The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul: What Gnarly Computation Taught Me about Ultimate Reality, the Meaning of Life, and How to Be Happy

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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, ...

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