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At the time of Isaac Newton’s invention of the calculus in the 17th century, the mechanical clock was the most sophisticated machine known. The simplicity of the clock allowed its movements to be completely described with mathematics. Newton not only described the clock’s movements with mathematics, but also the movements of the planets and other astronomical bodies. Because of the success of the Newtonian method, a mathematics-based model of reality resulted.
In modern times, a much more sophisticated machine than the clock has appeared: the computer. A computer includes a clock but has much more, including programmability. Because of its programmability, the actions of a computer are arbitrarily complex. Assuming a complicated program, the actions of a computer cannot be described in any useful way with mathematics.
To keep pace with this advance from the clock to the computer, civilization should upgrade its thinking and adjust its model of reality accordingly. This book is an attempt to help smooth the transition from the old conception of reality—that allowed only mathematics to describe particles and their interactions—to a computer-based conception of reality.