To simulate a world is almost a divine act. One Jewish tradition holds that there were multiple worlds created and destroyed before our own. They didn’t quite work out—beta versions perhaps?—and so the universe was restarted again and again, until we got to the current version.
That was delightful, thank you.
Given that I am writing a book about our universe as a product of evolution (descended, through a Darwinian evolutionary process, from many earlier and more primitive universes), I am intrigued by this, in particular!
" One Jewish tradition holds that there were multiple worlds created and destroyed before our own. They didn’t quite work out—beta versions perhaps?—and so the universe was restarted again and again, until we got to the current version.¹"
It's interesting how many traditions intuited an evolved universe, with a long evolutionary history of earlier and more primitive ancestor-universes. For instance, the great British philosopher David Hume wrote, in 1779:
"Many worlds might have been botched and bungled, throughout an
eternity, 'ere this system was struck out. Much labour lost: Many
fruitless trials made: And a slow, but continued improvement carried out
during infinite ages in the art of world-making."
Somewhat similar sentiment... Of course, pre-Darwin, and thus pre-evolutionary theory, they couldn't come up with a mechanism to back up this intuition. After Darwin, philosophers like Charles Sanders Peirce could write:
"To suppose universal laws of nature capable of being apprehended by the mind and yet having no reason for their special forms, but standing inexplicable and irrational, is hardly a justifiable position. Uniformities are precisely the sort of facts that need to be accounted for. Law is par excellence the thing that wants a reason. Now the only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature, and for uniformity in general, is to suppose them results of evolution."
But of course both Darwin and Peirce still though we lived in an infinite and eternal universe. All evolution had to take place inside that one infinite, eternal thing. Only since the discovery of the expansion of the universe by Hubble, and of the Big Bang, and thus the fact that our universe came into being abruptly 13.8 billion years ago, could anyone conceive of the universe itself being the product of an evolutionary process...
Anyway, I'm rambling. But thanks again for that fascinating quote! It pushes even further back into the historical past the intuition that our universe evolved; I'll borrow it for my book, if I may.
And best of luck with your forthcoming book on the magic of code, which looks like being a gem.
That curve is the exact same one for queuing theory comparing the cost of idle capacity and the delay cost of doing new, unplanned things.
Still, I like to go back to the statement that "there are no laws of physics" (https://www.ias.edu/news/in-the-media/2018/dijkgraaf-laws-of-physics).
It’s too bad the Club of Rome didn’t read this paper before reading Limits to Growth.
They may end up being right end the end, but their modeling hubris set back anyone attempting to argue that endless growth and consumption isn’t the only possible future.