The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything ...

For those of you who missed the June issue of Wired, enjoy. zg


The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything ...

... But first it cracked him. The inside story of how Stephen Wolfram went from boy genius to recluse to science renegade.

By Steven Levy

Word had been out that Stephen Wolfram, the onetime enfant terrible of the science world, was working on a book that would Say It All, a paradigm-busting tome that would not only be the definitive account on complexity theory but also the opening gambit in a new way to view the universe. But no one had read it.

Though physically unimposing with a soft, round face and a droll English accent polished at Eton and Oxford, Wolfram had already established himself as a larger-than-life figure in the gossipy world of science. A series of much-discussed reinventions made him sort of the Bob Dylan of physics. He'd been a child genius, and at 21 had been the youngest member of the storied first class of MacArthur genius awards. After laying the groundwork for a brilliant career in particle physics, he'd suddenly switched to the untraditional pursuit of studying complex systems, and, to the establishment's dismay, dared to pioneer the use of computers as a primary research tool. Then he seemed to turn his back on that field. He started a software company to sell Mathematica, a computer language he'd written that did for higher math what the spreadsheet did for business. It made him a rich man. Now he had supposedly returned to science to write a book that would make the biggest splash of all. And, as someone who'd followed his progress since the mid-1980s, I was going to see some of it.

full story -

The Mayor

Well-Known Member
On a personal note...

I have a "distance" number of 2 from Wolfram. I met this lovely lady named Janet Malouf at a mathematics conference. She was an unemployed mathematician, but really fascinating. Janet lived around Bakersfield, CA at the time. To make ends meet she would buy items on sale at some stores then return them to others for a profit (saying she lost her receipt). I told her about blackjack and she got very interested. I ended up lending her my original copies of Million Dollar Blackjack and several other valuable books. She got very excited about the prospect of playing blackjack until she found out that Kenny Uston was dead. She then whined "I don't want to play if Kenny is dead." I never did get my books back. I had a crush on Janet, but she was going with this Isralie Physicist that was nominated for the Nobel prize.

What has this to do with Wolfram? Janet worked for Stephan Wolfram for a couple of years. The details of that "working" relationship can not be repeated here.