by Alex Vikoulov
"God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world." -Paul Dirac
If you have heard of Digital Physics and Pancomputationalism, then you would be familiar with the notion that the laws of Nature work as master algorithms taking the present state of a physical system as input and producing the next state as output. Perhaps the most vivid example of the algorithmic natural laws would be the appearance of some form of a computer code discovered by physicist James Gates when he was working on his theory of supersymmetry. Gates stumbled upon what he described as the presence of what appear to resemble error correcting codes, embedded within, or resulting from, the equations of supersymmetry related to fundamental particles. A curious number 496, that I call the ‘M-number,’ be it "Magic Number" or "Matrix Number" to suit your preference, akin to the golden ratio, is frequently encountered in numerical representations of Nature and mathematical equations. 496 is most notable for being a perfect number, and one of the earliest numbers to be recognized as such. The number 496 is a very important number in Superstring Theory. It is said to be on both sides of the equation in Superstring Theory in order to balance things out. E8 lattice in Emergence Theory has dimensionality related to the number 496. On a personal note, I can't help but run into the number 496 or some kind of combination of 4, 9 and 6 almost on a daily basis.
Speaking of numbers in general, the mathematician and computer scientist Gregory Chaitin, well known for algorithmic information theory and who is also my personal hero, questions the common assumption that “real” numbers underlie physical reality, strongly suggesting that physical reality may, in fact, be discrete, digital and computational. His argument is fairly straightforward: Real numbers cannot reflect reality, even in principle, because they require infinite precision. Infinite precision is an impossibility in Nature since it takes an infinite amount of information to specify a single real number. Therefore, we must assume that reality employs numbers with finite precision which is the premise of Digital Physics.
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Every blooming tree, every burning star, a tiny bacterium, each fleeting thought in our mind, each gurgling waterfall, and even such complicated human emotions like love, all is but information processed in certain complex ways within a tangled web of primal Yes/Nos woven together. If the theory of Digital Physics holds up, energy, gravity, motion, dark energy, dark matter, and antimatter can all be explained by complex programs of 0/1 decisions. Bits can be seen as a digital version of the “atoms” of classical Greece: the ontological primitive. But these new digital atoms are the basis not only of matter, as the Greeks thought, but of energy, motion, life, and mind.
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Life is a numbers game derived from the cosmic binary code! Your reality is digital.
-by Alex Vikoulov
P.S. This article is adapted from my newly-released book "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution" available now on Amazon, from Barnes & Noble, and directly from this website.
Tags: Paul Dirac, Digital Physics, Pancomputationalism, algorithmic natural laws, James Gates, supersymmetry, error correcting code, number 496, M-number, Magic Number, Matrix Number, golden ratio, mathematical equations, perfect number, Superstring Theory, E8 lattice, Emergence Theory, dimensionality, computer scientist, Gregory Chaitin, algorithmic information theory, physical reality, ontological primitive, cosmic binary code
*Image Credit: NASA/Ecstadelic Media
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a futurist, digital philosopher, neo-transcendentalist, transhumanist singularitarian, evolutionary extrapolist, cosmist, independent scholar, founder of Ecstadelic Media, painter, media artist, essayist, co-author of "Is Reality a Simulation?" (2018), author of "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution" (2019). Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area).