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Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 182

Arrow of Time is non-sense in an NKS physics model

In traditional equation based physics, the scientist has the luxury of plotting the equation and then rewinding and going forward at will.

People seem to wonder that if the Universe is made of these equations, it has to know which way to go.

In a computational universe, that really seems like a bizarre question. The only thing the Universe really knows is how to compute the next step.


Information Science, Neuroscience, Quantum Mechanics, and Leibniz

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Old Post 08-14-2010 02:06 AM
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Tony Smith
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Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 167

It is always now

As you say, Mike, the universe can easily be seen as totally occupied in iterating the next local now, a view consistent with process philosophy as much as with NKS. While Wolfram has shown the computational equivalence of reversible rules and even of serial processing, my take on the evidence is that irreversible rules and massively parallel processing provide a more likely scenario. My very first post here made the case that you can get reversible small scale behaviour from irreversible even smaller scale rules. And my only serious non-CA experiment demonstrates that pattern persistence can emerge even when none of the underlying components survive an iteration step.

The inescapable weak anthropic principle requires a universe in which some emergent patterns persist. Maybe the biggest problem for massively parallel is getting (the illusion of) consistent time across the breadth of space. Here I speculate that it may be no coincidence that space appears to be exactly full of CMB photons traveling each and every which way, that is full if we allow that photons occupy a volume determined directly by their wave length. All that might then be necessary is that the microstructure has a natural resonance that can be stimulated by those CMB photons, with no greater need for precision than whatever microscale process so precisely determines crystal lattice positions* coupled with statistical smoothing that follows the general argument for Einstein's relativity and the bald fact that all our observations are mediated by (usually non-CMB) photons.

*as identified by Robert Laughlin in A Different Universe. Laughlin shared a Nobel for his theoretical explanation of the fractional quantum Hall effect, so has relevant cred.

Tony Smith
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Old Post 08-15-2010 12:00 AM
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