Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

November 12, 2008

From: Interview by Carlos Gershenson, Complexity: 5 Questions

What is your favorite aspect/concept of complexity?

That it’s so easy to find in the computational universe.

One used to think that to make something complex, one would have to go to a lot of trouble. That one would have to come up with all sorts of complicated rules, and so on. But what we’ve found by just sampling the universe of simple programs is that nothing like that is the case. Instead, it’s really very easy to get complexity. It’s just that our existing science and mathematics developed in such a way that we avoided looking at it.

The ubiquity of complexity has tremendous consequences for the future of science, technology and in a sense our whole world view.

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