Reality follows rules. It’s an ordered place. Be thankful for that – even if you don’t like the rules, be glad that there are rules. If there weren’t rules, the resulting chaos wouldn’t work in your favor.

You depend upon patterns. You depend upon electrons working tomorrow like they do today. You depend upon the sun burning tomorrow like it does today. Patterns allow life to exist. Structure is the foundation of existence.

Everything ordered has rules. The rules don’t have to be simple, they don’t have to be understandable, but they do have to be present. There is no such thing as mystery: even if we can’t discover the structure behind reality’s patterns, we know that reality does have structured patterns.

Reality follows laws without exception. Any law that operates with exception isn’t a true law of reality – if reality breaks the laws that you think govern the universe, then it turns out they didn’t actually govern the universe.

The Rules of reality are the ones that fully describe how reality works. Reality can’t break those rules, because reality is contained within those rules. Whatever reality breaks out of is not reality’s container.

We know such rules exist, because reality exists. At minimum, we can point at the world and say “reality works like that”. There’s an upper bound for how complicated reality can be, and that upper bound is reality itself.

If you want to know exactly what happens when you throw a rock off of a cliff, the most you need is one rock and one cliff.

Cliff

Reality acts however reality acts. There are constraints: at the very least, reality can be expressed in terms of itself.

It might seem optimistic to hope that reality can be expressed in simpler terms. It may seem impossible to simulate a rock thrown off a cliff, without possessing at least a rock and a cliff.

But we can! That’s what it means when we say reality is ordered. That’s what it means for reality to have patterns. There are parts of reality that repeat. There are rules that are always followed. The universe builds off of itself to create beautiful patterns. There is structured repetition.

By recognizing the structure and removing the repetition, we can create a simpler model of reality. We can figure out what will happen when you toss a rock off a cliff without needing a rock and a cliff.

It seems that the rules of reality can be simplified. But reality is a very complex place, and there’s no guarantee that reality can be simplified enough. There’s no guarantee that The Rules lie within the grasp of human comprehension.

So I bring you good news: it looks like they do! Evidence is on our side. It looks like The Rules are going to be comprehendable.

Such is our gift. Let us never squander it.