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Stephen Wolfram: On Starting a Long-Term Company (stephenwolfram.com)
45 points by hhm on Nov 16, 2007 | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments

Wolfram gave a really great talk - you can hear the audio here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Ycombinator-StartupSchool/~3/...

(For anyone new to the site, you can get all the available Startup School talk mp3's with this feed I put together awhile back: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ycombinator-startupschool )

Ask PG: Speaking of Startup School, could we get the official video/audio from the last Startup School? I used my own poor audio for the last Startup School in this podcast feed, but it'd be great to replace it with the official video that was taken. Thanks!

Thanks a lot for the audio link! I didn't know it...

"I remember, I'd just had my twentieth birthday. I'd just gotten my Ph.D. And it looked like my plan to "be a physicist" was going just great."

I had to stop reading there as I became ill. (23 year old that hasn't passed quals)

Maybe it was faster for truly smart people to get a Ph.D. back in the day. My father had his Ph.D. in computer science by the time he was 21. I tried to take one masters-level course when I was 22 and they laughed at me.

I think it is the education systems' fault, rather than your own.

I vividly remember feeling this way too (not about Wolfram, but about similar things) when I was 23. In my experience, a benefit of getting older has been that this sort of concern gradually fades. Eventually, you affectionately wonder how you ever could have let it matter to you so much.

i guess you wouldn't like to hear that his first quantum physics publication was as a teenager? i read somewhere that when Feynman first met SW, he said he was amazing.

Obviously, Stephen Wolfram has accomplished a lot, but what is the deal. With the sentence fragments? This sort of thing. Can make an article. Really hard. To read. Am I. The only one. Who noticed. That? And if it's not a fragment, it's just a big, long run on sentence, with commas liberally sprinkled, throughout it. Usually I'm the last person to pick on grammar, but someone as smart as Wolfram should at least have a basic understanding of how to construct a complete sentence.

The text is a direct transcript from audio, that's why. The link to the conference in mp3 is in some of the comments above.

I noticed it, but it felt very readable to me.

Didn't notice it.

I would upmod this twice if I could... once for the talk, and once for the WolframTones site.

But somehow when it comes to keeping the whole system coherent and unified, that ends up being something I have to do.

I've heard it is a horrible place to work due to an extreme level of micromanagement. If you can bend to his will, it might be ok.

Wow. tones.wolfram.com is bad. Really, really bad.

[edit: I love Wolfram's work, don't get me wrong. I mean specifically that the music generated is horrible. There is such a thing as objectively good music. Use tones.wolfram.com as a contrapositive proof.]

Why does the phrase 'my science' make me uneasy?

Because science is based on open, repeatable experimentation -- making it inherently community based. Wolfram often has a hard time making reasonable attributions -- a major criticism of "A New Kind of Science". But for a transcribed talk, it's reasonable.

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