BadAnalogyGuy did use small words, three in fact, that described exactly what he what trying to convey. Yes, they were long words but there were only three. When I read "symmetry and orthogonality of conceptualization," I immediately understood that indeed context changes (switching applications) had the same look and feel yet it is very obvious that you are in a different application. A powerful idea that all too often only Apple understands and worse, sometimes forgets.
While I assume RealErmin was just ribbing BadAnalogyGuy, the truth is this is the reason I dislike Slashdot so much: one post out of fifty will really have something insightful or interesting to say and it will immediately devolve into semantics or off topic banter. For christ's sake, this is a story about Windows 7 Mobile and every post is about how the iPhone is devine or Bantha Fodder. While I feel a little like the hey-you-kids-get-off-my-lawn old guy, can't we all act a little more grown up.
I would have to agree. GEB was the first book I though of as an answer to your question. I only read it a couple of years ago, but I wish I would have been introduced to it in high school. Not that I would have read it then, I only started reading for pleasure about ten years ago. I still have a file of about five programs I wrote while reading the book to solve problems or try to answer questions. fun fun.
My other answer would Chaos by james Glick. The only book I've ever more than once. It really inspired me to be a physicist. I missed and landed on Engineer but as soon as I'm done with this management gig I'm going to complete my Masters in Applied Physics.
The A330 also has much more powerful engines but neither of those really matter. The reason the pilot controls didn't respond is a matter of fly-by-wire philosophy. Do you allow the pilot to put the plane is a situation that will stall the plane or worse break it, or do you prevent the pilot from flying outside the capabilities of the plane. Airbus's philosophy is the latter. The only problem is - what if the flight control computer is wrong.
You do *not* need an autopilot to fly at that altitude. And yes I am an autopilot engineer.