The Operational Approach
"An easier way to recognize the prejudice of nounism is to note the historical trends in some of the above-mentioned fields. In computer science, for example, we have seen an explosion of creative activity in the last decade arising from the wide availability of PCs and the Internet. But has anybody noticed that the preponderance of this creativity has expressed itself in -- and been measured by -- the huge number of bits that have been made available. Between CD-ROMs and the Web, we now have Humonga-bytes of images, sounds, text, numbers, and all manner of other facts. But consider this: we have also built enough computers (and made them so fast) that every day, civilization expends Humonga-cycles of processing time. And what are all those cycles doing? I'd guess that almost ALL of those cycles are wasted in wait-loops, as the computer sits for eternities waiting for the rare keypress or mouseclick. And even the cycles that aren't wasted are used almost entirely for shuffling bits around: moving an image from a CD to the screen, a sound from memory to a speaker, and so on. An infinitesimal fraction of the cycles we generate every day are used to actually PROCESS anything. We push numbers around a lot, but we seldom crunch them. It seems a great shame to use this wondrous processing machine to shuffle bits around; is it not unlike using a Chinese peasant, a human being with character and feelings and soul, to bail water from a canal to a field? It would seem that, in terms of truly utilizing the power of the computer, we still have a long way to go."
I have been heading toward this direction. How to make nearly infinite worlds with finite memory? Cellular automata tiles are an example of using cycles instead of bytes.