Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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A New Kind of Science

May 17th, 2002 · No Comments

I found this through John Robb. A new book by Stephen Wolfram has become the #1 best-seller on Amazon. I read 2 articles: in NYTimes and Wired. Amazing reading! Wolfram, whose company also sells the Mathematica software, spent the last 10 years in isolation working through the nights, writing this book. The claims are amazing.

Wolfram: “Three centuries ago science was transformed by the dramatic new idea that rules based on mathematical equations could be used to describe the natural world. My purpose in this book is to initiate another such transformation, and to introduce a new kind of science that is based on the much more general types of rules that can be embodied in simple computer programs.”

NYTimes: “He has, he argues, discovered underlying principles that affect the development of everything from the human brain to the workings of the universe, requiring a revolutionary rethinking of physics, mathematics, biology and other sciences. He believes he has shown how the most complex processes in nature can arise out of elemental rules, how a wealth of diverse phenomena the infinite variety of snowflakes and the patterns on sea shells are generated from seemingly trivial origins.”

Wired: “The idea of complexity arising from simple rules – and that the universe can best be understood by way of the computation it requires to grind out results from those rules – is at the center of the book.”

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