I think I know the answer to this question, but want to make sure:  


What is the difference beween calling a process “stochastic”, “indeterminate”, 
or “random”?  




Nicholas S. Thompson

Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Biology

Clark University


From: Friam [] On Behalf Of Grant Holland
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 6:51 PM
To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <>; 
glen ☣ <>
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Future of humans and artificial intelligence


Thanks for throwing in on this one, Glen. Your thoughts are ever-insightful. 
And ever-entertaining!

For example, I did not know that von Neumann put forth a set theory.

On the other hand... evolution is stochastic. (You actually did not disagree 
with me on that. You only said that the reason I was right was another one.) A 
good book on the stochasticity of evolution is "Chance and Necessity" by 
Jacques Monod. (I just finished rereading it for the second time. And that 
proved quite fruitful.)



On 8/8/17 12:44 PM, glen ☣ wrote:

I'm not sure how Asimov intended them.  But the three laws is a trope that 
clearly shows the inadequacy of deontological ethics.  Rules are fine as far as 
they go.  But they don't go very far.  We can see this even in the foundations 
of mathematics, the unification of physics, and polyphenism/robustness in 
biology.  Von Neumann (Burks) said it best when he said: "But in the 
complicated parts of formal logic it is always one order of magnitude harder to 
tell what an object can do than to produce the object."  Or, if you don't like 
that, you can see the same perspective in his iterative construction of sets as 
an alternative to the classical conception.
The point being that reality, traditionally, has shown more expressiveness than 
any of our rule sets.
There are ways to handle the mismatch in expressivity between reality versus 
our rule sets.  Stochasticity is the measure of the extent to which a rule set 
matches a set of patterns.  But Grant's right to qualify that with evolution, 
not because of the way evolution is stochastic, but because evolution requires 
a unit to regularly (or sporadically) sync with its environment.
An AI (or a rule-obsessed human) that sprouts fully formed from Zeus' head will 
*always* fail.  It's guaranteed to fail because syncing with the environment 
isn't *built in*.  The sync isn't part of the AI's onto- or phylo-geny.


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