A New Kind of Science 1st Edition
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On the frontier of complexity science since he was a boy, Wolfram is a champion of cellular automata--256 "programs" governed by simple nonmathematical rules. He points out that even the most complex equations fail to accurately model biological systems, but the simplest cellular automata can produce results straight out of nature--tree branches, stream eddies, and leopard spots, for instance. The graphics in A New Kind of Science show striking resemblance to the patterns we see in nature every day.
Wolfram wrote the book in a distinct style meant to make it easy to read, even for nontechies; a basic familiarity with logic is helpful but not essential. Readers will find themselves swept away by the elegant simplicity of Wolfram's ideas and the accidental artistry of the cellular automaton models. Whether or not Wolfram's revolution ultimately gives us the keys to the universe, his new science is absolutely awe-inspiring. --Therese Littleton
From Library Journal
- Gregg Sapp, Science Lib., SUNY at Albany
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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This book however changes our world-view, giving new aspects how to think about some couses of events in the Nature, so honestly speaking I can tell just one thing in brief: Worth for every penny! Probably I'm going to buy the other books too from this author in the future!
My only disappointment is that all the pictures are all black and white.
I guess if there were color pictures, the book would be prohibitively expensive.
Wolfram could use an editor. If every leading "And" or "So"or "But" and a few other such things were simply removed, the book would be ten percent lighter and less of a choppy read.
Top international reviews
No doubt the book completely annoys the pants off industry practitioners who, reading this book, one would think barely exist compared to the self-professed awesome brain of Mr Wolfram. At times, it almost falls into parody as if an intelligent version of Arnold Rimmer for Red Dwarf was writing it. As an 11-year old, I remember programming Conway's Game of Life and, like many other kids who did this, being fascinated by where the hell the information to describe all this comes from. But according to Mr. Wolfram, he was the first one to think like this. Forget about all the teenage Game of Life hobbyists out there, Zuse, Tegmark etc. Perhaps its true that Wolfram did independently come up with lots of discoveries and helped reinvigorate the subject, but even if he did, he should acknowledge others more in his writing and not boast about what a clever chappy he is the whole time. It's my first book in digital physics, so can't compare it to others out there, unfortunately.
The title and most of the book implies that the content goes beyond the current state of mathematics, which it doesn't at any point.
The book is one of the most outrageously arrogant "scientific" books i ever read. The content would be revolutationary (in pure mathematics) 100 years ago. And still it would not be a new kind of science. Rather a new branch of mathematics.
But there's one really big problem with Wolfram's (big and fairly expensive) book. It doesn't say anything.
As a child I was transfixed by The Game Of Life, played out on graph paper with a pencil. Cellular systems "evolved" from generation to generation, following pretty simple rules. The joy of the game was seeing rich, often unpredictable results from surprisingly basic input conditions.
Either deluded, insecure or greedy, Wolfram decides to stretch this nice little idea across hundreds of repetitive, self aggrandising pages. We all get the idea that simple iterative systems can produce chaotic or unexpectedly pretty patterns, of which he gives us endless examples. But honestly - how is this a new kind of science?
The number of times an author makes references to their own brilliance could well be in inverse proportion to the actual worth of the ideas they're presenting. Just count how often in this laughable book Stephen Wolfram claims the world won't listen to his genius. Then get back to me on the plausibility or practical application of the content...
Please Mr. Wolfram...write a REAL science book. You know, a book that gives you immediately actionable information that can be applied and is straight to the point of the subject...not your ego.
Congrats on your accomplishment, which I guess I'm too stupid to understand and apply.
Im reading it actually, very interesting!
Wolframs Kompendium verdient trotzdem nicht die volle Wertung, weil er in seiner Kernaussage zu populär und unspezifisch bleibt: beliebig komplexe Naturphänomene und Naturgesetze lassen sich auf kleinsten Skalen durch einfache, elementare Entwicklungsregeln beschreiben. Bis auf wenige Ausnahmen bleibt er dem Leser konkrete Beispiele einer Umsetzung und Anwendung seiner "neuen Art von Wissenschaft" jedoch schuldig.