I just finished reading Mark Buchanan's Small Worlds: Uncovering Nature's Hidden Networks, published in the US as Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks (W. W. Norton & Company, 2002).
Buchanan's prose is accessible and spiced with just enough wit to keep the reader engaged, and keeps this a smooth read. The book's also a great primer on the field of complexity science, tracing its trajectory from Milgram's early experiments right across the disciplines, including detailed coverage of the work of such pillars of network theory as Granovetter and Barabasi.
Two really interesting items in the latest Harper's. Full citations with links as follows:
Richard Rodriguez, "The God of the Desert: Jerusalem and the Ecology of Monotheism," Harper's Magazine Vol 316, No. 1892 (January 2008): 35-46.
John Gray, "Faith in Reason: Secular Fantasies of a Godless Age," Harper's Magazine Vol 316, No. 1892 (January 2008): 85-88.
This was interesting: "Dangerous Minds: Criminal Profiling Made Easy," New Yorker (12 Nov 2007). It looks at the sometimes less than rigorous inner workings of criminal profiling. Fascinating. Its author, Malcolm Gladwell, takes a good hard swipe at the practice,…
Criminal Profiling Unmasked Read More
The Economist 's recent science and technology special published some of the most interesting, and sensible, items I've seen in a while on the interface between the virtual and the real. Two articles, "Playing Tag" and "Reality, Only Better", reviewed mobile social network platforms and augmented reality technology, respectively.
On a flight in mid-November, I managed to stay awake long enough to read through a great piece of magazine writing, Walter Kirn's "The Autumn of the Multitaskers," The Atlantic (Nov 2007), p. 66-80.
It's all the buzz in the blogosphere (OK, so what isn't?). Blog of Rand goes into it in more depth, and notes the irony, for anyone interested in reading the whole article, that full text is "NOT online - go figure. The one article that the overly-wired need to read can only be read in print or online by subscribers."