Programming a Virtual (Mathematical) Universe

Our external physical reality is a mathematical structure. That is, the physical universe is mathematics in a well-defined sense, and in those [worlds] complex enough to contain self-aware substructures SAS [they] will subjectively perceive themselves as existing in a physically 'real' world (- Max Tegmark's MUH).

Swarm intelligence (SI) is the collective behavior of decentralized, self organized systems. For example, a single ant is quite inept, ants are not smart but ant colonies are, by solving complex problems using swarm intelligence. No ant seems to be in charge, there are no generals, no managers, the queen just lays eggs; even a half million ant colony has no management that we can detect although tasks may be specialized, worker ants, army ants... Nature uses the simple actions of individuals, ants following basic rules, to create the complex behavior of a group. No single ant can see the big picture yet each ant contributes to the colony success.

If we place a barrier that blocks a line of ants from a food source there will be a flurry of activity as the ants on both sides of the barrier appear to run in random directions, yet in a short space of time they will have re-routed around the barrier back to the food. They will have used swarm intelligence to solve a problem.

As horses begin a horse race the odds, calculated from all the bets, are displayed. Invariably these odds accurately reflect the race outcome; they are the result of collective wisdom; from those who study the race forms daily to those who simply toss a coin.

We are still not sure how the human brain functions. It may be the most complex of all organs, comprising about 100 billion neurons and we form more than 1 million new connections among these neurons each day, each neuron with an average 7000 synaptic connections to other neurons. During early pregnancy neurons have shown to multiply at the rate of 250,000 neurons per minute.

We envision our brains taking in data, running those data through some unknown processes which somehow then tell us how to behave. If so, would these processes be applying some form of mathematical algorithms or logic and so could they be modeled?

I suggest that not only did the universe develop according to an organic mathematics, but this mathematics is universal and applies to neurons and ants, the premise being that our thoughts evolve via a neuron natural selection of ideas. For example, the neurons of my brain are constantly at work, firing electrochemical impulses forming a variety of ‘ant-ideas’. Over time some of these coalesce (their wave functions superimpose to form idea-colonies) and others cancel. The ideas that survive this neural natural selection process become the dominate ideas, they then combine and become articulated as a ‘thought’ and may also be expressed via ‘language’. Each neuron maybe akin to an ant following a simple set of rules, there is no-one (no neuron) in charge, instead there is a neuron colony and thoughts are the complex behavior of that colony. And so perhaps I am not a ‘me’, I am the collective ‘me’; I am a neuron colony, my ego comes from this neuron swarm intelligence. With 100 billion neurons working for me I can solve more complex problems than can smaller ant colonies.

(extract from book Plato's Cave 2015)