Systematically Creating Every Possible Image

I’ve had a theory rolling around in my head for a while. The theory is a person could write a program to systematically create images, and that would eventually result in every possible image. Much like systematically finding the combination to a lock where you would start with 0000,0001,0010,0100,etc you would systematically change a pixel in an image, saving a new image at each iteration. It would start with a 1×1 pixel image, iterate through all colors on that one pixel (which is pretty much pointless but part of the process), then move on to 1×2, 2×2,2×3.  If it ran long enough it would theoretically produce any image you could imagine.

In theory it’s pretty simple but there are a lot of hurdles. Time is the first major hurdle. How much time would it take for it to produce even simple geometric shapes with 2 colors? How much time would you have to spend browsing through photos of nothing before finding something recognizable? Is there enough harddrive space in the world to store all of these images? Is there any real use for this? Probably not, but how mind blowing would it be to come across images created using this process that were from your childhood that you didn’t have photographs of, but now you do.

Roll that around in your noggin for a little while and tell me what you think. Along the same lines if you wrote a program that systematically flipped bits on a harddrive (flashdrive or any other storage medium) could that eventually result in creating such things as the most advanced 3D games or complex weather modeling systems?

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