Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

Popular-Science Book

The Recursive Universe: Cosmic Complexity and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge

Book Reviews: "Poundstone's book is a fantastic explosion of intellectual fireworks. Taking off from John Conway's amazing computer game of Life, in which incredibly complex and beautiful patterns emerge from childishly simple simple recursive 'transition rules,' the reader quickly finds himself on a mind-dazzling trek through the exciting, controversial jungles of modern physics. The journey culminates in a Leibnizian vision of a recursive universe. Like Conway's game, our world may be one of perhaps an infinite variety of possible worlds, monstrously complex, but unrolling in obedience to a simple set of logically consistent rules. The book is not only essential for all Lifenthusiasts. It should be read by anyone concerned with the awesome philosophical implications of today's physics and cosmology." Martin Gardner

W. Poundstone

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