Re: virus: MEME UPDATE: To Censor Or Not?
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 11:46:18 -0600 (CST)

On Mon, 16 Dec 1996, Alex Williams wrote:

> > In this case, I don't view information-processing as spiritual. I view
> > programming the information processing as spiritual. [No, a genetic
> > algorithm hunting for an efficient program is still raw information
> > processing; it isn't getting to spiritual *yet*.]
> Isn't, under this mode of thought, the GA system /itself/ imbued with
> spirit at the time of creation by the programmer and, as such, in the
> grander sense, this a case of a creation imbued with spirit creating
> things imbued with (perhaps lesser) spiritas? (Maybe "spirit" is the
> wrong word here; I'm tempted to dip into my classical roots and
> suggest "aura" or "numinus" or "spiratus.")

"Spiratus" i.e. "inspiration" is reasonable.

> GA's don't really "hunt" for an efficent algorithm, after all; they
> breed for one, which is an entirely different process, really. "Hunt"
> implies a search through a pre-existing pile of entities; unless you
> take the state-space of all possible algorithms as the "pre-existing"
> bit, then all its really doing is putting a few together and seeing if
> they `feel right' and if so, making more that `feel like' them and
> refining it. Much like someone writing music is `feeling' through the
> state-space of all possible notes with all possible lengths.

Yes, the state-space of all reachable algorithms is the "preexisting" bit.

I agree that "breeding" an algorithm isn't linearly rational, but it may
very well be parallelly/nonlinearly rational. I'm experimenting with that
[by hand] in some of my side studies.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd