Turtles, all the way down. Or gliders. Or glider turtles.

Conway's Game of Life, emulated in Conway's Game of Life:

The life simulator used is Golly which has a built-in script to generate these metapixel grids (select a pattern, and choose "metafier.py" from the scripts list).

Outer Totalistic Cellular Automata Meta-Pixel:

The metacell uses a period 184 tractor beam, which acts as a clock. It pulls a block downwards by eight cells per impact, releasing a glider in the process. Some of the gliders are utilised; the rest are eaten. When the block reaches the base, it is restored at the top to begin the cycle again. Period 46 and 184 technologies (which are compatible) are used extensively throughout the configuration.

The rule is encoded in two columns, each of nine eaters, where one column corresponds to the 'Birth' rule and the other corresponds to 'Survival'. The nine eaters correspond to the nine different quantities of on cells (0 through 8). The presence or absence of the eater indicates whether the cell should be on in the next meta-generation. The state of the eater is read by the collision of two antiparallel LWSSes, which radiates two antiparallel gliders (not unlike an electron-positron reaction in a PET scanner). These gliders then collide into beehives, which are restored by a passing LWSS in Brice's elegant honeybit reaction. If the eater is present, the beehive would remain in its original state, thereby allowing the LWSS to pass unaffected; if the eater is absent, the beehive would be restored, consuming the LWSS in the process. Equivalently, the state of the eater is mapped onto the state of the LWSS.

Previously, previously, previously.

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22 Responses:

  1. Jeremy Leader says:

    This reminds me a bit of the "island in a lake in an island..." items that were circulating a few months ago.

  2. J. Peterson says:

    Also fun is the "screen bulging in towards you" optical illusion you get when the video finishes.

  3. Ian Young says:

    Where's Ray Kurzweil, to launch into a long thesis about how nature is both recursive and emergent and we're living in a simulation of a simulation of a simulation and if we all stop dreaming, we'll all die. ...or something.

  4. hattifattener says:

    The Shepard-tone soundtrack is a nice touch.

  5. Ben Morrow says:

    Now rewrite metafier.py in Life. For extra credit, do so by first writing a Python implementation.

    • hattifattener says:

      Then run PyPy on that Python implementation and use it to JIT metafier.py into Life.

  6. I wonder how many layers of this you could run on a reasonably modern computer.

  7. Lloyd says:

    I was going to post a witty comment ("quick! Tell Wolfram he's got virtualization!") but couldn't because, on the iPhone was you're not a logged-in commenter, the Twitter and Facebook advertising buttons get in the way of the text field and typing anything. Way to go.

    • jwz says:

      You have an incorrectly-calibrated definition of "witty".

      I just looked at it, logged out, on iPhone, and it overlaps a little but you can still totally see the text field and type into it.

      It's not advertising, it's an authentication method that everybody but you uses. Blow me.

      • Lloyd says:

        Oh, how your tune has changed from previously, when you at least recognised the privacy implications of facebook buttons.

        • jwz says:

          Did I say "gosh, I love Facebook"? No. I said it's not an ad, it's an auth mechanism. And everybody uses it. See exhibit A: "Blow me".

        • Nick Lamb says:

          Actually if you look you'll see that although Jamie wrote that blog post he didn't actually take any action even though quite easy things were suggested. Some things you care about enough to actually do something and others you just moan about, and for our host Facebook is firmly in the moan category apparently.

          I'd guess Jamie will argue that we, the readers, could protect ourselves if we want to. And for those readers who've been following along since it was all Gruntles about dental nightmares and the DNA Lounge was just a venue not a money pit that's probably true. Shame about everybody else though. Especially since "everybody else" is a pretty good description of Jamie's actual bona fide customers, the ones who buy booze and pay to see live bands, rather than just bitching here in the blog comments.