On 12.10.2012 22:54 Russell Standish said the following:
On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 08:23:33AM -0400, Roger Clough wrote:
Hi Russell Standish

Life cannot survive without making choices, like where to go next.
To avoid an enemy. To get food.

This act of life obviously requires an autonomous choice. Nobody
can make it for you.  It can't be pre-programmed.

Free autonomous choice is a description in my view of


The algorithm employed by certain bacteria is to travel in a
straight line if nutrient concentration is below a certain threshold,
and to tumble randomly if the nutrient concentration is above a
certain threshold.

Why is this effective? Ballistic motion (straight line case)
exhibits <\Delta x> proportional to <\Delta t> (average position
change is proportional to time), so its a good way to somewhere where
resources are more plentiful. By contrast chaotic motion has <\Delta
x> proportional to <sqrt\Delta t>, which means you stick around
longer and hoover up more of the good stuff.

Is this autonomous? You bet. Is it living? Yes - it's bacteria,
although a robot doing the same thing would not necessarily be
living. Is it intelligent? - nup.

Another question here would be who will divide the state space to a bacterium and environment. Let us imagine that we have implemented somehow a bacterium in Game of Life (or even better in Continuous Game of Life). What is meaning of "A bacterium travels" when there is no human observer?

Or let me can put it this way. To find out whether a bacterium is there and to find out its coordinates, one could imagine an extra algorithms that analyses the state space of for example Continuous Game of Life. Now we run two different simulations.

1) Continuous Game of Life as it is.

2) Continuous Game of Life with an extra algorithm to find out if a bacterium is there and to report coordinates of the bacterium.

Is there any difference between 1) and 2)?


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