What Kind of a Thing Is the Wolfram Language?
I've sometimes found it a bit of a struggle to explain what theWolfram Languagereally is.Yes,it's a computer language—a programming language.And it does—in a uniquely productive way,I might add—what standard programming languages do.But that's only a very small part of the story.And what I've finally come to realize is that one should actually think of the Wolfram Language as an entirely different—and new—kind of thing: what one can call a金宝博188投注computational language.
So what is a 金宝博188投注computational language?It's a language for expressing things in a 金宝博188投注computational way—and for capturing computational ways of thinking about things.It's not just a language for telling computers what to do.It's a language that both computers and humans can use to represent 金宝博188投注computational ways of thinking about things.It's a language that puts into concrete form a 金宝博188投注computational view of everything.It's a language that lets one use the 金宝博188投注computational paradigm as a framework for formulating and organizing one's thoughts.
It's only recently that I've begun to properly internalize just how broad the implications of having a 金宝博188投注computational language really are—even though,ironically,I've spent much of my life engaged precisely in the consuming task of building the world's only large-scale 金宝博188投注computational language.
This is an edited transcript of arecent talkI gave at ablockchain conference,where I said I'd talk about "What will the world be like when 金宝博188投注computational intelligence and computational contracts are ubiquitous?"
We live in an interesting time today—a time when we're just beginning to see the implications of what we might call "the force of computation".In the end,it's something that's going to affect almost everything.And what's going to happen is really a deep story about the interplay between the human condition,the achievements of human civilization—and the fundamental nature of this thing we call computation.
Today we're releasing Version 12 ofWolfram Language(andMathematica) ondesktop platforms,and in theWolfram Cloud.We releasedVersion 11.0 in August 2016,11.1 in March 2017,11.2 in September 2017and11.3 in March 2018.It's a big jump from Version 11.3 to Version 12.0.Altogether there are278 completely new functions,in perhaps 103 areas,together with thousands of different updates across the system:
Read 金宝博188正网Stephen Wolfram's Reddit AMA about this essay »
The Pursuit of Productivity
I'm a person who's only satisfied if I feel I'm being productive.I like figuring things out.I like making things.And I want to do as much of that as I can.And part of being able to do that is to have the best personal infrastructure I can.Over the years I've been steadily accumulating and implementing "personal infrastructure hacks"for myself.Some of them are,yes,quite nerdy.But they certainly help me be productive.And maybe in time more and more of them will become mainstream,as a few already have.
Now,of course,one giant "productivity hack"that I've been building for the world for a very long time is the wholetechnology stackaround theWolfram Language.And for me personally,another huge "productivity hack"is mycompany,which I started more than 32 years ago.Yes,it could (and should) be larger,and have more commercial reach.But as a nicely organized private company with about 800 people it's an awfully efficient machine for turning ideas into real things,and for leveraging what skills I have to greatly amplify my personal productivity.
I could talk about how I lead my life,and how I like to balance doing leadership,doing creative work,与人交流,and doing things that let me learn.I could talk about how I try to set things up so that what I've already built doesn't keep me so busy I can't start anything new.But instead what I'm going to focus on here is my more practical personal infrastructure: the technology and other things that help me live and work better,feel less busy,and be more productive every day.Continue reading