Nothing in life is certain except death, taxes and the second law of thermodynamics.
Computers are famous for being able to do complicated things starting from simple programs.
All physical systems can be thought of as registering and processing information, and how one wishes to define computation will determine your view of what computation consists of.
I have not proved that the universe is, in fact, a digital computer and that it's capable of performing universal computation, but it's plausible that it is.
Science consists exactly of those forms of knowledge that can be verified and duplicated by anybody.
Similarly, another famous little quantum fluctuation that programs you is the exact configuration of your DNA.
Something else has happened with computers.
One of the things that I've been doing recently in my scientific research is to ask this question: Is the universe actually capable of performing things like digital computations?
According to the standard model billions of years ago some little quantum fluctuation, perhaps a slightly lower density of matter, maybe right where we're sitting right now, caused our galaxy to start collapsing around here.
In order to figure out how to make atoms compute, you have to learn how to speak their language and to understand how they process information under normal circumstances.
Indeed, as the above calculation indicates, to take full advantage of the memory space available, the ultimate laptop must turn all its matter into energy.
Instead of having to be a member of the Royal Society to do science, the way you had to be in England in the 17th, 18th, centuries today pretty much anybody who wants to do it can, and the information that they need to do it is there.
Of course, not everybody's willing to go out and do the experiments, but for the people who are willing to go out and do that, - if the experiments don't work, then it means it's not science.
Of course, one way of thinking about all of life and civilization is as being about how the world registers and processes information. Certainly that's what sex is about; that's what history is about.
What's happened with society is that we have created these devices, computers, which already can register and process huge amounts of information, which is a significant fraction of the amount of information that human beings themselves, as a species, can process.
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