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From: Joel Dobrzelewski <dobrzele.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 09:26:49 -0400

Hello! My name is Joel Dobrzelewski and I'm newcomer to the list.

I'm still looking through the archived messages, but so far it looks like a

very good match with what we do. I'm excited to see others working in this

area and wish I had found you sooner!

Anyway, I represent a small group of people who believe that in fact all

universes do exist and are computed by some very simple structures known as

"minimal cellular automata".

This concept was developed by my good friend, Plamen Petrov in Bulgaria.

Together we run the Digital Physics web site:

http://digitalphysics.org

(I should note: Not all participants in our organization agree with this

Plamen and me on this issue. What the larger group has in common is the

belief that the universe is discrete, not continuous.)

In a nutshell, a minimal cellular automaton is a regular cellular automaton

(e.g. Conway's Game of Life) that has *no* unreachable configurations,

starting with a finite initial configuration.

Or, stated another way, a minimal cellular automaton generates *everything*

(all finite configurations).

A more precise definition can be found here:

http://digitalphysics.org/Faq/#3.3

So in this case, Conway's Game of Life is probably a poor example, because

it in fact has many unreachable configurations. But at least it is the

automaton that most people are familiar with.

A better example is the very simple one-dimensional, three-neighbor

automaton known as Rule-30:

http://www.stephenwolfram.com/about-sw/interviews/99-dailytelegraph/cell.htm

l

This simple rule appears to generate ALL finite 1D strings.

What does this mean?

Without knowing anything about the "natural" world, Rule-30 (starting with a

single non-blank bit) - all on its own - generates every possible book,

symphony, or email message imaginable (or unimaginable!).

Furthermore, this process is reversible - thus preserving the work done by

the automaton and providing a mechanism for reconstructing the past (i.e.

microscopic reversibility of nature).

It is our belief that there exists a 3D version that is not only minimal

(generates everything) but also universally computational. Meaning... it

generates all PROGRAMS as well.

But the advantage here is that we can more easily envision the existence of

such a miraculous object like a minimal cellular automaton than, say, a

Universal Turing Machine. Cellular automata naturally implement physical

universes without any interpretation. The bits merely exist... and we can

see them with our digital eyes - and the patterns they generate.

It is my belief that the Universe we inhabit is the one mathematical object

that all sentient creatures can deduce exists, and that the minimal cellular

automaton is the solution.

Certainly, there is more work to be done. But I feel we have a good start

and a solid foundation. Hopefully the rest will come in time.

Well, I hope our two groups will find some common ground. From what I can

tell, our work most closely parallels that of Mr. Juergen Schmidhuber.

Juergen - do see what we are trying to do? I must admit my understanding of

your papers is limited, as I don't have a lot of experience reading

scientific papers like these. But at least, it looks like we're on a

similar track. Yes? No?

Anyway, it is good to find you good people. I hope we will have much to

talk about! (perhaps everything!!)

Regards,

Joel

Received on Wed Jun 13 2001 - 06:25:36 PDT

Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 09:26:49 -0400

Hello! My name is Joel Dobrzelewski and I'm newcomer to the list.

I'm still looking through the archived messages, but so far it looks like a

very good match with what we do. I'm excited to see others working in this

area and wish I had found you sooner!

Anyway, I represent a small group of people who believe that in fact all

universes do exist and are computed by some very simple structures known as

"minimal cellular automata".

This concept was developed by my good friend, Plamen Petrov in Bulgaria.

Together we run the Digital Physics web site:

http://digitalphysics.org

(I should note: Not all participants in our organization agree with this

Plamen and me on this issue. What the larger group has in common is the

belief that the universe is discrete, not continuous.)

In a nutshell, a minimal cellular automaton is a regular cellular automaton

(e.g. Conway's Game of Life) that has *no* unreachable configurations,

starting with a finite initial configuration.

Or, stated another way, a minimal cellular automaton generates *everything*

(all finite configurations).

A more precise definition can be found here:

http://digitalphysics.org/Faq/#3.3

So in this case, Conway's Game of Life is probably a poor example, because

it in fact has many unreachable configurations. But at least it is the

automaton that most people are familiar with.

A better example is the very simple one-dimensional, three-neighbor

automaton known as Rule-30:

http://www.stephenwolfram.com/about-sw/interviews/99-dailytelegraph/cell.htm

l

This simple rule appears to generate ALL finite 1D strings.

What does this mean?

Without knowing anything about the "natural" world, Rule-30 (starting with a

single non-blank bit) - all on its own - generates every possible book,

symphony, or email message imaginable (or unimaginable!).

Furthermore, this process is reversible - thus preserving the work done by

the automaton and providing a mechanism for reconstructing the past (i.e.

microscopic reversibility of nature).

It is our belief that there exists a 3D version that is not only minimal

(generates everything) but also universally computational. Meaning... it

generates all PROGRAMS as well.

But the advantage here is that we can more easily envision the existence of

such a miraculous object like a minimal cellular automaton than, say, a

Universal Turing Machine. Cellular automata naturally implement physical

universes without any interpretation. The bits merely exist... and we can

see them with our digital eyes - and the patterns they generate.

It is my belief that the Universe we inhabit is the one mathematical object

that all sentient creatures can deduce exists, and that the minimal cellular

automaton is the solution.

Certainly, there is more work to be done. But I feel we have a good start

and a solid foundation. Hopefully the rest will come in time.

Well, I hope our two groups will find some common ground. From what I can

tell, our work most closely parallels that of Mr. Juergen Schmidhuber.

Juergen - do see what we are trying to do? I must admit my understanding of

your papers is limited, as I don't have a lot of experience reading

scientific papers like these. But at least, it looks like we're on a

similar track. Yes? No?

Anyway, it is good to find you good people. I hope we will have much to

talk about! (perhaps everything!!)

Regards,

Joel

Received on Wed Jun 13 2001 - 06:25:36 PDT

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