Thinglings are like small storage drives. Each one has parts that can be arranged into trillions of different combinations. That's enough to store thousands of encoded images or songs!
The data on a thingling can be seen as abstract. It can represent anything you want. It's like the data in DNA for producing humans or other organisms. Also, it can be compared to the data in neurons, encoding thoughts and emotions. What can you do with a thingling? Store anything you want!
A thingling is alive, in the sense that it converts incoming stresses or pressures, like a human playing with it or a computer processing it, into artful designs. This is akin to humans, plants, bacteria, or any other life form.
The thingling is the abstract design, rather than any particular implementation. For example, a thingling can reside on different substrates like plastic, metal, or binary digits. One can copy the same data from a thingling in any of these structures to any other, as it is still the same design.
Thinglings evolve. As one modifies the data, thinglings have to adjust, adapt, evolve to survive. This can result in different shapes or structures, which should show increasingly efficient designs, as with any other life form.
Thinglings can be seen as "digital life tubs". Instead of messy stuff, however, thinglings can store data in a clean persistent format.
A single thingling can store approximately one trillion bytes! That's a terabyte, like a computer hard drive. One can in theory convert a thingling into a piece of music, a computer program, or anything else that one can store on a hard drive.
Works sort of like a bike combination lock.
Lego with data!
Like a crystal of information.
Thinglings are an example of artificial life.
Cognition in cogs!
Also like an electrical circuit, a plumbing network, a road network, a social network, or other graphs.
You can store tons of information on it, if you're clever enough!
One thingling connects to another, front to back. Also, the gears can mesh so that the thinglings mate.