Re: Infinite Computing

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sun Apr 29 2001 - 10:10:45 MDT

From: <>
New to me, at least explaned in that way by a cosmologist, rather then
merely, a SciFi writer. Or, let us say a cosmologist who is willing to
explore implications of what they research.

Mitch >>

Yes, Smolin has the ability to articulate vague ancient cosmology with cutting
edge physics in an admirable way. Thanks for the reference to Edge (btw, Edge
83 is April, not March) Good read!

Some Smolinisms:

"At worst life will be able to survive by coding itself into the quantum
geometry of space itself."

"This raises a question: could there be a theory so complicated that its space
of configurations is not constructible through any finite procedure? For
example, is it possible that the topology of an infinite dimensional
configuration space were not finitely specifiable? And were this the case,
what would be the implications for how we understand dynamics."

"Lee Smolin gave the longest and most substantial response. He describes a
third possible form of information processing which is neither analog (because
it is based on discrete rather than continuous components) nor digital
(because it cannot be simulated by a digital computer algorithm). His
information storage is based on the topological structure of finite graphs in
three-dimensional space. This illustrates the general statement that the
categories of analog and digital are too narrow to cover the range of possible
machines and organisms. It is possible that Smolin's topological information
processing may actually exist, both in living cells and in the fine-structure
of space-time."
--Freeman Dyson

Stay hungry,

--J. R.

Useless hypotheses:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism

     Everything that can happen has already happened, not just once,
     but an infinite number of times, and will continue to do so forever.
     (Everything that can happen = more than anyone can imagine.)

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