But as "universe" is not a scientifically recognisable objective entity, it is hard to see what can be objectively meant by an assertion that it, whatever it may be, is a "computing engine".
Keep in mind that Nystrom is using Fullerian terminology and, as will any individual, Nystrom has his own interpretation of it.
As far as Synergetics
is concerned, Fuller -properly- defines his terms before he goes on to use them. It's not a matter of whether you agree with his definitions, rather it is a matter of understanding his use of terms if you are to have any hope of understanding the arguments in which they are employed. From there you can argue with Fuller's arguments.
Secondly, a "computing engine" is terminology with a bias to it. An "engine" is not a natural structure but a device, i.e. something designed, presumably to do something for whoever designed and built it. The classic argument against design in nature (which we are all familiar with from fending off ID trolls for example) is that there are no objective criteria to determine whether or not any structure or process in nature might be "designed".
'Engine' is my term, and well within a broader meaning than a physical or mechanical one. E.g. we may talk of an 'engine of change', which is fitting with the dictionary definition
, "b. An agent, instrument, or means of accomplishment". Nystrom calls his idea 'computational cosmography' and I called his proposed experiment a 'computational engine', meaning a computer is used to accomplish the experiment.
There is not of necessity any implication of a designer in definition b., although I haven't read enough of Nystrom to know if he argues for a designer in his computational cosmography.
Some of the things I read in Nystrom, and I have read at least two different papers he authored, I disagree with because he doesn't substantiate them and they disagree with some of Hofstadter's writings which are heavily substantiated.
What I did like about Nystrom was his idea of using cellular automata and if you know anything about Conway's Life you may also know how complex behavior can emerge from a few simple rules. Here's a wiki on Life in case you aren't familiar with it: >> Conway's Game of Life
Note the complexity it has and it operates on a 2-dimensional square matrix, so one can logically conclude how much more complexity might be had from a CA operating in/on a 3-dimensional matrix of vector equilibria.