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It All Comes Down To B_NEW \Leftarrow B_0 \oplus (B_1 \vee B_2)
September/October 2002 (vol. 4 no. 5)
pp. 2-3
Francis Sullivan, Editor in Chief
It All Comes Down To B_NEW \Leftarrow B_0 \oplus (B_1 \vee B_2)

The formula in the title is the binary version of the rule 30 from Stephen Wolfran's new book, A New Kind of Science (Wolfram Media, 2002) Rule 30 is a cellular automation that looks at three bits and generates a new one, B_NEW, from those three. It is said to generate patterns that are complex and indistinguishable from random ones, a remarkable result for such a simple algorithm. As of this writing, ranks Wolfram's book number 18 in sales of all books. To put this in perspective, I checked the rank of the Feynman lectures (Addison-Wesley,1970), which was 2,003,and of Marc Kac's little masterpiece, Statistical Independence in Probability Analysis and Number Theory (Mathematical Assoc.of America,1959), which was 1,040,441 . Even if the sales figures were less impressive, a scientific book whose central premise is that the universe is an algorithm is bound to be of great interest to anyone concerned with computational science and engineering, and many other people as well. This issue of CiSE contains two reviews of A New Kind of Science. My purpose here is to make a few remarks about the directions this new science might take.

Francis Sullivan, "It All Comes Down To B_NEW \Leftarrow B_0 \oplus (B_1 \vee B_2)," Computing in Science and Engineering, vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 2-3, Sept.-Oct. 2002, doi:10.1109/MCSE.2002.1
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