Having finished Foucault, I was off to Borders the night before.
Scan read Wolfram’s “New Kind of Sience” yet again. Just can’t bring myself to buy it. For anyone excited by patterns in numbers and nature, it has a million and one examples to play with, but I cannot fathom any structure in the book itself leading to his hyperbolic claims that the whole basis of science is changed. A thousand pages of little fractal images [“cellular automata”] is pretty, but ultimately tiresome. Help me somebody. I’d actually like to believe him, some of his claims would appear to support my own case, but I cannot find any rationale or argument, be it scientific, logical or rhetorical. Is his case simply that if he lists every scientific law / phenomenon he can think of, and can express it in terms of some little pattern generation rule, that these little numerical rules must therefore underly all science, because no-one has written a longer list than he ? I hope no-one takes up his challenge of writing a longer list to prove him wrong, ’cause it’s not likely to be a rivetting read. Proof by attrition ?
Drifted into the Philsophy section again, only to find they’ve re-organised it. Couldn’t find Foucault’s Pendulum in stock (nor any Wittgenstein at all ! Not that I was looking for any you understand. Does this mean the world has really moved on ?) Came away with Umberto Eco’s Kant and the Platypus. Amusing start, looks promising.
[Must get my bibliographic notes / reading list organised so I can plan / order books needed, as well as record the significance of those read / referenced.]