I am reading about and attempting to discuss the holographic principle, a conjecture in theoretical physics that the three-dimensional universe is a projection of a two-dimensional (i.e., surface area) encoding¹. This would imply that all the particles and properties and **everything** of our universe may be compressed *substantially* without losing information: reality is a (logical, not literal) projection of a very large bitmap.
The theory also could “explain” surprising properties of the universe, such as the discrete (i.e., quantum) nature² of physics, the origin of gravity, and information density.

Most fixating is the idea that the universe may be regarded as a composition of information. I’ve been obsessed with information, consciously or unconsciously, since I can remember; and, the more I have thought about the nature of reality, the more I have flirted with the conclusion that information is the fundamental problem of existence: processing, encoding, retrieving, organizing, relating, and communicating.

Another thought: In engineering and business *applications*, numerical analysis is used to approximate solutions to continuous functions; and in scientific *theory,* continuous functions are used to approximate a *discrete reality* resulting from the holographic principle. If I’m not mistaken, this would mean that scientific models like the Schrödinger equation may be a little too perfect.

Update (2023): via Andrew Côté:

It’s possible the entire universe is “running” as a black hole computer…

If something with the same mass as the universe was a Black Hole, the event horizon would have a radius of 14 billion light years - which we observe about our own universe.

Black Holes are the most computationally dense possible objects, because they represent the limit on how much information you can pack into a finite volume. [the Bekenstein Bound]

… “computing” is when physical systems “do their thing” - when two atoms bond together, when molecules react, when a cellular organelle churns out a protein, when an animal develops immunity to a disease - all these physical processes are of the nature of transforming information, I.e. the physical configuration of things, according to some state machine or transformation matrix or Hamiltonian operator - some set of rules determine what happens with the next clock cycle.

- Can anyone explain the holographic principle?
- The Fermilab Holometer, “an experiment to measure the smallest intervals of space and time”.