The idea that the physical world is the output of something else is radical but it isn’t new:
1. Fredkin. Says that the physical world as an output “…only requires one far-fetched assumption: there is this place, Other, that hosts the engine that “runs” the physics.” (Fredkin, 2005) p275.
2. Wilczek. Proposed that beyond the physical is “… the Grid, that ur-stuff that underlies physical reality” (Wilczek, 2008 p111).
3. Wheeler. His phrase “It from Bit” implies that matter is in some way a processing output.
4. D’Espagnat. Suggests a “veiled reality” that generates time, space, matter and energy (D’Espagnat, 1995).
5. Campbell. Proposes that “The Big Computer” outputs everything (Campbell, 2003).
6. Barbour. Imagines a quantum reality where “The mists come and go, changing constantly over a landscape that itself never changes” (Barbour, 1999) p230.
Quantum realism takes these ideas a step further, arguing that Fredkin’s Other is the quantum reality all around us now, that Wilczek’s Grid of “ur-stuff” is the quantum network, that Wheeler’s It from Bit is actually It from Qubit, that D’Espagnat’s veiled reality is the unseeable quantum world, that Campbell’s Big Computer is quantum processing, and that Barbour’s landscape that never changes is the primal reality that existed before our time and space began.
As Hiley said:
“I remember … Richard Feynman … saying that he thought of a point in space-time as being like a computer with an input and output connecting neighboring points” (Davies & Brown, 1999) p138
The network proposed here isn’t physical because what creates a virtual reality doesn’t depend on what it creates. If that “hardware” is quantum reality, then it follows the rules of quantum theory not of its physical output. It is also expected to have the general properties of a processing network, such as:
a. Nodes. That run quantum processing.
b. Processing. That is based on qubits.
c. Channels. That allow transfers between nodes.
d. Density. That reflects the number of channels per node.
e. Bandwidth. That is the capacity of node channels.
f. Protocols. That decide what happens if an exception occurs.
Before exploring how a quantum processing network could create a space and time like ours, it is necessary to clarify that information isn’t a physical thing.