On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 03:39:18PM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 14 Oct 2012, at 23:27, Russell Standish wrote:
> >On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 04:44:11PM -0400, Roger Clough wrote:
> >>"Computational Autopoetics" is a term I just coined to denote
> >>applying basic concepts
> >>of autopoetics to the field of comp. You mathematicians are free
> >>to do it more justice
> >>than I can. I cannot guarantee that the idea hasn't already been
> >>exploited, but I have
> >>seen no indication of that.
> >>
> >>The idea is this: that we borrow a basic characteristic of
> >>autopoetics, namely that life is
> >>essentially not a thing but the act of creation. This means that
> >>we define
> >>life as the creative act of generating structure from some input
> >>data. By this
> >>pramatic definition, it is not necessarily the structure that is
> >>produced that is alive, but
> >>life consists of the act of creating structure from assumedly
> >>structureless input data.
> >>Life is not a creation, but instead is the act of creation.
> >
> >So any self-organised system should be called alive then? Sand dunes,
> >huricanes, stars, galaxies. Hey, we've just found ET!
> I am not sure a galaxy, or a sand dune has a "self", unlike a cell,
> or a person.

You are, of course, correct that the self/other distinction is crucial
to life (and also of evolution - there has to be a unit of selection -
the replicator).

I was responding initially to Roger's claim that life is the act of
creating structure. Any self-organised system can do that.

> The self is directly related to the Dx = "xx" trick, for me.

The Dx=xx trick is about self-replication. Of course entities with a sense
of the self/other distinction needn't replicate (eg certain robots).

> >
> >Actually, I was just reading an interview with my old mate Charley
> >Lineweaver in New Scientist, and he was saying the same thing :).
> >
> >
> >>
> >>If life is such a creative act rather than a creation, then it
> >>seems to fit what
> >>I have been postulating as the basic inseparable ingredients of
> >>life: intelligence
> >>and free will.
> >
> >I don't believe intelligence is required for creativity. Biological
> >evolution is undeniably creative.
> Is life more creative than the Mandelbrot set?, or than any
> "creative set" in the sense of Post (proved equivalent with Turing
> universality)?

I would say yes. The Mandelbrot set is self-similar, isn't it, so the
coarse-grained information content must be bounded, no matter how far
you zoom in.

Life, on the other hand, exhibits unbounded information through
evolution, in contrast to all ALife simulations to date.

I had a look at the Wikipedia entry on creative sets, and it didn't
make much sense, alas.


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to