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The computing-element reality model states that the universe’s particles are controlled by computers. Specifically, the computing-element reality model states that the universe is a vast, space-filling, three-dimensional array of tiny, identical, computing elements.
A computing element is a self-contained computer, with its own memory. Each computing element is connected to other computing elements, and each computing element runs its own copy of the same large and complex program—called the computing-element program.
Each elementary particle in the universe exists only as a block of information that is stored as data in the memory of a computing element. Thus, all particles are both manipulated as data and moved about as data by these computing elements. Consequently, the reality that people experience is a computer-generated virtual reality.,
 The question as to how these computing elements came into existence can be posed, but this line of questioning faces the problem of infinite regress: if one answers the question as to what caused these computing elements, then what caused that cause, and so on. At some point a reality model must draw the line and declare something as bedrock for which causation is not sought. For the mathematics-only reality model its bedrock is mathematics; for the computing-element reality model its bedrock is the computing element.
A related line of questioning asks what existed before the universe, and what exists outside the universe. For these two questions the term universe includes the bedrock of whichever reality model one chooses. Both questions ask, in effect, what lies outside the containing framework of reality that is defined by the given reality model. The first question assumes that something lies outside in terms of time; the second question assumes that something lies outside in terms of space.
One solution is to simply assume that nothing lies outside the containing framework of reality. Otherwise, the question of what lies outside the containing framework of reality is by definition insoluble, because one is assuming that X, whatever X is, is outside the containing framework of reality; but one can only answer as to what X is, by reference to that containing framework of reality. Thus, a contradiction.
 Thruout the remainder of this book the word particle always denotes an elementary particle. An elementary particle is a particle that is not composed of other particles. In physics, prime examples of elementary particles are electrons, quarks, and photons.
 The three-dimensional array of computing elements is, in effect, the universe and space itself. However, except in imagination it is not possible for anyone to see—with or without instruments—any part of this array of computing elements for the following reason: Because mankind and its instruments are composed of particles, and particles are data stored in computing elements, then, being only an effect of those computing elements, those particles cannot directly probe those computing elements—just as, for example, a computer program running on a personal computer cannot be written to see the microprocessor on which that program is running.