Re: [-empyre-] self-modification, emergence
Here is exactly the program of the conferences under the leadership of the
Biologist JJ Kupiec at Ecole normale Supérieure ( anglophone :
http://www.ens.fr/index_en.php ) , but with anglophone researchers, it is to
give you an idea of the net in matter of theses critical phylosophical
discussions as actual and active in the objective condition of current new
Sciences. Please once more: I apologize of my stupid writing French to
English (another way is a bit better:)
Center of research Jean Cavaillès (
http://www.cavailles.ens.fr/ )(Mathematics researcher from this School who
resisted as a heroe dying without telling a name of his fellows under the
torture by nazis ) in Paris, from october 2003 to June 2004 :
Textes fondateurs de la biologie (Texts founders of the biology)
Responsable : Jean-Jacques Kupiec.
Because they are in a fight against reductionist viewes in Science... (they
are the object of hard attacks by education authorities in the power) but so
much researchers have signed the manifesto to renew the vision and method in
matter of Aids and Cancer, just this year, now (specially US/ CA) that
thanks to them it would become to emerge here and there. (But what of them
front of God at the power in USA right now?)...
" Un groupe de travail a été constitué pour travailler sur des textes
fondateurs de la biologie datant du 20ème siècle. La participation est libre
mais puisqu'il convient de lire les textes pour prendre part à ce groupe de
travail, un contact avec Jean-Jacques Kupiec est nécessaire. Séances prévues
15 Octobre 2003, B. Chamak : sur Cybernetics (toujours à 13h30 au 29, rue
d'Ulm, 3ème étage droite)
19 Novembre, E. Witt : sur La Critique de la faculté de juger
17 Décembre, T. Heams sur : Qu'est-ce que la vie?
21 Janvier 2004, J .Segal: sur la Théorie mathématique de la communication
11 Février, M. Morange sur : On growth and form
17 Mars, C. Imbert : sur Goldstein
28 Avril, C. Galperin sur : Problems of Embryology
26 Mai, A. Barberousse sur : Les principes de la systématique
16 Juin, A. Fagot Largeault, : Introduction à la médecine expériementale "
> I'm going to have a go at self-modifying this tangent back in the
> direction of a-life. Self-modification might also be thought of as
> adaptation, learning, innovation... and depending on your view of
> biology and what constitutes a "self" then you might also find it in
> evolution. Lamarckian evolution theorises adaptive self-modification
> which can be passed on to the next generation. While it's been
> overtaken by Darwinian theories, it's not a done deal - there is some
> controversial science that suggests that parts of the immune system can
> pass on acquired traits (Ted Steele, Lamarck's Signature - see for eg
> http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s14075.htm). If you
> stretch the idea of "self" out to a species (or in to a gene) then
> Darwinian evolution is self-modification too.
> A-life, and a-life art, involve the pursuit of the emergent moment of
> excess and surprise. Emergence is a knot unto itself, but the ongoing
> emergence that characterises biological life, requires adaptive
> self-modification. Thinking about self-modifying code (or other
> technological systems) quickly runs us into the problem of brittle
> grammars: basically, how likely is it that some random "mutations"
> applied to a bit of c++ code, are going to result in code that is even
> functional, let alone interesting / adaptive? Imagine a robot trying to
> self-modify by picking parts from the shelves of an electronics store.
> The predefined grammars of our technological forms are not an ideal
> substrate for self-modification. Most artificial evolution gets around
> this by creating a grammar of its own. Some grammars are very rich (eg
> Karl Sims' or Steven Rooke's image breeders) and some are more limited
> (eg Latham's virtual sculptures), but all are constructed and involve
> their own constraints.
> My favourite example of self-modification and emergence is the work on
> evolved circuit designs by Adrian Thompson of the COGS lab at Sussex
> (http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/users/adrianth/ade.html). Basically he used
> a programmable chip (a FGPA, field gate programmable array) to "breed"
> and automatically test thousands of electronic circuits, on a task such
> as distinguishing between two different frequencies at their inputs.
> Many many generations later, circuits were evolved that indeed
> fulfilled the task. But when the evolved circuits were analysed, they
> were found to operate according to no known principles of circuit
> design... for one thing they were tiny and incredibly efficient (using
> only a small portion of the array) but also they used no internal
> clock, and instead seemed to use the dynamics of interlinked feedback
> loops to analyse the input. Best of all, the circuits didn't work so
> well when the same design was transferred to another chip: the evolved
> design made use of the specific physical characteristics of its
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