Blur Circle

Steve Yost's weblog
October 21, 2002
Wolfram algorithm still running

David covers Wolfram from PopTech (you don't need me to tell you that) as does a Nobel Prize-winning particle physicist in the New York Review of Books (brought to my attention on a mailing list). And I still haven't gotten through the book. I lost steam as I waded into the far-overreaching and unfounded suggestions in the section on biology, which physicist Steven Weinberg spikes in section 2. My take: even if on the minutest scale the pheonema can be modeled by cellular automata, there are vastly more interesting things going on at larger scales. And you can't simply show me the shapes of leaves and the outcomes of CA algorithms and say "see, it's obvious". The repetitiveness of Wolfram's style led me to think that near the end he'd reveal that the book was generated using his main thesis as the initial condition of a CA algorithm. Now that would be a substantial example.

October 21, 2002 09:26 AM