Publisher: Arrow, 2005, 644 pages
According to Donne, 'no man is an islan', but how exactly are we affected by the behaviour of others? Are there 'laws of nature' that guide human affairs? Have we complete freedom in creating our societies, or are we trapped by 'human nature'? And how, in human affairs, does one thing lead to another?
Ranging from Hobbes and Adam Smith to modern work on traffic flow and market trading, and across economics, sociology and psychology, Philip Ball shows how much we can understand of human behaviour when we cease to try to predict and analyse the actions of individuals and look to the impact of hundreds, thousands or millions of individual human decisions.
I feel very let-down! I was expecting to read a book about the conjunction and possible cross-fertilization between Physics and Economics. Instead, I get a long lecture of the history of physics, and why it is better than all other sciences as well as an explanation of why economics is not a science. And to top it of, when the author tries to tell me why (on both accounts), he manages to mis-represent both economics and the applicability of physics on it. Maybe the physics part are good (I am not enough of an expert to determine that), but the economics parts are so stupidly expressed, that the author would fail 101 Economics!
Waste of space and time.