A Digital Perspective

A Digital Perspective and the Quest for Substrate-Universal BehaviorsTommaso Toffoli Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MassachusettsAbstract Should the Digital Perspective essays collected in these proceedings be viewed more seriously than attempts to play ldquofundamental theoryrdquo—which even in the hands of an Eddington was hard to tell from mythology and numerology?We argue that a nonfrivolous aspect of this Digital Perspective is its heuristic capacity: to help us guess which aspects of our understanding of nature are more ldquouniversal,rdquo more robust, more likely to survive theoretical and experimental challenges. Behaviors that are substrate-independent—that can, for instance, thrive well on a digital support, even though they are traditionally imagined as taking place in a continuum—are especially promising candidates.digital models of physics – inference – machinery of nature

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