Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Bolognesi T. Reality is ultimately digital, and its program is still undebugged. In: FQXi Essay Contest 2011 - Is Reality Digital or Analog? (http://fqxi.org/community/essay (sito web), 1 November - 15 March 2011). Proceedings, Foundational Question Institute, 2011.
Reality is ultimately digital, and all the complexity we observe in the physical universe, from subatomic particles to the biosphere, is a mani- festation of the emergent properties of a digital computation that takes place at the smallest spacetime scale. Emergence in computation is an immensely creative force, whose relevance for theoretical physics is still largely underestimated. However, if the universe must be at all scientifically comprehensible, as suggested by a famous einsteinian quote, we have to additionally postulate this computation to sit at the bottom of a multi-level hierarchy of emergent phenomena satisfying appropriate requirements. In particular, we expect 'interesting things' to emerge at all levels, including the lowest ones. The digital/computational universe hypothesis gives us a great opportunity to achieve a concise, background independent theory, if the 'background' - a lively spacetime substratum - is equated with a finite causal set.
URL: http://fqxi.org/community/essay/winners/2011.1#bolognesi
Subject Spacetime
Quantum gravity
Emergence in computation
Elementary Cellular Automata
Two-dimensional Turing Machines
Network mobile automata
F.1.1 Models of Computation

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