(2003 to 2005)

Rules and State

Wed Aug 18 08:13:00 UTC+1000 2004


Since I'm on a role this morning (and since I just took another piss (this cola goes straight through you!)) I figured I might just mention something else that crossed my mind.

In software, there tends to be two discrete concepts of 'state' and 'rules'. The 'state' is your data, and the 'rules' are your program.

However, it turns out that in a computer 'rules' are actually modeled as 'state'.

As such, there are languages (javascript springs to mind) where you can dynamically change the 'rules' (i.e. how state will subsequently be treated) in addition to just changing 'state'.

There isn't a perfect delineation between state and rules even in software.

I was just wondering about the 'rules' for the universe.

I wonder if the universe is based on a model that alters the rules based on a change in state, or simply accommodates state transitions with a fixed set of rules.

It's really only an implementation detail I guess.

Perhaps the insight is that “there are no rules, only state”?

I doubt it; that doesn't seem to make much sense..

I'm delirious.. aren't I..?



p.s. The caveat is that once you hit the hardware “rules are rules”.

Copyright © 2003-2005 John Elliot