Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Life in Life

Via MetaFilter, Life in Life:a video of a remarkable piece of coding - OTCAMP - that runs a Conway's Game of Life simulation inside Conway's Game of Life.

It strongly reminds me of the theme of Daniel F Galouye's 1964 SF novel Counterfeit World (a.k.a. Simulacron-3), which had a theme of nested simulations. In Counterfeit World, a virtual reality city has been set up for market research; but after a death and a mysterious disappearance, one of the researchers twigs that his own reality (i.e. ours) may itself be inside another simulation.

Counterfeit World was filmed in 1973 as Fassbinder's TV mini-series Welt am Draht (World on a Wire), which is on YouTube, though without subtitles (part 1 / part 2), and as the 1999 The Thirteenth Floor. The latter is a much under-rated film, mostly through unfortunate timing; appearing in the same year, it was eclipsed by The Matrix.  In 2011, Janus Films released a digitally restored and subtitled version of World on a Wire.

US trailer for World on a Wire, Janus Film, 2011

- Ray

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