Just reread this book from the early 80s, published as part of a series from Scientific American. I remember thinking it was super profound and important when I read it the first time. This time it seemed to go way too slowly and didn't contain anything surprising. So maybe I remember every single thing I learned from it and all of it stuck. I may also have a shorter attention span now after a decade or two of internet surfing. I do think I took time to enjoy a book more back then. Has anyone else noticed a change in their book-attention-span from being online a lot?
The cellular automata which were pretty cool back then seem much tamer now but still a great way to illustrate the principles involved. I probably would've given this book 4 stars, and maybe even 5, when I read it back when it first came out. The information in it is still true and still fundamental to an understanding of physics, cosmology, technology, and energy use. So it's still highly recommended to anyone who's interested in that sort of stuff. But I wasn't thrilled and riveted this time like I remember from before. Sad when that happens.