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Chaos Imagined

Chaos Imagined Author Martin Meisel
ISBN-10 9780231540469
Release 2016-01-05
Pages 576
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The stories we tell in our attempt to make sense of the world—our myths and religion, literature and philosophy, science and art—are the comforting vehicles we use to transmit ideas of order. But beneath the quest for order lies the uneasy dread of fundamental disorder. True chaos is hard to imagine and even harder to represent. In this book, Martin Meisel considers the long effort to conjure, depict, and rationalize extreme disorder, with all the passion, excitement, and compromises the act provokes. Meisel builds a rough history from major social, psychological, and cosmological turning points in the imagining of chaos. He uses examples from literature, philosophy, painting, graphic art, science, linguistics, music, and film, particularly exploring the remarkable shift in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from conceiving of chaos as disruptive to celebrating its liberating and energizing potential. Discussions of Sophocles, Plato, Lucretius, Calderon, Milton, Haydn, Blake, Faraday, Chekhov, Faulkner, Wells, and Beckett, among others, are matched with incisive readings of art by Brueghel, Rubens, Goya, Turner, Dix, Dada, and the futurists. Meisel addresses the revolution in mapping energy and entropy and the manifold effect of thermodynamics. He then uses this chaotic frame to elaborate on purpose, mortality, meaning, and mind.



The Map of Chaos

The Map of Chaos Author Félix J. Palma
ISBN-10 9781451688207
Release 2015-06-30
Pages 592
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Map of Time and The Map of the Sky, the final installment in the award-winning trilogy that The Washington Post called “a big, genre-bending delight.” When the person he loves most dies in tragic circumstances, the mysterious protagonist of The Map of Chaos does all he can to speak to her one last time. A session with a renowned medium seems to offer the only solution, but the experience unleashes terrible forces that bring the world to the brink of disaster. Salvation can only be found in The Map of Chaos, an obscure, hand-written mathematical treatise that he is desperate to uncover. In his search, he is given invaluable help by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, and of course by H.G. Wells, whose Invisible Man seems to have escaped from the pages of his famous novel to sow terror among mankind. They alone can discover the means to save the world and to find the path that will reunite the lovers separated by death. Proving once again that he is “a master of ingenious plotting” (Kirkus Reviews), Félix J. Palma brings together a cast of real and imagined literary characters in Victorian London, when spiritualism is at its height. The Map of Chaos is a spellbinding adventure that mixes impossible loves, nonstop action, real ghosts, and fake mediums, all while paying homage to the giants of science fiction.



Fractal Worlds

Fractal Worlds Author Michael Frame
ISBN-10 9780300197877
Release 2016
Pages 512
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Fractal geometry is a uniquely fascinating area of mathematics, exhibited in a range of shapes that exist in the natural world, from a simple broccoli floret to a majestic mountain range. In this essential primer, mathematician Michael Frame--a close collaborator with Benoit Mandelbrot, the founder of fractal geometry--and poet Amelia Urry explore the amazing world of fractals as they appear in nature, art, medicine, and technology. Frame and Urry offer new insights into such familiar topics as measuring fractal complexity by dimension and the life and work of Mandelbrot. In addition, they delve into less-known areas: fractals with memory, the Mandelbrot set in four dimensions, fractals in literature, and more. An inviting introduction to an enthralling subject, this comprehensive volume is ideal for learning and teaching.



Chaos Bound

Chaos Bound Author N. Katherine Hayles
ISBN-10 9781501722950
Release 2018-03-15
Pages 330
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N. Katherine Hayles here investigates parallels between contemporary literature and critical theory and the science of chaos. She finds in both scientific and literary discourse new interpretations of chaos, which is seen no longer as disorder but as a locus of maximum information and complexity. She examines structures and themes of disorder in The Education of Henry Adams, Doris Lessing’s Golden Notebook, and works by Stanislaw Lem. Hayles shows how the writings of poststructuralist theorists including Barthes, Lyotard, Derrida, Serres, and de Man incorporate central features of chaos theory.



The Political Novel

The Political Novel Author Stuart A. Scheingold
ISBN-10 9781441178626
Release 2010-07-18
Pages 272
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This book reveals how novels of political estrangement have drawn on cultural narratives to capture the zeitgeist of the 20th century and the disillusionment of modernism.



Imagined Cities

Imagined Cities Author Robert Alter
ISBN-10 0300127073
Release 2008-10-01
Pages 208
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In Imagined Cities, Robert Alter traces the arc of literary development triggered by the runaway growth of urban centers from the early nineteenth century through the first two decades of the twentieth. As new technologies and arrangements of public and private space changed the ways people experienced time and space, the urban panorama became less coherent—a metropolis defying traditional representation and definition, a vast jumble of shifting fragments and glimpses—and writers were compelled to create new methods for conveying the experience of the city.In a series of subtle and convincing interpretations of novels by Flaubert, Dickens, Bely, Woolf, Joyce, and Kafka, Alter reveals the ways the city entered the literary imagination. He shows how writers of diverse imaginative temperaments developed innovative techniques to represent shifts in modern consciousness. Writers sought more than a journalistic representation of city living, he argues, and to convey meaningfully the reality of the metropolis, the city had to be re-created or reimagined. His book probes the literary response to changing realities of the period and contributes significantly to our understanding of the history of the Western imagination.



Japan

Japan Author Keiko Hirata
ISBN-10 9780300186574
Release 2014-06-24
Pages 304
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Following a crushing defeat in World War II, Japan rose like a phoenix from the literal ashes to become a model of modernity and success, for decades Asia’s premier economic giant. Yet it remains a nation hobbled by rigid gender roles, protectionist policies, and a defensive, inflexible corporate system that has helped bring about political and economic stagnation. The unique social cohesion that enabled Japan to cope with adversity and develop swiftly has also encouraged isolationism, given rise to an arrogant and inflexible bureaucracy, and prevented the country from addressing difficult issues. Its culture of hard work—in fact, overwork—is legendary, but a declining population and restrictions on opportunity threaten the nation’s future. Keiko Hirata and Mark Warschauer have combined thoroughly researched deep analysis with engaging anecdotal material in this enlightening portrait of modern-day Japan, creating an honest and accessible critique that addresses issues from the economy and politics to immigration, education, and the increasing alienation of Japanese youth.



The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

The Book of Barely Imagined Beings Author Caspar Henderson
ISBN-10 9780226044705
Release 2013-04-10
Pages 448
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From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t. With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change. A powerful combination of wit, cutting-edge natural history, and philosophical meditation, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an infectious and inspiring celebration of the sheer ingenuity and variety of life in a time of crisis and change.



Chasing Chaos

Chasing Chaos Author Jessica Alexander
ISBN-10 9780770436919
Release 2013
Pages 386
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An experienced humanitarian worker who has helped the refugees in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Darfur and Haiti gives an insider's view of the chaos and danger involved in such a pursuit, as well as the often-wild social lives that some workers lead to deal with the stress. Original.



Vertical

Vertical Author Stephen Graham
ISBN-10 9781781689967
Release 2016-11-08
Pages 416
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A revolutionary reimagining of the cities we live in, the air above us, and what goes on in the earth beneath our feet Today we live in a world that can no longer be read as a two-dimensional map, but must now be understood as a series of vertical strata that reach from the satellites that encircle our planet to the tunnels deep within the ground. In Vertical, Stephen Graham rewrites the city at every level: how the geography of inequality, politics, and identity is determined in terms of above and below. Starting at the edge of earth’s atmosphere and, in a series of riveting studies, descending through each layer, Graham explores the world of drones, the city from the viewpoint of an aerial bomber, the design of sidewalks and the hidden depths of underground bunkers. He asks: why was Dubai built to be seen from Google Earth? How do the super-rich in São Paulo live in their penthouses far above the street? Why do London billionaires build vast subterranean basements? And how do the technology of elevators and subversive urban explorers shape life on the surface and subsurface of the earth? Vertical will make you look at the world around you anew: this is a revolution in understanding your place in the world.



Time Travel

Time Travel Author James Gleick
ISBN-10 9780307908803
Release 2016-09-27
Pages 352
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Best Books of 2016 BOSTON GLOBE * THE ATLANTIC From the acclaimed bestselling author of The Information and Chaos comes this enthralling history of time travel—a concept that has preoccupied physicists and storytellers over the course of the last century. James Gleick delivers a mind-bending exploration of time travel—from its origins in literature and science to its influence on our understanding of time itself. Gleick vividly explores physics, technology, philosophy, and art as each relates to time travel and tells the story of the concept's cultural evolutions—from H.G. Wells to Doctor Who, from Proust to Woody Allen. He takes a close look at the porous boundary between science fiction and modern physics, and, finally, delves into what it all means in our own moment in time—the world of the instantaneous, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.



Science Fiction and Fiction of Worlds Outside Science

Science Fiction and Fiction of Worlds Outside Science Author Quentin Meillassoux
ISBN-10 1937561488
Release 2015-04-01
Pages 96
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In Science Fiction and Extro-Science Fiction, Quentin Meillassoux addresses the problem of chaos and of the constancy of natural laws in the context of literature. With his usual argumentative rigor, he elucidates the distinction between science fiction, a genre in which science remains possible in spite of all the upheavals that may attend the world in which the tale takes place, and fiction outside-science, the literary concept he fashions in this book, a fiction in which science becomes impossible. With its investigations of the philosophies of Hume, Kant, and Popper, Science Fiction and Extro-Science Fiction broadens the inquiry that Meillassoux began in After Finitude, thinking through the concrete possibilities and consequences of a chaotic world in which human beings can no longer resort to science to ground their existence. It is a significant milestone in the work of an emerging philosopher, which will appeal to readers of both philosophy and literature. The text is followed by Isaac Asimov's essay "The Billiard Ball."



Imagining the Internet

Imagining the Internet Author Robin Mansell
ISBN-10 9780199697052
Release 2012-07-12
Pages 289
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"This book is for students of the past, present, and future communication system. It is for people in policy, business, and civil society who want to influence change in this system and also for people who are largely unaware that what they do every day is changing this system. I examine some of the causes and consequences of innovations in the modern digital communication system. These have been at the centre of my interest in social transformation for a long time. Investigations of what has come to be known as the information society normally are conducted within disciplinary boundaries in the humanities, social sciences, or natural and physical sciences. In this book, I cross these boundaries, something I have been encouraged to do throughout my career"--Preface, p. [vii]



Iran

Iran Author Abbas Amanat
ISBN-10 9780300231465
Release 2017-10-24
Pages 992
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A masterfully researched and compelling history of Iran from 1501 to 2009 This history of modern Iran is not a survey in the conventional sense but an ambitious exploration of the story of a nation. It offers a revealing look at how events, people, and institutions are shaped by currents that sometimes reach back hundreds of years. The book covers the complex history of the diverse societies and economies of Iran against the background of dynastic changes, revolutions, civil wars, foreign occupation, and the rise of the Islamic Republic. Abbas Amanat combines chronological and thematic approaches, exploring events with lasting implications for modern Iran and the world. Drawing on diverse historical scholarship and emphasizing the twentieth century, he addresses debates about Iran’s culture and politics. Political history is the driving narrative force, given impetus by Amanat's decades of research and study. He layers the book with discussions of literature, music, and the arts; ideology and religion; economy and society; and cultural identity and heritage.



The Chaos of Stars

The Chaos of Stars Author Kiersten White
ISBN-10 9780062135889
Release 2013-09-10
Pages 304
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Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy, is back with The Chaos of Stars, an enchanting novel set in Egypt and San Diego that captures the magic of first love and the eternally complicated truth about family. Blending Ally Carter's humor and the romance of Cynthia Hand's Unearthly, The Chaos of Stars takes readers on an unforgettable journey halfway across the world and back, and proves there's no place like home. Isadora's family is seriously screwed up—which comes with the territory when you're the human daughter of the Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris. Isadora is tired of her immortal relatives and their ancient mythological drama, so when she gets the chance to move to California with her brother, she jumps on it. But her new life comes with plenty of its own dramatic—and dangerous—complications . . . and Isadora quickly learns there's no such thing as a clean break from family.



Imagining Identity in New Spain

Imagining Identity in New Spain Author Magali M. Carrera
ISBN-10 9780292782754
Release 2010-01-01
Pages 216
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Reacting to the rising numbers of mixed-blood (Spanish-Indian-Black African) people in its New Spain colony, the eighteenth-century Bourbon government of Spain attempted to categorize and control its colonial subjects through increasing social regulation of their bodies and the spaces they inhabited. The discourse of calidad (status) and raza (lineage) on which the regulations were based also found expression in the visual culture of New Spain, particularly in the unique genre of casta paintings, which purported to portray discrete categories of mixed-blood plebeians. Using an interdisciplinary approach that also considers legal, literary, and religious documents of the period, Magali Carrera focuses on eighteenth-century portraiture and casta paintings to understand how the people and spaces of New Spain were conceptualized and visualized. She explains how these visual practices emphasized a seeming realism that constructed colonial bodies—elite and non-elite—as knowable and visible. At the same time, however, she argues that the chaotic specificity of the lives and lived conditions in eighteenth-century New Spain belied the illusion of social orderliness and totality narrated in its visual art. Ultimately, she concludes, the inherent ambiguity of the colonial body and its spaces brought chaos to all dreams of order.



Complexity

Complexity Author Mitchell M. Waldrop
ISBN-10 9780671872342
Release 1993-09-01
Pages 380
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A look at the rebellious thinkers who are challenging old ideas with their insights into the ways countless elements of complex systems interact to produce spontaneous order out of confusion