If an atomic-scale computer can be built, it won’t just create a faster machine: it will help us think like the universe. What is a computer? Steve Jobs famously described the computer as “a bicycle for the mind” — a tool to help us remember, think, discover, and create. There’s another way, though, to think about what a computer is: not as a high-tech tool, but as a profound intellectual achievement. In a deep sense, the power of the computer is as much about ideas as it is about circuits.