mindblowing new discovery in Conway's Game of Life: any buildable pattern in Life can be constructed from the collision of 15 gliders.

the key principle: distance itself can be used to encode information. by determining the correct starting [x,y] coordinate for each glider, any future state of the Life universe can be created, with effectively unbounded complexity. 🤯

(via @OscarCunningham @danstowell)

@d it’s a thing of beauty, but has left me with an intense metaphysical vertigo!

@ideoforms i know right! it's all a bit greg egan

@d @ideoforms Was just thinking it reminded me of the TVC universe in PERMUTATION CITY … set off 15 gliders in the right spot, and you're God

@ideoforms @OscarCunningham @danstowell

Well, we now have a degenerate but very compact hashing method. 15 Xs, 15 Ys, 15 initial states (rotation + period), a target period, and the fact that the Game of Life is turing complete, and 46 numbers can be used to encode binary information of literally any size.

Granted, decompression would be hell...

@Almafeta @OscarCunningham @ideoforms @danstowell Trouble is, X’s and Y’s can be arbitrarily large — could take gigabytes to store one of them

@aismallard @ideoforms @danstowell @zt Ah that makes sense. He also posts a lot about Opus Magnum. A master of optimization!

Sign in to participate in the conversation is a Mastodon instance for people interested in thinking creatively and critically about technology, in the broadest sense. The only requirement is that you keep to the code of conduct! Note: we've paused new signups for a few days while we deal with the #twittermigration influx - please do request an invite, but be aware that for now functions more like a 'waiting list' than a knock on the door, until our numbers stabilise again :-)