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Why take sides!,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A New Kind of Science (Gebundene Ausgabe)
I can't really assign stars: Five would be as meaningful as one. It is hard to know what to say about the book, and many reviews have been negative, some extremely so. The book generated several scholarly reviews in major math and science journals, but the reviewers couldn't agree on what the book is about, so I will not try to characterize it is a one-paragraph review. Wolfram tries to identify a simple idea that unifies major trends in science. Many reviewers say that the idea is not original,--- that it is far from new, and that Wolfram doesn't achieve his goal. Judge for yourself. Parts of the book read well, and other parts tend to rant, making it hard to see what the gist of the argument is. The camps of readers and reviewers are very divided. I would say, 'Why take sides!' To me, the book and the many reviews are fun to read, and they generated a lot of discussion. More than what can be said about most math books. So that was reason enough for me to buy the book. Very few of my colleagues will admit to having bought it, even if asked. Some positive features of Wolfram's book. * Opinionated discussions of points of history of science. * It is rare to get a book from a scientist which is personal, but I don't see what is wrong with it. You don't have to agree with the author. Actually, I don't but I had fun reading several parts of the book. * The book is about ideas rather than formulas... --- The book itself has a lot more negative reviews than positives and it seems to have inspired a cult of haters. I am neutral in this flaming war, but the book does have lots of weak points, I should say. No question about it. Its positives shouldn't get completely buried.
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