Even more in the realm of blue sky speculations (ultraviolet sky?) is
sub-Planck computing. It makes femtotech look safe and
well-understood.
The idea I have is based on reading "Cellular Networks as Models for
Planck-Scale Physics" by Manfred Requardt (hep-th/9806135), where he
plays around a bit with cellular networks of nodes connected by bonds
according to local laws. The hope here is that somehow the local
combinatorial dynamics will in the large scale low energy limit
simplify itself into some reasonable spacetime physics. In the
meantime he derives a kind of discrete functional analysis and
geometry on this kind of stochastic web. Amazing stuff that manages to
become suspiciously like differential geometry.
Anyway, if Requardt (and Penrose before him) is right, then physics is
really sub-Planck CA dynamics in this stochastic network, with our
physics as an emergent phenomenon on top of it. This network dynamics
looks like a great medium for doing computation since it is truly
discrete, and on this level there is no noise. Of course, manipulating
it to set up a computation might turn out to be inefeasible (not just
because our tools may be *way* too large even with femtotech, but also
because the present patterns might erode the computational structure;
we might need to isolate it from the ordinary activity with some kind
of Planck-scale barrier).
[End of wild speculation and a mild suggestion to concentrate on what
to do in 2020 instead :-)]
-- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension! asa@nada.kth.se http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/ GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y