Today’s computers run on what’s called a Von Neumann architecture. In the future, the new architecture will run on emptiness. (Zerzan joke.) This is to say that future computers will be quantum-based. The basic idea for quantum computers has existed for decades, but there is a new concept under development — an idea for computation in which bits (or qubits) are stolen from alternate universes.

The basic principle is that the quantum properties of particles can be used to represent and structure data, and that quantum mechanisms can be devised and built to perform operations with this data. The long-and-the-short of this means that future computers running on such a platform would be ludicrously powerful and fast.

As an example, some modern simulations that are taking IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer years would take a quantum computer only a matter of seconds. (Moore’s Law says every eighteen months this technology doubles in its capacity to process information.) At any rate, the prospect of quantum computers throws projections of an upper bound on computation out the window. Thinkers like David Deutsch have suggested that our universe may be itself a kind of quantum computer, while Stuart Hameroff notes that brains may also be a type of quantum machine. Somewhere amidst that discussion, Karl Marx is murmuring in the background about accumulating capital and contradictions of the sort transhumanoid scientists find irrelevant. Sitting beside him, Heidegger mumbles on decoherently about accomplished technicity as the only metaphysics fit for humankind. Echo, echo.