Friday, October 25, 2013

When Does The Universe Compute?

Courtesy of Boris Kulikov

The Physics arXiv Blog

An alternative view of the best new ideas in science. About:

When Does The Universe Compute?

The idea that every physical event is a computation has spread like wildfire through science. That may need to change now that physicists have worked out how to distinguish between systems that compute and those that don’t

One of the hot topics in computer science is unconventional computing. This is the exploitation of unusual or exotic systems to perform computations.

Examples are numerous. Perhaps the most advanced is quantum computation which exploits the strange laws of quantum mechanics to perform computation. But there are other more exotic approaches such as using DNA to perform millions of simple calculations in parallel or even using slime mould to solve mazes.

Indeed some scientists claim that every physical event is a computation. Others disagree saying that this simply redefines the notion of a physical process and is either wrong or trivial.

That leads to an interesting and important question. What does it mean for a physical system to compute? Can researchers decide objectively whether a physical system is computing or not?

Today, we get an answer thanks to the work of Clare Horsman at the University of Oxford in the UK and a few buddies. These guys say that a physical computation is the use of a physical system to predict the outcome of an abstract evolution. As such, it is closely related to, but crucially different from, the notion of theory and experiment .

United Nations: Disarmament Commission
Civilian Weapon Confiscation Study Group

Click on image to Enlarge

Nations Unies                                              United Nations
United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

Distr.: Restricted
5 August 2013
Original: English

Disarmament Commission – Civilian Weapon Confiscation Study Group

New York, 29-31 July 2013

The issue of military grade weaponry in the hands of civilians looms ever larger in the face of the global implementation of 22/Agenda 21 by member nations. In particular, the United States of America by an estimated 500 million weapons in the hands of its civilian population. This is not just a static problem, it is a massive dynamic problem for the process of confiscation as there will be those who refuse to surrender their firearms.

The conclusion of discussions by the CWCSG led to the adoption of a proposed agenda to begin the process for introducing to member nations a framework by which they can begin codification of national laws to disarm civilians within their borders through a graduated process.

Within the discussion framework, we have identified several problem areas that must be addressed, they are:
  1. Classification of military grade weapons to be made illegal for possession.

  2. Creation of programs to provide reasonable compensation for voluntary surrender of said arms.

  3. Codification of laws to beging the restriction of strict licensing of said arms.

  4. Codification of laws to begin the restricting of and strict licensing of concealable firearms.

  5. Codification of laws to restrict the sale of, and possession of ammunition and components to manufacture ammunition.

  6. Finally, codification of laws to completely make any and all firearms illegal to own, possess or use outside of military and law enforcement usage.

  7. Creation of a United Nations Police Taskforce with the specific mission of assisting member nations with the collection of weaponry from civilian hands.
The CWCSG will submit its findings and final recommendations once we have created the codification framework for member nations for a full review by the Office of Secretary General.

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