Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2013

Rube Goldberg rules software development

I've often touched on the topic around this articles thesis in my blog, here is a most recent post:

http://sent2null.blogspot.com/2012/03/engineers-versus-programmers.html

:for example. I've often said that engineering is an art while programming is more of a Science...unfortunately for those who are really good at programming...building big complex software is more art than Science.

The differences are ones of scale, the biological analog serves purpose here to illustrate. A living being is an amazingly complex organism with billions of cells acting seemingly in harmony, together over the course of about 70 years for most people...these cells replicate, divide and grow without issue until the whole clock work comes grinding down to a halt under the effects of progressive degeneration. Yet the darn thing runs for 70 years, it is amazing  that it works at all.

Now that we are getting into the code that defines how cells are organized, replicate and grow...we see how. It is an a…

Rumored Playstation 4 10 year life...hardware and history explains why.

In a recently reported article a Sony representative had this to say about their console plans:


"We at PlayStation have never subscribed to the concept that a console should last only a half-decade. Both the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 had life cycles of more than 10 years, and PlayStation 3 will as well. The 10-year life cycle is a commitment we've made with every PlayStation consumer to date, and it's part of our philosophy that we provide hardware that will stand the test of time providing that fun experience you get from day one for the next decade."


It makes a lot of sense, but the trend of longer life times is not something that is unique to Sony's devices. Release periods between new game systems have been growing longer since the days of the Atari VCS. Note the current generation of video game systems last for a lot longer than the ones that were out when I used to play them which were updated yearly.

Modern systems only have finite processing…

Is the core principle that guides evolution conservation or non conservation?

I completely disagree on a visceral level with this statement as I understand it:

"Mutations or other causal differences will allow us to stress that "non conservation principles" are at the core of evolution, in contrast to physical dynamics, largely based on conservation principles as symmetries."

From a recently published paper at arxiv.

Completely wrong, continuous conservation is precisely why evolution is happening and precisely why it seems pseudorandom over a large set of interacting forms. The large size of the phase space in terms of changing inter-related emergence hides this underlying continuous conservation.

I posit, It's the same reason why computer code of a given complexity tends to look the same way as an evolved organism...like a seemingly hodge podge construction but one that works and does so because a continuous process of conservation was undertaken as it developed.

I've written a bit about this connection between code conservation a…

Exoplanetary altruism...will it be similar to ours?

Facebook friend Johnathan Vos Post posed a question regarding altruism in humans as compared to what we might find when extraplanetry species are encountered. My answer:

It has to, otherwise the species would self destruct. It would never grow society complex enough to take advantage of the increased brain size of the individuals.
The threshold for competing with one another would prevent civilization from ever forming...so you'd get species like we have here on Earth...which have intelligence but have never emerged complex civilization from the cultural tricks that they've evolved. Many species exhibit clear signs of altruism..it being necessary in fact for parents to even *care* about or for their progeny.
It may be instinctive but that makes no difference...the induced empathy is what leads to the formation of relationships that allow younger generations to become older and move on the gene pool...absent that empathy you've got a self destructive situation for the enti…