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FrankieAvocado Profile
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Registered: 09-2007
Posts: 7
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Theory From a Software Point of View


Disclaimer: I'm a computer programmer / computer junkie.
This whole theory revolves around treating the universe like Software.
For those of you who don't know much about programming or computers, I have
included descriptions of some basic stuff like Classes, Objects, and Boxed/Unboxed variables.

If you DO know a fair amount about that stuff, just skip to the theory.

(Sorry for the long read)






Theory on the Objects:

I Refer to what is called an "Object" in computer programming.
Also, in programming we use the words "Boxed" and "Unboxed"
to refer to data types in either Type-cast (unboxed) or ambiguous (boxed) forms.



UNBOXED:


An unboxed variable (or set of variables) is one in which we know for sure
the type of data contained. A literal string for example is a series of characters.
Defining something as such in a common programming language:

String MyString = "words";

Would create a string with the characters w,o,r,d and s in sequence.

There are lots of other types of variables, another simple one being Integers:

Int MyInteger = 5;

this creates an Integer with the value of 5.
Now, the computer can add two integers together like so:

Int MyStart = 3;
Int MyAdd = 2;
Int MyEnd; //note that it is NOT necessary to give a value to a variable. If you don't
provide a value, the variable is just assumed to be empty.

MyEnd = MyStart + MyAdd;

This makes the MyEnd variable equal to 5 (adding 3 and 2)

Similarly, you can add String variables together.
Thus:

String MyStart = "Hello "
String MyAdd = "World"
String MyEnd;

MyEnd = MyStart + MyAdd

this sets the MyEnd string equal to: Hello World

However, it is NOT normally possible to add a String variable and an Integer variable together.
So:

Int MyStart = 3;
String MyAdd = "Something or Other"
String MyEnd;
Int MyOtherEnd;

MyEnd = MyStart + MyAdd;
MyOtherEnd = MyStart + MyAdd;

No matter which variable type we try to put the answer of 3 + Something Or Other into, the computer will generate an error.

Now, theoretically you can FORCE an integer to be read as a string, or a string to be read as a series of Integers
(look up ASCII code on google) but that involves manual conversion, so it's not the machine automatically interpereting for you.
Please note: There ARE some code languages where the 3 + Something or Other WILL work, but all that's happening is that the
computer is converting the NUMBER 3 into the CHARACTER 3 and putting it into the string. This is the same as manual conversion.
For the purposes of everyday computing, Strings and Integers are NOT compatible.


BOXED:

Boxing variables is where the real problem lies. Boxing basically involves creation of an Object (the Computer kind here, not the
Show kind) and assignment of variables for it. A "Class" is a generic template used to create an Object. Similar to ballpoint pens
all having a tube, a tip, and ink etc etc, classes are the software version of this. The problem with a Boxed variable is that
the computer doesn't really give it a "Type" other than "Object". Thus two objects are indistinguishable from each other even if
one contains only integers and the other contains only strings.

Therefore we could create a class called "Pen":

Public Class Pen
{
  Public String Colour = "Blue"; // Public means that the variable can be accessed from other parts of the program
  Public String Type = "Office";
  Public Int Length = 4;
  Public String Use = "Write";
}

and we could then make an object like so:

Pen RedPen as new Pen;

and set its properties like this:

RedPen.Colour = "Red";
RedPen.Type = "Motel";
RedPen.Length = 4;
RedPen.Use = "Write";

If we don't set its properties
then it will just assume the default values we entered for it when making the "Class" or Template.


No problems yet right? Well, we can also do this:

Public Class Microwave
{
  Public String Manufacturer = "Haier";
  Public String Type = "Home";
  Public String Use "Heat";
}

Microwave NormalMicrowave as new Microwave;

NormalMicrowave.Manufacturer = "GE";
NormalMicrowave.Type = "Home";
NormalMicrowave.Use = "Heat";

Pen = Microwave;


And in many programming languages, the compiler (the software you are writing the program in)
will not give an error because both variables are of type "Object"

oh crap, right?

9/13/2007, 3:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to FrankieAvocado   Send PM to FrankieAvocado
 
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Registered: 09-2007
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Re: Theory From a Software Point of View


Continued: (ran out of space in original post)




Now I know that was a lot of reading just to get to this theory, but now you understand a lot of the
terminology I'm going to use.


The EVENT:
  While I can't give a specific REASON for the event, I can theorize as to what it was.
In a computer every location is referenced in a giant linking table. That's how files are
sorted inside your computer, how you can "Search" for them etc etc. If we were to assume that
real world locations are similarly organized (and this is assuming that the universe is running
on the equivelant of advanced software), then once a location's LINK has been destroyed or lost: the
place itself would be in-accessible. That is not to say it wouldn't still take up space, or that it
wouldn't retain it's own list of links (a list of nearby "files" or locations). It would also still
be able to access the global address listing (allowing it to perform these "jumps"...existing nowhere and
everywhere at the same time).

So lets say that the universe's LINK to Room 10 was damaged, lost, or moved. The only remaining way to access
the room would be to find the direct address of the location itself. The key then represents the only remaining
way to reach the physical location of Room 10.

Why then, you might ask, would the room always be "resetting" itself. Well, if you look more closely at the previous
idea of Classes and Objects, we could assume that using the Key will reference not the Instances of the room; but the
original class itself. In other words, there was originally only a single verion of Room 10.
The original door to Room 10 opened up onto the room, and you could leave a toothbrush for example in the bathroom, go out for
dinner; then stop back and brush your teeth with said toothbrush.

Then the EVENT happened, and Room 10 became "Lost"

Now, everytime we open the door we create a brand new room from our Template (the original room).
That explains why normal items disappear when we reset the room just fine, but not why there aren't tons of copies of Objects from each
version of Room 10.

No problem though, we can simply ascribe this fact that the Objects are actually part of the Class or Template for the room.
In other words, when we remove the Pen from the room; we not only remove the physical item of a Pen, but also the CONCEPT
of Pen-ness from the room itself. Therefore when we return the Pen and reset the room, it will logically follow that the Pen
will be returned to exactly the same state it was in to start with (Its Template default). Not only will its POSITION be
reset, but the amount of Ink in it etc etc will be re-created.

So not only do we have a SINGLE lost room (our original Class or Template that became "Lost")
we also have a new room for each time we have ever used the Key. Fantastic.


The OBJECTS' properties:

I don't believe the whole "The Objects are part of God" thing. First of all, it's really freakin creepy: I don't
like the idea of a diety dying in a motel room. Gives me the shivers. Second of all, I'm a scientist at heart and I like
to solve things using logic, not by having to resort to the use of GOD to cover up holes in my theories.

I believe that the Objects are really just everyday items that have been taken out of context in the most literal way possible.

If you move a section of computer memory around without informing the computer, then the program you're working with will do
unpredictable things. For example, if the section of memory you moved held the instructions
"Take Variable A and add it to Variable B" and you put it overtop of a place in memory that used to hold the instructions
"Take Variable B and Divide it by 2" then you're going to get some really weird results in your program. And that's just
a very mild problem. The real weird stuff would be like in my previous explanation of Boxed variables, where you end up
setting Pen = Microwave. Context is really everything in the world we live in today. There are no real absolutes that we use.
Numbers, Words, Pens, Doors, Cars...we define it all by reference to other objects. There is, for example, no CAR. There are
carS...as in different types of Car, but there is no CAR that is 100% the epitome of all that is Car-ness.
The IDEA of the CAR however, is represented as an Un-boxed variable. The CAR cannot be anything BUT a CAR. It isn't a Ford,
it isn't a Honda...it is ONLY the CAR. Boxed variables are the Ford Mustand and the Honda Civic. They are ambiguous. There
are different versions of them, different years and so on. Still, there remains the fact that they are inherited from the CAR

Now if you were very diligent, you could theoretically take apart a Honda Civic and turn it into a Ford Mustang by replacing
almost all of the parts and rebuilding it piece by piece. It might be difficult and time consuming and philosophically confusing
(IE: is the Civic REALLY the Ford or did you just throw away a Civic and build a Mustang where it was sitting) but it is
arguably possible.

So at what point does a car actually start BEING that car and stop being something else? Well, that's hard to define...but the point is:
the Pen is still a Pen even if it has some unusual properties. We still call it a "Pen" that heats things like a microwave
and not a "Microwave" that looks like a red pen. So these Objects are still just the original items that they used to be
(as evidenced by them working normally inside Room 10), it's just that they have been placed into the wrong context, where
the physical results of their everyday use and existence are output in different ways than had been originally designed.



Wow, that was a lot of text for my first post on these forums.

Let me know what you think, please feel free to shoot holes in the theory.





9/13/2007, 3:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to FrankieAvocado   Send PM to FrankieAvocado
 
Spikosauropod Profile
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Registered: 06-2007
Posts: 5959
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Re: Theory From a Software Point of View


I haven’t even had a chance to read it, and I already like it. Please, give us more! This is the very place where your idea can find a home.
9/13/2007, 3:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Spikosauropod   Send PM to Spikosauropod
 
FrankieAvocado Profile
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Registered: 09-2007
Posts: 7
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posticon Re: Theory From a Software Point of View


I think that's enough typing for now
(at least my boss thinks I'm busy doing work)
 emoticon

But I'll be around
9/13/2007, 3:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to FrankieAvocado   Send PM to FrankieAvocado
 
paulv70 Profile
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Registered: 03-2005
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1603
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Re: Theory From a Software Point of View


Wow Frankie! I'll have to spend some serious time reading and digesting all of this.

In the meantime, why not step into the Motel Room and introduce yourself so we can welcome you properly to our lil' Cabal.

---
My Facebook
9/13/2007, 6:19 pm Link to this post Send Email to paulv70   Send PM to paulv70 Yahoo
 
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Registered: 06-2007
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Re: Theory From a Software Point of View


Now that I have read it, I like it even better. I have actually entertained a similar idea, but without your technical background: HERE.

Have you ever read Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science? He offers a very compelling model for how the universe could, in effect, be a giant computer program.

Would it not be ironic if in the process of attempting to explain The Event someone inadvertently stumbled onto the explanation of the actual universe?
9/17/2007, 1:17 am Link to this post Send Email to Spikosauropod   Send PM to Spikosauropod
 
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Registered: 09-2007
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Re: Theory From a Software Point of View


Unforunately I haven't read it yet, but you're not the first person to mention it to me so that may be a sign that I should get out from in front of the computer screen and make a stop at the local Barnes & Noble :-p

I also liked the Organism note in that other link. Wonder if there's a biologist kicking around who could give us a more detailed overview on similarities to biological studies.

As for the irony...I firmly believe that if an event like this happened IRL then it would absolutely be tied with the explanation of the universe.

-
9/18/2007, 3:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to FrankieAvocado   Send PM to FrankieAvocado
 
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Re: Theory From a Software Point of View


As I was reading Wolfram's book, I came up with an explanation of existence that completely changed my view of life. In my opinion, his book is a tad pseudoscientific, but it is still packed with good ideas. I am definitely moving to the view that information science is the best way to model reality.
9/18/2007, 6:38 pm Link to this post Send Email to Spikosauropod   Send PM to Spikosauropod
 
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Registered: 06-2007
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Re: Theory From a Software Point of View


One of the most difficult problems of the objects is how they have managed to remain relatively anonymous for over forty years—especially when one considers how their powers are exploited and abused by the likes of Wally and The Weasel. Can you find something in your theory to account for this anonymity?
9/21/2007, 9:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to Spikosauropod   Send PM to Spikosauropod
 
FrankieAvocado Profile
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Registered: 09-2007
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Re: Theory From a Software Point of View


Well, my guess would be that

A: There aren't more than a couple hundred of them. While that seems like a lot, in comparison to the trillions of everyday items in the world, it really isn't much.

B: Some of them have useless and complicated powers. Sometimes the only way anyone knows that an object is an Object, is if it's invincible. And I don't regularly try to break my own belongings.

C: People who get them, want to keep them secret. Call it paranoia, call it simple survival...but pretty much everyone who has an Object, want's to keep it hidden.

D: If you want a software explanation, how about this: Removal of a pointer to a variable makes it impossible to reference that variable without a direct hard-coded memory address.
10/1/2007, 8:57 am Link to this post Send Email to FrankieAvocado   Send PM to FrankieAvocado
 


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