[ExI] Elusive word...

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 12 08:25:43 UTC 2008

--- On Thu, 12/11/08, Emlyn <emlynoregan at gmail.com> wrote:

> A colleague of mine had an excellent idea the other day,
> that it'd be
> cool to have a handheld gadget (think a pen or mouse form
> factor) that
> is like a printing "brush", which you would wipe
> over a paper surface
> and it'd print on it; it'd track movement
> precisely, modelling its own
> movement in 2d, so you could be really sloppy with it and
> the print
> out would be great.

It is a clever idea. That someone thought of it before you does not take away from you having thought of it too. Especially if you can make yours an improvement over their prior art. Most expecially if you can get your implementation into the hands of the consumer.

> It occurred to me that there ought to be a word for it. And
> of course
> that there will already be a word for it (probably
> multiple). Anyone
> know what the word or words is/are?

When it happens in biology, it is called convergent evolution or simply convergence. An example would be wings and flight. Insects, birds, and bats all converged on flight albeit with differently structured wings and flight behavior because it was so evolutionarily advantageous to fly. Such a solution could be considered a local fitness maximum and as such could be converged upon from many different starting points on the fitness landscape. Memes evolve even faster since their replication is so cheap. Of course the actual fitness of memes and genes are determined by their expression and selection, either natural or monkey-mediated. ;-) 

Stuart LaForge

"It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision." - Helen Keller


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