Seth Lloyd is a Professor of Quantum-Mechanical Engineering at MIT, as well as the first creator of a technologically feasible design for a working quantum computer. In Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos, he explains how he came to believe the premise of this book - namely, that the universe is one gigantic quantum computer. The universe is made of bits, the smallest possible unit of information, and everything in the universe registers information, whether it's a molecule, an atom, a quark, etc. Every time something in the universe interacts with something else, those bits are altered, and the universe processes that information. The universe computes, in other words. Since the bits are governed by the laws of quantum-mechanics, the universe is a quantum computer. Computing itself.
Lloyd talks about his idea of how the universe could have been created out of "nothing." In the beginning, there was a stable plain of non-information, and then one of the bits got thrown out of whack, and registered the first piece of information in the universe. This "knowledge" spread to other bits, and the universe began computing. He believes that information is the only thing in existence that doesn't conform to the law of "something can not be created out of nothing." As information spreads, new information existed that did not exist before.
At first the universe's computations created simple things, like elementary particles and the basic laws of physics. As he describes it, these are governed by the equivalent of computer code. Small pieces of code, after all, by virtue of imbuing bits with instructions to follow in varying circumstances, can create hugely complex patterns. As the universe expanded with more and more information and computations, it created stars, and planets, and Taco Bell. Seriously. Society would not exist if matter and energy did not have an ability to process bits. The creation of information explains how complex systems like humans can rise from the fundamentally simple laws of physics.
We are all computer programs. Actually, we are computers, and parts of the universal computer, and computer programs, and the results of computer programs, all at the same time. Sort of like being inside of the Matrix, except that we are the Matrix, too. Since it's a quantum-mechanical Matrix, there is no way to predict the future, because to do that, we would need a quantum computer with enough processing power to take into account every bit of information in the universe. Which is what the universe is. The universe is predicting the future of itself. So the only way to know the future is to wait and see what the universe ends up computing it to be.
It's hard to completely explain the contents of this book in a review, but if you have a bent for either the physical or computer sciences, I would highly recommend reading it for yourself. It's thought-provoking, and not dryly written, and could perhaps make the origin of the universe better understood. Not bad.