the notion that, in many cases, it really doesn't matter how many super-smart engineers you have working on solving a problem if it's not a problem that someone else is willing to pay you to solve. In other words, it's not sufficient for a product to be capable in order for a company to survive, it also has to be viable.
Feynman stories are the best science stories, but man was I disappointed with Feynman's description of cellular automata. By no means do you have to go into finite state machines to explain cellular automata, but ball bearings do not Conway's Game of Life make. It really fails to capture their essence.
Cellular automata are shortcuts for lazy mathematicians who don't understand Turing's papers on how to describe morphogenetic processes as functions.
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