Here's the page.

Alan Grimes
Tue, 14 Nov 2000 21:27:52 -0500

everyobdy who is talking on this list seems to be discussing "emergant
behavior" or some thing like that. Let me try to ground the conversation
in the only semi-well developed example of emergant behavior. I will do
this to present a definition of emergant behavior that I hope people
will use as a discriminator so that "emergant behavior" can be rescued
from the trashbin of buzz.... =P

The example I will use is the Neural Network. This is an emergant system
because what a neural network DOES is in no obvious way retated to how 
its put togeather! ooooh. :0 I mean how is a neural network implemented? 
By adding a bunch of registers against the matrix to yield a result and
then adjusting the matrix to yield better behavior on the next
iteration. (more or less). The result of this operation is a function
such as speech recognition or hand-reading (OCR). But again the system
that emerges is, in a way, perpendicular to the system that is
implemeted in the computer. =P 

It is this property of perpendicularity that defines the "emergant
system" I mean if you implement a bunch of objects or any other
abstraction of your choice, and these objects work towards your goal,
you have already failed! It's this non-sequeter aspect that is key. Take
consciousness itself. People have been scratching their heads for years
aobut how it can be reduced to meat. In a way it can't be. The
reductionistic aproach is almost completely barred from the playing
field. At the end of the day the neurons in the brain implement a rather
simple and regular algorythm hundreds of thousands of times over. It it
is from the re-iteration of this algorythm that pattern emerges and life
begins. =\ 

Meept: The ultimate Phlisophy.  <my website.

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