He invariably introduces each topic in a similar fashion: Curious to know about _______ [CHOOSE ANY SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINE] and how his new theories might apply, he decides to take a look at the history of the field. Amazingly, he concludes, for hundreds of years so-called experts have failed to answer key questions that should have been easily resolved centuries ago. (Wolfram's disappointment in his predecessors is bottomless.) But when Wolfram applies the ideas from A New Kind of Science, he begins making progress and expresses the hunch that not long after his ideas are understood, the biggest problems will quickly be resolved, transforming the field.
To list only a few examples: Wolfram finds an exception to the second law of thermodynamics; conjectures why extraterrestrials might be communicating with us in messages we can't perceive; explains seeming randomness in financial markets; defines randomness; elaborates on why the "apparent freedom of human will" is so convincing; reconstructs the foundations of mathematics; devises a new way to perform encryption; insists that Darwinian natural selection is an overrated component in evolution; and, oh, theorizes that there's a "definite ultimate model for the universe." What might this be? The mother of all rules; a single, simple "ultimate rule" that computes everything from quantum physics to reality television.
The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything
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