# A New Kind of Science

#### timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the want-to-have-read dept.

530
cybrpnk2 writes: *"The story is one of epic proportions: Boy genius gets PhD from Cal Tech at age 20, is the youngest recipient ever of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, writes the Mathematica simulation software used by millions of people, makes millions of dollars in the process, becomes enticed by the seductive lure of the Game of Life, and goes into a decade of seclusion to discover the secrets of the universe. You can catch up on the resulting speculation and hype here. The years of anticipation and publication delays came to an end Tuesday, May 14, 2002 with Stephan Wolfram's release of his opus, A New Kind of Science."* Read on for cybrpnk2's review of Wolfram's much-heralded work.

First things first - have I read this book? Hell, no, and if anybody else says THEY have in the next year, they're lying thru their teeth. This book is so dense that if Wolfram had added a single additional page, the whole thing would have imploded into a black hole. That's got to be the only reason he quit writing and finally went to press.

I've been waiting for years for ANKOS to come out. I ordered my copy Tuesday when it was released, got it on Thursday and I've been skimming it like mad since. To give you some idea of how engrossing this book is, I was reading it Friday morning at 4 AM in the bathroom of a Motel 6, curled up in a bedspread on the tile floor to keep from disturbing my wife and stepdaughter during a trip to my stepson's graduation. I've got four college degrees, one in math and two from MIT, and bottom line - this sucker's gonna take a while to digest. However, it's theoretically straightforward enough that anybody with a high enough level of obsession and a few years to stay glued to it can follow it in its entirety. In ANKOS, Wolfram certainly comes across as arrogantly cocky but in the final analysis is he a crank or a revolutionary genius? Who knows, but it's going to be a new nerd pastime for the next decade to argue that point.

ANKOS is 1250+ pages divided into 850 pages of breezy exposition followed by 350 pages of fine-print notes. The exposition is composed of 12 chapters and the notes have about a paragraph per page of topic- and name-dropping technobabble to let you know where to go next for more details on whichever of Wolfram's tangents strike your fancy. Topping the whole thing off is a 60+ page index with thousands of entries in even smaller typeface than the notes.

Despite its length, ANKOS is not a rigorous mathematical proof of anything as much as it is a superficial survey of a vast new intellectual landscape. And what a landscape Wolfram has laid before us. It's all about cellular automations, which have traditionally been relegated to the realm of mathematical recreations. Start with a black square in the center grid square (cell) on the top line of a sheet of graph paper. Think up a few rules about whether a square gets colored black or white on the next line down depending on the colors of its neighbors. Apply these rules to the squares on the next line of the sheet of graph paper. Repeat. Watch what happens. Sounds simple. It isn't.

The first short chapter outlines Wolfram's central thesis: That three hundred years of mathematics based on the equals sign have failed to provide true insight into various complex systems in nature, and that algorithms based on the DO loop can succeed in this endeavor where mathematics has failed. The reason, claims Wolfram, is that deceptively simple algorithms can produce heretofore undreamed of levels of complexity. He claims that while frontier intellectual efforts such as chaos theory, fractals, AI, cybernetics and so forth have hinted at this concept for years, his decade of isolation studying cellular automata has taken the idea of simple algorithms or rules embodying universal complexity to the level of a new paradigm.

The second chapter outlines what Wolfram calls his crucial experiment: the systematic analysis of the 256 simplest rule sets for the most basic cellular automatons. He discovers this "universe" of rules is sufficient to produce his four so-called "classes" of complex systems: order, self-similar nested patterns, structures and most importantly, true randomness. The first two lead to somewhat familiar checkerboard-type patterns and leaf-type fractals; the last two, unforeseen unique shapes and unpredictable sequences. Wolfram stresses that the ability of simple iterative algorithms to produce complex and unique non-fractal shapes as well as truly random sequences of output is in fact a revolutionary new discovery with subtle and profound implications.

The third chapter expands his initial 256-rule-set universe of simple algorithms with many others Wolfram has researched for years in the dead of night while others slept. Rule sets involving multiple colors beyond black-and-white, rule sets that update only one grid square instead of a whole row, rule sets that embody full-blown Turing machines, rule sets that substitute entire sets of patterned blocks into single grid cells, that tag end point grid squares with new patterns, that implement "registers" and "symbols" - Wolfram has examined them all in excruciating detail. And no matter how complex the rule set is he explores, it ends up generating still more and more unexpected complex behavior with many notable features as the rule sets are implemented. This ever-escalating spiral of complexity leads Wolfram to believe that cellular automatons are a viable alternative to mathematics in modeling - in fact, embodying - the inherent complexity of the natural world.

In chapter four, he begins this process, by linking cellular automatons to the natural world concept of numbers. Automatons that multiply and divide, that calculate prime numbers and generate universal constants like pi, that calculate square roots and even more complex numerical functions like partial differential equations - Wolfram details them all. Who needs conscious human minds like those of Pythagoras or Newton to laboriously work out over thousands of years the details of things like trigonometry or calculus? Set up dominos in just the right way, flip the first one and stand back - nature can do such calculations automatically, efficiently and mindlessly.

Chapter five broadens the natural scope of cellular automations from one-dimensional numbers to multi-dimensional entities. Simple X-Y Cartesian coordinates are left behind as Wolfram defines "networks" and "constraints" as the canvas on which updated cellular automatons flourish - always generating the ever-higher levels of complexity. More Turing machines and fractals such as snowflakes and biological cells forming organs spontaneously spring forth. So far we've seen some really neat sleight-of-hand that Martin Gardner or Michael Barnsley might have written. But we're only on page 200 of 850 with seven chapters to go, and Wolfram is just now getting warmed up.

Chapter six is where Wolfram begins to lay the foundation for what he believes is so special about his insights and discoveries. Instead of using rigid and fixed initial conditions as the starting points for the cellular automations he has described, he now explores what happens using random and unknown initial conditions in each of his previously defined four "classes" of systems. He finds that while previously explored checkerboard (Class 1) and fractal (Class 2) systems yield few surprises, his newly-discovered unique (Class 3) and random (Class 4) cellular automaton systems generate still higher levels of complexity and begin to exhibit behavior that can simulate any of the four classes - a telltale hint of universality. Furthermore, their behavior starts to be influenced by "attractors" that guide them to "structure" and self-organization.

With the scent of universality and self-organization in the air, Wolfram begins in chapter seven to compare and contrast his cellular automations to various real-world topics of interest. Billiards, taffy-making, Brownian motion, casino games, the three-body problem, pachinko machines - randomness is obviously a factor in all of these. Yet, Wolfram notes, while randomness is embedded in the initiation and influences the outcomes of each of these processes, none of them actually generate true randomness in the course of running the process itself. The cellular automations he has catalogued, particularly his beloved Rule 30, do. The realization that cellular automations can uniquely serve as an initiator or generator of true randomness is a crucial insight, leading to the difference between continuity and discreteness and ultimately to the origins of simple behaviors. How, you ask? Hey, Wolfram takes most of the chapter to lay it out in a manner that I'm still trying to follow: no way can I summarize it in a sentence or two.

By chapter eight, Wolfram believes he has laid out sufficient rationale for why you, me and everybody else should think cellular automations are indeed the mirror we should be looking in to find true reflections of the world around us. Forget the Navier-Stokes equations - if you want to understand fluid flow, you have to think of it as a cellular automation process. Ditto for crystal growth. Ditto for fracture mechanics. Ditto for Wall Street. Most definitely ditto for biological systems like leaf growth, seashell growth and pigmentation patterns. This is very convincing stuff - tables of Mathematica-generated cellular automation shapes side by side with the photos of corresponding leaves or seashells or pigment patterns found in nature. Yes, you've seen this before in all of the fractals textbooks. The difference between fractals and cellular automations: fractals are a way to mathematically catalog the points that make up the object while cellular automations are a way to actually physically create the object via a growth process. It's a somewhat subtle difference - and a key Wolfram point.

Having established some credibility for his ideas, Wolfram stretches that credibility to the limit in chapter nine, where he applies his cellular automation ideas to fundamental physics. It was practically inevitable he would do this - his first published paper as a teenager was on particle physics, and that's the field he got his PhD in from Cal Tech at age 20 before going on to write the Mathematica software program and make his millions as a young businessman. Despite his solid background in physics, this seems at first blush to be pretty speculative stuff. He shifts his focus on the cellular automations from randomness to reversibility, and describes several rule-sets that both lead to complexity and are reversible. This behavior is an apparent violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. From Wolfram's way of thinking, if the universe is indeed some kind of ongoing cellular automation, then it may well be reversible and the Second Law must not be the whole story, so there must be something more we have yet to learn about the nature of the universe itself. He continues extensive speculations on what this may be, and how space, time, gravity, relativity and quantum mechanics must all be manifestations of this underlying Universal Cellular Automation. The rule set for this ultimate automation, which Wolfram believes might ultimately be expressed as only a few lines of code in Mathematica, takes the place of a mathematically-defined unified field theory in Wolfram's world. This is mind-blowing stuff, but ultimately boils down to Wolfram's opinion. I have great difficulty in comprehending space and time and matter and energy as "mere" manifestations of some cellular automation - if so, what is left to be the "system" on which the automation itself is running? I'm reduced to one of Clarke's Laws: The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we CAN imagine ...

Wolfram shifts from Kubrick-style religion back to mere philosophy in chapter ten, where he explores how cellular automations are perceived by the human mind. Visual image perception, the human perception of complexity and randomness, cryptography, data compression, statistical analysis, and the nature of mathematics as a mental artifact are all explored. The chapter ends on a discussion of language and the mechanics of thinking itself. Wolfram reaches no real concrete conclusions on any of these, except that once again cellular automation is a revolutionary new tool to use in achieving new insights on all of these topics.

Chapter eleven jumps from the human mind to the machine mind by exploring not the nature of consciousness but the nature of computation instead. He goes here into somewhat deeper detail on ideas he has introduced earlier, about how cellular automations can perform mathematical calculations, emulate other computational systems, and act as universal Turing machines. He focuses on the implications of randomness in Class 4 systems and the universality embodied in systems like that of his Rule 110. His arguments lead up to a closing realization, what he does not call but may one day be named Wolfram's Law.

The final chapter, chapter twelve, discusses what all of Wolfram's years of isolation and work have led him to conclude. He calls it the Principle of Computational Equivalence. What follows is an unavoidably oversimplified distillation of Wolfram's thoughts on the PCE. If indeed cellular automations are somehow at the heart of the universe around us, then the human effort to reduce the universe to understandable models and formulas and simulations is ultimately doomed to failure. Because of the nature of cellular automation computation, there is no way to come up with a shortcut method that will deduce the final outcome of a system in advance of it actually running to completion. We can currently compute a rocket trajectory or a lens shape or a skyscraper framework in advance using mathematics merely because these are ridiculously simple human efforts. New technologies based not on mathematics but instead on cellular-automations like wind-tunnel simulators and nanobot devices will be exciting technological advances but will not lead to a fundamentally new understanding of nature. Issues that humans define as undecidability and intractability will always limit the level of understanding we will ultimately achieve, and will always have impacts on philosophical questions such as predestination and free will. To conclude with Wolfram's own final paragraph in the book:

"And indeed in the end the PCE encapsulates both the ultimate power and the ultimate weakness of science. For it implies that all the wonders of the universe can in effect be captured by simple rules, yet it shows that there can be no way to know all the consequences of these rules, except in effect just to watch and see how they unfold."

As noted above, 350+ pages of notes follow this exposition, and trust me, there's no way they can be summarized. To mention one nugget I found amusing as I envisioned Wolfram working towards endless dawns on ANKOS, he thinks sleep has no purpose except to allow removal of built-up brain wastes that cannot be removed while conscious. So much for dreaming.

So what is the bottom line on ANKOS? It is a towering piece of work and an enduring monument to what a focused and disciplined intellect can achieve. It is very thought provoking. It will definitely lead to new work and progress on cellular automation theory and some interesting technological applications we should all look forward to with anticipation. But is it the next Principia, the herald of a new scientific revolution?

Read and decide for yourself. Only time, and a lot of it, will tell.

To read it yourself, you can purchase A New Kind of Science at bn.com. You can read your own book reviews in this space by submitting your reviews after reading the book review guidelines.

## froszt pist (-1, Troll)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558286)

## Haiku! (1)

## Haiku_troll (580701) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558615)

Algorithms and DO loops

Equals sign is out

## Feline Poop (-1, Troll)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558287)

## First (communist) post (-1, Offtopic)

## Saloth Sar (559229) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558288)

## One in math? (2, Funny)

## BoyPlankton (93817) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558290)

I've got four college degrees, one in math and two from MIT, and bottom line - this sucker's gonna take a while to digest.1 + 2 = 4?

## Re:One in math? (2, Redundant)

## kryzx (178628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558357)

## Re:One in math? (2, Informative)

## cybrpnk2 (579066) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558364)

## Re:One in math? (0, Redundant)

## BoyPlankton (93817) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558407)

Ahem....and one non-math, non-MIT degree...I kinda figured

## Re:One in math? (1)

## the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558446)

## Re:One in math? (2, Funny)

## skroz (7870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558634)

## Re:One in math? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558370)

## Re:One in math? (1, Redundant)

## Changer2002 (577488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558409)

## Re:One in math? (2, Funny)

## gila_monster (544999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558429)

youhad four degrees, you'd understand that math....## Re:One in math? (2)

## Bearpaw (13080) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558438)

"... one in math and two from MIT"is -- obviously, I think -- not a complete description/list of his degrees. He's just making the point that the degrees that he has probably aren't shallow, and by implication neither is the book.## Re:One in math? (2)

## OblongPlatypus (233746) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558470)

## Re:One in math? (2)

## Bearpaw (13080) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558524)

## Re:One in math? (1, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558582)

I've got four college degrees, one in math and two from MIT, and bottom line - this sucker's gonna take a while to digest.I've got four sandwiches, one is ham, and the other two are from the store.

## Re:One in math? (-1, Flamebait)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558647)

## Suddenly (1, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558291)

## I have read this book (-1)

## Ratface (21117) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558294)

## Stuff about genius being recluses (5, Informative)

## phwiffo (139975) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558295)

I suggest seeing pi [pithemovie.com] if you like this story.

Great soundtrack too.

## Re:Stuff about genius being recluses (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558612)

## for the karmicly whoringly inclined (0, Offtopic)

## kryzx (178628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558300)

## New Science (-1, Troll)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558306)

## Please: 420 Lewis !! (-1, Troll)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558325)

the earlier one:

(the 420 Hemp Fest); Ann Arbor, MI (the Hash Bash); and

Washington, D.C. (buildup towards the July 4th Smoke-In).

Original Source(s)

Conventional wisdom: The most common tale is that 420 is the

police radio code or criminal code (and therefore the police call)

in certain part(s) of California (e.g. in Los Angeles or San

Francisco) for having spotted someone consuming cannabis

publicly, i.e. pot smoking in progress; that local cannabis users

picked up on the code and began celebrating the number temporally

(esp. 4:20 a.m., 4:20 p.m., and April 20); that the number became

nationally popularized in the late 1980s and, more ferverently, in

the early- to mid-1990s; and is colloquially applied to a variety of

relaxed and/or inspired contexts, including not only pot

consumption but also a good time more generally (in contrast to

the drug war surrounding).

Conventions are legends: 420 is not police radio code for

anything, anywhere. Checks of criminal codes (including those of

the City of San Francisco, the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles

County, the State of California, and the federal penal code) suggest

that the origin is neither Californian nor federal (the two best

guesses). For instance, California Penal Code 420 defines as a

misdemeanor the hindrance of use (obstructing entry) of public

lands, and California Family Code 420 defines what constitutes a

wedding ceremony (Marco). One state does come close: The

Illinois Department of Revenue classifies the Alcoholic Liquor Act

under Part 420, and the Cannabis and Controlled Substances Tax

Act are next, under Part 428. (RB 5/19/99)

True story?: According to Steven Hager, editor of High Times,

the term 420 originated at San Rafael High School, in 1971,

among a group of about a dozen pot-smoking wiseacres who

called themselves the Waldos. The term 420 was shorthand for the

time of day the group would meet, at the campus statue of Louis

Pasteur, to smoke pot. ``Waldo Steve,'' a member of the group who

now owns a business in San Francisco, says the Waldos would

salute each other in the school hallway and say ``420 Louis!'' The

term was one of many invented by the group, but it was the one

that caught on. ``It was just a joke, but it came to mean all kinds of

things, like `Do you have any?' or `Do I look stoned?' '' he said.

``Parents and teachers wouldn't know what we were talking about.''

The term took root, and flourished, and spread beyond San Rafael

with the assistance of the Grateful Dead and their dedicated cohort

of pot-smoking fans. The Waldos decided to assert their claim to

the history of the term after decades of watching it spread, mutate

and be appropriated by commercial interests. The Waldos contacted

Hager, and presented him with evidence of 420's history, primarily

a collection of postmarked letters from the early '70s with lots of

mention of 420. They also started a Web site, waldo420.com. ``We

have proof, we were the first,'' Waldo Steve said. ``I mean, it's not

like we wrote a book or invented anything. We just came up with a

phrase. But it's kind of an honor that this emanated from San

Rafael.'' Maria Alicia Gaura for the San Francisco Chronicle,

4/20/00 p. A19; and thanks to Noah Cole for the submission

Alternate explanations

There are a variety of other explanations, all much more interesting

than police code, and many plausible. Some are more likely uses

of the 420/hemp connection rather than sources of it, such as the

score for the football game in Fast Times at Ridgement High,

42-0.

Known Myths: It isn't police code (see above). There are 315

chemicals in marijuana, not 420. And although tea time in

Amsterdam is rumored to be 4:20, it is actually 5:30 (Gerhard

den Hollander).

Sixties Songs: For instance, Bob Dylan's famous Rainy Day

Women #12 and 35 is a possible reference, or source --

12x35=420. And Stephen Stills wrote (and Crosby Stills Nash

although it is possible to hypothesize that these

deaths, too, had their purpose, since 420 has been, since time

immemorial, the number associated with fraud, deception and

trickery. (Comet 2/14/98) Comet's best guess is that this

refers to something in Indian mythology or numerology, since

the book is set in India and frequently involves Indian history,

culture, and religion. Given the high interest in Eastern

religion among the phish/dead community, this seems a likely

origin of 420's current significance.

Temporal Significance: Hands on analog clock at 4:20 look

like position of doobie dangling from mouth Larry in

Tuscan and Alex Mack 5/19/99). Disruptive students are out

of detention and safetly away from school by 4:20, also

rumored to be the time that you should dose to be peaking

when the Dead went on stage Hart. The Waldos were a

group of teens back in the 70's that lived in San Rafael, CA.

420 was the way they talked about pot in front of teachers,

non-smoking family members etc. Also it was the time of day

they could just go relax, and get baked. (PhunkCellar)

Jamaicans purportedly worked till 4 then walked home then

lit up. They would talk 420 like our parents talked about after

5. That's when partying began Larry in Tuscan). Albert (not

Abbie) Hofmann supposedly first encountered LSD at 4:20

p.m. on 4/19/1943 (Bart Coleman citing Storming Heaven by

Jay Stevens, recommended by Mickey Hart in Planet Drum).

Surrealist painter Miro was born April 20, 1893. And

www.filmspeed.com says the propoganda film Reefer

Madness has a copyright date of April 20, 1936 (i.e. 4/20).

(Patrick Woolford)

Misc: Could be that it comes from hydroponics, the practice

of cultivating plants in water often used by indoor marijuana

cultivators, since 4 is used for H on a calculator (420/H20).

(Nick Lowe 3/30/00) The number 80 (eight) is quatre vingt

(pronounced cah-truh vahn), meaning four (times} twenty.

Dan Nijjar 1/27/00 (No connection yet between the number

80 and pot. A quarter pound is roughly 120 grams, rounding

quarter-ounces to 7.5.) The titanic was supposed to arrive

4/20/1912. (Thanks to RB.) Perhaps the heavy use of vt420

terminals in the Berkeley area is to blame? (BTW, 420 in

binary code is 110100100.)

Ubiquitous?

Now there's a 420 Pale Ale. One of the late-97/early-98 Got

Milk ads featured a character eating cookies without milk and

then passing a sign that reads Next Rest Area 420 miles (as Ross

Bruning). Reportedly, all of the clocks in the movie Pulp Fiction

are stuck on 4:20. Shirts with the number 420 on the red-and-blue

interstate highway shield (Interstate 420?) have show up on the

sitcom Will and Grace (Paul Risenhoover 5/14/99) and in several

videos. UPS' labelling software has a 420 postal code legend for

next-day/2-day deliveries (which is how Phish tickets are sent).

(Jack Lebowitz 10/3/98) MTV's 1997 Viewer's Choice Award (for

the MTV Video Awards) was decided by calls to

1-800-420-4MTV. And by May of 1998, the number was

appearing in so many ads (eg Copenhagen 5/14/98 Rolling Stone

p54, Corvette p55 5/98 Car -), Homer mentions to

Flanders that Barney's birthday is April 20th. Also, the jackpot sign

in one part of the casino says $420,000. There are a couple less

concrete ones, but these two have to be legit, especially since they

decided to air THAT particular episode on 4/20/99. (Submitted by

Matt Meehan 4/21/99) And (as of Fall '99) the 60 free minutes that

Working Assets Long Distance offers, at the 7 cents per minute

rate, is $4.20 free. There's even a band named 420, and another

names . In the first fifteen pages of Karel Capek's novel War with

the Newts, a man diving under wonder stayed down for four

minutes and twenty seconds. Grant Garstka 1/6/00 At the

suggested retail price ($3.96) and Michigan (6%) sales tax, a deck

of Uno cards costs $4.20. Nic Boris 4:20 marks the first downbeat

of the drums in Led Zeppelin's epic Stairway to Heaven. (Dan

Harris) The bill authorizing force after the World Trade Center

attacks of 9/11/01 passed 420 to 1, and news reports in following

months noted many times that there are (or were then, anyway) 420

airports in the U.S. Allan Morris And don't forget that Adolf Hitler

was born on April 20, macabely celebrated (or at least

referenced) via the Columbine High School shootings.

Phish-related Occurances

Whatever the origin, the number appears frequently... For the

summer 1997 tour, TicketMaster service charges were $4.20. In

the Fall 1997 Doniac Schvice Dry Goods section, a limited edition

Pollack poster printed on 100% hemp is order number 420P. The

Great Went was 420 miles from Boston (former home of Phish).

The official logo includes 4 gills and 20 bubbles (Gringo

11/12/98). As of 6/15/97, including covers and originals, Phish

had performed a total of 420 songs (thought its 486 by 4/24/98).

(David Steinberg). Lawnboy is 420megs of memory. Patrick

Walker Phish's The Vibration of Life underlies a whirling loop

with Seven Beats per second (which makes 420 beats per minute.)

Trey has used the altered line woke up at 4:20 in Makisupa

Policeman, which also often indirectly celebrates 420ing, e.g. by

mention of goo balls. One of the funniest shirts around takes light

jabs at both the 4:20 phenomenon and the rumored evolution

(collapse?) of the Phish.Net (especially rec.music.phish) from

being Gamehendge to Flamehendge, and beyond. The first day of

the Great Went started at 4:20 (with Makisupa Policeman. (The

second day started late, at 4:37.) Noah Cole The first single from

Slip Stitch and Pass was played on WBCN 10/14/97 at 4:20 pm.

An uproar at 12/31/96 can be heard on tape during the 2001, in

response to an enormous digital clock (which was counting down

to midnight) reaching 11:55:40 and reading -4:20. (Yoda)

During the 9-12-00 2001, Trey hits the first riff right at 4:20 into

the intro jam. (Cal 2/25/01) Some mail order tickets for the 1997

New Year's run were in section 420. The first Mass Pike toll

leaving Oswego was $4.20. (Camille Heath ) And the standard

shipping for The Phish Companion through Amazon was

originally $4.20.

420 Shows: Phish performed on April 20 in 1989, 1990, 1991,

1993, and 1994. The first day of the Great Went started at 4:20,

although that was called a soundcheck by Trey after three songs.

The Jazzfest Harry Hood 4-26-96 started at about 4:20 reported by

Trevor. At Big Cypress, David Bowie was playing at 4:20 a.m.

And the one event during the hiatus (10/8/00 - ?) featuring all

four members - for Jason Colton's wedding - was 12/1/01, 420

from: http://www.phish.net/faq/n420.html:

## This will change everything! (-1, Offtopic)

## Thud457 (234763) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558337)

"Why can't Nerds tell Veteran's day from Halloween?

Because 7(dec) == 31(hex)!!

LOL!"

## Ummm... (1)

## Nermal (7573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558559)

Because 7(dec) == 31(hex)!!Hmm. Either I'm totally misunderstanding you, or that's wrong.

7 in decimal == 7 in hex.

49 in decimal == 31 in hex.

## Re:This will change everything! (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558643)

## Deep Thought (4, Funny)

## mikester911 (223866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558338)

Deep Thought pondered their question.

"Yes," he said. "But it will be tricky. And first I have to write Mathmatica."

(apologies to Mr. Adams fans)

## Re:Deep Thought (1)

## mikester911 (223866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558377)

Mathematica, not Mathmatica.

## Re:Deep Thought (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558523)

## Watch out, you'll probably get flamed here soon... (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558528)

-don't shove a fork up you nose

## Re:Watch out, you'll probably get flamed here soon (0)

## Thud457 (234763) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558594)

He's delebritly misquoting beloved science fiction stories and delebritly mispelling words!

## Permutation City (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558341)

## Re:Permutation City (1)

## sbsaylors (556191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558454)

## I wonder (1, Funny)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558358)

If so, I'm a believer!

## Re:I wonder (-1)

## perl_god (578135) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558383)

Yes, but it will be written in Perl, and consequently unintelligible to anyone except the Programmer.

## Re:I wonder (1)

## John Allsup (987) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558663)

## rules ... true randomness (-1, Redundant)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558368)

Or, to make it clearer:

Right.

## Kurzwiel's Review (5, Informative)

## Hartree (191324) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558389)

Wolfram is looking at a piece of the puzzle, IMHO. Though his book seems to be a tour de force of applying specific cellular automata to generate all sorts of neat things, I don't see it as being particularly new. This is more a book to bring it to the attention of people in other fields who may be able to make use of it. Rather like Mandelbrot's The Fractal Geometry of Nature.

## Re:Kurzwiel's Review (5, Insightful)

## Bearpaw (13080) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558472)

Wolfram is looking at a piece of the puzzle, IMHO.Have you read the book? Or just reviews of the book?

(No offense meant, but there are a lot of people who seem to think that one can somehow form a meaningful opinion of something just by exposure to other folks opinions of it.)

## Re:Kurzwiel's Review (1)

## e40 (448424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558560)

Kurweil to Wolfram: you are a genius, but I'm more of a genius.

## Just in Case this Story gets /.ed! (-1, Offtopic)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558397)

## What I want to see : A Book Review (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558413)

Cognitive Science. Now that would be good reading.## Re:What I want to see : A Book Review (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558662)

## Full text of review, in case it gets slashdotted. (-1, Offtopic)

## Anti-Microsoft Troll (577475) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558418)

I've been waiting for years for ANKOS to come out. I ordered my copy Tuesday when it was released, got it on Thursday and I've been skimming it like mad since. To give you some idea of how engrossing this book is, I was reading it Friday morning at 4 AM in the bathroom of a Motel 6, curled up in a bedspread on the tile floor to keep from disturbing my wife and stepdaughter during a trip to my stepson's graduation. I've got four college degrees, one in math and two from MIT, and bottom line - this sucker's gonna take a while to digest. However, it's theoretically straightforward enough that anybody with a high enough level of obsession and a few years to stay glued to it can follow it in its entirety. In ANKOS, Wolfram certainly comes across as arrogantly cocky but in the final analysis is he a crank or a revolutionary genius? Who knows, but it's going to be a new nerd pastime for the next decade to argue that point.

ANKOS is 1250+ pages divided into 850 pages of breezy exposition followed by 350 pages of fine-print notes. The exposition is composed of 12 chapters and the notes have about a paragraph per page of topic- and name-dropping technobabble to let you know where to go next for more details on whichever of Wolfram's tangents strike your fancy. Topping the whole thing off is a 60+ page index with thousands of entries in even smaller typeface than the notes.

Despite its length, ANKOS is not a rigorous mathematical proof of anything as much as it is a superficial survey of a vast new intellectual landscape. And what a landscape Wolfram has laid before us. It's all about cellular automations, which have traditionally been relegated to the realm of mathematical recreations. Start with a black square in the center grid square (cell) on the top line of a sheet of graph paper. Think up a few rules about whether a square gets colored black or white on the next line down depending on the colors of its neighbors. Apply these rules to the squares on the next line of the sheet of graph paper. Repeat. Watch what happens. Sounds simple. It isn't.

The first short chapter outlines Wolfram's central thesis: That three hundred years of mathematics based on the equals sign have failed to provide true insight into various complex systems in nature, and that algorithms based on the DO loop can succeed in this endeavor where mathematics has failed. The reason, claims Wolfram, is that deceptively simple algorithms can produce heretofore undreamed of levels of complexity. He claims that while frontier intellectual efforts such as chaos theory, fractals, AI, cybernetics and so forth have hinted at this concept for years, his decade of isolation studying cellular automata has taken the idea of simple algorithms or rules embodying universal complexity to the level of a new paradigm.

The second chapter outlines what Wolfram calls his crucial experiment: the systematic analysis of the 256 simplest rule sets for the most basic cellular automatons. He discovers this "universe" of rules is sufficient to produce his four so-called "classes" of complex systems: order, self-similar nested patterns, structures and most importantly, true randomness. The first two lead to somewhat familiar checkerboard-type patterns and leaf-type fractals; the last two, unforeseen unique shapes and unpredictable sequences. Wolfram stresses that the ability of simple iterative algorithms to produce complex and unique non-fractal shapes as well as truly random sequences of output is in fact a revolutionary new discovery with subtle and profound implications.

The third chapter expands his initial 256-rule-set universe of simple algorithms with many others Wolfram has researched for years in the dead of night while others slept. Rule sets involving multiple colors beyond black-and-white, rule sets that update only one grid square instead of a whole row, rule sets that embody full-blown Turing machines, rule sets that substitute entire sets of patterned blocks into single grid cells, that tag end point grid squares with new patterns, that implement "registers" and "symbols" - Wolfram has examined them all in excruciating detail. And no matter how complex the rule set is he explores, it ends up generating still more and more unexpected complex behavior with many notable features as the rule sets are implemented. This ever-escalating spiral of complexity leads Wolfram to believe that cellular automatons are a viable alternative to mathematics in modeling - in fact, embodying - the inherent complexity of the natural world.

In chapter four, he begins this process, by linking cellular automatons to the natural world concept of numbers. Automatons that multiply and divide, that calculate prime numbers and generate universal constants like pi, that calculate square roots and even more complex numerical functions like partial differential equations - Wolfram details them all. Who needs conscious human minds like those of Pythagoras or Newton to laboriously work out over thousands of years the details of things like trigonometry or calculus? Set up dominos in just the right way, flip the first one and stand back - nature can do such calculations automatically, efficiently and mindlessly.

Chapter five broadens the natural scope of cellular automations from one-dimensional numbers to multi-dimensional entities. Simple X-Y Cartesian coordinates are left behind as Wolfram defines "networks" and "constraints" as the canvas on which updated cellular automatons flourish - always generating the ever-higher levels of complexity. More Turing machines and fractals such as snowflakes and biological cells forming organs spontaneously spring forth. So far we've seen some really neat sleight-of-hand that Martin Gardner or Michael Barnsley might have written. But we're only on page 200 of 850 with seven chapters to go, and Wolfram is just now getting warmed up.

Chapter six is where Wolfram begins to lay the foundation for what he believes is so special about his insights and discoveries. Instead of using rigid and fixed initial conditions as the starting points for the cellular automations he has described, he now explores what happens using random and unknown initial conditions in each of his previously defined four "classes" of systems. He finds that while previously explored checkerboard (Class 1) and fractal (Class 2) systems yield few surprises, his newly-discovered unique (Class 3) and random (Class 4) cellular automaton systems generate still higher levels of complexity and begin to exhibit behavior that can simulate any of the four classes - a telltale hint of universality. Furthermore, their behavior starts to be influenced by "attractors" that guide them to "structure" and self-organization.

With the scent of universality and self-organization in the air, Wolfram begins in chapter seven to compare and contrast his cellular automations to various real-world topics of interest. Billiards, taffy-making, Brownian motion, casino games, the three-body problem, pachinko machines - randomness is obviously a factor in all of these. Yet, Wolfram notes, while randomness is embedded in the initiation and influences the outcomes of each of these processes, none of them actually generate true randomness in the course of running the process itself. The cellular automations he has catalogued, particularly his beloved Rule 30, do. The realization that cellular automations can uniquely serve as an initiator or generator of true randomness is a crucial insight, leading to the difference between continuity and discreteness and ultimately to the origins of simple behaviors. How, you ask? Hey, Wolfram takes most of the chapter to lay it out in a manner that I'm still trying to follow: no way can I summarize it in a sentence or two.

By chapter eight, Wolfram believes he has laid out sufficient rationale for why you, me and everybody else should think cellular automations are indeed the mirror we should be looking in to find true reflections of the world around us. Forget the Navier-Stokes equations - if you want to understand fluid flow, you have to think of it as a cellular automation process. Ditto for crystal growth. Ditto for fracture mechanics. Ditto for Wall Street. Most definitely ditto for biological systems like leaf growth, seashell growth and pigmentation patterns. This is very convincing stuff - tables of Mathematica-generated cellular automation shapes side by side with the photos of corresponding leaves or seashells or pigment patterns found in nature. Yes, you've seen this before in all of the fractals textbooks. The difference between fractals and cellular automations: fractals are a way to mathematically catalog the points that make up the object while cellular automations are a way to actually physically create the object via a growth process. It's a somewhat subtle difference - and a key Wolfram point.

Having established some credibility for his ideas, Wolfram stretches that credibility to the limit in chapter nine, where he applies his cellular automation ideas to fundamental physics. It was practically inevitable he would do this - his first published paper as a teenager was on particle physics, and that's the field he got his PhD in from Cal Tech at age 20 before going on to write the Mathematica software program and make his millions as a young businessman. Despite his solid background in physics, this seems at first blush to be pretty speculative stuff. He shifts his focus on the cellular automations from randomness to reversibility, and describes several rule-sets that both lead to complexity and are reversible. This behavior is an apparent violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. From Wolfram's way of thinking, if the universe is indeed some kind of ongoing cellular automation, then it may well be reversible and the Second Law must not be the whole story, so there must be something more we have yet to learn about the nature of the universe itself. He continues extensive speculations on what this may be, and how space, time, gravity, relativity and quantum mechanics must all be manifestations of this underlying Universal Cellular Automation. The rule set for this ultimate automation, which Wolfram believes might ultimately be expressed as only a few lines of code in Mathematica, takes the place of a mathematically-defined unified field theory in Wolfram's world. This is mind-blowing stuff, but ultimately boils down to Wolfram's opinion. I have great difficulty in comprehending space and time and matter and energy as "mere" manifestations of some cellular automation - if so, what is left to be the "system" on which the automation itself is running? I'm reduced to one of Clarke's Laws: The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we CAN imagine

Wolfram shifts from Kubrick-style religion back to mere philosophy in chapter ten, where he explores how cellular automations are perceived by the human mind. Visual image perception, the human perception of complexity and randomness, cryptography, data compression, statistical analysis, and the nature of mathematics as a mental artifact are all explored. The chapter ends on a discussion of language and the mechanics of thinking itself. Wolfram reaches no real concrete conclusions on any of these, except that once again cellular automation is a revolutionary new tool to use in achieving new insights on all of these topics.

Chapter eleven jumps from the human mind to the machine mind by exploring not the nature of consciousness but the nature of computation instead. He goes here into somewhat deeper detail on ideas he has introduced earlier, about how cellular automations can perform mathematical calculations, emulate other computational systems, and act as universal Turing machines. He focuses on the implications of randomness in Class 4 systems and the universality embodied in systems like that of his Rule 110. His arguments lead up to a closing realization, what he does not call but may one day be named Wolfram's Law.

The final chapter, chapter twelve, discusses what all of Wolfram's years of isolation and work have led him to conclude. He calls it the Principle of Computational Equivalence. What follows is an unavoidably oversimplified distillation of Wolfram's thoughts on the PCE. If indeed cellular automations are somehow at the heart of the universe around us, then the human effort to reduce the universe to understandable models and formulas and simulations is ultimately doomed to failure. Because of the nature of cellular automation computation, there is no way to come up with a shortcut method that will deduce the final outcome of a system in advance of it actually running to completion. We can currently compute a rocket trajectory or a lens shape or a skyscraper framework in advance using mathematics merely because these are ridiculously simple human efforts. New technologies based not on mathematics but instead on cellular-automations like wind-tunnel simulators and nanobot devices will be exciting technological advances but will not lead to a fundamentally new understanding of nature. Issues that humans define as undecidability and intractability will always limit the level of understanding we will ultimately achieve, and will always have impacts on philosophical questions such as predestination and free will. To conclude with Wolfram's own final paragraph in the book:

"And indeed in the end the PCE encapsulates both the ultimate power and the ultimate weakness of science. For it implies that all the wonders of the universe can in effect be captured by simple rules, yet it shows that there can be no way to know all the consequences of these rules, except in effect just to watch and see how they unfold."

As noted above, 350+ pages of notes follow this exposition, and trust me, there's no way they can be summarized. To mention one nugget I found amusing as I envisioned Wolfram working towards endless dawns on ANKOS, he thinks sleep has no purpose except to allow removal of built-up brain wastes that cannot be removed while conscious. So much for dreaming.

So what is the bottom line on ANKOS? It is a towering piece of work and an enduring monument to what a focused and disciplined intellect can achieve. It is very thought provoking. It will definitely lead to new work and progress on cellular automation theory and some interesting technological applications we should all look forward to with anticipation. But is it the next Principia, the herald of a new scientific revolution?

Read and decide for yourself. Only time, and a lot of it, will tell.

## Re:Full text of review, in case it gets slashdotte (1)

## dannywalk (237633) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558570)

## Re:Full text of review, in case it gets slashdotte (0)

## Thud457 (234763) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558610)

(I'm making fun of the length of Mr W's book, not making judgement on its insight. Really!)

## the best kind of science? (-1, Offtopic)

## tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558425)

## why one book? (1)

## larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558426)

## Continutity (1)

## Codex The Sloth (93427) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558497)

## Re:Continutity (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558613)

people can see the "entire work" all at onceYeah, right. He was probably just afraid of the peer review process...

Crackpot ideas do not tend to do well in it, you know.

## wow (1)

## the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558427)

hmmmm

well, like all major "discoveries" everyone looks back and says "duh...you can see that hear and there, I thought it was a foregone conclusion"

I think I will attempt this book....who wants to race?

## Talking at work (2)

## Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558431)

The analogy used by the super math junkie of the group was that you can describe all physics with 2 equations; it doesn't mean that sheds any insight to anything though.

The one thing that is of interest to me is perhaps using the methods used to create fractals in factoring (since the numberline is self deriving from many many number lines masking one another).

## Re:Talking at work (1)

## the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558474)

Both point out that one can not predict events with 100% certainty.

If there is significance in that or not, I do not know, but the similarity is there.

## Re:Talking at work (1)

## Codex The Sloth (93427) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558533)

No one has yet found the two equations that describe the universe but all attempts so far but even if they do, the lagrangian will not have an analytic solution and so has to be solved by perturbative methods.

I'm not sure why the "super math junky" (fyi -- math != physics) thinks that this magic equation sheds no insite without knowing what it is...

## Re:Talking at work (1)

## October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558667)

magic equation sheds no insite without knowing what it isI think we already have such a situation in quantum chemistry.

Assuming you know the analytical wavefunction (or even the approximate series solution obtained by a Configuration Interaction method) of a modestly complex physical system; let's say a large organic molecule. The wave function contains all the information that can possibly be known about the molecule. Yet, it is so insanely-complex-and-beyond-mortal-comprehension that it is hard to get anything useful insight into the system from it. You can't see the forest from the trees.

## Seductive lure of the Game of Life? Bah. (2, Insightful)

## CaseStudy (119864) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558439)

I would love to read a book about more mundane concerns written by someone whose education was accelerated like that, to try to see what a world I already know looks like to them.

## A minor and pedantic correction... (1)

## sbeitzel (33479) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558443)

## Not as Complicated... (0)

## LordYUK (552359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558452)

:)

## Fallacies everywhere... (5, Interesting)

## Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558453)

I am disappointed that a Physics PhD could miss out on some fundamental issues here. First of all: anybody who has worked their way through an undergraduate curriculum in Physics understands in a visceral fashion that there is an extreme difference between MODELLING the world with a construct, mathematical, computational or otherwise, and saying that the world IS such a construct. We are in possession of many equations that model certain interactions between different kinds of substances via different forces in the world. Traditional mathematics has yielded many useful tools for modelling these processes. Stating that computational theory or cellular automata may yield useful models as well is an obvious inference. Saying that all physical processes are fundamentally composed of elements that ARE cellular automata seems to me to be a non sequitor. Hell, we don't KNOW what anything in quantum physics or beyond IS really, we just know that certain relationships hold mathetmatically that we can translate in physical conceptions and understanding.

Now, the concept of emergent complexity and complexity theory in general - as I understand it, this is stuff that folks at the Santa Fe Institute and elsewhere have been working on for years, and that the understanding has been around for years that you can model many real-world processes well by systems such as cellular automata or other rule-based systems with complex emergent behaviors.

So... I am left wondering what to make of this book. Ultimately, it will speak for itself when I read it. But it sounds like it's a mix of already known fact with ego and some intuitionist insights into certain physical processes in a monolithic volume. If he PROVES anything interesting and fundamental about certain areas of physics or fluid dynamics, or presents models more useful and meaningful (i.e. that provide information NOT obtainable through current models) than he has produced a valuable scientific work. Otherwise, it's just an interesting treatise that may inspire more meaningful work by others who are more willing to work within the establishment and processes of the mainstream scientific world (not to say that those outside it CAN'T do excellent work, just that I'm not sure if Wolfram can).

## Re:Fallacies everywhere... (2, Interesting)

## Codex The Sloth (93427) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558565)

Personally, I'm going to read the book BEFORE i decide.

## my take... (1)

## simpl3x (238301) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558585)

## Re:Fallacies everywhere... (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558635)

And it's not just physics. I mean, honestly, is anyone surprised that biological structures (ie, things that look like leaves, lungs, shells etc) drop out of the application of a simple algorithm? An algorithm is an efficient way of describing needed infrastructure, well suited to the DNA -> protein -> organism process of converting a design to a thing. Biological data compression.

I AM curious to read about how he solves equations via cellular automaton to see if it is really conceptually different from applying any algorithm for mathematical problem solving; a graphing calculator would, at first blush, appear to do something very similar.

## Physics has always used this vocabulary (1)

## Flat5 (207129) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558660)

Another example: we say massive bodies have gravity. We don't say that the motion of masses in the presence of other masses can be modeled with gravity. There "is" gravity. The model nature of gravity is implied.

Flat5

## Cellular Automaton (1)

## Flat5 (207129) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558465)

Flat5

## In case full text /. copy gets /.ed by /. (-1, Offtopic)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558466)

Full text of review, in case it gets slashdotted. (Score:9) Insightful by Anti-Microsoft Troll on Tuesday May 21, @11:03AM (#3558418) (User #577475 Info) > First things first - have I read this book? Hell, no, and if anybody else says THEY have in the next year, they're lying thru their teeth. This book is so dense that if Wolfram had added a single additional page, the whole thing would have imploded into a black hole. That's got to be the only reason he quit writing and finally went to press. I've been waiting for years for ANKOS to come out. I ordered my copy Tuesday when it was released, got it on Thursday and I've been skimming it like mad since. To give you some idea of how engrossing this book is, I was reading it Friday morning at 4 AM in the bathroom of a Motel 6, curled up in a bedspread on the tile floor to keep from disturbing my wife and stepdaughter during a trip to my stepson's graduation. I've got four college degrees, one in math and two from MIT, and bottom line - this sucker's gonna take a while to digest. POOP!However, it's theoretically straightforward enough that anybody with a high enough level of obsession and a few years to stay glued to it can follow it in its entirety. In ANKOS, Wolfram certainly comes across as arrogantly cocky but in the final analysis is he a crank or a revolutionary genius? Who knows, but it's going to be a new nerd pastime for the next decade to argue that point. ANKOS is 1250+ pages divided into 850 pages of breezy exposition followed by 350 pages of fine-print notes. The exposition is composed of 12 chapters and the notes have about a paragraph per page of topic- and name-dropping technobabble to let you know where to go next for more details on whichever of Wolfram's tangents strike your fancy. Topping the whole thing off is a 60+ page index with thousands of entries in even smaller typeface than the notes. Despite its length, ANKOS is not a rigorous mathematical proof of anything as much as it is a superficial survey of a vast new intellectual landscape. And what a landscape Wolfram has laid before us. It's all about cellular automations, which have traditionally been relegated to the realm of mathematical recreations. Start with a black square in the center grid square (cell) on the top line of a sheet of graph paper. Think up a few rules about whether a square gets colored black or white on the next line down depending on the colors of its neighbors. Apply these rules to the squares on the next line of the sheet of graph paper. Repeat. Watch what happens. Sounds simple. It isn't. The first short chapter outlines Wolfram's central thesis: That three hundred years of mathematics based on the equals sign have failed to provide true insight into various complex systems in nature, and that algorithms based on the DO loop can succeed in this endeavor where mathematics has failed. The reason, claims Wolfram, is that deceptively simple algorithms can produce heretofore undreamed of levels of complexity. He claims that while frontier intellectual efforts such as chaos theory, fractals, AI, cybernetics and so forth have hinted at this concept for years, his decade of isolation studying cellular automata has taken the idea of simple algorithms or rules embodying universal complexity to the level of a new paradigm. The second chapter outlines what Wolfram calls his crucial experiment: the systematic analysis of the 256 simplest rule sets for the most basic cellular automatons. He discovers this "universe" of rules is sufficient to produce his four so-called "classes" of complex systems: order, self-similar nested patterns, structures and most importantly, true randomness. The first two lead to somewhat familiar checkerboard-type patterns and leaf-type fractals; the last two, unforeseen unique shapes and unpredictable sequences. Wolfram stresses that the ability of simple iterative algorithms to produce complex and unique non-fractal shapes as well as truly random sequences of output is in fact a revolutionary new discovery with subtle and profound implications. The third chapter expands his initial 256-rule-set universe of simple algorithms with many others Wolfram has researched for years in th Read the rest of this comment... [ Reply to This | Parent ] What I want to see : A Book Review (Score:0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, @11:02AM (#3558413) of "A New Kind Of Bullshit ; A stunning expose of the Scam that is Cognitive Science. Now that would be good reading. [ Reply to This | Parent ] Just in Case this Story gets /.ed! (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, @11:00AM (#3558397)
A New Kind of SciencePosted by timothy on Tuesday May 21, @10:45AM cybrpnk2 writes: "The story is one of epic proportions: Boy genius gets PhD from Cal Tech at age 20, is the youngest recipient ever of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, writes the Mathematica simulation software used by millions of people, makes millions of dollars in the process, becomes enticed by the seductive lure of the Game of Life, and goes into a decade of seclusion to discover the secrets of the universe. You can catch up on the resulting speculation and hype here. The years of anticipation and publication delays came to an end Tuesday, May 14, 2002 with Stephan Wolfram's release of his opus, A New Kind of Science." Read on for cybrpnk2's review of Wolfram's much-heralded work. A New Kind Of Science author Stephen Wolfram pages 1197 (plus 62 page index) publisher Wolfram Media, Inc. rating 10 reviewer cybrpnk2 ISBN 1-57955-008-8 summary A long awaited treatise that cellular automations, not mathematics, holds the key to understanding reality First things first - have I read this book? Hell, no, and if anybody else says THEY have in the next year, they're lying thru their teeth. This book is so dense that if Wolfram had added a single additional page, the whole thing would have imploded into a black hole. That's got to be the only reason he quit writing and finally went to press. I've been waiting for years for ANKOS to come out. I ordered my copy Tuesday when it was released, got it on Thursday and I've been skimming it like mad since. To give you some idea of how engrossing this book is, I was reading it Friday morning at 4 AM in the bathroom of a Motel 6, curled up in a bedspread on the tile floor to keep from disturbing my wife and stepdaughter during a trip to my stepson's graduation. I've got four college degrees, one in math and two from MIT, and bottom line - this sucker's gonna take a while to digest. However, it's theoretically straightforward enough that anybody with a high enough level of obsession and a few years to stay glued to it can follow it in its entirety. In ANKOS, Wolfram certainly comes across as arrogantly cocky but in the final analysis is he a crank or a revolutionary genius? Who knows, but it's going to be a new nerd pastime for the next decade to argue that point. ANKOS is 1250+ pages divided into 850 pages of breezy exposition followed by 350 pages of fine-print notes. The exposition is composed of 12 chapters and the notes have about a paragraph per page of topic- and name-dropping technobabble to let you know where to go next for more details on whichever of Wolfram's tangents strike your fancy. Topping the whole thing off is a 60+ page index with thousands of entries in even smaller typeface than the notes. Despite its length, ANKOS is not a rigorous mathematical proof of anything as much as it is a superficial survey of a vast new intellectual landscape. And what a landscape Wolfram has laid before us. It's all about cellular automations, which have traditionally been relegated to the realm of mathematical recreations. Start with a black square in the center grid square (cell) on the top line of a sheet of graph paper. Think up a few rules about whether a square gets colored black or white on the next line down depending on the colors of its neighbors. Apply these rules to the squares on the next line of the sheet of graph paper. Repeat. Watch what happens. Sounds simple. It isn't. The first short chapter outlines Wolfram's central thesis: That three hundred years of mathematics based on the equals sign have failed to provide true insight into various complex systems in nature, and that algorithms based on the DO loop can succeed in this endeavor where mathematics has failed. The reason, claims Wolfram, is that deceptively simple algorithms can produce heretofore undreamed of levels of complexity. He claims that while frontier intellectual efforts such as chaos theory, fractals, AI, cybernetics and so forth have hinted at this concept for years, his decade of isolation studying cellular automata ha
Read the rest of this comment...
[ Reply to This | Parent ] ## Watch and see how it unfolds (0, Redundant)

## Nutcase (86887) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558469)

...But is it the next Principia, the herald of a new scientific revolution?

Read and decide for yourself. Only time, and a lot of it, will tell.

Wow. The only way to get the result of if the book is a new revoltion is to watch and see how it unfolds? Thats somewhat ironic, isn't it?

## Another alternative:+10 ; High (-1, Offtopic)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558496)

the universe. If he can't provide it, he's

hallucinating.

A New Kind of Science: Or How I Became A Recluse

To Finally Finish My Term Paper.

Now, let me finish this doobie made with

genuine U.S. of A marijuana.

420 Lewis !! !!!

## GNU/Linux (-1, Offtopic)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558485)

## Also good (and it's Free) (0, Offtopic)

## mrgrey (319015) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558486)

withconspiracy.TextFiles conspiracy files are a bit old but they are still a very interesting read. Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country covers a very broad spectrum of ideas and theories. Good stuff!

ahh the days of textfiles......

-tried to spell correctly this time. People seem to get irate with miss-typed comments.

## I wonder if he is still sane. (3, Interesting)

## mobydobius (237311) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558488)

...goes into a decade of seclusion to discover the secrets of the universeI worry about that. Science isn't practiced very well in a vaccuum. One feature of the scientific act of discovery that makes it so effective is that the scientists involved are constantly examining each others musings, to keep any one of them from going off the deep end. Genius and madness go hand in hand, after all, and nothing can drive you nuts quite like being alone with your own thoughts. Especially if those thoughts are exceptional.

I just hope this book doen't show that dear Dr. Wolfram has lost it.

## Uhhhh ... Newton! (1)

## Codex The Sloth (93427) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558623)

Newton

Wiles (Fermat's Last Theorem Proof)

Galileo

Heisenberg

Many others

OTOH, to this list you could also add

UNABomber

Many others

## To err is human (1)

## nexusone (470558) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558489)

## "Bit String Physics" (4, Interesting)

## Baldrson (78598) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558499)

From the introduction to Bit String Physics [amazon.com] :

## Applications? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558507)

He claims to have created the most powerful tool in history but has not been able to create anything with it himself. Where are the examples of this theory doing things of significance? Model an atom, or gravity, for example. Nothing rigorous but just to show off the technology. Why hasn't he done this?

I read the article in Wired, and after reading the whole thing, it seemed like Wolfram spent a lot of time flapping his wings and trying to articulate the glory of his theories but never actually said anything at all.

## Turing thesis anyone? (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558516)

There seems to be a bit too much hype here

## Review by Ray Kurzweil (2)

## WEFUNK (471506) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558521)

Reflections on Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science" [kurzweilai.net]

## Phenomenal (2, Insightful)

## ForExportOnly (529923) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558536)

## There's no THERE there... (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558549)

Of *course* the universe is governed by simple laws of interaction. Of *course* they can't be effectively modelled

in situ. Apparently in his ivory tower, Stephen hasn't been aware of the little fields called Chaos Theory; Emergent Behavior; Complexity. This stuff has been hot for twenty five years now in fields ranging from physics to artificial life, yet he seems to act as if he's discovered itex nihilo.No doubt Wolfram has the chops for this. In 1994 he wrote a thin little monograph called Cellular Automata and Complexity [amazon.com] , which basically is regarded as

theauthority on 1-D cellular automata. But even at that point, CA's had been well studied, and their properties well understood with regard to modeling nature. So it's a little annoying to see Wolfram talking about how he'sdiscoveredthis field. Literally. That's what he says. Very irksome.And then there's the problematic fact: cellular automata

cannotmodel the universe because while it may be discretized in the quanta sense, it has a continuous multidimensional combination. That is, you can rotate objects in arbitrary angles. To model such a thing, you need a system strictly more powerful than CAs, because a continuous environment presents anuncountablyinfinite set of states and a CA presents only acountablyinfinite set of states. It appears that Wolfram kind of brushes over this. He's got the right idea generally, but he himself has too simple of a model! -- odd, given that he's attacking scientists for using even asimplermodel yet.But scientists aren't using the simpler (non-chaos) models because they think that's how things work. They're not stupid. They're using the models because they're tractable. They can get work done with 'em. Scientists have known since, what, the 1950's, that the universe can, from very tiny and simple rules, produce massive amounts of complexity. That's why CAs were developed in the first place. This is hardly new stuff.

So, great. Wolfram has produced a landmark text on cellular automata. Which would be wonderful if he hadn't (apparently) spent half of the pages talking about how amazing he was for discovering that these CAs model the universe (which they can't) and further that scientists should be faulted for not using a chaos-based model of the world (which they've known all along). Fantastic.

## Crank, crank, crank (5, Interesting)

## gonerill (139660) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558568)

but in the final analysis is he a crank or a revolutionary genius? Who knows, but it's going to be a new nerd pastime for the next decade to argue that point.This means he's almost certainly a crank. If actual scientists were arguing heavily about it, there might be a bit more uncertainty. But if the debate is happening amongst people whose knowledge of physics comes mainly from Star Trek, then that pretty much settles the matter in advance.

Wolfram will probably end up having a place on the intellectual fringes, worshipped by people who are often smart but who haven't bothered/aren't trained well enough to see why specialists don't really pay attention to them. In nerd idea-space Ayn Rand is the other main example of this type.

The best comment I've read about Wolfram's book comes from Cosma Shalizi, a physicist working at the Santa Fe institute, who specializes in cellular automata. He comments [santafe.edu] [scroll down on link]:

Dis-recommended: Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science [This is almost, but not quite, a case for the immortal ``What is true is not new, and what is new is not true''. The one new, true thing is a proof that the elementary CA rule 110 can support universal, Turing-complete computation. (One of Wolfram's earlier books states that such a thing is obviously impossible.) This however was shown not by Wolfram but by Matthew Cook (this is the ``technical content and proofs'' for which Wolfram acknowledges Cook, in six point type, in his frontmatter). In any case it cannot bear the weight Wolfram places on it. Watch This Space for a detailed critique of this book, a rare blend of monster raving egomania and utter batshit insanity.]I await solid arguments to the contrary --- ie, arguments that don't start from any of the following premises:

1. But he was a boy genius at CalTech and Feynman said so!

2. But he wrote Mathematica, which is obviously really hard!

3. But if he's right this will change the world!

4. But other Scientists are ignoring/laughing at/refuting him only because they are jealous of his enormous brain!

5. But he only ignored peer review because he's so brilliant!

6. But every work of genius always seems crazy when it first appears!

I leave it was an exercise to the reader to show why Wolfram's supporters shouldn't rely on these points (although Wolfram himself apparently does).

## Albert Einstein: A Jewish Myth (-1)

## DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558650)

One of the statements of Adolf Hitler most often quoted by the Jewish

media is the following from Mein Kampf, I:10:

"The great masses of people

lie than to a small one."

Of course, Hitler is quoted out of context in an attempt to portray

this statement as Hitler's own, personal philosophy or strategy. But

if we read this selection in context, we find that he is speaking of

the Jews who had ruined his country, and he is trying to explain how

the German people fell victim to Jewish lies. In fact, Herr Hitler

even tells us what this great lie is that duped the German people into

being controlled by the Jews. He continues:

"Those who know best this truth about the possibilities of the

application of untruth and defamation, however, were at all times the

Jews; for their entire existence is built on one single great lie,

namely, that here one had to deal with a religious brotherhood, while

in fact one has to deal with a race - what a race! As such they have

been nailed down forever, in an eternally correct sentence of

fundamental truth, by one of the greatest minds of mankind; he called

them 'the great masters of lying.' He who does not realize this or

does not want to believe this will never be able to help truth to

victory in this world."

Hitler here was referring to Arthur Schopenhauer, the eminent 19th

century German philosopher who was outspoken regarding the true nature

of Jews. We do not need to rely upon the opinions of German

philosophers and political leaders regarding this character trait of

the Jews, for Jesus Christ has said of the Jews,

"You are of your father the Diabolical One, and the lusts of your

father you wish to do. That one was a murderer from the beginning, and

he has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. When

he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, because he is a liar, and the

father of it" (John 8:44 AST).

Furthermore, the New Testament warns us not to listen to "Judaizing

myths" (Titus 1:14). But Jewish myths are exactly what destroyed

Germany and what have destroyed America today. Herr Hitler may have

been correct in what he felt was the greatest Jewish lie, but there

are many, many more which have had a damning effect on the white race.

One of the greatest is certainly the lie of the Hebrew Masoretic Text

and the removal of the Greek Septuagint from the hands of white

Christians, but each Jewish myth stings with the same poisonous venom.

One of the great Jewish myths of the 20th century is Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein is held up by the Jewish liars as a rare genius who

drastically changed the field of theoretical physics. As such, he is

made an idol to young people and his very name has become synonymous

with genius. The truth, however, is very different. The reality is

that Einstein was an inept, moronic Jew who could not even tie his own

shoelaces; he contributed nothing original to the field of quantum

mechanics or any other science, but on the contrary he stole the ideas

of other men and the Jewish media made him a hero.

When we actually examine the life of Albert Einstein, we find that his

only brilliance lies in his ability to plagiarize and steal other

people's ideas, passing them off as his own.

Einstein's education, or lack thereof, is an important part of this

story. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of Einstein's early education

that he "showed little scholastic ability." It also says that at the

age of 15, "with poor grades in history, geography, and languages, he

left school with no diploma." Einstein himself wrote in a school paper

of his "lack of imagination and practical ability." In 1895, Einstein

failed a simple entrance exam to an engineering school in Zurich. This

exam consisted mainly of mathematical problems, and Einstein showed

himself to be mathematically inept in this exam. He then entered a

lesser school hoping to use it as a stepping stone to the engineering

school he could not get into, but after graduating in 1900, he still

could not get a position at the engineering school! Unable to go to

the school as he had wanted, he got a job (with the help of a friend)

at the patent office in Bern. He was to be a technical expert third

class, which meant that he was too incompetent for a higher qualified

position. Even after publishing his so-called groundbreaking papers of

1905 and after working in the patent office for six years, he was only

elevated to a second class standing. Remember, the work he was doing

at the patent office, for which he was only rated third class, was not

quantum mechanics or theoretical physics, but was reviewing technical

documents for patents of every day things; yet he was barely

qualified.

He would work at the patent office until 1909, all the while

continuously trying to get a position at a university, but without

success. All of these facts are true, but now begins the Jewish myth.

Supposedly, while working a full time job, without the aid of

university colleagues, a staff of graduate students, a laboratory, or

any of the things normally associated with an academic setting,

Einstein in his spare time wrote four ground-breaking essays in the

field of theoretical physics and quantum mechanics that were published

in 1905. Many people have recognized the impossibility of such a feat,

including Einstein himself, and therefore Einstein has led people to

believe that many of these ideas came to him in his sleep, out of the

blue, because indeed that is the only logical explanation of how an

admittedly inept moron could have written such documents at the age of

26 without any real education. However, a simpler explanation exists:

he stole the ideas and plagiarized the papers.

Therefore, we will look at each of these ideas and discover the source

of each. It should be remembered that these ideas are presented by

Einstein's worshippers as totally new and completely different, each

of which would change the landscape of science. These four papers

dealt with the following four ideas, respectively:

1. The foundation of the photon theory of light;

2. The equivalence of energy and mass;

3. The explanation of Brownian motion in liquids;

4. The special theory of relativity.

Let us first look at the last of these theories, the theory of

relativity. This is perhaps the most famous idea falsely attributed to

Einstein. Specifically, this 1905 paper dealt with what Einstein

called the Special Theory of Relativity (the General Theory would come

in 1915). This theory contradicted the traditional Newtonian mechanics

and was based upon two premises: 1) in the absence of acceleration,

the laws of nature are the same for all observers; and 2) since the

speed of light is independent of the motion of its source, then the

time interval between two events is longer for an observer in whose

frame of reference the events occur at different places than for an

observer in whose frame of reference the events occur in the same

place. This is basically the idea that time passes more slowly as

one's velocity approaches the speed of light, relative to slower

velocities where time would pass faster.

This theory has been validated by modern experiments and is the basis

for modern physics. But these two premises are far from being

originally Einstein's. First of all, the idea that the speed of light

was a constant and was independent of the motion of its source was not

Einstein's at all, but was proposed by the Scottish scientist James

Maxwell. Maxwell studied the phenomenon of light extensively and first

proposed that it was electromagnetic in nature. He wrote an article to

this effect for the 1878 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. His

ideas prompted much debate, and by 1887, as a result of his work and

the ensuing debate, the scientific community, particularly Lorentz,

Michelson, and Morley reached the conclusion that the velocity of

light was independent of the velocity of the observer. Thus, this

piece of the Special Theory of Relativity was known 27 years before

Einstein wrote his paper.

This debate over the nature of light also led Michelson and Morley to

conduct an important experiment, the results of which could not be

explained by Newtonian mechanics. They observed a phenomenon caused by

relativity but they did not understand relativity. They had attempted

to detect the motion of the earth through ether, which was a medium

thought to be necessary for the propagation of light.

In response to this problem, in 1889, the Irish physicist George

FitzGerald, who had also first proposed a mechanism for producing

radio waves, wrote a paper which stated that the results of the

Michelson-Morley experiment could be explained if,

"... the length of material bodies changes, according as they are

moving through the ether or across it, by an amount depending on the

square of the ratio of their velocities to that of light."

This is the theory of relativity, 13 years before Einstein's paper!

Furthermore, in 1892, Hendrik Lorentz, from The Netherlands, proposed

the same solution and began to greatly expand the idea. All throughout

the 1890's, both Lorentz and FitzGerald worked on these ideas and

wrote articles strangely similar to Einstein's Special Theory

detailing what is now known as the Lorentz-FitzGerald Contraction. In

1898, the Irishman Joseph Larmor wrote down equations explaining the

Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction and its relativistic consequences, 7

years before Einstein's paper. By 1904, Lorentz transformations, the

series of equations explaining relativity, were published by Lorentz.

They describe the increase of mass, the shortening of length, and the

time dilation of a body moving at speeds close to the velocity of

light. In short, by 1904, everything in Einstein's paper regarding the

Special Theory of Relativity had already been published.

The Frenchman Poincaré had, in 1898, written a paper unifying many of

these ideas. He stated seven years before Einstein's paper that,

"... we have no direct intuition about the equality of two time

intervals. The simultaneity of two events or the order of their

succession, as well as the equality of two time intervals, must be

defined in such a way that the statements of the natural laws be as

simple as possible."

Anyone who has read Einstein's 1905 paper will immediately recognize

the similarity and the lack of originality on the part of Einstein.

Thus we see that the only thing original about the paper was the term

'Special Theory of Relativity.' Everything else was plagiarized. Over

the next few years, Poincaré became one of the most important

lecturers and writers regarding relativity, but he never, in any of

his papers or speeches, mentioned Albert Einstein. Thus, while

Poincaré was busy bringing the rest of the academic world up to speed

regarding relativity, Einstein was still working in the patent office

in Bern and no one in the academic community thought it necessary to

give much credence or mention to Einstein's work. Most of these early

physicists knew that he was a fraud.

This brings us to the explanation of Brownian motion, the subject of

another of Einstein's 1905 papers. Brownian motion describes the

irregular motion of a body arising from the thermal energy of the

molecules of the material in which the body is immersed. The movement

had first been observed by the Scottish botanist Robert Brown in 1827.

The explanation of this phenomenon has to do with the Kinetic Theory

of Matter, and it was the American Josiah Gibbs and the Austrian

Ludwig Boltzmann who first explained this occurrence, not Albert

Einstein. In fact, the mathematical equation describing the motion

contains the famous Boltzmann constant, k. Between these two men, they

had explained by the 1890s everything in Einstein's 1905 paper

regarding Brownian motion.

The subject of the equivalence of mass and energy was contained in a

third paper published by Einstein in 1905. This concept is expressed

by the famous equation E=mc^2. Einstein's biographers categorize this

as "his most famous and most spectacular conclusion." Even though this

idea is an obvious conclusion of Einstein's earlier relativity paper,

it was not included in that paper but was published as an afterthought

later in the year. Still, the idea of energy-mass equivalence was not

original with Einstein.

That there was an equivalence between mass and energy had been shown

in the laboratory in the 1890s by both J.J. Thomsom of Cambridge and

by W. Kaufmann in Göttingen. In 1900, Poincaré had shown that there

was a mass relationship for all forms of energy, not just

electromagnetic energy. Yet, the most probable source of Einstein's

plagiarism was Friedrich Hasenöhrl, one of the most brilliant, yet

unappreciated physicists of the era. Hasenöhrl was the teacher of many

of the German scientists who would later become famous for a variety

of topics. He had worked on the idea of the equivalence of mass and

energy for many years and had published a paper on the topic in 1904

in the very same journal which Einstein would publish his plagiarized

version in 1905. For his brilliant work in this area, Hasenörhl had

received in 1904 a prize from the prestigious Vienna Academy of

Sciences.

Furthermore, the mathematical relationship of mass and energy was a

simple deduction from the already well-known equations of Scottish

physicist James Maxwell. Scientists long understood that the

mathematical relationship expressed by the equation E=mc^2 was the

logical result of Maxwell's work, they just did not believe it. Thus,

the experiments of Thomson, Kaufmann, and finally, and most

importantly, Hasenörhl, confirmed Maxwell's work. It is ludicrous to

believe that Einstein developed this postulate, particularly in light

of the fact that Einstein did not have the laboratory necessary to

conduct the appropriate experiments.

In this same plagiarized article of Einstein's, he suggested to the

scientific community, "Perhaps it will prove possible to test this

theory using bodies whose energy content is variable to a high degree

(e.g., salts of radium)." This remark demonstrates how little Einstein

understood about science, for this was truly an outlandish remark. By

saying this, Einstein showed that he really did not understand basic

scientific principles and that he was writing about a topic that he

did not understand. In fact, in response to this article, J. Precht

remarked that such an experiment "lies beyond the realm of possible

experience."

The last subject dealt with in Einstein's 1905 papers was the

foundation of the photon theory of light. Einstein wrote about the

photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect is the release of

electrons from certain metals or semiconductors by the action of

light. This area of research is particularly important to the Einstein

myth because it was for this topic that he unjustly received his 1922

Nobel Prize.

But again, it is not Einstein, but Wilhelm Wien and Max Planck who

deserve the credit. The main point of Einstein's paper, and the point

for which he is given credit, is that light is emitted and absorbed in

finite packets called quanta. This was the explanation for the

photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect had been explained by

Heinrich Hertz in 1888. Hertz and others, including Philipp Lenard,

worked on understanding this phenomenon. Lenard was the first to show

that the energy of the electrons released in the photoelectric effect

was not governed by the intensity of the light but by the frequency of

the light. This was an important breakthrough.

Wien and Planck were colleagues and they were the fathers of modern

day quantum theory. By 1900, Max Planck, based upon his and Wien's

work, had shown that radiated energy was absorbed and emitted in

finite units called quanta. The only difference in his work of 1900

and Einstein's work of 1905 was that Einstein limited himself to

talking about one particular type of energy - light energy. But the

principles and equations governing the process in general had been

deduced by Planck in 1900. Einstein himself admitted that the obvious

conclusion of Planck's work was that light also existed in discrete

packets of energy. Thus, nothing in this paper of Einstein's was

original.

After the 1905 papers of Einstein were published, the scientific

community took little notice and Einstein continued his job at the

patent office until 1909 when it was arranged for him to take a

position at a school by World Jewry. Still, it was not until a 1919

newspaper headline that he gained any notoriety.

With Einstein's academic appointment in 1909, he was placed in a

position where he could begin to use other people's work as his own

more openly. He engaged many of his students to look for ways to prove

the theories he had supposedly developed, or ways to apply those

theories, and then he could present the research as his own or at

least take partial credit. In this vein, in 1912, he began to try and

express his gravitational research in terms of a new, recently

developed calculus, which was conducive to understanding relativity.

This was the beginning of his General Theory of Relativity, which he

would publish in 1915. But the mathematical work was not done by

Einstein - he was incapable of it. Instead, it was performed by the

mathematician Marcel Grossmann, who in turn used the mathematical

principles developed by Berhard Riemann, who was the first to develop

a sound non-Euclidean geometry, which is the basis of all mathematics

used to describe relativity.

The General Theory of Relativity applied the principles of relativity

to the universe; that is, to the gravitational pull of planets and

their orbits, and the general principle that light rays bend as they

pass by a massive object. Einstein published an initial paper in 1913

based upon the work which Grossmann did, adapting the math of Riemann

to Relativity. But this paper was filled with errors and the

conclusions were incorrect. It appears that Grossmann was not smart

enough to figure it out for Einstein. So Einstein was forced to look

elsewhere to plagiarize his General Theory. Einstein published his

correct General Theory of Relativity in 1915, and said prior to its

publication that he, "...completely succeeded in convincing Hilbert

and Klein." He is referring to David Hilbert, perhaps the most

brilliant mathematician of the 20th century, and Felix Klein, another

mathematician who had been instrumental in the development of the area

of calculus that Grossmann had used to develop the General Theory of

Relativity for Einstein.

Einstein's statement regarding the two men would lead the reader to

believe that Einstein had changed Hilbert's and Klein's opinions

regarding General Relativity, and that he had influenced them in their

thinking. However, the exact opposite is true. Einstein stole the

majority of his General Relativity work from these two men, the rest

being taken from Grossmann. Hilbert submitted for publication, a week

before Einstein completed his work, a paper which contained the

correct field equations of General Relativity. What this means is that

Hilbert wrote basically the exact same paper, with the same

conclusions, before Einstein did. Einstein would have had an

opportunity to know of Hilbert's work all along, because there were

Jewish friends of his working for Hilbert. Yet, even this was not

necessary, for Einstein had seen Hilbert's paper in advance of

publishing his own. Both of these papers were, before being printed,

delivered in the form of a lecture.

Einstein presented his paper on November 25, 1915 in Berlin and

Hilbert had presented his paper on November 20 in Göttingen. On

November 18, Hilbert received a letter from Einstein thanking him for

sending him a draft of the treatise Hilbert was to deliver on the

20th. So, in fact, Hilbert had sent a copy of his work at least two

weeks in advance to Einstein before either of the two men delivered

their lectures, but Einstein did not send Hilbert an advance copy of

his. Therefore, this serves as incontrovertible proof that Einstein

quickly plagiarized the work and then presented it, hoping to beat

Hilbert to the punch. Also, at the same time, Einstein publicly began

to belittle Hilbert, even though in the previous summer he had praised

him in an effort to get Hilbert to share his work with him. Hilbert

made the mistake of sending Einstein this draft copy, but still he

delivered his work first.

Not only did Hilbert publish his work first, but it was of much higher

quality than Einstein's. It is known today that there are many

problems with assumptions made in Einstein's General Theory paper. We

know today that Hilbert was much closer to the truth. Hilbert's paper

is the forerunner of the unified field theory of gravitation and

electromagnetism and of the work of Erwin Schrödinger, whose work is

the basis of all modern day quantum mechanics.

That the group of men discussed so far were the actual originators of

the ideas claimed by Einstein was known by the scientific community

all along. In 1940, a group of German physicists meeting in Austria

declared that "before Einstein, Aryan scientists like Lorentz,

Hasenöhrl, Poincaré, etc., had created the foundations of the theory

of relativity..."

However, the Jewish media did not promote the work of these men. The

Jewish media did not promote the work of David Hilbert, but instead

they promoted the work of the Jew Albert Einstein. As we mentioned

earlier, this General Theory, as postulated by Hilbert first and in

plagiarized form by Einstein second, stated that light rays should

bend when they pass by a massive object. In 1919, during the eclipse

of the Sun, light from distant stars passing close to the Sun was

observed to bend according to the theory. This evidence supported the

General Theory of Relativity, and the Jewish-controlled media

immediately seized upon the opportunity to prop up Einstein as a hero,

at the expense of the true genius, David Hilbert.

On November 7th, 1919, the London Times ran an article, the headline

of which proclaimed, "Revolution in science - New theory of the

Universe - Newtonian ideas overthrown." This was the beginning of the

force-feeding of the Einstein myth to the masses. In the following

years, Einstein's earlier 1905 papers were propagandized and Einstein

was heralded as the originator of all the ideas he had stolen. Because

of this push by the Jewish media, in 1922, Einstein received the Nobel

Prize for the work he had stolen in 1905 regarding the photoelectric

effect.

The establishment of the Einstein farce between 1919 and 1922 was an

important coup for world Zionism and Jewry. As soon as Einstein had

been established as an idol to the popular masses of England and

America, his image was promoted as the rare genius that he is

erroneously believed to be today. As such, he immediately began his

work as a tool for World Zionism. The masses bought into the idea that

if someone was so brilliant as to change our fundamental understanding

of the universe, then certainly we ought to listen to his opinions

regarding political and social issues. This is exactly what World

Jewry wanted to establish in its ongoing effort of social engineering.

They certainly did not want someone like David Hilbert to be

recognized as rare genius. After all, this physicist had come from a

strong German, Christian background. His grandfather's two middle

names were 'Fürchtegott Leberecht' or 'Fear God, Live Right.' In

August of 1934, the day before a vote was to be taken regarding

installing Adolf Hitler as President of the Reich, Hilbert signed a

proclamation in support of Adolf Hitler, along with other leading

German scientists, that was published in the German newspapers. So the

Jews certainly did not want David Hilbert receiving the credit he

deserved.

The Jews did not want Max Planck receiving the credit he deserved

either. This German's grandfather and great-grandfather had been

important German theologians, and during World War II he would stay in

Germany throughout the war, supporting his fatherland the best he

could.

The Jews certainly did not want the up-and-coming Erwin Schrödinger to

be heralded as a genius to the masses. This Austrian physicist would

go on to teach at Adolf Hitler University in Austria, and he wrote a

public letter expressing his support for the Third Reich. This

Austrian's work on the unified field theory was a forerunner of modern

physics, even though it had been criticized by Einstein, who

apparently could not understand it.

The Jews did not want to have Werner Heisenberg promoted as a rare

genius, even though he would go on to solidify quantum theory and

contribute to it greatly, as well as develop his famous uncertainty

principle, in addition to describing the modern atom and nucleus and

the binding energies that are essential to modern chemistry. No, the

Jews did not want Heisenberg promoted as a genius because he would go

on to head the German atomic bomb project and serve prison time after

the war for his involvement with the Third Reich.

No, the Jews did not want to give credit to any of a number of white

Germans, Austrians, Irishmen, Frenchmen, Scotsmen, Englishmen, and

even Americans who had contributed to the body of knowledge and

evidence from which Einstein plagiarized and stole his work. Instead,

they needed to erect Einstein as their golden calf, even though he

repeatedly and often embarrassed himself with his nonfactual or

nearsighted comments regarding the work he had supposedly done. For

example, in 1934, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a front page article

in which Einstein gave an "emphatic denial" regarding the idea of

practical applications for the "energy of the atom." The article says,

"But the 'energy of the atom' is something else again. If you believe

that man will someday be able to harness this boundless energy-to

drive a great steamship across the ocean on a pint of water, for

instance-then, according to Einstein, you are wrong..."

Again, Einstein clearly did not understand the branch of physics he

had supposedly founded, though elsewhere in the world at the time

theoretical research was underway that would lead to the atomic bomb

and nuclear energy. But after Einstein was promoted as a god in 1919,

he made no real attempts to plagiarize any other work. Rather, he

began his real purpose - evangelizing for the cause of Zionism and

World Jewry. Though he did publish other articles after this time, all

of them were co-authored by at least one other person, and in each

instance, Einstein had little if anything to do with the research that

led to the articles; he was merely recruited by the co-authors in

order to lend credence to their work. Thus freed of the pretense of

academia, Einstein began his assault for World Zionism.

In 1921, Einstein made his first visit to the United States on a

fund-raising tour for the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and to

promote Zionism. In April of 1922, Einstein used his status to gain

membership in a Commission of the League of Nations. In February of

1923, Einstein visits Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In June of 1923, he

becomes a founding member of the Association of Friends of the New

Russia. In 1926, Einstein took a break from his Communist and

Zionistic activities to again embarrass himself scientifically by

criticizing the work of Schrödinger and Heisenberg. Following a brief

illness, he resumes his Zionistic agenda, wanting an independent

Israel and at the same time a World Government.

In the 1930s he actively campaigns against all forms of war, although

he would reverse this position during World War II when he advocated

war against Germany and the creation of the atomic bomb, which he

thought was impossible to build. In 1939 and 1940, Einstein, at the

request of other Jews, wrote two letters to Roosevelt urging an

American program to develop an atomic bomb to be used on Germany - not

Japan. Einstein would have no part in the actual construction of the

bomb, theoretical or practical, because he lacked the skills for

either.

In December of 1946, Einstein rekindles his efforts for a World

Government, with Israel apparently being the only autonomous nation.

This push continues through the rest of the 1940s. In 1952, Einstein,

who had been instrumental in the creation of the State of Israel, both

politically and economically, is offered the presidency of Israel. He

declines. In 1953, he spends his time attacking the McCarthy

Committee, and he supports Communists such as J. Robert Oppenheimer.

He encourages civil disobedience in response to the McCarthy trials.

Finally, on April 18, 1955, this filthy Jewish demagogue dies.

Dead, the Jews no longer had to worry about Einstein making stupid

statements. His death was just the beginning of his usage and

exploitation by World Jewry. The Jewish-controlled media continued to

promote the myth of this Super-Jew long after his death, and as more

and more of the men who knew better died off, the Jews were more and

more able to aggrandize his myth and lie more boldly. This brazen

lying has culminated in the Jew controlled Time magazine naming

Einstein "The Person of the Century" at the close of 1999. It may be

demonstrated that the Jewish lies have become more bold with the

passage of time because Einstein was never named "Man of the Year"

while he was alive, but now, over forty years after his death, he is

named "Person of the Century."

Einstein was given this title in spite of the clear-cut choice for the

"Person of the Century," Adolf Hitler. Hitler was indeed named "Man of

the Year" while he was still living by Time magazine, and according to

a December 27, 1999, article in the USA Today, Einstein was chosen

over Adolf Hitler because of the perceived "nasty public relations

fallout" that would accompany that choice; yet in internet polling by

Time, Hitler finished third and was the top serious candidate. Still

the issue of Time magazine dedicated to Einstein, which has articles

by men with names like Isaacson, Golden, Stein, Rudenstine, and

Rosenblatt, is interesting to read. For one, they found it necessary

to include an article rationalizing why they did not pick the obvious

choice, Adolf Hitler. But more interesting is the article by Stephen

Hawking which purports to be a history of the theory of relativity. In

it, Hawking admits many of the things in this article, such as the

fact that Hilbert published the General Theory of Relativity before

Einstein and that FitzGerald and Lorentz deduced the concept of

relativity long before Einstein. Hawking also writes,

"Einstein...was deeply disturbed by the work of Werner Heisenberg in

Copenhagen, Paul Dirac in Cambridge and Erwin Schrödinger in Zurich,

who developed a new picture of reality called quantum mechanics.

Einstein was horrified by this

the validity of the new quantum laws because they showed excellent

agreement with observations

developments in chemistry, molecular biology and electronics and the

foundation of the technology that has transformed the world in the

past half-century."

This is all very true, yet the same magazine credits Einstein with all

of the modern developments that Hawking names, even through Einstein

was so stupid as to be vehemently against the most important idea of

modern science, just as he opposed Schrödinger's work in unified field

theory which was far ahead of its time. The same magazine admits that

"success eluded" Einstein in the field of explaining the

contradictions between relativity and quantum mechanics. Today, these

contradictions are explained by the unified field theory, but

Einstein, who proves himself to be one of the least intelligent of

20th century scientists, refused to believe in either quantum theory

or the unified field theory.

To name Einstein as "The Person of the Century" is one of the most

ludicrous and absurd lies of all time, yet it has been successfully

pulled off by Isaacson, Golden, Stein, Rudenstine, and Rosenblatt and

the Jewish owners of Time magazine. If the Jews at Time wanted to give

the title to an inventor or scientist, then the most obvious choice

would have been men like Hilbert, Planck, or Heisenberg. If they

wanted to give it to the scientist who most fundamentally changed the

landscape of 20th century science, then the obvious choice would be

William Shockley. This Nobel prize winning scientist invented the

transistor, which is the basis of all modern electronic devices and

computers, everything from modern cars and telephones, VCRs and

watches, to the amazing computers which have allowed incomprehensible

advances in all fields of science. Without the transistor, all forms

of science today would be basically in the same place that they were

in the late 1940s.

However, the Jews cannot allow the due credit to go to William

Shockley because he spent the majority of his scientific career

demonstrating the genetic and mental inferiority of non-whites and

arguing for their sterilization. His scientific, genetic views led the

Jews to financially destroy Shockley who founded the first company in

the Silicon Valley, his hometown, to develop computer chips. The Jews

hired away his entire staff and used them to start Fairchild

semiconductor, the company that today is known as Intel.

No the Jews could not let any of the truly great geniuses of our time

be recognized, not the anti-Semite Henry Ford, not the great German

scientists who helped the National Socialists in Germany, not Charles

Lindbergh, who was sympathetic to National Socialist causes, and

certainly not William Shockley, one of the most brilliant physicists

and geneticists of our time. Instead, the Jews propped up the Zionist,

Communist Albert Einstein who hated everything white.

After World War II, Einstein demonstrated his hatred of the White Race

and of the Germans in particular in the following statements. He was

asked what he thought about Germany and about re-educating the Germans

after the war and said,

"The nation has been on the decline mentally and morally since

1870...Behind the Nazi party stands the German people, who elected

Hitler after he had in his book and in his speeches made his shameful

intentions clear beyond the possibility of misunderstanding.

Germans can be killed or constrained after the war, but they cannot be

re-educated to a democratic way of thinking and acting..."

## Automatons (1)

## MoobY (207480) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558572)

## Re:Automatons (1)

## MoobY (207480) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558628)

## ARRGGGHH! Spoiler! Spoiler! (2, Funny)

## logullo (315085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558576)

To conclude with Wolfram's own final paragraph in the book:Guess I don't need to buy it now...

## HOW TO HAVE SEX WITH YOUR PC (-1, Troll)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558580)

## 4 Line Algorithm? (3, Funny)

## ellem (147712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558586)

Pfft!

I could have done it in 2 Lines with Perl!

## Doh!! (1)

## mpweasel (539631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558595)

"And indeed in the end the PCE encapsulates both the ultimate power and the ultimate weakness of science. For it implies that all the wonders of the universe can in effect be captured by simple rules, yet it shows that there can be no way to know all the consequences of these rules, except in effect just to watch and see how they unfold."First of all, thanks for spoiling the ending! =)

So what it boils down to is we can't have enough foresight to control the future.. Damn, foiled again!

--Martin

## Typical of theoreticians (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558596)

They believe that their calculations provide a deeper meaning into the Nature than what "mere experiments" ever can. It's amaznig that even these days you can read sentences like "...soon the ab initio calculations will let us design materials without having to resort to experimentation" in professional journal articles (the quote was actually from a Reviews of Modern Physics article!).

It is as if experiments are something to get away from!

Well, in a sense I can understand these guys because experimental observations often prove that the simulations and theories they hold so dear are simply wrong. Yet, some of them refuse to believe it and claim that the experiments must be wrong. Poor creatures...

A mathematical equation or simulation is idle speculation until it is backed up by solid experimental evidence. If it is not or cannot be verified by experimentation it's worth nothing.

## As I was reading this book... (2, Funny)

## teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558603)

What does this mean?

## Don't read this review (2, Troll)

## ChaoticCoyote (195677) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558608)

The review begins with a a grand statement about how the author hasn't even read the book -- the first inidcation that the reviewer is reviewing reactions and interviews, and not Wolfram's actual words.

But then again, this ;)

isSlashdot...## possible fraud of lucent scientist Hendrik Schon (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558614)

## Quantum Implications (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558618)

## Wow (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558619)

## *** !!! HoW tO hAvE sEx WiTh YoUr Pc !!! *** (-1, Troll)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558627)

## Are these the tools for decompiling DNA? (4, Interesting)

## kryzx (178628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558630)

What this most made me think of is DNA. DNA is just oodles of four-state variables that represent some kind of program. It is exactly like the cellular automata he's been working with. Looking at the code (the DNA itself) and the output (the organism produced) perhaps we can understand the underlying algorithm that uses the code to produce the output. Unravelling, understanding, decompiling, reverse engineering, or whatever you want to call it, the secrets of how the DNA code is executed could be the biggest scientific advance ever, and Wolfram may have provided the tools to do it.

Suprisingly there was no reference to this in the review, which probably indicates no discussion of it in the book. Cybrpnk2, is it true that he did not discuss DNA?

## An odd definition of "truly random" (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558632)

For example - one of the most common forms of "random number generators" is a linear congruential generator of the form

x[i] = (a * x[i-1] + b) % M

where a, b, x, and M are all integers and % is the modulus operator. Iterated, this will produce a sequence of integers in the range [0,...,M-1]. With careful selection of a and b relative to M, you can hit every possible value between 0 and M-1, inclusive, before getting a repeat, but once any element is repeated the entire sequence is repeated. Even if you randomize the choice of your seed value (the initial value for x[0]), you're just choosing an entry point in the cycle, not changing the fundamental fact that it is cyclic and will eventually repeat. That's why we call these things "pseudo-random numbers", not "random numbers".

## This sounds a bit too heavy for me... (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3558638)

Maybe with fellow genius scientists Spider-Man and Mister Fantastic explaining the harder parts?

If not, I'll have to wait for the movie. I hear Madonna is battling Adam Sandler for the movie rights.

Zoober

## True randomness? (1)

## SirAnodos (463311) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558649)

BUT, if everything boils down to a system with rules, then maybe you don't get true randomness. Maybe what you get is a system so complicated that to us it seems truly random, but in reality the outcome is already "encoded" in the system. Yes, the universe is running those iterations as fast as it can, so we can't predict what is going to happen... so it is random in that sense, but in another sense, nothing is random since it is all the outcome of a set of rules. In other words, if I rewind the system (the ENTIRE system, including all state) back to a certain point and hit the play button again, will I get a different result the second time around? If not, then either it isn't truly random (and "truly random" doesn't even exist!) or my definition of random is not correct.

Can this system produce truly random results, or does it produce results that seem random because we do not have the capability to predict the outcome of the rules? Maybe there is no such thing as "truly" random. Maybe it doesn't exist.

## Ah, I love spacefillers. (2)

## Rahga (13479) | more than 12 years ago | (#3558655)

Until it can be determined that everything in the universe consists of a binary nature, I probably wont see the point in continued cellular automata research

After all, the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is 42. Duh.