The tendency to synchronize may be the most mysterious and pervasive drive in all of nature. It has intrigued some of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century, including Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Norbert Wiener, Brian Josephson, and Arthur Winfree.
At once elegant and riveting, Sync tells the story of the dawn of a new science. Steven Strogatz, a leading mathematician in the fields of chaos and complexity theory, explains how enormous systems can synchronize themselves, from the electrons in a superconductor to the pacemaker cells in our hearts. He shows that although these phenomena might seem unrelated on the surface, at a deeper level there is a connection, forged by the unifying power of mathematics.
©2003 Steven H. Strogatz (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Sync is a wonderfully lucid and thoroughly entertaining story of the emerging science of synchrony." (Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe, Professor of Physics and Mathematics, Columbia University)
"Inspiring... offers a real sense of what it's like to be at the beginning of Something Big." (New Scientist)
"Beautifully written and breathtaking in scope, SYNC tells both a personal and a scientific story." (Charles S. Peskin, Professor of Mathematics and Neural Science, New York University)
A lot of information and examples...but of what exactly? I did not find a well developed hypothesis turned to a satisfactory conclusion. Just several..."okay, that's interesting" type moments, but few and far between.
Also, how can I rely on his statements when I hear false facts.
For example, he states that nuclear submarine personnel live on an 18 hour shift. That is true. But he then states that they have a 6 hour work shift and 12 hours of rest. Sorry, no 12 hours rest. Did you even talk to a submariner before writing this? It's more like 6 hours of duty work, 6 hours of other work and "activities," and then if you have absolutely nothing else to do you might use all of the remaining 6 hours for rest.
Maybe the author feels that the incoherence throughout his book will cause it to sync by the end of the last chapter. For me, it did not.
I did like his interpretation of the Bose-Einstein Condensate, however.
I know the headline is hyperbolic but it's actually true. This book makes me so tired I fall asleep becauase in part of the dull content and in part due to the narrators voice.
The plodding pace of the narration, where "every syll a ble was care fully pro nounced" at a pace just slower than anyone would normally speak really grated on my nerves. I checked out my playback status and found I was still on chapter one! I don't think I can stand to listen to any more of this recording. The author's analogies were too frequently phrased with hyperbole. Very disappointed.
As what the aptly titled "Chaos" by James Gleick was to Chaos theory, Sync is the full story of the most current revolution in applied mathematics. It is told through the words, and lens of the career of one of the pioneers in the field. The narrator can be methodically slow at times, but as the contents are dense, I understand the reasoning. A must read (listen) for anyone with an appreciation of, and curiosity about the similarities across various sciences.
This book contains ideas with a beauty that is difficult to express. There is a constant tension in the air - a feeling that you are on the brink of some fundamental pattern in the universe, but you can't put your finger on what that is. I would recommend this book to anyone without qualification.
I haven't found one yet aside from the more formal "Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos"
Yes, I couldn't stop listening to it. In fact I was driving and had to pull over because it was so engrossing.
Do not be afraid or unsure for any reason - the book is pitched such that you could listen to it without even knowing addition.
A great guide through the development of chaos, complexity, and whatever we were at the book's writing. Told with a pleasant mix of back story and science.
I will focus my comments on the "audio" aspect of the book.
I tried to read this in book form but I found I could get through more pages per sitting in the audio format. That being said, the narrator is way too slow! I was lucky in that fumbling with my new iPhone6 I accidentally engaged a feature that sped up the playback. It sounded a little odd but not high pitched. I am not sure I would have continued otherwise.
I thought I would be going back to the paper version of the book to understand the concepts better, but I found that by listening I was not bogged down by details and the fluidity of thought was preserved.
As to the book itself:
I think that Steven Strogatz does an admirable job trying explain some difficult mathematical topics in a generally accessible way. Perhaps it would be helpful to have some familiarity with higher level math concepts, but I do not think it is necessary. What I love best is his enthusiasm and curiosity. That is really what the book is about.
I was especially interested in human sleep cycles related to other circadian the rhythms.. There were a lot of topics. He gives a lot of detail about the methodology
This must be the best pop-sci book I've read this year. The reason I liked it is simply because it is deep and well written. Author really dives into details of how a particular research was done and how a particular phenomenon works. He provides metaphors, which are helpful, if somewhat obscure at times (though this provided a rich source of laughter for me). Being a scientist myself, I found his analogies quite precise and revealing.
Books like this one are rare. Most pop-sci books are 80% personal stories or anecdotal evidence, and only 20% science (good example is "The Talent Code" I read just before this book). This one is 20% stories, 80% science. And in this ratio stories can actually be enjoyable and funny.
I said it once and I'll say it again: leave the content of pop-sci books to actual scientists. They'll almost always do a better job than journalists.
The narration is OK. I didn't find any flaws except for mispronunciation of Christoph Koch's surname (he is German, so it is not what you would expect). I didn't particularly care for the intonations of the voice, I think for a scientific book they were at times a bit too dramatic.
The content is awesome. The reader sounds like he's narrating ghost stories: slow, breathy, and mostly just weird. Use Audible's playback speed feature and set it at 1.5x and the reader's jarring voice becomes a non-issue.
But the book is friggin' cool for anyone interested in how order arises from disorder.
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