Book Review: Turbulent Mirror Essay, Research Paper
When I first picked up the book, I felt like a child picking up a calculus book. Hoping I might learn something, but not expecting to get a single thing out of it. It wasn t till I started skimming through the books that I noticed an unusually large amount of pictures and illustrations. Majority of the pictures weren t hard-to-understand graphs, but on the contrary they were almost silly. Throughout the book the authors use an Alice in Wonderland like world to explain their points of discussion. This had a very positive effect on my outlook of the book, not only did it add a little fun humor to the reading, but it also made things make sense.
When I read Gleick s book on the science of Chaos, I was pretty much left in a daze with no chance of getting anything out of the book for the long run. The only thing I really remember was the basic definition of the foundation of the study of the science of chaos, which was the theory that there is a form of order in every instance disorder. When I read Turbulent Mirror, I became more educated in the understanding of just how complex our world is. How the authors go about explaining this complexity is extraordinary! It isn t quite as in-depth as Gleick s book, whereas he had more real world examples. Which is one thing I felt the authors could have used more of. The book was in dire need of some form of real world examples that I can relate to. When Gleick explained the Butterfly theorm, if I can remember correctly, he used some data from series farmers almanacs. This went along with the data collected from Lorenz s weather system, which is the method that these authors mentioned but never really discussed outside the caption for a group of graphs.
For a drawn conclusion of the book I ll state that it s a worthy book that I will definitely ask my friends to read. It won t give the enlightenment that Gleick can deliver, but it will definitely help them understand why I ve come to look at the world in such a complex manner. On a scale of 3 stars, I would be giving this book one star and a fraction short of a second one, but on a scale of 5 stars I ll give it three.
There are three basic units to this book. One which explains how one goes from Order to Chaos, or in other words how simple things become extremely complex, Chaos to Order, this chapter explains how forms of order can be derived from chaos, and The Mirror, this chapter describes how the two are transitioned from one to the other.
As with every subject to be learned, in order to effectively learn something you must first look at the background, or origins, of the topic. In this case we must look at where chaos comes from to understand what it truly is. Chaos is when order becomes not so very orderly anymore. Usually it starts with the results to a simple equation, but if the input is changed in even the minutest way then the results will show a pattern for a while but later will change radically into something completely different. Lorenz discovered this occurrence when rounding off number used in an equation to calculate weather patterns. What he did was create a type of graph using a computer using an equation and set of input variables. When he ran the variables through the equation a second time, only this time he rounded off to four decimals rather than eight, his output was almost completely different!
Going from chaos to order is not as nearly as easy (or accidental one might add) as going from order to chaos. There s simple reasoning behind this, chaos is complex and order is relatively simple. So as you might imagine, working with chaos is much more difficult than working with order. The transition from one to the other is a very complicated subject. When the authors talk about The Mirror they are referring to what is called self-similarity. Self-similarity is a repetition