- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 1197 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: Wolfram Media Inc
- Publication Date: 01/05/2002
- Category: Maths for scientists
- ISBN: 9781579550080
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by hanzoganz
How can complexity evolve from simple systems?
Review by chrisadami
What is new in this book is not science. What is science in this book is not new.
Review by szarka
Wolfram has turned into such a crank that I can't even bear to finish reading his book. Given the conspicuous absence of proper citations, the admittedly pretty pictures are the only reason to buy the book at all.
Review by HadriantheBlind
Dear FSM, what a rambling mess of a book. This review is going to be longer than usual for me, as I have a lot of bile to get out of my system.<br/><br/>As I read through the first several pages, I was bemused by the author's arrogant and lofty tone. I was willing to give him a bit of credit, if he had any logical backup behind it. <br/><br/>Finished the introduction. The book makes clear its intentions: to analyze and reduce complex phenomenon to simple mathematical representations. Not bad, but hardly revolutionary. This had been done in various forms since Newton, perhaps even earlier, if you play fast and loose with my terms. Simple rules can produce complex results. Every CompSci student now knows this.<br/><br/>After this, the book rapidly goes downhill. What follows are several hundred slogging pages of examples, and after that, faulty hypothetical applications to such disparate fields as evolution, cognitive science, complexity theory, gravity, quantum mechanics, etc. Most of his methods are either demonstrably false, or so reduced in effectiveness as to be useless, or restatements of ideas already discovered - without giving any fair credit. The author frequently downplays the contributions of other scientists, even trying to reduce Turing, Zuse, and Goedel to mere footnotes in his book, and blandly restating simplified or distorted or useless or plagiarized versions of their discoveries.<br/><br/>The author's arrogant tone does nothing to help his case. This book is a damned foolish waste of time, and I expected a hell of a lot better. What a shame. The creator of Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha (both excellent tools) should stick with those.