Fluke review: A vivid account of chaos and life’s unpredictability

The 2010 eruption of an Iceland volcano grounded thousands of flights

Helen Maria Bjornsd/NordicPhotos/Getty Images

Brian Klaas (John Murray (UK) Scribner (US))

IN HIS 1987 bestseller Chaos: Making a new science, James Gleick introduced chaos theory to the public. Basically, it is the study of nonlinear events and how minuscule actions can cause far-reaching disruption. Or, as actor Jeff Goldblum explained in Jurassic Park: “It simply deals with unpredictability in complex systems.”

Brian Klaas, an associate professor in global politics at University College London, is all too aware of the unpredictability of modern life:…


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