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And now I’m stepping into the light to tell you what I learned among the machines.
I’m grateful to the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts for having funded a stay in Brussels in the fall of 2002.
Many thanks also to the people with whom I’ve had conversations and/or e-mail exchanges about the book’s topics.
These include: Scott Aaronson, Ralph Abraham, Mark van Atten, Michael Beeson, Charles Bennett, Kovas Boguta, Jason Cawley, Leon Horsten, Loren Means, Jon Pearce, Chris Pollett, Richard Shore, Brian Silverman, Ken Wharton—and especially John Walker and Stephen Wolfram.
Your jumps of consciousness are like the measurements in quantum mechanics. It says there can never be a simple trick for answering all possible questions about our world’s natural processes. I recall agreeing with my best friend, Niles Schoening, that what we’d most like to do would be to get college degrees in philosophy and spend the rest of our lives as bums, talking about the meaning of life. Computers were ushering in an era of experimental mathematics.
Meanwhile Doug got down to the trees and bushes for course number four.The guy who’d written Blob Scape claimed that theoretically the computation could simulate the whole universe, if only you gave it the right seed.