[ExI] Purified humanity Re: Your Genome Is a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Oct 7 08:06:29 UTC 2013

On Mon, Oct 07, 2013 at 07:16:37AM +0100, BillK wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 6:49 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> > Of course that mutational load is a side effect of evolutionary
> > optimization. Such a brittle system must be henceforth perpetually
> > maintained by manual intervention, or be outcompeted by wild
> > type should that chain ever break.
> >
> As the original article points out, optimization is the wrong word to

If the original article doesn't understand evolutionary optimization,
then it's a peer review failure.

> use as description.
> Arbitrary hacks based on previous hacks is more like it.

Mutation is not selection (though not entirely blind, once the
system has evolved evolvability), all the selection is done by
the fitness function -- which is not static, but certainly selective.

> Think of computer spaghetti code after a hundred programmers have done
> urgent fixes and patches. Much of the code is bypassed by later fixes.
> A lot of it no longer works as intended. A lot is no longer needed.
> But the program still manages to work somehow. (Though nobody is quite
> sure how!).  It's a mess.

Yet that mess produced you. Using pretty pedestrian means.
That's pretty damn powerful.

And strangely, the very thoughts you're forming right now are
produced by a highly similar process, by selecting competing
activity patterns in your neocortex.

Those who don't understand evolutionary optimization are doomed
to reinvent it, poorly.

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