About a week ago I picked up a book called Sync (Steven Strogatz) and started slowly reading it (I am not the world’s fastest reader by any means). Over the course of the week I have been trying to get some work done and get a little bit organized in my new country of residence, but increasingly found that I was unable to put the book down.
Here is a little history as to why I decided to read this book. A couple months back I had read a book called Linked (Albert-Laszlo Barabasi) and found it interesting how so many things are interconnected and how I, someone in a different world than the author, was able to relate to and understand the material. After reading Linked I decided that I wanted to continue learning about connectedness in the world, partly as research for social online systems and partly out of personal interest that I have developed in the topic. That is when I decided that my next read would be Sync.
Through the first couple of chapters in Sync, I discovered my brain working in an interesting way. It was coming up with application and visualization ideas to represent what the author was talking about. Thanks to this, I think that I was really able to dive into the book and learn a lot. From extensive discussions of fireflies to explanations of the Circadian rhythm, I learned not only about the overall topic but have a new way to look at these sorts of things.
The latter part of the book was also quite interesting, it was quite parallel to the thoughts brought forth by Barabasi in his book Linked. Linked was actually referenced in a couple sections of Sync. Both books were similar in my mind because they kept most equations and math separate from their writings (Sync more so) and just focused on getting the ideas to the forefront.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in learning a little bit about the physical world. I find that I look at things just a little bit differently when I finish a book like this one and I am greatful to the author for this.