I will write about this later, but I will just note this for the moment: Wolfram Alpha is not just not ready for prime time. It is an intellectual travesty. The idea of jumping from concepts to numbers without any attention to how the numbers are produced and how they can or can’t be compared is simply anti-intellectual. It is incredibly irresponsible and a symptom of a disease, a disease of non-thought and non-reflection. If Wolfram Alpha became “better” to the point that it began to be relied upon for actual practical purposes, the result would be dangerous to society, culture, the environment, and the human soul. It is ironic that it’s coming out now, at a time when the financial system is in tatters because a similar breed of quantitative ideologues (bankers) played with numbers while ignoring the reality behind them. It led to disaster and it will lead to disaster again unless we can learn from it.
Wolfram Alpha is a big mistake from the start.