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Download Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) Audiobook, by Jeffrey Kluger Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,348 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeffrey Kluger Narrator: Holter Graham Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781401390259
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Why are the instruction manuals for cell phones incomprehensible?

Why is a truck driver’s job as hard as a CEO’s?

How can 10 percent of every medical dollar cure 90 percent of the world’s disease?

Why do bad teams win so many games?

Complexity, as any scientist will tell you, is a slippery idea. Things that seem complicated can be astoundingly simple; things that seem simple can be dizzyingly complex. A houseplant may be more intricate than a manufacturing plant. A colony of garden ants may be more complicated than a community of people. A sentence may be richer than a book, a couplet more complicated than a song.

These and other paradoxes are driving a whole new science—simplexity—that is redefining how we look at the world and using that new view to improve our lives in fields as diverse as economics, biology, cosmology, chemistry, psychology, politics, child development, the arts, and more. Seen through the lens of this surprising new science, the world becomes a delicate place filled with predictable patterns—patterns we often fail to see as we’re time and again fooled by our instincts, by our fear, by the size of things, and even by their beauty.

In Simplexity, Time senior writer Jeffrey Kluger shows how a drinking straw can save thousands of lives; how a million cars can be on the streets but just a few hundred of them can lead to gridlock; how investors behave like atoms; how arithmetic governs abstract art and physics drives jazz; why swatting a TV indeed makes it work better. As simplexity moves from the research lab into popular consciousness it will challenge our models for modern living. Jeffrey Kluger adeptly translates newly evolving theory into a delightful theory of everything that will have you rethinking the rules of business, family, art—your world.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kluger makes the modern world comprehensible…his astonishing discoveries require no exaggeration…[his] findings are likely to incite controversy, confirming his contention that explaining simplicity and complexity is never as straightforward as it seems.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Simplexity...is a study of human behavior, and the way we perceive things and events, and how our perception frequently causes us to make wrong assumptions and to perceive simplicity (or complexity) where it does not exist, The book is sure to be a deserved hit among the ever-growing Freakonomics crowd.”

    Booklist

  • “Using real world examples, such as traffic flow, politics and baby linguistics, the author makes the theories of ‘simplexity’ accessible to the layperson...Kluger makes complex science seem simple.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caitlin | 2/20/2014

    " Interesting, full of fun facts and wry sentences, but ultimately not as illuminating of the field of plectics as I had hoped. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libraryvixen | 2/16/2014

    " Super duper interesting. The more I read books like this, the more I believe that God is really Math. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bcoghill Coghill | 2/11/2014

    " Interesting ways of looking at the world around us. Current & up to date. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelsey | 1/30/2014

    " I loved the introduction, but then wasn't loving the rest of the book. It was a bit too text-y, and sometimes I didn't feel like the work was well connected or clearly answered the questions asked at the beginning of each chapter. However, the last few chapters were very interesting to me and saved this book from getting only two stars. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/30/2014

    " A thoughtful, interesting read of how simple things are really complex and complex things are really quite simple. A nice wake-up call for those who get hung up on the minutiae of life. Simplexity nicely blended the real world with the fun stuff. For example, there's a chapter on language acquisition (real world) shortly after a chapter on whether the "winningest" sports team is really the best. It's truly amazing what scientists can discover! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori Grant | 1/27/2014

    " A should-read book for knowledge workers and entrepreneurs on concepts and trends. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tama | 1/26/2014

    " I'm really enjoying this book.... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brian | 1/25/2014

    " Not great - no flow to the book, individual chapters are all stand-alone. Not particularly engaging - and not really coherent in relation to complexity or simplicity. To be honest, if you think about anything long enough you can describe it as complex. If you think about it in a different way, it gets simpler. You can then choose to write what you like about it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Todd | 1/21/2014

    " So it turns out that lots of stuff in the world is simple, but also complex. Stock market - simple but complex. Personal biases - simple but complex. Sports - simple but complex. Technology - simple but complex. You get the idea. Now, I don't mean to sound condescending but Kluger's book is little more than a collection of essays with neat little tidbits here and there. There's an attempt to string the essays together using the idea of simplexity but it's a stretch and ends up reading like "Freakanomics for Dummies". It's not a bad book and I'll probably pull it out every now and then to reread some of the interesting nuggets, but it is a book that doesn't know what it wants to be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Merle | 1/17/2014

    " A popularization of a current science-based philosphy. Touches on research from a variety of fields. I'll probably use the chapter on language as one of the discussion articles in my linguistics course. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 1/16/2014

    " lots of interesting facts. not much idea what to do with them. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Evan | 12/20/2013

    " Handful of interesting stories but they never were put together in any meaningful or useful way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherri | 12/16/2013

    " Kluger's book was one of those that was interesting while I was reading it, but easily forgotten when I was done. If you like books like The Wisdom of Crowds you would probably enjoy this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carmen MC | 10/22/2013

    " "Complexification and simplexity at their best" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Austin | 4/21/2013

    " The first couple of chapters and the last are the most worthwhile to me. I couldn't tell if the other chapters were way off topic or just not as interesting. Very thought-stimulating though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 4/19/2013

    " interesting concept for a book but I thought it wasn't a fun read and ideas ran on and on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hans | 4/13/2013

    " A book that can add an enriching new perspective to life. Seeing things from another angle. I enjoyed all the topics covered. Essentially this book is how life is not quite what we may think it is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy | 11/9/2012

    " Some interesting thoughts, but never really came together in any cohesive way for me. Or maybe that's Kluger's point. Worth a look. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 DaughterDaDa | 11/8/2012

    " This book reads like a series of articles for a popular science magazine. Some good insights to help see the world in a new way, but you have to plough through a lot of chatty text. Could have been half the size, or less, and still presented the essential points for reflection. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Martin | 4/25/2012

    " The ideas presented are good enough but it is let down by poor writing "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Audrey | 11/19/2011

    " God knows why I even thought I would like this book. I probably picked it up for Marc, actually. I got about 30 pages into it and realized that I did not give a rat's ass about anything I had read so far.....ugh. So I put it down and moved on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny Villanueva | 10/11/2011

    " Super fast read, interesting chapter on language development. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 8/20/2011

    " Not bad, I don't think it really demonstrated how to make complex things simple, but it did a good job of identifying how things get complex. I liked the example of technology and how they mess everything up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 3/25/2011

    " A few parts dragged but overall a nice book with some interesting ideas. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaworu | 3/9/2011

    " Some rather ordinary examples, and some which were mildly interesting. I kept thinking that I had seen all of this before, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Apathy | 11/15/2010

    " Not a lot went straight over my head as I was reading it, but honestly I remember very little. That's something I have trouble with for nonfiction books, since I tend to take a long time reading them. Well, the writing was very good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Evan | 11/3/2010

    " Handful of interesting stories but they never were put together in any meaningful or useful way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 9/10/2010

    " Not bad, I don't think it really demonstrated how to make complex things simple, but it did a good job of identifying how things get complex. I liked the example of technology and how they mess everything up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pandanator | 7/20/2010

    " A nice introduction to the abstract concept of chaos theory and all that jazz. Kluger keeps it simple but doesn't assume that the reader is an idiot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 6/9/2010

    " Super fast read, interesting chapter on language development. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 LaQuita | 1/21/2010

    " I just spent 45 minutes reading about Football and war games and didn't lose interest. Amazing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 12/1/2009

    " A few parts dragged but overall a nice book with some interesting ideas.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 11/29/2009

    " lots of interesting facts. not much idea what to do with them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hans | 10/19/2009

    " A book that can add an enriching new perspective to life. Seeing things from another angle. I enjoyed all the topics covered. Essentially this book is how life is not quite what we may think it is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Austin | 9/21/2009

    " The first couple of chapters and the last are the most worthwhile to me. I couldn't tell if the other chapters were way off topic or just not as interesting. Very thought-stimulating though. "

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About the Author
Author Jeffrey Kluger

Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer for Time magazine. With astronaut Jim Lovell, he wrote Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, on which the 1995 movie Apollo 13 was based. His other books include the critically acclaimed Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio. Kluger lives in New York City with his wife and daughters.

About the Narrator

Holter Graham, winner of three of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voice of the Year awards, is a stage, television, and screen actor. He has recorded numerous audiobooks and earned multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actor, his film credits include Fly Away Home, Maximum Overdrive, Hairspray, and The Diversion, a short film which he acted in and produced. On television, he has appeared in Army Wives, Damages, As the World Turns, Rescue Me, Law & Order, and New York Undercover. He received a BA degree from Skidmore College and an MFA from Vermont College.