RE: A Quasi-Technical Defense of Property Rights

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Wed Mar 01 2000 - 12:57:28 PST

Damian Morton writes:

> Hmm, I always felt that evolution wasnt so much towards something, but
> rather was away from something. That is, evolution is a continuous

There is a variant of this argumentation involving a randomwalk from a
solid wall in a very high-dimensional space. (Same thing is why you
can't come back to a given point in your evolutionary history, because
randomwalks in very-high-N space intersecting their past trajectory is
a damn improbable event. Same argumentation also works why we don't
see improbable but possible events (macroscopic objects jumping due to
a freak in thermal noise, all air in a room suddenly deciding to
converge on a certain corner, etc.)).

I don't think this is the whole truth, but it is a part of it. It is a
highly biased randomwalk at least. Driven by whatever, for instance
that EoC (Edge of Chaos) thing.

> adaptation to a changing environment. As the tigers get faster, so the
> monkeys learn to climb trees or run faster or hide or make spears and clubs
> _or_ become smaller or less tasty or grow hard shells or wings or spiny
> poisonous coverings. From where we are standing, it may seem that we are on
> a path to some darwinian shangri-la, but in fact we are just trying to keep
> ahead of the things that would cause us to cease to be.

Sure, co-evolution. The other guys are contributing a major point of
the fitness function (which can lead to pathological cases like the
Red Queen regime, everybody running like mad just to stay in the same
place). Without raptor/prey host/parasite relationships we'd still be
a primitive chemical soup, scheduled to simmer and evaporate in half a
gigayear when the solar constant starts going up perceptibly.

Without co-evolution the universe would be a much more boring
place. I'm personally very grateful for co-evolution, despite that
unfortunate rat-race thing.

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Mar 01 2000 - 13:00:33 PST