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.
Fredkin’s Other, Wilczek’s Grid, Wheeler’s Bit, D’Espagnat’s veiled reality, Campbell’s big computer and Barbour’s landscape that doesn’t change all suggest “something” beyond the physical world is generating it. Quantum realism envisages this primal reality as a network of nodes (Figure 2.1).
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 quantum network proposed is not physical, as after all, physical reality is what it generates. Nonetheless, it is expected to have properties like:
- Density. Depending on the number of connections per node.
- Bandwidth. The processing capacity of its node channels.
- Protocols. That decide what happens if an overload occurs.