Sometimes I think about what would have happened if Game of Life had been invented in antiquity. The concept is sufficiently simple for even a child to grasp and simplicity should have appealed to Pythagorean sensibilities…
Would they have developed standardized tokens for exploring the game, and would they have recognized it as a game?
Would there be biblical parables about the glider?
Would alternate rules have been considered heretical in the Middle Ages?
Would the R-pentomino have been thought an infinite growth pattern until some diligent mathematician, maybe an Arabic one in the 1000s, were to show the opposite by working out all 1103 generations?
Would the LWSS, the Gosper glider gun and related technology have been hailed as great inventions of the Renaissance?
Would the Gausses and the Eulers of this world have dedicated time to searching for new oscillator periods or spaceship velocities?
Would still lifes be tabulated by hand to stupendous numbers in the 1800s, and would these in modern days be memorized in a similar way digits of pi are now?
Would the entire concept have encouraged a considerably more rapid development of fields such as computability or signal processing?
Backwards/forwards time travel is overrated; I’d definitely rather explore alternate timelines…