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

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Sun Jan 14 14:41:02 UTC 2007

From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org on behalf of Thomas

		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. 

Thanks Thomas, for the link.  Much of that article is very much in line with what I'm trying to convey. Key idea:  The robots walk, effectively and economically, with no explicit high level goal for walking. Now extend that concept to increasingly complex behaviors.
As for joining that "cult", I need not worry since I understand that they're forever closed.  Now, if it were the Order of Perpetual Growth, I might be interested.
- Jef

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