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Two Important Works, Summarized

Two Important Works, Summarized

For the science-minded out there…

If you don’t have the time or patience for the almost 1500 pages of Stephen Jay Gould’s The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, you might want to check out the review from this week’s New Yorker. It’s a nice summary of his life’s work, most of which is reflected in the book. Even if you don’t agree with all of his theories, he was one of the best science writers around.

If you don’t have the time or patience for the almost 1200 pages of Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science, you should join me at CMU this Thursday at 4:30, where he’ll be speaking. I’m sure that there are few better places to hear it than at a school as nerdy as Carnegie Mellon.

Also, here’s an interview with Wolfram on Science Friday, an NPR show. Here’s a review of his book by Stephen Weinberg, and another by Ray Kurzweil.

2 responses to “Two Important Works, Summarized”

  1. Diane

    Carnegie Mellon tends to have a few good speakers each year; it seems I graduated and left town a few months too early to hear Stephen Wolfram. I’ve perused his book, A New Kind of Science, and hope to do a real reading at some point. Thanks for the reminder. If you get a chance, do tell of any interesting comments he made and your thoughts on the talk.

  2. chad

    My thoughts:
    He’s a big, bold thinker, and definitely looking to apply his understanding of how complexity is created to nearly everything.

    I gotta be honest though: I lasted about 10 minutes before the concepts got too complicated. There was a lot of heavy math in his powerpoint deck, and a bit late in the day for my atrophied math muscles to function. Perhaps he was showing off for the CMU crowd, or maybe his book is much the same.

    He did seem fairly confident that his findings would lead to a new kind of science, in the biggest and most inclusive sense. That’s a pretty bold statement.

    Stephen closed by showing off his A New Kind of Science Explorer, which lets you play with the some of the programs he cites in the book. Looks like fun.