The golden age of complexity science books

Petter Holme

Here is a list of complexity science books in a popular science style from when the hype was the biggest—from 1988 and a decade further*—and some very brief comments. Several of them are available at, as linked below. I’m pretty sure I forgot several. If so, I’ll add them later.

* I’m no longer the film buff I used to be, but this reminds me of the golden age of Hong Kong police action films which most fans agree, with surprisingly little discussion, was from 1984 to 1993. (And, yes, John Woo’sHard Boiledis the crown jewel of the genre.)

Covers of some of the books in this post.

HR Pagels, 1988.The Dreams of Reason: The Computer and the Rise of the Sciences of Complexity. Simon and Schuster, New York.

We’ll kick off with maybe the most remarkable of all these books (and the most interesting…

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