For the past six months I have been reading many books about the science of complexity. I think I am now at the point where I can safely say that my book collection is not missing any significant works that have been published in that area. My bookshelf is so packed with knowledge now that it can barely hold on to the wall.
Part 2 of my work consists of reading all major works in the fields of software engineering and software process improvement. I will limit this to the most important works released in the last five or ten years or so, to prevent me from dying of an information overdose. This will probably take me another six months or more.
However, in the meantime my pen (or keyboard for that matter) has not been lying idle. I have written the first two articles that will probably be included as chapters in my book. I just need to translate them from Dutch to English, which is a matter of minutes. (Well ok, they will be very long minutes.) At this point my Book.doc file consists of 49 pages with text, notes, pictures, links, clippings and droppings and anything else I have built up over the last half year. So I’ve only got about 300 pages still to go…
You may be interested to know what literature I’ve been reading. Here’s my list of books on the subject of complexity. I found these books to be quite valuable, interesting and/or enjoyable. Let me know if you need my personal opinion about any of them.
Corning, P. (2003) Nature’s Magic: Synergy in Evolution and the Fate of Human Kind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gell-Man, M. (1994) The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex. New York: Owl Books
Gladwell, M. (2000) The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. New York: Bay Back Books
Gleick, J. (1987) Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin Books
Hofstadter, D.R. (1979) Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid. New York: Basic Books.
Holland, J.H. (1995) Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity. New York: Basic Books.
Kauffman, S. (1995) At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity. New York: Oxford University Press
Kelly, K. (1994) Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World. New York: Basic Books
Lewin, R. (1992) Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Miller, J.H. and Page, S.E. (2007) Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life. Princeton: Princeton University Press
Solé, R. and Goodwin, B. (2000) Signs of Life: How Complexity Pervades Biology. New York: Basic Books.
Strogatz, S. (2003) Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order. New York: Hyperion Books.
Waldrop, M.M. (1992) Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos. New York: Simon & Schuster