I've had A New Kind of Science on my big "read some day" pile for years. The problem is that Stephen Wolfram as a person makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Can I really stomach 1200 pages of narcissism? Certainly I must come out of it learning something about cellular automata, even if just ideas he stole from others and collated.

In the meantime, I like to check in every so often on the trainwreck that is his pet Theory of Everything, and a thought occurs to me.....isn't Wolfram's Wolfram Physics Project just string theory but worse? I don't have the physics knowledge to possibly begin to assess whether it makes any mathematical sense or corresponds to reality. But when I skimmed it, by his descriptions, it sounds like he's saying what he's always said: there's something there but we have to figure out what it is. He's a base framework, now work out the details. It certainly sounds to me like string theory but with far less credibility; there's some absolutely massive space of possibilities, and maybe in there somewhere is the description of our real universe.

"I present to you, a soup of math. The answer is in there somewhere in the near-infinite possibilities"

Stephen Wolfram's big idea is that, underlying the universe, there are incredibly simple rules that can be explained concisely in a 1200-page doorstop and another 448-page press release.

Crackpot's Doorstops I've Read

I think before I do get around to reading ANKoS I'll read The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick first. He was a crackpot that I respect a great deal more.
  • The Singularity Is Near (652 pgs.)
  • The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (944 pgs.)
  • A New Kind of Science (1197 pgs.)
Kurzweil, not so much.... but hey, I can't un-read it now.

My Very Own Crackpot

I had a theory-of-everything crackpot follow me on Twitter once. I don't remember how I ever got so lucky, but I think I posted something about skepticism and he took this to mean "door's open, boys!"

What Real Physicists Say

Disappointing Coverage

Crackpot Plus Persuasion