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A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram
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A New Kind of Science (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Stephen Wolfram

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1,375169,695 (3.17)10
This work presents a series of dramatic discoveries never before made public. Starting from a collection of simple computer experiments---illustrated in the book by striking computer graphics---Wolfram shows how their unexpected results force a whole new way of looking at the operation of our universe. Wolfram uses his approach to tackle a remarkable array of fundamental problems in science: from the origin of the Second Law of thermodynamics, to the development of complexity in biology, the computational limitations of mathematics, the possibility of a truly fundamental theory of physics, and the interplay between free will and determinism.… (more)
Member:jtcooper
Title:A New Kind of Science
Authors:Stephen Wolfram
Info:Wolfram Media (2002), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 1192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram (2002)

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
An excruciatingly long book, this one. I have immense respect for Wolfram's accomplishments, but jeez, this exploration of cellular automata and simple programs as an answer to everything knocked him down several notches. I was excited to find the book at a Half Price Books priced far less than half. That was the best part of the interaction. Five and a quarter pounds of book is tough to lug around and many hours of lost time for little gain make for an "it was okay" rating. I guess I am still impressed somewhat - anyone who can spend so much time watching patterns emerge from repetition deserves a nod for persistence. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Some light reading for on the bus ~ ha ~ I've gotten through the first couple of chapters ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
Probably the work of a crazy person, but you never know.
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
Some light reading for on the bus ~ ha ~ I've gotten through the first couple of chapters ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
I haven't read enough of this book, as it was my intention to actually experiment with the various Mathematica modules that were put out in support of it. But the printing is lovely.
  themulhern | Aug 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
"I would guess that most physicists would insist on a more traditional and rigorous treatment of the ideas in A New Kind of Science before they will take them seriously. Pictures of cellular automata are all well and good. This book has 1000 of them, and they certainly serve to illustrate that a cellular automaton can create baffling complexity starting from very little. I am not yet convinced that they tell us much of anything about science."
 
"In ANKS Wolfram says that '…the core of this book can be viewed as introducing a major generalization of mathematics' (p. 7). In this he is entirely mistaken, but there are at least two ways in which he has benefited mathematics: he has helped to popularize a relatively little-known mathematical area (CA theory), and he has unwittingly provided several highly instructive examples of the pitfalls of trying to dispense with mathematical rigor."
 
"Ultimately, I do not believe that Wolfram's book represents a new kind of science, or that future generations will believe it does. His book would be more pleasant to read if he were more modest: there's a reason why bragging is generally frowned upon (regardless of whether one's achievements are worthy of it). However, I don't want to seem too critical. Despite its flaws, I really enjoyed the book, and found it fascinating and thought-provoking."
 
"In my opinion, the readership interested in CA and the like will find this enjoyable, those in modelling will see this as relevant though naive while the mathematicians (logic) and theoretical computer scientists may find parts of this work interesting but incomplete."
 
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This work presents a series of dramatic discoveries never before made public. Starting from a collection of simple computer experiments---illustrated in the book by striking computer graphics---Wolfram shows how their unexpected results force a whole new way of looking at the operation of our universe. Wolfram uses his approach to tackle a remarkable array of fundamental problems in science: from the origin of the Second Law of thermodynamics, to the development of complexity in biology, the computational limitations of mathematics, the possibility of a truly fundamental theory of physics, and the interplay between free will and determinism.

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