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Re: Credits

Dear Hans,

Thanks for your near-instant reply!

You wrote:
> I don't understand what you are advocating as the solution, unless it is 
> social pressure alone without legal pressure.

...for attribution. Yes. That is essentially my position. I would only add
that if I create some software and put it under GPLv2, then "Copyright
Law" does put *some* legal pressure for correct attribution. The debate
seems to be over whether this attribution should be made apparent or
left hidden in the code.

> Forgive this question, as I was tempted to read the book but haven't 
> yet.  Was it a good book, and were some of his important ideas in it 
> original to him?
> (I do not condone failure to attribute....)

I think that Wolfram *has* a lot of interesting ideas. But he always uses
a phrase like "I discovered that" and fails to distinguish between the
cases (a) I discovered this in the work of XYZ (b) I did some thinking
or calculations and came to the realisation that.

> >Wolfram's employees designed a Turing machine with the smallest known
> >size in terms of symbols and states---but he couldn't publish since 
> >"attributing support from Wolfram" took the form of letting Wolfram
> >publish a lot of work around this result.
> >
> I don't understand what you mean here.

I was wrong. This is a case of "attribution without publication" (see
below) so it doesn't serve as an example of the kind I wanted.

My own opinion is best summarised as follows.

Social pressure to openly attribute:
	The community has been doing this; there will be some aberrations
	but the community should sort them out.

The fact that you and RMS have contrary experiences suggests that the
community needs to become more vigilant *and* responsive to complaints
of mis-attribution. Individuals will respond to legal pressure; not the
community as a whole.

Thanks and regards,


The strange case of Matthew Cook and his Turing machine design

Matthew Cook, an employee of Wolfram corporation, found an encoding for
a 4-state Turing machine which operates with only 2 symbols, which
gives a Universal Turing machine; this is a kind of "record". 
(I forgot to say Universal in my earlier message).

Wolfram uses this result (in his book) as evidence to argue that the
complex world surrounding us could be the manifestation of a rather
simple cellular automaton.

He does *attribute* this result to "Matthew Cook, an employee of Wolfram

As an employee of Wolfram corporation, Matthew Cook was not allowed to
publish his work.

As a result the public at large has never seen a proof of Matthew
Cook's result.