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Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) [Anglais] [Broché]

Jeffrey Kluger
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Description de l'ouvrage

16 juin 2009
Sometimes a complex problem has an easy solution. And sometimes there's more to a simple thing than first appears.

In Simplexity, Time senior writer Jeffrey Kluger shows how a drinking straw can save thousands of lives, how a million cars can be on the streets but just a few hundred of them can lead to gridlock, how investors behave like atoms; how arithmetic governs abstract art and physics drives jazz, and why swatting a TV indeed makes it work better.

Kluger adeptly translates newly evolving science into a delightful theory of everything that will have you rethinking the rules of business, family, art--your world.

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Kluger makes the modern world comprehensible...[his] findings are likely to incite controversy, confirming his contention that explaining simplicity and complexity is never as straightforward as it seems.—Publishers Weekly

Simplexity...is a study of human behavior, and the way we perceive things and events, and how our perception frequently causes us to make wrong assumptions and to perceive simplicity (or complexity) where it does not exist. The book is sure to be a deserved hit among the ever-growing Freakonomics crowd."—Booklist

"A fascinating journey."—Library Journal

Biographie de l'auteur

Jeffrey Kluger joined TIME Magazine in 1996, mainly writing science stories, and was named a senior writer in 1998. With astronaut Jim Lovell, he wrote Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, on which the 1995 movie Apollo 13 movie was based. He's written several other books, most recently Splendid Solution, which is about Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine. Mr. Kluger and two other colleagues won the 2002 Overseas Press Club of America's Whitman Bassow Award for their "Global Warming" cover package (April 9, 2001), garnering first place for the best reporting in any medium on international environmental issues. Before joining TIME, Mr. Kluger was a staff writer for Discover Magazine and a writer and editor for the New York Times Business World Magazine, Family Circle, and Science Digest.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 336 pages
  • Editeur : Hyperion; Édition : Reprint (16 juin 2009)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1401309933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401309930
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,3 x 2,2 x 20,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 169.009 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un livre provoquant et surprenant 23 juillet 2011
Par Philippe Poux TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Broché
Un début sur les chapeaux de roues ...

Beaucoup de références, d'exemples concrets, de points étonnants, et des pages qui font réflechir. Sociologie et psychologie, tous les axes sont mis en oeuvre pour étudier la science des choses complexes, et voir comment elles s'expliquent parfois simplement ...

Un livre détonnant qui mérite d'exister !
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Amazon.com: 2.9 étoiles sur 5  37 commentaires
23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Starts with a Bang 28 juillet 2008
Par Ken Palmer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This book starts with a bang, and contains occasional flashes of brilliancy. The cover artwork, title, and premise are very appealing. Unfortunately this book doesn't live up to it's parenthetical subtitle of "how complex things can be made simple."

I picked this up at an airport for a good cross-country airplane read. Initially I was very happy with this purchase.

The first two chapters are very interesting, and propose some brilliant insights into human behavior. These insights, like all of the interesting facts in this book, are disappointingly unsupported by any bibliography or source references. Hopefully the publisher will consider adding a bibliography when the edition goes into paperback.

This book fizzles out around chapter 4. There are a few interesting tidbits of information in the sports-centric 6th chapter. But it never seems to pick up the momentum created in the first two chapters.

As a senior software developer I was keenly interested in reading chapter 9, which is technology centered. It's titled "Why are your cell phone and camera so absurdly complicated? Confused by Flexibility." This is where I expected Mr. Kluger to shine on the book's subtitle "How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple." In that respect this chapter was a complete let-down.

The chapter provides an overview of the development of TVs, cell phones, and software, with dips into washing machines and other gadgets. Ultimately it boils down to a list of complaints about the complexity in technology, and a suggestion that simplification will eventually come as a result of market forces.

My expectation was that some insights would be offered on HOW to make the technology simpler. Jakob Nielsen and others have done remarkable work in this arena, though we are still only scratching the surface of making user interfaces "more intuitive." It seems that the intuitive user interface is the mystical gold standard that no-one can seem to get right. But I digress...

Read chapters 1, 2, and 6 for the meat of this book. Then move on to another book in your summer reading list.
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Thought provoking paradoxes 22 juin 2008
Par Sreeram Ramakrishnan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In a well-narrated and thought provoking book, Kluger raises some interesting questions about how we define or tend to view and experience complexity. Organized as a series of (essentially independent) 11 or so chapters, each one focuses on one aspect - herd mentality, instincts, equilibrium, payoffs, scale, objective, fear, silence, flexibility, false targets, and loveliness. A motivating title in the form of a paradox starts the discussion in each chapter. The titles (and the short sub title) alone are interesting enough to provoke one's imagination. The chapters that deal with instincts (analogy of fluid dynamics in traffic management and evacuation procedures) and scale (discussion on Kleiber's observations on animal mass, energy consumption and life spans) stood out the most.

Despite all the interesting discussions, the chapters are so autonomous, a common thread leading to some substantial conclusions is not apparent. Moreover, it is disappointing to see that the author does not provide a detailed citation list or a reading list for the more curious reader, despite the references to work done at Santa Fe Institute and some books. The chapters do full justice to the main title, though the sub-question in the parentheses of the title doesn't get the attention it deserves..

Overall, an entertaining book that introduces the reader to a very interesting research domain.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Appealing but not very satisfying 20 septembre 2008
Par Djembedrummer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
There are many agreements that I would have with other reviewers who found the book appealing enough to open its cover, but not deeply satisfying - indeed, slipping into the disappointing range the further along I read. I thought that it would reveal something to chew on, to elucidate complexity and simplicity and the relationship of the two, but other than its first chapter with its discussion of a complexity arc, it had no more to add than diluted observations of what happens in complex and non-complex settings. Interesting perhaps, especially in the context of each chapter's probing questions, but basically not much more than storytelling of contrarian conditions (ie, why did the unbeatable team get beat by the pushover). Nice antidotes, but I felt a sportswriter would reveal more and in doing so, be more entertaining to read.

It did succeed, however, in one major area: it got me to buy the book. The cover and table of contents, as Amazon allows, were intriguing enough to order it. It just didn't have the right stuff of Apollo 13 (the author's other noteworthy book).
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining questions, but not many answers 4 septembre 2008
Par K. Lueders - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Based on the second half of the sub-title (How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple), I was expecting a "how to" approach for finding the underlying simplicity in apparently complex environments. However, the book was more of a collection of articles that "report the news" versus a "how to" approach for practical application. "Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything" by Levitt & Dubner has a similar flow, but did a much better job of providing insights on the analytics and approaches used to substantiate the causal relationships they assert.

I did find the book enjoyable from an philosophical/entertainment point of view. If you agree with Claude Levi-Strauss' that, "The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions," then you should read the book. In my opinion the real value of the book is that it may open your mind to asking better questions about the nature of complex environments. I specifically enjoyed the chapter on Cell Phone/Camera complexity and believe it's a must read for any manager of software engineers. In addition, I have high hopes that the references to other books will provide the pragmatic material I'm seeking.

In summary, if your are looking for a thought provoking piece on the nature of simplicity and complexity you will enjoy the book, but if you are tasked with making complex environments simple and looking for guidance the book won't further your journey.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Simply Pointless 17 juillet 2009
Par Jiang Xueqin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
In "Simplexity" Time magazine science writer Jeffrey Kluger examines how simple things can be complex and how complex things can sometimes be actually simple, and after suffering through a meandering and confusing 307 pages I now know why no one reads Time magazine anymore.

At first Mr. Kluger has two main arguments. With physical phenomenon (like gases) there are two extremes of static (absolute zero) and chaos, and both extremities are simple and boring; in between is where the complexity lies. With human relationships (like a corporation) there are two extremes of low wage earners and high skill wage earners, and both in fact are highly skilled and experienced at their work; in between is where the simplicity lies. Middle management was involved in numbing routine work, and with the advent of the computer middle managers became obsolete and redundant.

And then the rest of the four-fifths of the book meanders into topics that have nothing to do with the author's main arguments. Rather they're probably just a collection of his Time science articles re-published here.

Magazine writers know that readers tend only to read the first article of each section, and perhaps that's what Mr. Kluger is thinking here. Write two chapters, and fill in the rest with previous articles: most readers won't know the difference. Unfortunately, even the first two chapters aren't worth reading.
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