Take a look at this.
It is a comment on a review of NKS followed by a counter comment by the original reviewer at the bottom.
I will quote from the counter comment right at the bottom -
Kovas Boguta raises many interesting issues but answers few
of the challenges that I expressed in my original review. For
example, in response to my challenge about what is new in
NKS, Kovas writes:
?Does an existing body of literature consist of, for example,
papers enumerating the 2,048 two-state, two-color Turing
machines and investigating the overall kinds of behavior
they are capable of? Are there papers enumerating simple
substitution systems, commenting on what kinds of common
features emerge??
While I concede that these kinds of results from NKS appear
to be new, we still have the nagging question of how
such results empower readers to do or understand something
they couldn?t before. Put more simply, ?so what?? It
would have strengthened Kovas? thoughtful letter immensely
if he could provide just one example of such empowerment
drawn from any area of science that is studied
and followed by more than a handful of devotees.

And that is exactly what my question is. How does all the info Wolfram puts in his book actually help us in doing anything useful with it? I mean is there anything which couldnt be done before which can be done after reading this book?

I have searched quite a bit on the internet and noone seems to have answered this particular question. They somehow always seem to ignore it and answer something completly else.
Posted on 2004-12-10 17:51:44 by clippy
Little children can learn calculus through the use of patterns - many of the concepts are trivial; mathematic's symbolic language becomes a barrier to adoption by the masses; the same could be said of programming.

The human barriers to discovery are real, and if we don't adopt methodologies which maximize adaptiblity then we are doomed to paint ourselves into a corner. NKS demonstrates Wolfram's struggle to create a new foundation which is adoptable by children to further their understanding of ideas which would have previously taken much longer to adopt.

We read and say, "big deal"; but that is because we already understand. Wolfram has struggled from the start to communicate mathematically/programatically - NKS is another step in that direction for him. When you read "New" try to think in terms of time^2!
Posted on 2004-12-10 20:43:14 by bitRAKE