emergence as whalespeak
adding page on 3rd reading (10 ish yrs after 1st 2) of steven johnson‘s emergence (book).. seeing it now as: reason we keep perpetuating tragedy of the non common; frustrat\ing book; keeping us from adjacent possibles; keeping us from the aliveness that is legit us.. because we keep cancer-ing organism as fractal.. we keep trying to machine us
emergence as whalespeak
intro – here comes everybody
mathematics had played such a tremendous role in expanding our understanding of physics, (evelyn fox) keller thought – so perhaps it might also be useful for understanding living systems..t
rather.. perhaps might be deadly.. ie: we math-fractaled as fractal.. rather than organism as fractal.. of math and men killing us softly w its song.. we need to let go of any form of m\a\p.. we need to let go of understanding ness.. if we want living systems to live alive
like what computers can’t do.. what math/patterns/equations/stats/predictions.. can’t do
when environ less hospitable.. slime mold acts as single organism (it).. when cooler and large food supply.. it becomes a they
turing’s paper had focused more on the recurring numerical patterns of flowers, but it demo’d using math tools.. how a simple complex organism could assemble itself w/o any master planner calling the shots..
but if used numerical patterns.. still cancer to living ness.. still calling the shots..
it seemed like a perfectly reasonable explanation.. we’re naturally predisposed to think in terms of pacemakers, whether we’re talking about fungi, political systems, or our own bodies.. our actions seem governed for the most part by the pacemaker cells in our brains, and for millennia we’ve build elab pacemakers cells into our social orgs, whether they come in the form of kings, dictators, or city councilmen.. much of the *world around us can be explained in terms of command systems and hierarchies.. why should it be any diff for the slime molds?
all the cells in the community were effectively interchangeable.. none of them possessed any distinguishing characteristics that might elevate them to pacemaker status.. shafer’s theory had presumed the existence of cellular monarchy commanding the masses, but as it turned out, all slime mold cells were created equal
keller started to think: what if shafer had it wrong all along? what if slime mold cells were org ing selves.? what if there were no pacemakers?.. keller and segel scratched out out a series of equations.. that demo’d how slime cells could trigger aggregation w/o following a leader.. simply by altering amounts of cyclic amp they released individually, then *following trails of the pheromone they encountered as they wandered thru their environs…. *cells would being following trails created by other cells, creating a **positive feedback loop that encouraged more cells to join the cluster.. w/o a pacemaker ***calling the shots..
but there is ***one.. even if just a *trail.. still a pacemaker.. sill cancerous.. maté trump law et al
the movement from low level rules to higher level sophistication is what we call emergence..
oi.. higher level.. sophistication..?.. how is that legit/natural emergence
imagine a billiard table populated by semi intelligent, *motorized billiard balls.. that have been programmed to explore..such a system would define the most elemental form of complex behavior: a system w multiple agents dynamically interacting in multiple ways, following local rules and **oblivious to any higher level instructions..
*oi.. from prior definition of emergence.. right into motorizing/programming.. how is the king of emergence getting away w all this no legit organism as fractal ness? .. i mean i get it.. it matches wikipedia.. it matches what we teach.. all the things that keep us from legit ness..
**matters little if still programmed/motorized .. matters little if calling out higher/lower levels..
but it wouldn’t truly be considered emergent until those local interactions resulted in some kind of *discernible macrobehavior
oh my oh my.. we can forget legit complexity, legit emergence, legit self-organizing ness.. if we keep defining them this way.. no wonder we can’t hear/see.. we can’t let go of *naming the colour et al
say the local rules of behavior followed by the balls ended up dividing the table into two clusters of even/odd numbered balls.. that would mark the beginning of emergence, a higher level pattern arising out of parallel complex interactions between local agents..
rules of behavior.. oi.. just oi.. huge red flags all over the place.. how did i not see this before..
they’re programmed to follow much more random rules
not legit self-organizing.. not legit emergence..
of those low level routines, a coherent shape emerges
rather.. a coherent shape is manufactured – whalespeak
but, like the proverbial hamlet -writing monkeys, if we had an infinite number of tales in our pool hall.. each following a diff set of rules.. one of those tables might randomly hit upon a rule set that would arrange all the balls in a perfect triangle, leaving the cue ball across the table ready for the break.. that would be adaptive behavior in the large ecosystem of the pool hall
oi..so loaded.. in the large ecosystem of sea world
emergent behavior that we’ll examine in this book shows the distinctive quality of growing smarter over time
growing smarter.. is so not the point of living.. of human being
a better ie might be a table that self orgs into a billiards based timing device: w the cue ball bouncing off the 8 ball.. 60x a minute
holy cow.. let go – we throw in numbers.. any form of m\a\p.. and we all become idiot robot followers..
your body contains numerous organic clocks built out of simple cells that function in remarkably similar ways (as pool table)
so the question becomes, how do you push your emergent system toward clocklike behavior, if that’s your goal? how do you make a self organizing system more adaptive
this was red flagged on first readings.. so was at least starting to smell a rat (meaning hari rat park law et al).. we need to let go of responding/adapting ness.. ie: curiosity over decision making et al
self org became object of study in its own right.. leading to creation of celebrated research enters such as santa fe institute.. which devoted self ot study of complexity in all its diverse forms
but in 3rd phase.. the one that began sometime in past decade.. the one that lies at very heart of this book – we stopped analyzing emergence and started creating it..
you mean engineering/ordering/coercing/killing it.. let go
we began building self organizing systems into our software apps, our video games, our art, our music
not how legit self org and emergence et al works.. you can’t manufacture it and then says it’s natural
we built emergent systems to recommend new *books, recognize our **voices, or find ***mates
for as long as complex orgs have been alive, they have lived under the laws of self org.. but in recent yrs our day to day life has become overrun w *artificial emergence: system built w a conscious understanding of what emergence is, system designed to exploit those laws the same way our nuclear reactors exploit the laws of atomic physic .. up to now, the philosophers of emergence have struggled to **interpret the world.. but they are now starting to change it..
what unites diff phenom.. is a recurring pattern/shape: a network of self org, of disparate agents that *unwittingly create a higher level order.. at each scale.. the **laws of emergence hold true
*higher level.. and order.. huge red flags
**laws? of emergence? hold true? .. whalespeak
this book – 3 historical phases: 1\ colony behavior of social insects to streets of manchester to the new forms of *emergent software being developed today
2\ overview of defn emergence.. 4 principles: neighbor interaction, pattern recognition, feedback, indirect control
3\ future of artificial emergence and what will happen when media/political movements shaped by bottom up rather than top down ones
part one – (of 3 historical phases)
now to page numbers – 2
1 – the myth of the ant queen
meeting w deborah
in other words.. the matriarch doesn’t train her servants to protect her.. evolution does
or nothing does.. ie: no train
popular culture trades in stalinist ant stereotypes – witness the authoritarian colony regime in the animated film antz – but in fact, colonies are the exact opposite of command economies.. while they are capable of remarkable coordinated feats of task allocation, there are not 5 yr plans in the ant kingdom
and yet.. we keep creating/colouring/assuming them
the colonies that gordon studies display some of nature’s most mesmerizing decentralized behavior: intelligence and personality and learning that emerges from the bottom up
i have to take a few seconds to do the geometry myself, and *sure enough, the ants have go t it right
oh my.. of math and men.. people telling ants they have it right? that after doing the math.. we’re *certain of things.. we know all..
i find myself laughing out loud at the thought: it’s as though they’ve solved on one of those spatial math tests that appear on standardized tests, conjuring up a solution that’s perfectly tailored to their environ, a solution that might easily stump and 8 yr old human.. the question is, who’s doing the conjuring?
rather.. the question .. why do we think everything relates to math/school/tests/problem-solving..
we know now that system like ant colonies don’t have real leaders, that the very idea of an ant ‘queen’ is misleading.. but *the desire to find pacemakers in such systems has always been powerful.. in both the group behavior and of the social insects, and in the collective human behavior that creates a living city.. **records exist
*desire to find pacemakers.. same as desire to find math/patterns/predictions/control.. aka: misleading.. and lots because **records exist.. the research ness/history ness of whalespeak.. via our obsession w intellect ness and understanding ness..
we gotta let go of all that
manchester – granted a charter in 1301, the town established a colledge in thearly 1400s..
rather.. granted a death wish
engel: ‘i have never elsewhere seen a concealment of such fine sensibility of everything that might offend the eyes and nerves of the middle classes.. and yet it is precisely manchester that has been built less according to a plan and less w/in the limitation of official regs – and indeed more thru accident – than any other town..
the city has built a cordon sanitaire to separate the industrialists from the squalor they have unleashed on the world, concealing the demoralization of manchester’s working class districts.. and yet that disappearing act comes into the world w/o ‘conscious, explicit intention’.. the city seems artfully planned to hide its atrocities, and yet it ‘has been built less according to a plan’ than any city in history.. as steven marcus puts it.. ‘the point to be taken is that this astonishing and outrageous arrangement cannot fully be understood as the result of a plot, or even a deliberate design, although those in whose interest it works also control it.. it is indeed too huge/complex a state of organized affairs ever to have been thought up in advance, to have preexisted as an idea’
that mix of order and anarchy is what w enow call emergent behavior.. urban critics since lewis mumford and jane jacobs have known that cities have lives of their own.. w neighborhoods clustering into place w/o any robert moses figure dictating the plan from above
he (engels) was left groping blindly, trying to find aculprit for the city’s fiendish org, even as he acknowledge tha tthe city was notoriaoulsy unplannd
but it was planned/coerced if separated.. levels of hierarchy/society et al
there is first, the more conventional sense of complexity as sensory overload, the city stretching the human nervous system to its ver extremes, and in the process teaching it a new series of reflexes and leading the way for a complementary series of aesthetic values, which develop out like a scab around the original wound..
that’s not complexity.. that’s reflexive/responsive/adaptive complicated ness
walter benjamin: ‘.. having mastered this task, the eye welcomed opps to confirm its obsession of its new ability.. the method of impressionist painting whereby the picture is assemble thru a riot of flecks of color, would then be a reflection of experience w which the eye of a big city dweller has become familiar’
but complexity is not solely a matter of sensory overload.. there is also the sense of complexity as a self organizing system.. more santa fe institute than frankfurt school.. this sort of complexity lives up one level: it describes the system of the city itself, and not its experiential reception by the city dweller.. the city is complex because it overwhelms, yes, but also because it has a coherent personality, a personality that self orgs out of millions of individual decisions, a global order built out of local interactions.. this is a ‘systematic’ complexity that engles glimpsed on the boulevards of manchester: not the overload and anarchy he documented elsewhere, but instead a strange kind of order, a pattern in the streets that furthered the political values of manchester’s elite w/o being deliberately planned by them
oh my oh my oh my.. whalespeak.. so loaded..
we know now from computer models and sociological studies.. as well as from teh studies of comparable systems generated by the social insects, such as gordon’s harvester ants .. that larger patterns can emerge out of uncoordinated local actions
we know? oi.. whalespeak.. rather.. we engineered.. and then called that a knowing ness..
when we see repeated shapes and structure emerging out of apparent chaos, we can’t help looking for pacemakers..
we are the whale-pacemakers.. via ll the looking/assuming/knowing/whalespeak.. we perpetuate the tragedy of the non common ongoingly.. we need to let go of that hard won order ness – even if we say we it’s not hard won.. we’re still artificially ordering it/us
because those patterns are fed back to the community, small shifts in behavior can quickly escalate into large movements: upscale shops dominate the main boulevards, while the working class remains clustered invisibly in the alleys and side streets; the artists live on the left bank.. the investment banker in the 8th arrondissement.. you don’t need regs and city planners deliberately creating these structures.. all you need are 1000s of individuals and a *few simple rules of interaction
think of these 3 categories (of scientific inquiry: 1\ simple systems 2\ disorg’d complexity 3\ org’d complexity) of problems in terms of our billiards table analogy from the intro
then goes on to 1\ simple = billiard balls – which is ‘often used to illustrate basic laws of physics in high school textbooks’ 2\ disorg complex = millions balls – so you can predict things – and 3\ org complex = motorized/programmed balls – so balls following rules – aka: whales – to make specific pattern – aka: sea world – over time.. oi oi oi
weaver on org’d complexity.. suddenly seemed omnipresent in nature once you started to look for it
tackling such problems (org’d complex) required a new approach.. not only approach from above.. to cans whole living world.. but also from underneath, by the *quantitative analyst who measure the underlying facts
*scanning/measuring.. killing us..
this was a genuine shift in the paradigm of research.. a revolution not so much in the interpretations that science built in it attempt to explain the world.. but rather in the types of questions it asked..
not a paradigm shift/revolution if question still programmed/whalespeak
not just a new mind set.. weaver recognized.. also a by product of new tools.. to solve problems of rog’d complexity.. needed a machine capable of churning thru 1000s/millions calcs per second..
what we need is tech as it could be
on jane jacobs vs moses’s plan to build a superhighway thru the heart of soho – in 61
jane in death and life: ‘under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city.. it is a complex order’
need to go deeper than jane.. ie: carhart-harris entropy law et al
jane death and life: ‘.. order.. an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole.. ‘
jane’s book would revolutionize the way we imagine cities
‘vital cities have marvelous *innate abilities for understanding/communicating contriving/inventing what is **required to combat their difficulty’ she wrote.. they get heir order from below; they are ***learning machines, pattern recognizers – even when the patterns they respond to are unhealthy ones..
*we’ve not yet trusted this enough to legit see.. the dance
**wrong focus.. aka: whalespeak
jacob’s book was a work in society theory, not science.. was it possible to *model and explain the behavior of self organizing systems using more rigorous methods? could the developing **tech of digital computing be usefully applied to this ***problem?
*we need to let go of explaining behavior.. or we’ll never see the dance..
on ants and slime mold *behaviors by recognizing patterns via pheromone trails and amp signals.. prigogine was making steady advances in his understanding of non-equilib thermodynamic environs **where the laws of entropy are temporarily overcome, and higher level order may spontaneously emerge out of underlying chaos
at mit.. selfridge experimenting w model for *teaching a computer how to learn.. huge **diff between computer that passively receive info you supply and a computer that actively learns on own.. first gen of computers had processed info fed to them by their masters..
turning and shannon argued over future musical tastes of the ‘electronic brain.. while colleague norbert wiener had written .. cybernetics manifesto in 1949 on self reg powers of feedback
selfridge’s (harvard at 15.. mit phd at 21 – dissertation via wiener.. then influenced minsky in 50s) presentation had the memorable title ‘pandemonium: a paradigm for learning’..
the brilliance of selfridge’s new paradigm lay in the fact that it relied on a distributed, bottom up *intelligence, and not a unified, top down one.. rather than build a single smart program, selfridge created a swarm of limited miniprograms which he called demons.. ‘the idea was we have a bunch of these demons shrieking up the hierarchy’ he explains ‘lower level demons shrieking to higher level demons shrieking to higher ones’.. to understand what that ‘shrieking’ means, imagine a system w 26 individual demons, each *trained to recognize a letter of the alphabet. the pools of demons is shown a series of words, and each demon ‘*votes‘ as to whether each letter displayed *reps its chosen letter..
all the letter recognizing demons would report to a master demon, who would tally up the votes for each letter and choose the demons that expressed the highest confidence.. the the software would move on to he next letter.. and begin again.. at end.. master demon would have working interp of text.. based on assembled votes of the demon democracy
oi.. democratic admin et al
answer involved.. a feedback mech whereby the various demon guesses could be graded.. this lower level was populated by even less sophisticated miniprograms, *trained only to recognize raw physical shapes/sounds.. some demons recognized parallel lines others perpendicular ones.. some looked for circles others for dots.. none of these shapes were associated a any particular letter; these *bottom dwelling demons were like 2 yr old children .. capable of reporting on the shapes they witnessed.. but not perceiving them as letters or words
oi.. so loaded.. ie: not yet scrambled ness et al
using these minimally equipped demons, the system could be trained to recognize letters, w/o ‘knowing’ anything about the alphabet in advance.. the recipe was relatively simple: present the letter b to the bottom level demons and see which ones respond and which ones don’t.. those lower level demons would repots to a one step higher in chain.. based on info gathered from its lieutenants.. would make guess as to the letter’s id.. those guesses are then ‘graded’ by the software
the results are close to random at first but if you repeat the process a 1000 times or 10 000, the system learns
rather.. the system logs patterns.. and then does with them what it was told to do with them
the system doesn’t come w any predefined conceptions about the shpaes of letters.. you train the system to associate letters w specific shapes in the grading phase
this is why handwriting recognition software can adapt to so many diff types of penmanship but can’t adapt to penmanship that changes day to day
but has to change day to day or dead/blind
‘the scheme sketched is really a natural selection of the processing demons’ selfridge explained.. ‘if they serve a useful function they survive and perhaps are even the source of other subdemons who are themselves judged on their merits.. all fairly similarly constructed and employ natural selection on the crowd of them.’
oi.. darwin.. merit (meritocracy) ness.. et al.. not natural
the system selfridge describe .. w its bottom up learning and its evaluating feedback loops – belongs in the history books as the first practical description of an emergent software program
oi.. not learning.. not emergent
like turing, holland wanted to explore the way simple rules could lead to complex behavior; like selfridge, he wanted to create software that would be capable of open ended learning.. holland’s great break through was to harness the forces of another bottom up open ended system: natural selection.. building on selfridge’s pandemonium model, holland took the logic of darwinian evolution and built it into code.. he called his new creation the genetic algorithm.
of course.. oi
a traditional software program is a series of instruction that *tells the computer what to do
the art of programming lay in figuring out how to construct the most efficient sequence of instructions .. the sequence that would get the most done w the shortest amount of code.. and w the least likelihood of a crash.. normally that was done using the raw intellectual firepower of the programmer’s mind.. you thought about the problem, sketched out the best solution, *fed it into the computer, evaluated its success, and then tinkered w it to make it better.. but holland imagined another approach: set up a **gene pool of possible software and let successful programs evolve out of the soup..
w dna based organisms, natural selection works by creating a massive pool of genetic variation, then evaluating the success rate of the assorted behavior unleashed by all those genes
oi.. how to reconcile ‘higher level’ ness .. w ant queen; eval.. ‘success rate’; ‘behavior’; .. so loaded
run thru enough cycles, and you have a recipe for engineering masterworks like the human eye – w/o a bona fide engineer in sight
so this is all about creation of human being ness
what we need to to detox us not to recreate us.. we need a means for augmenting our interconnectedness
the genetic algo was an attempt to capture that process in silicon.. software already has a genotype and a phenotype, holland recognized; there’s the code itself, and then there’s what the code actually does..
natural selection relies on a brilliantly simple, but somewhat tautological (saying same thing twice w diff words), criterion for evaluation success: your genes get to pass on to the next gen if you survive long enough to produce a next gen.. holland decided to make the eval step more precise: his programs would be admitted to next gen if they did better job of accomplishing a specific take – *doing simple math, say, or recognizing patterns in visual images.. the *programmer could decide what the task was; he/she *just couldn’t directly instruct the software how to accomplish it.. he/she would set up the parameters that defined genetic fitness, then let the software evolve on its own
so .. not on its own.. rather.. let it pick between *spinach or rock et al
oh my oh my.. every line loaded
on more successful ants being able/allowed to reproduce
the tools of emergent software had been harnessed to model/understand the evolution of emergent intelligence in real world organisms.. in fact, watching those virtual ants evolve on the computer screen, learning/adapting to environs on own, you couldn’t help wonder if the division between the real/virtual was becoming increasingly hazy
histories of intellectual devel.. the origin/spread of new ideas – usually come in two types: 1\ great man theory.. single genius has eureka moment 2\ paradigm shift theory.. occupants of halls of science awake to find entirely new floor..
resnick’s slime mold simulation may be better metaphor for way idea revolutions come about..
talking a bit undisturbed ecosystem ish.. then slides into ‘like an essay published in journal that sits unread.. vs best selling books.. or founding research centers.. to new way of looking at world’.. so really same song
by time jerrerson and taylor started tinkering w virtual ants mid 80s.. trails of intellectual inquiry had grown long and interconnected enough to create a higher level order (emergence of emergence).. transforming dozens of existing disciplines and inventing new one.. leading way for minsky’s bottom up society of mind theory.. edelman.. leading way for understanding immune system as self learning pattern recognition devices.. then another nobel winner.. linking ai, pattern recognition, ant colonies, and godlberg variation.. which.. (drum roll) became a best seller.. and won pulitzer..
society of mind to best seller.. yeah..oi
warren weaver’s ‘middle region’ had at last been occupied by the scietific vanguard
m of care – jul 15 ness
something you could sell
again.. to my answer to kenneth in m of care – jul 15
sim city came out of the developing web of the bottom up world view.. it suggested a whole new opening: simcity was work of culture not science.. it aimed to entertain not explain.. 10 yrs after release.. world now abounds w these man made system
rather.. just took sea world online.. man made systems (sea world) was locked in forever ago
then to sim city surpassing hollywood in raw sales numbers.. best selling titles.. on powers of digital self org.. leading to thinking using conceptual tools of bottom up system
oi – whalespeak
just like the clock maker metaphors of enlightenment or dialectical logic of 19th cent.. the emergent worldview belongs to this moment in time, shaping our though habits and coloring our perception of the world.. as our everyday life becomes increasingly populated by artificial emergence, we will find ourselves relying more/more on logic of these systems
naming the colour ness as blinding us rather than ‘progressing’ ‘freeing’ us.. if logic.. then not emergence
on gore.. and what bottom up paradigm could mean for reinventing govt
legit bottom up wouldn’t do/think/reinvent govt
2 – street level
deborah gordon: ‘i was interested in systems where individuals who are unable to assess the global situation still work together in a coordinated way.. and they manage to do it using only local info’.. local turns out to be the key term in undertsanding the power of swarm logic
spot on w local.. just not local enough ie: undisturbed ecosystem
(they) pay attention to immediate neighbors rather than wait for orders from above.. they think locally and act locally, but their collective action produces global behavior
harvester ant colonies constantly adjust the number of ants foraging.. based on number of variables..
later says gordon doesn’t believe ants actually calculate.. just act diff according to who’s around them.. but it’s still oh my math.. tit for tat ness.. maté trump law ness.. leading to testart storage law et al
based on that info.. both the pheromone signal and its frequency over time .. they can adjust own behavior accordingly.. the colonies take a problem that human societies might solve w a command system .. and instead solve it using statistical probabilities
oi.. still a command system (letting numbers/predictions rule).. still not non hierarchical listening
if building a system designed to learn from ground level.. where macro intell and adaptability derive from local knowledge. there are 5 fundamental principles you need to follow
ha.. if no rules.. follow these 5.. just the wording is funny.. otherwise.. all of this is so steeped in whalespeak.. not worth noting
‘typical teenagers’.. i say laughing (on fickle and aggressive ants)
cells self org by learning from neighbors
the secret of self assembly: cell collective emerge because each cell looks to its neighbors for cues about how to behave.. the cheat sheet that enables each cell to figure out which segment of dna to consult of its instructions.. a microscopic herd mentality: a cell looks around to neighbors and finds that they’re all working away steadily at creating an eardrum or a heart valve, which in turn causes the cell to start laboring away at the same task
i think this is major whalespeak
indeed, the (dna) code is utterly worthless w/o the cell’s ability to determine its place in the overall organism.. a feat that is accomplished by the elegant strategy of paying attention ot one’s neighbors.. ridley: ‘the great beauty of embryo development.. the bit that human beings find so hard to grasp is that it is a totally decentralized process.. since *every cell in body carries a complete copy of the genome.. no cell need wait for instruction from authority; every cell can act on own info **and the signals it receives from neighbors.. and so.. full circle back to gordon’s ants.. and their uncanny ability to generate coordinated global behavior out of local interactions..
sounds like networked individualism/undisturbed ecosystem.. doused (to the point of death) in whalespeak.. yes to local interacions.. but that doesn’ mean they **guide/generate global/local behavior.. it’s a dance not a machine/algo
how do we extend our vision up one more level on the chain of life to the cultural ‘superorganism’ of the city?
oi.. levels and computer simulations et al
you can create commercial zones (in simcity) or build a highways, but there’s never a guarantee that the neighborhood will take off or the crime rate go down.. (it’s far from random of course.. longtime players learn how to *push their virtual citizens in certain directions)
as though the hard math of the digital computer had somehow generated a life form something more organic and fluid, somewhere between the rigid dictates of programming and pure randomness.. how didi wright create this *extraordinary illusion? by designing the game as an emergents system, a meshwork of cells that are connected to other cells and that **alter their behavior in response to the behavior of other cells in the networks
oi oi oi.. from the *illusion ness to the **altering in response ness
the algos themselves are relatively simple..look at your neighbors’ sate, and change your state accordingly..the magic of the simulation occurs because the computer makes **1000s of these calcs per second
rather.. algos based on price/value.. so whalespeak.. doesn’t matter how many time s you **iterate non legit ness.. doesn’t make it legit
the resemblance to our ants and embryos is striking.. each block in simcity obeys a set of rigid instructions governing tis behavior.. just as cells consult cheat sheet of our genes.. but those instructions depend on signals received from other blocks in the neighborhood.. just as cells peer out thru gap junctions to gauge the sate of their neighbors.. .. w only handful of city blocks.. game is deathly boring and unconvincingly robotic.. but w 1000s of blocks.. each responding to dozens of variables.. the simulated cityscape comes to life.. *sprouting upscale boroughs and slums.. besieged by virtual recession and lifted by sudden booms.. as w ant colonies .. **more is different.. ‘***great cities are not like towns only large ‘ jane jacobs writes.. ‘they are not like suburbs only dense.. they differ from towns an suburbs in basic ways’
oi.. so much *loaded whalespeak.. ie: **more is not diff.. at least if iterating on non legit ness.. not to mention.. more isn’t enough.. it has to be all.. everyday
problem is.. we don’t have any ies of cities/towns ***great for human being ness.. so all this.. even jane.. is whalespeaking
in recent years, some of those theorists.. and mainstream economists – have developed more *precise models that recreate the neighborhood formation process w startling *precision
‘the self organizing econ’ publishes as a book (paul krugman) .. include a remarkably simple *math model that can account for the ‘polycentric, plumpudding pattern of the modern metropolis’.. assumes a simplified city made up only of **businesses, each of which makes a decision about where to locate itself based on the location of other businesses..
*oi oi oi
w/in that *environ, krugman’s model relies on two primary axioms:.. ‘**and that’s all we need‘ krugman continues
**oi.. but same oi for ants (being observed/mapped.. then used as a guide) and machines/algos et al
there’s not rule for clustering that the businesses are directly obeying: *their motives are strictly local.. a higher order that exist on the **level of the city itself..
*rather.. strictly money/profit.. whalespeak.. **oi
no one wills them into existence single handedly; they emerge by a kind of tacit *consensus: the artists go here, the investment bankers here.. mexican americans here, gays/lesbians here.. the great preponderance of the city dwellers live by those laws, w/o any legal authority mandating the *compliance.. it is the sidewalk.. that helps us create those *laws.. in the popular *democracy of neighborhood formation, we *vote w out feet
‘edge cities’ that have sprouted
oi.. again using the word sprouted.. rather forced
cities, jacobs understood, were created not by central planning commissions, but by the *low level actions of borderline strangers going about their *business in public live..
*business.. not ‘legit free going about’ ness
the only question is whether my friend was getting a big enough dosage from his car (looking at slums from overpass.. missing the rhythm/color of the poor)
like.. are we getting big enough dosage from ants or embryo studies.. to be naming the colour.. or is that just blinding us more
harvester ant colony, the individual ants are relatively stupid .. following elemental laws w/o anything resembling free will.. on distinctions between ant colonies and cities.. revolving around question of volition (free will)
that’s why i’m always hesitant to make analogies from ants to people, because ants are so unlike people (in that gordon quote: ‘very hard to imagine any human society in which people would go around responding to what happened at moment w/o any conception of why they’re doing what they’re doing’
huge.. ginorm whalespeak
maybe legit free people.. but not us whales.. all of us whales.. do exactly that.. (even if we think we’re not.. we have no idea what legit free people are like.. so we perpetuate tragedy of the non common)
3 – the pattern match
most of us have developed immunity to the chicken pox.. based on our exposure to it early in childhood.. immunity is a learning process.. we don’t come into world predisposed to ward off pox.. our bodies learn how to do it on the fly.. *w/o any specific training.. like a 6 mos old .. the immune system first learns to recognize things that differ from self, then sets out to control those things..
the body learns w/o consciousness.. and so do cities.. because learning is not just about being aware of info.. it’s also about *storing info and knowing where to find it.. it’s about being able to recognize/respond to changing patterns.. about **altering a systems’ behavior in response to those patterns to make system more successful at goal it’s pursuing..
or is this *storage our demise? because in order to store .. we have to label.. which kills the thing we’re storing
he wouldn’t be equipped to buy any of these things, or able to communicate intelligibly to the salesmen.. but he’d know where to find the goods all the same..
all these ie’s about money.. the language/rhythm of whalespeak
on cathedrals and unis best ies of phenom of physical structure w durability.. anchoring neighborhoods.. as long as they don’t burn down
rather.. cathedrals and unis as chains..
these clusters are like magnets planted in the city’s fabric, keeping like minds together, even as the forces of history try to break them apart
cities bring individuals together and put them into coherent slots
again.. w the storing/slotting.. really means killing
the power unleashed by this data storage is evident in the earliest large scale human settlements.. ie: plow, potter’s wheel, sailboat, abstract maths, exact astronomical observation, the calendar.. but they didn’t become part of the collectiv eintelligence of civilization until ther wer cities to store and trasmit them
if info storage and retrieval as the latent purpose of urban explosion.. it is the manifest purpose of the digital revolution.. all of which raises question.. is the web learning as well? if cities can generate emergent intell.. a macrobehavior *spawned by a million micromotives.. what higher level form is currently taking shape among the routers and fiber optic lines of the internet
wwhalespeak.. *killing us..
so if neurons can swarm their way into sentient brains, is it so inconceivable that the process might ratchet itself up one more level? couldn’t individual brains connect w one another, this time via the digital language of the web, and form something greater than the sum of their parts
like a musical that gets the kinks out in toronto before opening on broadway
i think we have it backwards.. global interconnectedness is already.. us trying to practice/train first is keeping us from that dance.. prep/teaching us for it is the killer
sustainable city life ranks high on the list of modern inventions.. as world transforming as the alphabet (which it helped engender) or the internet (which may well be its undoing)
the group brain of city life endowed info w far more structure/durability than it had previously possessed..unity the world intellects
intelligence requires both connectedness and org
is web becoming more org’d as it grows? no.. the portals and the search engines exist in the first place because the web is a tremendously disorganized space, a system where the disorder grows right alongside the overall volume
but/because we still aren’t letting go of order enough to see the dance.. not because there is no .. ore we need more.. seeming order
yahoo and google function as man made antidotes to the web’s natural chaos.. an engineered attempt to restore structure to a *system that is incapable of generating structure on its own.. this is the oft noted paradox of the web: the more info that flows into its reservoirs, the harder it becomes to find any single piece of info in that sea
because that sea is sea world.. so all data flapping/non-legit.. if legit data.. rather.. if 8b legit free people.. finding/org-ing info would be/become irrelevant.. like decision making.. engineering is unmooring us
*rats in cage.. not rats in rat park – hari rat park law et al
the web’s city would be more anarchic than any real world city on the planet – no patches of related shops/businesses/edge-cities;.. would simply be an undifferentiated mass of data growing more confusing w each new ‘building’ that’s erected.. so confusing in fact that the mapmakers (yahoos and googles) would genrat almost as must interest as the city itselt
on anarch\ism of web.. and calling that bad.. esp couple pages later..
and if web would make miserable city.. even worse as brain .. steven pinker’s how mind works: .. goal directed org.. have no ‘incentive’ to act against the interest of the whole body.. but the Internet .. has no such org’
loaded.. because some legit wording.. yet legit free not ie: goal directed org..et al.. steven pinker ness.. oi
again, the point here is that intelligent systems depend on structure and org as much as they do on pure connectedness.. and that intelligent systems are guided toward particular types of structure by the laws of natural selection
the techs behind the internet.. have been brilliantly engineered to handle dramatic increases in scale.. but they are indifferent.. if not downright hostile.. to the task of creating higher level order.. neuro equiv.. brain tumor
diff is in the engineering ness.. us trying to control.. via ‘higher level order’ et al.. like vaccine ness.. like me.. need to let go.. but (costello screen\service law).. need ot let go in rat park.. not in sea world
these patterns may be self organizing, but they are not adaptive in any way
the patterns are closer to a snowflake’s intricacy than a brain’s neural net: the snowflake self orgs into miraculously complicated shapes, but it’s incapable of *becoming a smarter snowflake, or a more effective one.. it’s simply a frozen pattern..
rather.. we observe/freeze/colour the snowflake to death.. the actual snowflake is alive.. turns/changes to water.. earth.. eco et al
*supposed to’s of school/work.. killing us
there is great power and creative energy in self org.. but it *needs to be channeled toward specific forms for it to blossom into something like intelligence..
huge dose of whalespeak
but web.. tends toward chaotic connections over emergent intell
let go.. of that hard won order.. ie: carhart-harris entropy law
how could such a change be brought about (on organizing the web)
rather why org? let go
the intelligence of a harvester ant colony derives from the densely interconnected feedback between ants.. change behavior according to preordained rules.. w/o that feedback.. they’d be a random assemblage of creatures butting heads and moving on, incapable of displaying *the complex behavior that we’ve come to expect from the social insects.. neural networks of brain also heavily dependent on feedback loops
an intoxicating idea (tracking/patterning/adapting web).. and strangely *fitting.. after all.. a guide to the entire web should be more than just a collection of handcrafted ratings.. gets smarter/org’d the more individual surfing histories it tracks
fitting for whales.. who’s goal is intell/order/learning/compliance/normal.. not for legit free beings.. let’s get back/to environ that listens.. to draw out of what’s w/in.. rather than to train/teach/order via supposed to’s
(on brilliance et al) of start ups promising to bring like minds together..
rather .. let’s bring people together.. locally.. via daily/changing curiosities
ie: imagine if we
who cares if it (web) never actually learns how to think for itself
but is it truly a diff in kind or just a diff in degree.. this is question that haunted the ai community for decades now..
yeah.. no.. same song.. degree.. not legit diff
but in world where info accessible online is doubling ever 6 mos.. clear that some form of pattern matching.. will eventually influence much of our mediated lives..
4 – listening to feedback
the likelihood of a feedback loop correlates directly to the general interconnectedness of the system..
change was almost invisible (way media worked.. ie of clinton’s flowers scandal broadcast).. but its consequences were profound.. the mech for determining what constituted a legit story had been reengineered.. from top down w little feedback.. to journalists neural net w 100s participated directly w story
not profound.. just diff degree of flapping/whalespeak
that was the moment (flowers ie) at which the system began to display emergent behavior.. ‘out of my hands’
if emergent.. then virus/tumor like.. not legit free beings like
emergent systems can work toward many diff types of goals: some admirable.. some destructive
huge.. i don’t think legit emergence works toward goals.. huge ginorm.. let go.. ie’s of ‘dazzling revered neighborhoods vs slums’
it’s reason to figure out a better system.. flowers affair was ie of early stage of emergence.. but it was not adaptive
on wiener’s war related research in early 40s.. asked by army to figure out away to train mechanical guns to fire automatically at their targets
for neg feedback.. is a way of indirectly pushing a fluid, changeable system toward a goal.. a way of transforming a complex system into a complex adaptive system
oi.. from guns we decide being ness is about adapting-to-goal (control) ness.. let go
‘when we desire a motion to follow a given pattern..’ – quote from wiener’s cybernetics
but for some reason, our body clocks are set a little slow: human circadian cycle is 25 hrs.. so we rely on external world to reset our clock every day.. via light/dark and magnetic field.. as planets rotates.. w/o that neg feedback pulling our circadian rhythms back into sync.. we’d find ourselves sleeping thru the day for 2 wks every month..
understanding the body/mind as a feedback regulated homeostatic system has naturally encouraged some people to experiment w new forms of artificial feedback
w some practice, neurofeedback practitioners can more readily drive their brains toward specific states.. because neurofeedback tech supplies brain w new data about its own patterns of behavior
lewis mumford’s scathing critique of jane jacobs.. central message came down to the potential of metro centers to self reg
that kind of organic balance, mumford argued, was impossible in a city of 5 m people.. where the noise/congestion.. the sensory overload of it all.. drained out the ‘vitality’ from the city streets. ‘jacobs forgets that in organisms there is no tissue growth quite as ‘vital’ or ‘dynamic’ as cancer growths.. the author has forgotten the most essential characteristics of all organic growth.. to maintain diversity/blalance.. the organism must not exceed the norm of its species.. any eco association eventually reaches ‘climax stage’ beyond which growth w/o deterioration is not possible..
like many debates form the annals of urban studies.. the mumford/jacobs exchange over the ‘climax stage’ of city life mirrors recent developments in the digital realm.. as web based communities *struggle to manage the problems of runaway growth
echo and the well had a certain homeostatic balance in those early years.. captured in h rheingold’s the virtual community.. and part of that balance came from the community’s own powers of self org.. but neither was pure ie of bottom up behavior: the topic areas, for instance were central planning affairs, created by fiat and not by footprints.. both communities benefited from strong top down leadership of their founders.. that their overall populations never approached a ‘climax sage’ reflected the slow modem adoption curve of the general public.. the software itself was *agnostic when it came to status.. but because software brought hominid minds together.. **minds that are naturally inclined to establish hierarchies in social relationships.. leader/pariahs began to appear
*do need tech w/o judgment
**so.. whale minds.. not legit free people minds
there were plenty of unofficial leaders to be sure.. but where code was concerned.. only official moderators came straight from top.. at 5 000 members.. still small enough to be managed partially from above.. and small enough that groups and recognizable characters naturally emerged.. at that scale.. didn’t need to solve problem of self reg w software tools: all you needed was software that *connected people’s thoughts.. via the asynchronous posts of a threaded discussion board.. and the community could find its own balance
*this could happen at 8b.. it collecting (listening for) legit (non whale) data.. ie: imagine if we
but even in those heady early days.. echo and well fell short of achieving real homeostasis for reasons that would become endemic to next gen of communities then forming on the web itself..
in real life.. we’v developed a series of social conventions that keep the crank from dominating our convos.. for most pathological cases.. they simply don’t get invited.. but for borderline.. a subtle but powerful mech is at work in any face to face group convo: if individual is holding a convo hostage w irrelevant obsession.. groups can naturally establish a consensus.. using words, body language, facial expression.. show of hands.. making it clear the majority fells their time is being wasted.. the f-to-f world is populated by countless impromptu polls that take the groups collective pulse..
the crank exploits a crucial disparity in flow of info: while we conventionally think of threaded as 2 way.. lurkers only flow one way.. turned less interactive than f to f lecture.. or dinner table
yeah.. i don’t know.. but irrelevant
human beings.. are exceptionally talented at assess mental states of other people.. that 2 way exchange give f to f group convos flexibility /responsiveness winer found lacking in mass communications
surely there is a ‘climax stage’ on that scale where the online growth turns cancerous.. feedback couldn’t help
whalespeak.. no climax.. and not feedback dependency
holland michigan.. tulip festival.. and birthplace of slashdot.. closes thing to self org community that web has yet produced.. but grew.. to too much for any single person to filter out the useless info..
wrong focus.. need detox embed.. not overseer/inspectors of inspectors
malda’s first inclination.. create a slashdot elite: 25 handpicked spam warriors.. eliminated irrelevant/obnoxious.. malda endowed his lieutenants w a crucial resource: they could rate other contributions 1 to 5.. then need more than 25.. to keep from descending into complete anarchy.. so to mumford’s: stay small and preserve quality of original community.. slashdot had reached ‘climax stage’.. so malda made everyone a potential lieutenant..
wrong focus.. not about control (consensus oppresses) .. about listening to all (has to be all.. sans inspectors)
the solution malda arrived at: mix of neg/pos feedback, structured randomness, neighbor interactions, and decentralized control.. from certain angle.. slashdot resembles an ant colony.. from another it looks like a virtual democracy.. malda himself likens it to jury duty
each moderator endowed w finite number of points can distribute by rating user contributions.. dole out all your ratings and your tenure comes to end.. those ratings coalesce into something malda called karma: if contributions highly rated by moderators.. you earn karma in system.. giving you special privileges.. malda had created a kind of currency, a pricing system for online civics.. a standard for pricing community participation that actually works
on adam smith being far ahead of naturalists grasping principle of negative feedback controls
there it is.. feedback=control
in the digital world, at ales, there is life after the climax stage
but to date.. only sea world life
what’s interesting here is not just the medium.. but the rules that govern what gets selected and what doesn’t.. it’s an algo problem then.. not a rep one..
it’s entirely possible that malda’s rules have created a tyranny of the majority at slashdot, at least when viewed at level 5
[he keeps using home as hone]
the system would reward controversial voices rather than popular ones.. the ones who attract both admirers and detractors.. would have a place at the table
we need to let go of rewarded anything over anything else.. and just listen to all.. sans seat at the table ness
5 – control artist
if calendar for flow of time, and pie chart for stat distributions, starlogo for bottom up systems.. resnick: they’re programmed to wander aimlessly around the screen space..’
‘when froebel designed the first kindergarten’ resnick tells me ‘he develop a set of toys they called froebel’s gifts, and he carefully designed them w the assumption that the object he’d put in the hands of kids would make a big diff in *what they learned and how they learned.. we see the same thing carried thru today.. we see some of our new tech as the latter day version of froebel’s gifts, trying to put new sorts of materials and *new types of toys in the hand of kids that will change what they think about.. and the way they think about it
*oi .. telling people what to do ness
gift\ness.. always a catch/string..
where the kids design behavior for lots of individual birds and then see the patterns that form thru all the interactions
so already beginning to be scrambled
we need starlogo to help us understand emergent behavior for same reason we need xray machines or calculators: our perceptual and cognitive faculties can’t do the work on their own
minsky had fallen for myth of ant queen: assumption that collective behavior implied some kind of centralized authority.. in this case.. that the food was dictating the behavior of the slime mold cells.. but there wasn’t any food.. nor was there anything dictating that cluster should form in specific locations.. the slime mold cells were self organizing, albeit w/in parameters that resnick had initially defined
of course.. on most fundamental level.. starlogo is itself a centralized system: it obeys rules laid down by single authority.. the programmer.. but the route from resnick’s code to those slime mold clusters is *indirect.. you don’t program slime mold cells to form clusters; you program them to follow pattern in the trails left behind by their neighbors..
if you have enough cells, and if trails last long enough.. you’ll get clusters.. but they’re not something you can *control directly.. and predicting the number of clusters.. or their longevity.. is almost impossible w/o extensive trial and error experimentation w the system..
*not directly.. but still controlling.. still structural violence.. no mater how nice resnick is or how kind kindergarten sounds
kevin kelly called his groundbreaking book on decentralized behavior ‘our of control’.. but the phrase doesn’t quite do justice to emergent system or at least the ones we’ve *deliberately set out to create on the computer screen..
*ie of structural violence, manufacturing consent, voluntary compliance, at kindergarten.. what we need is to let go of that hard won order.. of all that supposed to ness of school/work .. maté parenting law .. ie: carhart-harris entropy law et al..
systems like starlogo are not utter anarchies: they obey rules that we define in advance, but those rules only govern the micromotives.. the marcrobehavior is another matter..
actually.. same matter if not legit free/trusted in beginning ie: it’s beginning of scrambling
you don’t control tha tdireclty.. all you can do is set up the conidtions tha tyou think will make the behvaior possible.. they ou press play ans see what happens
what happens.. in sea world.. have to set up conditions of rat park.. not sea world when offered spinach or rock ad infinitum.. decision making is unmooring us.. it’s scrambling us.. we need to get back/to legit/daily/moment curiosity over decision making
it’s not accident that norbert wiener derived the term cybernetics form the greek word for ‘steersman’: the art of software has from the beginning been about control systems and how best to drive them.. but that control paradigm is slowly giving way to more oblique form of programming: software that you ‘grow’ instead of engineer, software that learns to solve problems autonomously.. the new paradigm borrows heavily form the playbook of natural selection.. profoundly darwinian
but hillis didn’t just sit down to write a number sorting application.. what hillis created was recipe for learning.. he taught computer to figure out how to sort numbers on its own
hillis pulled off this sleight of hand by connecting thee formidable powers of natural selection .. creating a kind of digital gene pool.. each program confronted w a disorderly sequence of numbers..and each tried its hand at putting them in *correct order
the overwhelming majority of the programs were good for nothing at all.. but some were better than others.. because hillis had established a quantifiable goal for the experiment.. numbers arranged in correct order.. programs in ballpark became basis for next iteration.. then whole process repeat itself.. mix, mutate, eval, repeat
after enough experimentation.. hillis recognized that his system had encountered a hurdle often discussed by evolutionary theorists: the software had stumbled across a local max in the fitness landscape
the problem w this approach is that there are false peaks in the fitness landscape
problem is hierarchy ness.. levels et al.. problem is .. missing center of problem
hillis’ stroke of genius was to force his miniprograms out of the ridges by introducing predators in to the mix.. just as in real world ecosystems, predators effectively raised the bar for evolved programs that became lazy because of their success
oh my.. such whalespeak.. we have no idea what legit free people are like
but the predators changed all that.. they hunted down ridge dwellers and forced them ti improvise.. once predators appeared on scene.. it became more productive to descend to lower altitudes to search out anew peak than to stay put at a local max.. hillis structured the predator prey relationship as an arms race: the higher the sorting programs climbed.. the more challenging the predators became.. anytime the software climbers decided to rest on their laurels, a predator appeared to scatter them off to find higher elevations
it created space where intelligent programs could grow/adapt.. exceeding the capacities of all but the most brilliant flesh and blood programmers
moving your character around is simple enough.. but figuring out what you’re supposed to do
i think they ahve developed another skill (kids today growing up on web rather than tv), one that almost looks like patience: they are more tolerant of being out of control, more tolerant of that exploratory phase where the rules don’t all make sense, and where few goals have been clearly defined.. in other words.. they are uniquely equipped to embrace the more oblique control system of emergent software
the designer, in other words, controls the micromotives of the player’s actions.. but the way those micromotives are exploited – and the macrobehavior that they generate – are out of the designer’s control.. they have a life of their own
gearheads isa purebred emergent system: a meshwork of autonomous agents following simple rules and mutually influencing each other’s behavior
purebred?.. telling people what to do..? oi
soldiers.. opponents.. behaviors that affect the behavior of other toys.. ‘the key thing is that once you’ve released your toys, they’re autonomous.. you’re only affecting the system from the margins’ zimmerman says.. ‘it’s a little chaos machine: unexpected things happen and you only control it from the edges’
not autonomous.. rather.. structural violence
and one of the things that make all games so engaging to *us is that they have rules.. in traditional games like monopoly or go or chess.. the fun of the game.. the play.. is what happens when you explore the space of possibilities defined by the rules.. w/o rules.. you have something closer to pure improv theater.. where anything can happen at any time
rules give games their structures.. and w/o that structure.. there’s no game.. this emphasis on rules might seem like the antithesis of the open-ended organic system .. but nothing could be further from truth.. emergent systems too are rule governed systems: their capacity for learning and growth and experimentation derives from their adherence to low level rules.. if any agents started following own rules.. or doing away w rules altogether.. the *system would stop working: there’d be no global intelligence.. just a teeming anarchy of isolated agents, a swarm w/o logic..
emergent behaviors .. like games.. are all about living w/in the boundaries defined by rules.. but also using that space to create something greater than sum of parts.. *understanding emergence ..
*obviously hasn’t happened.. if it even can.. ie: assuming rules have to be.. and that emergence = games.. et al
not only are you playing god by delierately selecting certain traits over others, bu tthe dna for thos etraits is plante dnear th eappropirate obstacles.. the space of possiblity unleadsehd by an open ended darwinain engin was simply too large fo rth rule spaceo fthe game tiself.. a game wher eantynincan happen is by defn not a game..
1\ not a game where anything can happen if darwinian 2\ games sounds like all we’ve done so far w tech/life.. ie: supposed to’s of school/work.. et al
is there a way to reconcile the unpredictable creativity of emergence w the directed flow of gaming? the answer i think will turn out to be a resounding yes.. but it’s going to take *some trial and error
not legit unpredictable.. aka: alive.. so.. rather it would take *some (more) compromise/cancer/compulsion/engineering.. et al
heywood had to restrict he artificial life engine because th powers of natural selection are too unpredictable fo th rules governed universe of a video game
natural selection ness.. observing us in it.. whatever.. science.. not unpredictable/free enough for alive living
(w free will button on ) requiring the kind of constant attention you’d expect in a nursery or home for alzheimer’s patients.. w/o free will, your sims simply sit around, waiting fo ryou to tell them wah tto do.. they may be starving, bu tunless you direct them to fridge.. thy’ll just sit out their craving for food like a gan of surban hunger artists
playing the sims w/o free will selected is a great remind that too much control can be a disastrous thing.. but the opposite can be even worse
that’s whalespeak.. we have no idea.. have never tried legit free will
he and his team began developing a set of ai routines that would *allow the sims to think for themselves
‘one of our biggest problems here was that our ai was too smart’ wright says not.. ‘the characters chose whichever action would max their happiness at any given moment. the problem is that they’re usually much better at this than the player
so.. ai better than the whale.. makes sense..
fun of sim comes from incomplete info about overall system: don’t know what combo of actions will lead to max happiness.. but software can make those calcs.. because happiness quota is built out of the game’s rules
whalespeak blinders to legit 1\ happiness 2\ focus (legit free people would be living .. not trying to figure out how to be happy)
and so wright had to dumb down his digital creations: ‘1\ made them focus on immediate gratification .. they’ rather sit in front of tv than study for job promotion.. 2\ gave their personality a very heavy weigh ton their decisions – so anal
oi oi .. doulb oi.. ie of tv vs job.. spinach or rock.. et al
i think there is something profound and embryonic, i that ‘free will’ button.. and in wright’s battle w the autonomy of his creations..
oi.. seeking to find profoundness and legit change in sea world
surprises us.. but not too much .. gives autonomy.. but not too much..
we already accept the premise that storytelling is an art, and we have a mature vocab to describe the gifts of its practitioners.. ie: great designers like wright, resnick, zimmerman are *‘control’ artists.. have a feel for middle ground between free will and nursing home.. for thin line between too much/little **order.. they have a feel for the edges
didn’t realize control artist was title of this ch (5).. oi
6 – the mind readers
the children consistently assume that the grown up would expect to find pencils in the box (marked smarties), not candy.. they had not yet developed the faculty for building models of other people’s mental states.. they were trapped in a kind of infantile omniscience, where the knowledge you possess is shared by the entire world..
the idea of two radically distinct mental states, each containing diff info about the world, *exceeded the faculties of the 3 yr old mind. but it came **naturally to the 4 yrs olds..
rather*scrambled the mind/thinking of the 4 yr olds
**not naturally.. because the scrambling had begun.. ie: intro’d to consumer world of pencils and candy and box labels.. where people have to think/talk whalespeak.. so radically distinct mental states.. rather than legit natural interconnectedness.. we need a means to get back/to that natural/deep/non hierarchical listening
resonating w in/out of other’s bodies et al
to make that gesture.. he (chimp) must somewhere be aware that the world is full of imperfectly shared info.. and that other individuals may have a perspective on the world that differs from his.. most important (and most conniving), he’s capable of exploiting that diff for his own benefit.. that exploitation .. a furtive pass concealed from alpha male.. is only possible because he is capable of building theories of other minds.. it is conceivable that this skill simply derives from a general increase in intelligence..
we are only now beginning to build useful maps of the brain’s functional topography, but already we see sings that ‘mind reading’ is more than just a by product of general intelligence
oi.. mind resonance/harmony.. not reading.. beyond the monastic self ness
rizzollati’s discovery (mirror neurons) suggests that we may also have a module for mind reading.. the modular theory is also support by evidence of what happens *when that wiring is damaged.. many neuroscientists now believe that **autistics suffer from a specific neurological disorder that ***inhibits their ability to build theories of others minds.. a notion that will instantly ring true for anyone who has experience strange emotional distance, the radical introversion, that one finds in interacting w an autistic person..
*rather.. when some haven’t been damaged/scrambled
autism.. the argument goes.. stems from an inability to project outside one’s own head and imagine the menta life of theers..
rather.. imagine life of others as disconnected.. it’s their connectedness.. their not yet scrambled ness.. their.. ‘born outside of civilization‘ ness.. vs sea world minds/whalespeak at issue.. oh my
rather.. autitics lack a particular skill.. the way other lack the faculty of sight or hearning.. they are nidn blind
rather.. whalespeak deaf
this is huge
still.. it can be hard to appreciate how rare a gift our mind reading truly is
not gift.. cancer.. goes on to need/invent/engineer interpretive labor et al
for most of us, that we are aware of other minds seems at first blush like a relatively simple achievement.. certainly not something yo’d need special cognitive tool for.. i know what it’s like inside my head, after all.. it’s only logical that i should imagine what’s inside somene else’s.. if we’re already self aware.. how big a leap is it to start keeping track of other selves
already self aware?.. oi.. we have no idea.. whalespeak
a mind that can’t imagine external mental states is like that of a 3 yr old who projects his/her own knowledge onto everyone in the room: it’s all pencils, no smarties
w/o limits.. we’d certainly be aware of the world in some basic sense.. it’s just that we wouldn’t be aware of ourselves.. because there’d be nothing to compare ourselves to.. the self and the world would be indistinguishable..
as it should be.. not yet scrambled et al
the notion of being aware of the world and yet not somehow self aware seems like a logical impossibility.. it feels as if our own selfhood would scream out at us after a while ‘hey look at me.. forget about those smarties.. i’m thinking here.. pay attention to me’.. but w/o any recognition of tother thoughts to measure our own thoughts against, our own mental state wouldn’t even register as something to think about..
it may well be tha tself awareness only jumps out ot o us becaseu we’re ntually inclned to projec into the midns of others
not naturally inclined.. that’s whalespeak
it’s not the lack of visual info that should startle us.. it’s that we have such a hard time noticing the lack.. the blind spot doesn’t jump out at us because the brain isn’t expecting info from that zone, and *there’s no other signal struggling to fill in the blanks for us.. or point out that the is a blank in the first place..
dennett: ‘..when no reports arrive.. there is no one to complain.. an absence of info is not the same as info about an absence.. we’re blind to our blindness’
too busy.. too deaf .. from whalespeak
chappelle awake law et al
there’s no feedback mech to sound the alarm that something’s missing.. only when we begin to speculate on the mental life of others do we discover that we have mental life ourselves.. if self awareness is a by product of our mind reading skills.. what propelled us to start building those theories of other minds in the first place? that answer comes more easily
that social complexity demand formidable mental skills: instead of outfoxing a single predator, or caring for a single infant.. humans mentally track the behavior of dozens of individuals, altering their own behavior based on that info
not hard to imagine natural selection generating a machiavellian mental tool box in a surprisingly short period
brain didn’t need to invent complicated new routines once it figured out how to read a single mind.. just needed more processing power.. a clear classic case of positive feedback.. only it seems ot have run into a ceiling of 150 people.. we have a natural gift for building theories of other minds.. so long as there aren’ too many of them..
perhaps if human evolution had continued on for another million years or so.. we’d all be mentally modeling the behavior of entire cities.. for whatever reason.. we stopped short at 150.. until the new techs of urban living pushed our collectivities beyond the magic number.. those oversized communities appeared too quickly for our minds to adapt to them using tools of natural selection.. so we hit upon another solution.. one engineered by community itself.. and not by its genes.. we stared building neighborhoods, groups w /in groups.. when our lived communities extended beyond the ceiling of *human comprehension.. we started building new floors..
rather.. if hadn’t left that beyond the monastic self ness.. if we hadn’t engineered us out of our interconnectedness.. so that we limit ourselves at 150 et al.. and so now we’re flailing to engineer us back to us.. only.. we’re missing the center of problem.. we’re missing the healing (roots of).. ie: missing pieces et al
mirror neuron and mind reading have an immense amount to teach us about our talents and limitations as a species, and there’s not doubt we’ll be untangling the ‘theory of other minds’ for years to come
whatever the underlying mech turns out to be, the faculty of mind reading.. and its close relation..self awareness.. is clearly an emergent property of the brain’s neural networks.. we don’t know precisely how that higher level behavior comes into being.. but we do know that it is conjured up by the local, feedback heavy interactions of unwitting agents.. by the complex adaptive system that we call the human mind.. no individual neuron is sentient.. and yet somehow the union of billions of neurons create self awareness.. it may turn out that the brain gets to the self awareness by first predicting the behavior of neurons residing in other brains.. the way.. for instance.. our brains are hardwired to predict the behavior of light particles and sound waves.. but whichever one came first.. the extroverted chicken or the self aware egg.. those faculties are prime ie’s of emergence at work.. you wouldn’t be able to read these words or speculate about the inner workings of your mind, were it not for the protean force of emergence..
managing complexity became a problem to be solve on the level of the city itself..
can you manage complexity?.. rather.. cancerous energy suck
finding people.. local interactions leading to global order.. amazingly.. this process has come full circle.. 100s of 1000s if not millions of yrs ago.. our brains developed a feedback mech that enabled them to construct theroies of other minds..
today.. beginning to create software apps that are capable of developing a theory of our minds.. all those fluid self org programs tracking our tastes/interests and measuring them against the behavior of larger populations.. these programs are beginning of progression .. lead to world where we interact w media that seems to know us in some fundamental way..
the next gen will take that organic feel one step further: the new software will use the tools of self org to build models of our own mental states.. these programs won’t be self aware.. wont’ pass any turing tests.. but will make media experience s we’ve grown accustomed to seem autistic in comparison.. they will be mind readers
we will have more powerful personalization tools than we ever thought possible
what we need is a mech to undo our hierarchical listening
a few decades from now.. the forces unleashed by the bottom up revolution may well dictate that we redefine intelligence itself, as computer begin to convincingly simulate the human capacity for open ended learning
they’ll learn to anticipate yoru idiosyncrasies as aplayer
don’t need to anticipate idios of whales.. need to listen to idios/itch/curiosities of alive/awake beings
the residents of simsville may display remarkable lifelike personality and behavior traits.. but they are unlikely to spontaneously develop a new skill that wright didn’t program into the game originally.. but wright’s dream is to have sims that do develop unique behavior on their own.. sims that exceed the imagination of their creators..
not about behavior.. about daily curiosity
no gameplayer wants to sit around waiting for his onscreen characters to finish their simulated evolution before they start acting naturally.. wright: ‘might constantly be running ‘microsimulations’ in heads.. to find ways of improving their decision making.. measure how much user is engaged and having fun.. then could design game to learn what you like and enjoy.. so game would learn/evolve to fit each individual player.. ‘ wright’s vision is a significant step beyond the ‘choose your own’ path vision of hypertext fiction championed in the early 90s.. the ‘author’ isn’t presenting the ‘reader’ w a selection of prefab threads to follow; the reader’s interests/inclination generate entirely novel threads.. to the extent that the rules of the game vary form player to players..
oi.. really just same song
the first gen interactive narratives were finally all about choosing one of several sanctioned links, picking one path over the others.. the future that wright envisions will be about creating a new path.. or eliminating paths altogether
great.. let’s do that.. but we can’t eliminate paths if same song
the improvements in instant access/navigation make it a diff beast altogether.. and yet, it’s still a transfer of control that looks more like the original vision of interactivity: instead of the network programmers calling the shots, you call the shots
it only knows what you want to watch because you programmed it yourself
in a world wher emass entertainment is delivered to us on our timetable.. and according to our personal desires
whalespeak.. not our legit timetable.. not our legit desires
that is not a reason to embrace pure anarchy of course.. ant colonies do not have leaders in any real sense.. but they do rely heavily on rules: how to read patterns in the pheromone trails, when to change from foraging to nest building, how to respond to other ants, and so on.. an ant colony w/o local rules has no chance of creating a higher level order.. no chance of creating a collective intell
oi.. all the red flags
7 – see what happens
but city traffic is a problem of organized complexity and it is best tackle w bottom up solutions.. not top down ones
not a problem of org’d complexity.. a symptom of cancer
the immense and constantly changing problem of urban movement.. you can conquer gridlock by making he grid itself smart
cancer.. perpetuating people on the over pass.. blindly leading the way.. making the rules.. deaf to walkers/bikers/homeless.. aka: people on the ground
only in our long zoom do we find, a teach scale, the same behavior repeating itself again and again.. begin on the scale of the city itself.. its neighborhoods pulsing and thriving, as they have for centuries.. sending signals out to the world, and drawing human beings into those neighborhoods, like massive global magnets.. the flow of people thru the city is now regulated by an intelligent traffic network, evolving and learning in response to patterns of automobile movement
oi.. whalespeak.. cars rule.. and that’s thriving ness.. oi
in city we entertain ourselves..
rather med/intox ourselves
on scale of city, and scale of scren, our lives embrace the pwoers of emergenc
it is emergence all the way down the chain
oi.. rather whale cadence..
is there is a genuine global brain in our future, and will we recognize ourselves in it when it arrives
always was.. need to uncover it (ai humanity needs: augmenting interconnectedness).. not wait for .. not engineer.. it’s arrival..
certainly the world has never been better prepared for these developments to become reality; if we don’t enter the 4th phase of emergence in the coming decades, it won’t be for lack of trying.. but it is both the promise and the peril of swarm logic that the higher level behavior is almost impossible to predict in advance..
oi oi oi.. whalespeak
even the most optimistic champions of self org feel a little wary about the lack of control in such a process.. but understanding emergence has always been about giving up control.. letting the system govern itself as much as possible.. letting it learn from the footprints.. are there new scales to conquer
he was asking how the info in the genes could be translated into action.. like schrodingers’ contribution, what he idd was based on math/physics principle.. not on experiment; it was a work of scientific imagination..
from farmer and packard: ‘.. in self org systems.. orderly patterns emerge out of lower level randomness; in chaotic systems, unpredictable behavior emerges out of lower level determinate rules’
calculating costs and benefits and currency conversions.. it is quite an illuminating insight – dawkins
not so illuminations or human.. if stay w/in os of money.. of any form of m\a\p
some researchers argue that the centralized mind set is hardwired into our brain.. we default to top down explanations and only reconcile ourselves to bottom up explanation after extensive training..
‘erosion of cities by automobiles is thus an ie of what is known as ‘positive feedback’.. in cases of positive feedback an action produces a reaction which in turn intensifies the condition responsible for the first action.. this intensifies the need for repeating the first action.. which in turn intensifies the reaction and so on ad infinitum.. it is something like the grip of a habit forming addiction’ – jacobs
‘humans do resemble, in their most compulsively social behavior, ants at a distance.. it is however quite bad form in biological circles to put it the other way around.. to imply that the operation of insect societies has any relation at all to human affairs.. the writers of book on insect behavior generally take great pains in their prefaces.. to caution that insects are like creatures from another planet.. they are more like crazy little machines, and we violate science when we try to read human meanings in their arrangements.. it is hard for a bystander not to od so.. ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment’.. thomas..
10s of millions of people making billions of decision every week about what to buy/sell.. where to work how much to save/borrow.. what orders to fill what stocks to accum.. where to move what schools to go ot .. what jobs to take.. where to build supermarkets, movie theaters.. can amaze you that the system works at all.. amazement needn’t be admiration: once you understand the system you may think there are better ones, or better ways to make this system work.. i am only inviting you to reflect that whether this system works well or ill, in most countries and esp the countries w comparatively undirected econ systems, the system works the way ant colonies works’ – schelling
‘as a result, both physically and politically, the medieval city, though it recapitulated man of the features of the earliest urban order, was in some respects and original creation’.. mumford
‘the immune system is a somatic selective system consisting of molecules, cells, and specialized organs.. as a system, it is capable of telling the diff between self and nonself at the molecular level.. for ie, it is responsible for distinguishing between and responding to the chemical characteristics of viral and bacterial invaders (nonself), invaders that would otherwise overwhelm the collections of cellular systems in an individual organism (self).. this response involves molectular ecognition w an exquistie degree of specificity
bbeyond the monastic self ness.. perhaps rather than self vs non self.. natural vs manufactured/engineered..
‘the immune selective system has some intriguing properties.. 1\ more than one way to recognize successfully any particular shape 2\ no two individuals do it exactly same way.. that is no tow individuals have identical antibodies.. 3\ system has a kind of cellular memory.. after presentation of an antigen.. some divide only few times.. rest go on irreversibly to produce antibody specific for that antigen and die.. because some of the cells have divided but not all the way to the antibody making end.. they constitute a larger groups of cells in the total population of cells than were originally present.. this larger group can respond at a later time in an accelerated fashion to the same antigen.. system therefore exhibits a form of memory at the cellular level’ ibid
bush immune system law et al
‘in a sense, the medieval city was a congeries of little cities, each w a certain degree of autonomy and self sufficiency, each formed so naturally out of common needs and purposes that it only enriched and supplemented the whole.. (on to).. divided into clerical/royal/merchant’s/peasants/craftsman precincts’ mumford
starts w good word toward undisturbed ecosystem.. but then
‘it is a form of collective memory.. closer in a way to the sense in which the body develop memories than the way in which the conscious mind does..’ edelman
body memory vs conscious mind.. ? embodiment (process of)
‘.. i am using the word memory here in a more inclusive fashion than usual.. memory is a process that emerged only when life and evolution occurred and gave rise to the systems described by the sciences of recognition.. as i am using the term memory, it describes aspects of heredity, immune responses, reflex learning, true learning following perceptual categorization and the various forms of consciousness.. memory is an essential property of biologically adaptive systems’ edelman
whalespeak – we have no idea
‘these economies come from the fact that the firm can find in the large city all manner of client,services and suppliers, and employees no matter how specialized its product; this in turn promotes increased specialization..’ hohenberg and lees
‘.. besides the non negligible profit an pleasure of shop talk, all can share access to services that none could supports alone.. ‘ hohenberg and lees
matters little.. so non non negligible if services for non legit needs.. begs a nother way.. org’d around legit needs
‘.. the relationship between large cities and small businesses is a symbiotic one beneficial to both..’ hohenberg and lees
but not if both/either in sea world.. which they both are
‘though the great city is the best organ of memory man has yet created, it is also.. until it becomes too clutters and disorg’d.. the best agent for discrimination and comparative eval. not merely because it spreads out so many goods for choosing, but because it likewise creates minds of large range.. capable of coping w them..’ mumford
‘yes.. inclusiveness and large numbers are often necessary.. but large numbers are not enough.. ‘ mumford
because .. large isn’t all.. and it has to be all for the dance to dance
‘.. there is a well known tendency of libraries to become clogged by their own volume; of the sciences to develop such a degree of specialization that the expert is often illiterate outside his own minute speciality..’ wiener
fmumford non-specialized law.. jack of all trades ness.. et al
‘.. the trend ever since has been toward more complex and capable nervous systems w the ability to store extensive memories; recognize patterns; and engage in increasingly sophisticated levels of reasoning.. the ability to remember and to solve problems.. computation.. has constituted the cutting edge in the evolution of multicellular organisms’.. those diff skills.. memory, pattern recognition, computation.. all have parallels to he development of urban centers: in their clusters of shared info, their capacity to reflect and amplify patterns of human behavior , their master of complicated supply and demand problems.. kurzweil
‘iberall was perhaps the first to view the major transition in early human history (from hunter gatherer to agriculturalist to city dweller) not as a linear advance up the ladder of progress but as the crossing of nonlinear critical thresholds .. more specifically, much as a given chemical compound may exist in several distinct states (solid, liquid, or gas) and may switch from stable state to stable state at critical points in the intensity of temperature.. so a human society may be seen as ‘material’ capable of undergoing these changes of state as it reaches critical mass in terms of density of settlement, amount of energy consumed, or even intensity of interaction.. iberall invites us to view early hunter gatherer bands as gas particles, in the sense that they lived apart form each other and therefore interacted rarely and unsystematically.. when humans first began to cultivate cereals and the interaction between human being sand plants created sedentary communities, humanity liquefied or condensed into groups whose interactions were now more frequent although still loosely regulated..’ de landa
‘.. indeed, ecosystems spontaneously shorten their nutrient cycles as they complexify. a highly complex system such as a rain forest runs its nutrients so tightly, via elab microflora and micro fauna in the tree roots, that the soil is largely deprived of nutrients.. this is one reason why the destruction of rain forests is os wasteful: the soil left behind is largely sterile’.. ibid
turing relied on a similarly abstract notion of what a brain is in developing the modern computer: ‘to understand the turing model of the brain.. it was crucial to see that it regarded physics and chem, including all the arguments about quantum mechanics as essentially irrelevant.. in his view the physics and chem were relevant only in as much as they sustain the medium for the embodiment of discrete ‘states’, ‘reading’ and ‘writing’.. only the logical pattern of these ‘states’ could really matter.. the claim was that whatever a brain did, it did by virtue of its structure as a logical system and not because it was inside a person’s head, or because it was spongy tissue made up a of a particular kind of bio cell formation.. and if these were so, then its logical structure could just as well be rep’d in some other medium, embodied by some other physical machinery.. ‘hodges
‘.. it may take years before we settle down to the new possibilities (of the machine), but i do not see why it should not enter any one of the fields normally covered by the human intellect, and eventually compete on equal terms..’ hodges
‘.. machinery that produces the end product to slow dow or to stop.. this form of cell behavior charaterized as ‘intelligent’.. in contrast, a cell that has changed or mutated behaves like an ‘idiot’ in that it continues w/o feedback regulation to produce even material that it does not require.. i think that last sentence is a fair description of the behavior of city localities where the success of diversity destroys itself.. suppose we think of successful city areas for all their extraordinary and intricate econ and social order.. as faulty in this fashion.. in creating city success, we human beings have created marvels, but we left out feedback.. what can we do w cities to make up for this omission?’ jacobs
wiener: ‘our homeostatic mech’
‘there is already on tech that appears to generate at least one aspect of a spiritual experience. this experiment tech is called brain generated music pioneered by co i am director.. capable of evoking an experience called the (deep) relaxation response’.. kurzweil
‘the program he proposed in 1898 was to halt the growth of london and also repopulate the countryside.. by building .. the garden city.. where the city poor might live close to nature.. so they might earn livings, .. his (howard) aim was the creation of self sufficient small towns.. really very nice towns if you were docile and had no plans of your own and did not mind spending your life among other who had no plans of their own.. *as in all utopias .. the right to have plans of any significance belongs only the the planners in charge’.. jacobs
*not all.. ie: revolution – instigating utopia everyday et al
‘ebenezer howard’s vision of garden city would seem almost feudal to us.. he seems to have thought the members of the industrial working classes would stay neatly in their class and even at the same job w/in their class.. that agri workers would stay agri.. that businessmen (the enemy) would hardly exist as a significant force in his utopia; and that planners could go about their good and lofty work, unhampered by rude nay saying from the untrained’ ibid
‘howard’s greatest contribution was less in recasting the physical form of the city than in developing the organic concepts that underlay this form; bio criteria of dynamic equilib and organic balance: balance between city/country, between varied function of city.. above all balance thru control of growth.. and density of occupation and practice of reproduction (colonization) when community was threatened by undue increase in size’ mumford
wiener had made the same connection a decade before in cybernetics: ‘it has been commented on by many writers.. that each form of org has an upper limit of size, beyond which it will not function.. ie: a land animal cannot be so big that the legs would be crushed by the weight.. ‘ wiener
moderators can then ‘spend’ a moderation point rating a post up or down.. jacobs.. a related idea in the pricing mech of market econs and an info processing system.. hayek: ‘long before the fall of communism, hayek id’d its oft overlooked weakness: not only did it fail to offer an incentive to work hard; it forced signals connecting supply /demand to travel a tortuous path that invited distortion‘ wright
gordon observes a comparable phenom w her harvester ant colonies: ‘one less form ants is that to understand a system like theirs, it is not sufficient to take the system apart.. the behavior of each unit is not encapsulated inside that unit but comes form its connections w the rest of system.. to see how components produce response of whole system.. have to track these connections in changing situations.. ants not born to do certain task; function changes along w conditions it encounters..’ gordon
or just quit trying to analyze/track et al.. any form of m\a\p
‘.. the normal (vs autistic) child, of course, correctly replies..’ (on the smarties/pencils experiments) baron cohen
‘.. that is, they answered by considering their own knowledge of what was in the box rather than by referring to their own previous false belief or to someone else’s current false belief.. the robustness of this finding suggests that in autism there is a genuine *inability to understand other people’s diff beliefs‘.. baron cohen
ray kurzwil refers to this as the ‘conscious ness is just a machine reflecting on itself’ school.. ‘consciousness is not exactly an illusion, but just another logical process.. we can build that in a machine: just build a procedure that has a model of itself.. and that examines and responds to its own methods.. allow the process to reflect on self.. there, now you have consciousness.. it is a set of abilities that evolved because self reflective way s of thinking are inheretly more powerful’ kurzweil
‘the higher your self esteem and social rank relative to those around you, the higher your serotonin level is.. almost everybody assumed the chemical was at least partly the cause: dominant behavior results from chemical, not vice versa.. it turns out to be the reverse: serotonin levels respond to he monkey’s perception of its own position in the hierarchy’ ridley
sounds like scattered.. not if parents love child.. it’s if child’s perception is that they do
the increase in brain size is likely to have had many causes, but one key factor which many theorists agree is need for greater social intell.. shorthand for the ability to process info about the behavior of others and to react adaptively to their behavior
the brain is an ie of a self organizing sysem
not if responding others.. all the prior whalespeak
‘many orgs nowadays are consciously trying to figure out how they can use self organizing principles.. ecotrust lists 3 requirements: a\ autonomous agents able to make independent decision w/in framework of simple rules b\ dense network connections c\ vigorous experimentation .. disciplined by responding to feedback on results’ jacobs
‘the nature of the result will depend on the character of the heterogeneous elements meshed together’ de landa
meshing together doesn’t make it emergent.. (vision of resnick meshing designs on computer)