In the 1980s before there was the internet, when most people were just getting started with personal computers, American physicist Heinz Pagels understood the intimate connection between the exponential rise and proliferation of computing power and how it was contributing to the birth of a whole new realm of mathematics and physics, and with it, our understanding of the most important aspects of the world we live in This was the rise of the sciences of complexity chaos theory, fractal geometr In the 1980s before there was the internet, when most people were just getting started with personal computers, American physicist Heinz Pagels understood the intimate connection between the exponential rise and proliferation of computing power and how it was contributing to the birth of a whole new realm of mathematics and physics, and with it, our understanding of the most important aspects of the world we live in This was the rise of the sciences of complexity chaos theory, fractal geometry, nonlinear dynamics, cyber everything, parallel processing, neural networks, self organizing and self adaptive systems in short, the science of the macro world systems we experience everyday the climate, air and water flows, traffic dynamics, biological organization, population dynamics, and a host of everyday systems that had previously been too complex to study All at once, the explosion of computing power in smaller machines became affordable to researchers with little grant money, grad students, garage nerds, or science enthusiasts of any sort and enabled them to work with kinds of analyses that hitherto were only available to small groups of researchers in the government, the military, and large universities Simulations and analyses of complex systems with multiple variables, nonlinear system variables, were now possible and would lead to a revolution in our understanding of the organizational dynamics of natural systems Because of this explosion of computing power, Pagels discusses the emergence of a new view of mathematics and with it, a new view of the foundational ideas of physical reality the computational view In mathematics this is the notion that to know a mathematical truth you must be able to compute it in a manner similar to a Turing machine But the notion is extended in the physical world suggesting that the material world and the dynamical systems in it arise computationally, as natural computers The brain, the weather, the solar system, are all like computers according to the computational view, the laws of nature are algorithms that control the development of the system in time, just like real programs do for computers p45 Computational biology is the study of biological systems and artificial life done on a computer The computer, the tool which gave rise to this computational view, also gave rise to a new fundamental organizing principle of nature that of information as the foundational principle underlying the organization of reality e.g., Information and the Nature of Reality.Almost thirty years have passed since Pagels wrote his book and the sciences of complexity are now well established and part of many fields of study in the sciences When I read it in the early 1990s, this book gave me a better idea of many of the trends in science that were birthed and propelled by the proliferation of computing power I can still recommend this book as a good introduction to the sciences of complexity and their relation to the profound changes in our understanding of the world brought on by computers and computing power I reread this book, opening it at random, and while it takes awhile for my aging brain to kick in, it does eventually recall what I read, hopes I will continue reading to maybe reread a part it has totally forgotten.Good book to be introduced to complexity computer usages I reread this book, opening it at random, and while it takes awhile for my aging brain to kick in, it does eventually recall what I read, hopes I will continue reading to maybe reread a part it has totally forgotten.Good book to be introduced to complexity computer usages