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Re: Thoughts on a Wolfram|Alpha

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  • Subject: [mg102122] Re: Thoughts on a Wolfram|Alpha
  • From: AES <siegman at>
  • Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 05:30:58 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <h4p3l0$j5d$>

In article <h4p3l0$j5d$1 at>,
 "A. B." <functionalcoatings at> wrote:

> > I am sure all, or most of us, support Stephen's grander goals (NKS, Alpha, 
> > and
> > the proof engine)
> Sorry, but I don't. Mathematica for me is just a tool among other similar
> tools. It's an environment for technical computing with another arbitrary
> programming language. I guess (hope) that I am not alone in this situation
> on the list.

I have no reason to oppose those goals, but I have a second concern.  
"Curators" to me should best be people with a personal dedication to and 
lifelong experience and involvement in the material and the subjects 
they're curating, whether it's art, music, or ???.  

And, they should preferably, and if possible, do their curating in open 
and nonprofit organizations (like museums, public libraries, art 
collections) that are similarly dedicated to the subject matter, and not 
to other goals.

WRI certainly appears to be a fairly secretive, essentially closed, 
idiosyncratic, and apparently wealthy private organization.  If its 
fundamental goals are really NKS, Alpha, and the proof engine, that may 
or may not lead it to develop Mathematica in directions that make it a 
better tool for the rest of the world.  Developments to date are not 
entirely encouraging.

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