up as revolutionary. Kauffman is actually better about this than many authors, especially in this field, but it's still palpable.
It is also written with all the mid-'90s euphoria over complexity. It is not clear that it will take as far as the gurus envision, but it is fun to think about -- and this book is a good way to start.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Amazon Customer am 5. Juli 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Other reviewers already sang praises to the concepts and the ideas contained ni this book, and I have nothing to add other than my agreement. BUT! The book would have been improved no end by some ruthless editing. The opening chapters in particular are immensely repetitive. The style is very uneven, sometimes apparently aiming at readers with no technical knowledge (and a miniscule attention span), while in other places packing ideas to such density that even a fairly informed reader can start gasping for breath.
I made the mistake of reading it on holidays, with no access to a computer. Big mistake! I kept wanting to program, to check out what the author was saying, to try variants and elaborations. I.e. to have lots of hands-on fun -- it's that sort of a book and I can thing of no higher recommendation. But please, oh please, somebody introduce Kaufman to a good editor!
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von kentp@princeton.edu am 22. Januar 1998
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
What a brain! We often look (up) to physicists to explain those aspects of our world which were once the proper purview of religion. Here is a biologist whose ideas must be taken in that same breath. This is a book whose ideas are truly profound. Mr. Kauffman reframed the way I conceptualized everything from myself, to society, the business cycle and biological evolution. In another era, this would be a spiritual text, a moving book which would alter the way we look at the world and ourselves. A reader with a background in literary theory or economics will find intriguing connections between classical theories of market economics and also the work of Derrida. To be honest, the prose can be trying at moments, but I imagine the text reads like Kauffman thinks...swiftly. In a way, this is a good thing, because the book forces you to slow down and think. You will scribble in the margins for hours, doting on and questioning his ideas about self-reproducting and organzing phenomenon and the notion that all complex systems evolve on the edge between stasis and chaos. Put simply: Read this book.
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