Ray "Spiritual Machines" Kurzweil reviews Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science." Kurzweil is one of the most exciting, mind-croggling science writers I've ever read; that Wolfram's book has excited him this much means that it is absolutely the next book I will read.
Well, Wolfram really loves his cellular automata. So much so, that he has immersed himself for over ten years in the subject and produced what can only be regarded as a tour de force on their mathematical properties and potential links to a broad array of other endeavors. In the end notes, which are as extensive as the book itself, Wolfram explains his approach: "There is a common style of understated scientific writing to which I was once a devoted subscriber. But at some point I discovered that more significant results are usually incomprehensible if presented in this style…. And so in writing this book I have chosen to explain straightforwardly the importance I believe my various results have."2 Perhaps Wolfram's successful technology business career may also have had its influence here, as entrepreneurs are rarely shy about articulating the benefits of their discoveries.