Emergence of behavior through software

Francois-Rene Rideau fare@tunes.org
Mon, 2 Oct 2000 15:59:03 +0200

On Sat, Sep 30, 2000 at 09:44:20AM -0700, Lynn H. Maxson wrote:

> If they (the results) did, then regardless of anyone's ability to
> fathom or predict them, the software executed as instructed and
> thus brought nothing "extra" or "special" to the process.  In
> short it did nothing on its own "volition".
DEAD WRONG. Volition does NOT consist in choosing the rules.
No single human chose his genetic code, his grown brain structure,
his education. Yet all humans are considered having a will.

> Fare despite his cybernetic leanings will not grant the software 
> any choice other than pursuit of the original purpose.
DEAD WRONG. Structure is NOT purpose.
My initial structure has no purpose so to speak.
Purpose is NOT a structural property.
I cannot negate what I am. I can choose my purpose.
When I choose to do something, I am what I am; I "obey" my nature.

Moreover, you completely blank out the fact that I insisted
how the initial program was but a tiny portion of what makes my identity.
My identity is made of my dynamic persistent state,
not of my static structure (even though the latter constrains the former).

> You see it cannot occur through meta^n-programming regardless of
> levels.  That presupposes that we have some ability to encode a
> "triggering" event in the execution which will spawn the necessary
> spontaneous generation.
DEAD WRONG. You blank out 150 years of evolution theory.
Change in behavior is no magic event.
It is born in continuous transformation.
Meta^n-programming is not about directed design, but about selection.
You have a Lamarckian (or even creationist) model of programming in mind;
I have a Darwinist (or even Dawkinsian) model of programming in mind.

> that whatever results is consistent with the encoded logic.
So what? This is a very week statement.
Knowing that my socks are blue, whatever outcome in the world
will be consistent with my socks being blue.
But this is a completely irrelevant fact for most outcomes.
If your "encoded logic" is universal, just any behavior is consistent with it.
So conformance to the logic is a null statement.

> Truth is that Fare knows this as well.
Don't you take my statements as endorsement of your positions.
I specifically reject your very problem situation.

I strongly dislike your way of turning around arguments,
completely avoiding to answer to points others claim as relevant,
not even acknowledging them, and claiming as victories
their concessions on points they claim are irrelevant.
This is no rational discussion, only self-delusion thereof.

> what spontaneous generation does not occur in error?
There is no error. By definition, anything generated is correct.
In the mass of potential and actual generated data,
patterns survive or die according to higher-level selection rules.
This is where any purpose comes into play.

> If it does occur, how does it still stay
> within the "purpose" encoded in the software?
You have a flawed, theistic notion of purpose. Purge it.
What is encoded is structure, and purpose is not structural.
If there be any "purpose" encoded in the program,
it is encoded in the meta-rules for differential survival;
if these meta-rules have any purpose, it lies in meta-meta-rules. And so on.
In the end, you have a purposeless, fully structured meta^n system.
In quantum mechanical terms, I'd say that structure and purpose are dual:
when you have some of one, you can only have so much of the other.
If you fully encode your program, it has no purpose (YOU may have; IT won't).
When you give purpose to your program, you loosen its structure,
and accept the fact that persistent state may completely alter its behavior.

Yours freely,

[ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | http://fare.tunes.org ]
[  TUNES project for a Free Reflective Computing System  | http://tunes.org  ]
You may have original good ideas, but it is no excuse
for not learning good ideas that are already common knowledge.