I cannot pretend to do justice the man’s remarkable output but following his death two days ago it seems fitting for me to pass on the first paper of his I read, it isn’t his most famous or influential. It is remarkable.

Cellular Vacuum by Marvin Minsky

Here Minsky considers a universe built like a cellular automaton and shows what sort of physics it produces. A maximum speed like light speed, slowing down of moving clocks, a bit like special relativity but not really.

I learned about Marvin Minsky when I was a masters student at Bristol, working on a project concerning the thermodynamics of computation and busy submerging myself in the literature that would form the basis of my Ph.D.

A bold thinker joyfully smashing together disparate bodies of knowledge.