When did you first learn about complexity theory?
I’ve known about it for a long time — it’s hard to say for sure, but I think my first glimpse was probably the original Jurassic Park novel by Michael Crichton. He focused on chaos theory, but that’s just complexity theory’s slightly wilder cousin. I read a lot as a general matter, and so I’m sure I stumbled across it here or there. As far as Strange Attractors goes, though, I absolutely ramped up my reading once I knew that this was what the story would be about. I’m no mathematician, although I do love numbers in a layman sort of way. I tried to make the theory behind the ideas work as best as I could — although I have a feeling a true expert in the field might have some notes for me. I think it hangs together pretty well, though — the ideas in the book are just this side of plausible, which is where you want to be.
How long did it take to research this book?
I’d say I spent a few months reading just about everything I could find about complexity theory. There are some great books on the subject. Some are written for a non-specialist audience, and others…aren’t, to put it mildly. Still, I got something out of everything I read.
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