Re: A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies

Joe E. Dees (
Sun, 14 Nov 1999 19:02:48 -0600

Date sent:      	Sun, 14 Nov 1999 19:11:09 EST
Subject:        	Re: A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies
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> In a message dated 11/14/99 3:53:11 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> writes:
> > So you won'y throw out the useful baby with the bullshit bathwater,
> > I suggest reading COMPLEXITY AND POSTMODERNISM by Paul
> > Cilliers, where he maintains that postmodern techniques, which
> > allow us to more coherently linguistically grasp and represent
> > systems comprised of a multiplicity of differentially weighted
> > distinguishable but inseparable factors interrelating in dynamically
> > recursive ways, lend themselves naturally to the task of verbally
> > describing/explaining complex systems.
> Y'know, even if you accept that some postmodern techniques have value, it's
> hard to tell whether that particular statement is baby or bathwater :-)
> If that's basically a quote I think I'll wait for the abridged version.
Howzabout the version?

                     A reader from New Haven, CT , April 29, 1999  
                     Excellent and lucid explanation of basic complexity 
                     Prof. Cilliers's elucidation of the key elements of 
complexity theory is not only informative but fascinating reading. He has taken two
                     subjects (complexity and post-modernism), each of 
which can be frustrating and confusing to the average reader, clearly explained
                     them, and then convincingly related them to each 
other. By describing each of these subjects in the context of the other (in true
                     post-structural style), Prof. Cilliers makes each of 
them more understandable. Highly recommended! --This text refers to the
                     hardcover edition of this title 

                     A reader from Mpumalanga Province, South Africa , 
March 31, 1999  
                     " You can't escape the agonistics of the Network " 
                     There's no denying that rule-based ethical models 
are inappropriate and indeed do an unjustice to humanity when placed in today's
                     complex world - and Cillers clearly identifies why 
this is so. Bravo.More! More!
            from california , March 30, 1999  
                     An interesting view into complexity 
                     Though it helps to have a better understanding of the 
modern philosophy of science, it is not necessary in order understand the idea
                     the book presents to the reader. It is very well 
thought out, cogent and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in
                     cross-disciplined approaches to understanding 
concepts. I appreciate the process oriented nature of his thesis and how the classic
                     Newtonian physics are inadequate to defining our 
rapidly changing universe. Be prepared to think, but prepare yourself for a good

                     Wade McReynolds ( from 
Kalamazoo, MI , March 9, 1999  
                     Good introduction to complex systems 
                     Of the two I've read, this is by far the better 
introduction to complexity. Though sometimes redundant, Cilliers's book fleshes out the
                     skeletal abstractions, and makes Derrida palatable 
even to the general reader. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this

                     A reader from CT, USA , January 24, 1999  
                     Clearly written and argued 
                     An excellent well-rounded introduction to 
complexity, presented in a clear and well-referenced manner. Cilliers outlines the
                     philosophical underpinnings for many of the central 
issues in complex systems. The introductory chapter includes the most
                     straightforward explanation of the properties of 
complex systems that I've seen (far better than Lewin, Waldrop, or Gell-Mann). A
                     must-own for anyone interested in complexity or 
cognitive and neural systems, or philosophy of science for that matter.