On 14 January 2014 14:15, Edgar L. Owen <edgaro...@att.net> wrote:

> Liz,
> Good question which I've given a lot of thought to and which is still not
> completely clear in my mind...
> The processors are not separate physical entities processing the data and
> they are not separated from the data (the information).

They aren't physical entities at all, according to what you've said
previously. I would imagine they're best described as abstract entities.

> So far as I can see all actual information has to include both applicable
> code and data in a single evolving information structure. That seems to me
> the only way the processor, code and data states can always be together
> where the computations actually occur. They probably occur only at the most
> elemental level so there have to be googles of these elemental computations
> taking place in every processor cycle.

Well, code and data can be the same thing, for example in Lisp. Given
googles of these processors interacting only with their closest neighbours,
as I assume they must if no influences are to travel FTL, then you do have
something at least somewhat analogous to the Game of Life. The next logical
question is what is an elemental computation?

> So the actual picture is more like computationally evolving information
> rather than the PC model of code strings passing through silicon processors
> sequentially accessing data as needed. All the information that makes up
> the universe has to include its own applicable (and likely pretty simple)
> rules of evolution as it interacts with other information.

So perhaps you have something like a Turing machine here. A state table and
input/output data. (With the possible proviso that the state table can be

> Since all information exists only in the present moment processor cycle
> there cannot be any information code sequences that are waiting to be
> processed (as there are in silicon code). Because they would correspond to
> a pre-determined future. Everything has to be re-computed in the current
> p-time cycle. Anything that is not re-computed is left behind in the past
> and thus ceases to exist.

Well, in a normal computer (von Neumann type) on any given clock cycle
there is a processor state, and in a sense that's all there is (there are
also signals on the I/O ports and external patterns of data, such as the
current state of the memory and the hard drive, and any other items that
are connected to the processor, but these are all "latent" in a sense - the
processor is only aware of its own state),

> Thus it is not information data states waiting to be computed by strings
> of pre-existing code sequences. That doesn't work because when multiple
> code sequences predicting a local future interact there would inevitably be
> inconsistencies and the computations would fall apart. Not sure if this is
> clear or not.

It sounds as though there are no programmes. There are only data states.
Sorry to keep saying this but it does sound like a version of the Game of
Life (although presumably a far more advanced one than Conway imagined).

> Thus everything that exists is in a continual state of re-computation in
> every processor cycle. What exists is the active evolution of all
> information, not sequential static data states one after the other.

Presmably all the information involved can be represented digitally? If so,
then it can only take on certain values - a single processor would perhaps
be storing a particular number on a given clock cycle. The limiting case
would be a single bit - which is what happens in the Game of Life. More
likely, if the processors are going to output the universe, they would have
to store larger value, but one of a finite range of values.

I'm not sure I see how the "active evolution" differs from "sequential data
states", given that the computations are synchronised by a universal clock.

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