Joe Ganley
Writing code since 1979
I have been a professional software engineer for over 10 years. I have written many kinds of software, but my particular strengths are interactive graphics applications, compilers and interpreters, and algorithms.

I also enjoy writing, woodworking, and home improvement. Also this.


Email Me

Atom Feed

not from a security camera



Thursday, November 30, 2000

Normally I try not to regurgitate
SlashDot stories, but this one led me on such a trip down memory lane that I can't help myself. The story is that a guy has implemented a Turing Machine in Conway's Life. The following /. commentary pointed to Stephen Wolfram, one of the leading cellular-automata people in the world, and an interesting Forbes article about him. I was really interested in cellular automata as a teenager, and this led me to dig out a big notebook full of cellular automata papers that Wolfram sent me back then (amusingly, I even still had the cover letter). Such cool stuff; I'm definitely looking forward to his new book. I've always liked Stephen Wolfram, because he's brilliant and arrogant. Arrogance is a great trait for a scientist to have; nothing gets other scientists' juices flowing like getting all up in their face and telling them they've been doing it all wrong; instead, they should be doing it this way -- your way. Even if you're wrong, it gets them thinking. Anyway, back to the Turing machine, back when I was a teenager the big question in cellular automata was whether they were capable of universal computation. I believe that question was answered some time ago, specifically an existence proof that it is possible to implement a Turing machine in Life, but this is the first time I've actually seen it done.

| permalink

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

The Long Now Foundation
The Long Now Foundation

Man-Bag Buying Guide
Man-Bag Buying Guide

Copyright (c) 1988-2004 by Joseph L. Ganley. All rights reserved except where otherwise noted.