Simplexity, by Jeffrey Kluger

Time magazine writer and editor Jeffrey Kluger’s Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) offers a brisk and (mostly) comprehensible introduction to the science of “simplexity”. In an effort to define the concepts of complexity and simplicity, Kluger explores several of the current projects of the Santa Fe Institute (an interdisciplinary scientific research center founded by Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann), and features a variety of informative and diverse examples, drawing from economics, sports, politics, and the natural world.

Kluger is obviously an excellent reporter, and the many anecdotes featured in this book are fascinating and clearly presented. (I’m going to be boring people with random factoids for months—always a sign of a fun nonfiction read!) Unfortunately, his definition of the science of simplexity is difficult to grasp, and he covers far too much ground in a mere 302 pages. It might be possible to write a book that offers both a clear dissection of and obvious link between the complexity of military systems, music, and human speech, but I suspect such a book would need to be about a thousand pages longer—at least—than Mr. Kluger’s effort.
Posted by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.