A reader pointed me to a bunch of reviews of Wolfram's book A New Kind of Science, that I was alluding to in my last post. Here it is in case anyone else is interested in checking out how tiny computer programs actually created the universe.
Apparently there was and still is a lot of debate over whether Wolfram's work is original at all. I don't know about that in particular. However, I did read the book and I can tell you that for over 1000 pages of text there's not really much content. He pretty much summarizes what he wants you to understand early on and the rest of the book is merely him trying to prove it to you over and over again. It reads sort of like a mystery novel, where he keeps hinting at a secret truth potentially underlying all reality. Yet he never actually gets there, only able to show you very constrained examples in nature. He mostly relies on comparison to other computational systems. What really stands out in the book, is the redundancy of pretty much everything. He takes up vast amount of space often re-iterating what he's already told you, over and over again. Most of the time he's re-iterating his statement about how amazing his new theory is. I think the word “I” is the most frequent in the book.
Still, I do like the idea. I am after all a programmer and it is much of an ego boost to think that reality might actual function similarly to the code I write everyday. It makes me feel closer to 'The Matrix.'
But I digress