Hi everyone. I think we’re collectively at our best when we explore new things. As things seem we’re a little fractious right now let me offer up my idea for what might be a pleasant diversion.

Sodoku: http://www.sudoku.com/

It kind of has a genome and fitness criteria, right?


Let’s take just one 3×3 grid. It could have a genome of 9 digits, and competing fitness functions: (sum or product, max or min) for 3 rows, 3 columns, 2 diagonals and of course some rule about using all the digits (or not if we want better mutations). Each of the 9 genes would affect 2 or 3 (or 4 for gene number 5, in the middle of the square) of the fitness functions. Can we create a simulation, with drifting fitness functions and see how organisms evolve. Will this show islands of function and a path to traverse between them?  This might be fun because a mutation can help in one regard whilst hurting in another. I’ll leave this here for now, let me know if anyone is interested…



Is Design a Stochastic Process?


Researchers use the term stochastic systems to describe the physical systems in which the values of parameters, measurements, expected input, and disturbances are uncertain

Would we expect different designers to create different designs? Does the same designer ever design competing solutions? Why is that? What factors inform a design decision and outcome?

Outside of hard determinism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_determinism) isn’t everything a stohastic process?

Is language a search?


Given sentences can be expressed in a hierarchy / taxonomy that can have moveable, functional elements, are they amenable to exploitation / investigation by GAs? (We already know Markov Chains work – http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/idbots/ )

If All ideas can be expressed in language then could digitally evolved sentences be genuinely creative? It’s like genetic programming for people language 😀

H/T Mung.

The Great Filter

Hoping this will be more fun / less confrontational, but certainly ID and non-ID perspectives will differ. In a nutshell ‘The Great Filter’ is an event that stops life inevitably filling the universe. Others have written much better accounts, so here is your background reading:

The Drake Equation

The Fermi Paradox

The Great Filter

One-stop synopsis if you don’t want the top 3

What do the folks here think? Is there a great filter(s) are we past it / them? My vote is there is at least one ahead of us and we probably won’t make it. Candidates include:

Environmental catastrophe, war using highly potent (N/B/C) weapons, religious zealotry taking us backwards..

I also think other possibilities are flawed assumptions in the Fermi Paradox (maybe marginal / diminishing utility in expansion beyond a certain point, or perhaps transcendence out of this physical realm for sufficiently advanced species. Certainly a million SciFi tropes (Let’s see if we can make a list? Childhood’s End, Mass Effect…) have come from this. What do you folks think?