It is interesting that almost all of the popular books on an Isomorph actually are all history. Often books like Gleick’s Chaos, are completely about the human history of discovery of the Isomorphy. Probably this is because the reader is very entertained by human struggles and triumphs. They are like detective stories. They tell the personal, life stories of those few who discovered or developed the ideas. Biographies are often gripping for the reader and a much more popular and digestible version of the technical information than a mere exposition. The human dimension is the sweetness that makes digestible the pill of the technicalities. What a difference from how we write our professional papers.
Some of the ISPs have been recognized for a long time. Feedback probably has the most obvious history beginning with its recognition as perhaps the first isomorph. But each of the ISPs will have an interesting set of stories about its discovery and elaboration. For example, whole books have been written on the history of symmetry, chaos, and fractals. The person who popularized and developed Fractals recently, the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, even wrote an autobiography on his life and discoveries. These poignant human stories capture the interest of both the public and students.
Beyond that very practical and needed strategy, it is important to note that these personal stories often can give us lessons about how humans overcome obstacles and the general resistance of humans learning or recognizing new things. They are lessons in scientific and human social change. So we try to research and present a brief history of each ISP. Some of our colleagues have even developed mappings and models of the development of a strain of systems awareness.