Q&A: Seth Lloyd
TR talks with one of the pioneers of quantum computing and author of Programming the Universe.
TR: And why does the universe tend to complexity?
SL: This notion of the universe as a giant quantum computer gets you something new and important that you don't get from the ordinary laws of physics. If you look back 13.8 billion years to the beginning of the universe, the Initial State was extremely simple, only requiring a few bits to describe. But I see on your table an intricate, very beautiful orchid -- where the heck did all that complex information come from? The laws of physics are silent on this issue. They have no explanation. They do not encode some yearning for complexity.
I have always wondered about this ever since I learned the Second Law of Thermodynamics as a teenager. If you do not experience wonder and awe at this miracle, you are missing out.