[extropy-chat] A future fit to live in?

Thomas Thomas at thomasoliver.net
Sun Jan 14 04:31:18 UTC 2007

Jef Allbright wrote:

> [...] So all the way from single-celled organisms, through quite 
> complex vertebrates, to organisms that could reflectively model their 
> own actions for improved powers of prediction and control, even to 
> groups of organisms acting as a kind of superorganism that could 
> together work better than any number of individual organisms working 
> separately--all that was happening, every step of the way, was a kind 
> of feedback loop with each organism trying to affect change in its 
> future environment to make it more closely match the values in 
> its internal model.  Some of the adaptations had side-effects, some 
> bad, some good in unexpected new ways.  The adaptation that provided 
> an organism with reflexive modeling lead to qualitatively new 
> capabilities allowing those organisms to affect their enviroment in 
> powerful (and dangerous) new ways (and also lead to a significant 
> amount of wasted effort (which they called philosophizing) as the 
> model tried to model itself in ways that made sense to its 
> pre-existing set of values.
> What a simple way of describing the origins of complex behaviors!  No 
> goals or supergoals to pull things along in any predetermined 
> direction.  Just blind execution of a system that simply tries to 
> minimize the difference between what it senses in its environment and 
> encoded information about what tended to work in the past, tending to 
> adapt in the direction of what works over increasing scope.
> - Jef
I think Mark Tilden' <http://www.exhibitresearch.com/tilden/>s work 
supports this and think you deserve a charter membership in the Cult of 
the Infinite Feedback Loop.  : )  -- Thomas

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