I've been really happy with how many aspects of science the book touches upon (lack of access to knowledge, the politics of what gets published, bias, the differences and tension between theorists and experimentalists as well as people who make conjectures and the people who prove them, the non-linear historical advancement of scientific knowledge, and the divide between the disciplines).
I'm coming at this with some background and primary interest in mathematics and philosophy of science. So while I've been really iritated by Gleick's explanations of what a linear equation is and what topology is, I can only suspect that people with more knowledge in chemistry would feel similarly when talking about phase changes, or biologists when talking about population.
Gleick's main thrust sems to be that the recognition of chaos in science was a revolution, a paradigm shift for all scientific thought. When he says in the prologue
he seems to be implying that this new science has superceded all previous understanding of the world. But I don't see it. Paradigm shifts have certainly happened. We don't subscribe to Aristotle's physics. But the cartesian plane, Newtonian physics, solvable differential equtions, are all still useful systems for us, even after chaos has been recognized.Where chaos begins, classical science stops.
Do I simply have a false understanding of paradigm shifts? Do they, like the history of science, not progress linearly? It's been 30 years since this book was published. This science has been around for more than half a century. At what time can we look back and say if chaos really did revolutionize the scientific world? Is it possible for me to say if the world has fundamentally changed, when I wasn't alive before the advent of chaos?
For those of you who work in STEM, do you engage with chaos normally? Is it more than a specialization? What am I neglecting?