The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul

The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul

What Gnarly Computation Taught Me About Ultimate Reality, the Meaning of Life, and How to Be Happy

Book - 2005
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A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, goes the ancient saying. This concept is at the root of the computational worldview, which basically says that very complex systems-the world we live in-have their beginnings in simple mathematical equations. We've lately come to understand that such an algorithm is only the start of a never-ending story - the real action occurs in the unfolding consequences of the rules. The chip-in-a-box computers so popular in our time have acted as a kind of microscope, letting us see into the secret machinery of the world. In Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul, Rucker - known as the father of cyberpunk - uses whimsical drawings, fables, and humor to demonstrate that everything is a computation - that thoughts, computations, and physical processes are all the same. Rucker discusses the linguistic and computational advances that make this kind of "digital philosophy" possible, and explains how, like every great new principle, the computational worldview contains the seeds of a next step.
Publisher: New York : Thunder's Mouth Press, c2005.
ISBN: 9781560257226
Branch Call Number: 510.1
Characteristics: x, 564 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Jul 21, 2014

You know, I have absolutely nothing against Rudy Rucker, although I have found his SF stories normally mediocre; his articles more so [OK, one of his SF short stories was passable] and this rather large book wanders from the submediocre to the mediocre - - or is it the mediocre to the submediocre? Even though it was published in 2005, he still uses pretty old material to make his point - - and I do agree with his [Stephen Wolfram's] thesis. Of course, if everything is a computation, than randomness is simply another computation we've yet to deduce?


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