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Amazing And Very Thorough - "Shallow" This Book Is So Not!, Jan 7 2004
Unlike Richard Lightburn below, who, after acknowledging that he knows relatively nothing about chaos, catastrophe, and complexity theory, goes on to assert that Mark Taylor "has it all wrong", "is...naive and superficial", and speaks "gibberish", I am going to give you a hint of what's really in these pages, as the other reviewers seem keen on doing.
I won't go overboard, but to call this book "shallow" is absurd. Mark Taylor explores the intersection of chaos/catastrophe/complexity theory (which he ably distinguishes between, with rave reviews to that effect from two of the main proponents of these theories), critical theory (which Richard Lightweight clearly is not patient enough to digest), architecture (fascinating inclusion based upon grids evolving to networks), and networking theory.
The chapter on architecture alone, if tackled with due respect and patience, and willing to tease out the details and nuance that Taylor is drawing, is worth the price of the book alone, and that's the first chapter after the introduction. The next chapter on critical theory is even more challenging, and definitely the point where an eager reader seeking to learn about chaos, complexity, and networking theory is going to wonder what the hell is wrong with this book.
Perhaps if such a reader went back to the introduction, he would gratefully realize that these first two difficult chapters are not necessary to or a prerequisite for the next several chapters which go into, depth and detail, the fascinating theories he's seeking.
Having reached these chapters now myself, I will reap what the first two chapters slowly sewed (though, to be honest, the explanation of critical theory, and Foucault's work in particular, is a very challenging read, and makes one yearn for something simple like "rocket science"). So if that's not your bag, then just skip the critical theory chapter, but don't miss the architectural chapter on the "grid". It's worth the time.
As, I'm sure, is the rest. We'll see...