A few years ago, Stephan Wolfram published a 1200+ page book boldly called A New Kind of Science. Wolfram had been apparently working on the concepts for about 20 years. He was an early Sun engineer and went on to create Mathematica, a powerful mathematics application.

When the book came out, the reaction was somewhat confused. Here was a known genius, finally releasing the results of his life of his work. There was anticipation that it might have the impact of Newton’s Principia or Einstein’s Special and General Theory of Relativity. However, when it came out, most couldn’t figure out if it was important, because they couldn’t understand it.

Time will tell how significant Wolfram’s work will be, but in the mean time, for those of us with a passing interest in physics, computing, and philosophy, there is a way around reading the encyclopedic work. The web audio site IT Conversations has available for download a talk by Stephen Wolfram at the SDForum Distinguished Speaker Series.

The talk isn’t easy to grasp, but he keeps things out of the stratosphere for comprehension by we mere mortals. It would be nice to have video, since he makes reference to some visuals during his talk, but the audio is worthwhile. The talk can be streamed or downloaded in MP3 format from ITConversations.com.

Steve:

I want to congratulate you for all your efforts about internet radio and downloadable audio as a great alternative to conventional radio.

greets,

Jack

The main problem with Wolfram’s book is that while he was working on it in solitary, the rest of the world kept spinning. From what I understand, there’s not a lot of significance in there that others hadn’t gotten to first. So what proports to be a New Kind of Science is a bit late to the game.

More information and interesting visuals can be found at Wolfram’s Mathmatica Graphics Gallery

if anyone else is interested.