in small steps that cannot reasonably be explained without relying on specialized technical knowledge of what has gone before.

But to develop the new kind of science that I describe in this book I have had no choice but to take several large steps at once, and in doing so I have mostly ended up having to start from scratch—with new ideas and new methods that ultimately depend very little on what has gone before.

In some ways it might have been easier for me to present what I have done in some kind of new technical formalism. But instead I have chosen to spend the effort to take things to the point where they are clear enough to be explained quite fully just in ordinary language and pictures.

Unfortunately, however, this will no doubt mean that there are some—particularly from the existing sciences—who will at first assume that their existing technical knowledge must somehow already cover whatever is in this book. And a few, I fear, will stop at that point, and choose to learn no more. But many, I hope, will at least look at the book long enough to begin to be surprised by what it actually says.

At first probably they will think that parts of it cannot possibly be correct—for they seem so at odds with existing science. And indeed if I myself were just to pick up this book today without having spent the past twenty years thinking about its contents, I have little doubt that I too would not believe many of the things it says.

But the computer experiments on which the science in the book is ultimately based are easy to check on any modern computer. And almost all the arguments in the book—while often not conceptually simple—require no specialized scientific or other knowledge to follow.

Yet it has certainly taken me years to come to terms with the conclusions I have reached. And while I hope that all the effort I have put into presentation in this book will make it easier for others, I do not expect it to be a quick process. For to absorb in any real way what the book has to say requires a fairly major shift in intuition and thinking.

But the most important first step, I believe, is just to recognize what is involved. For though there are connections of all sorts, this book is first and foremost about a fundamentally new intellectual structure, that needs to be understood in its own terms, and cannot reasonably be fit into any existing framework.

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From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]