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Connecting Dots
Tony Smith
Melbourne Emergence Meetup
14 August 2014
Tonight’s Challenge
• Tell a story with currently 17 major parts
• each of which should eventually get a lot more
than a f...
Why bother?
• Before I’m gone, hopefully
• Laying it out in summary
• leaving unfinished clues
• Marcia Salner’s challenge
...
• Late in a self-indulgent life
• lived at a fortuitous time in a fortuitous place
• Chatterbox in my head is reward from ...
Knowledge of Nature
• Cosmogenesis in Multiverse
• Physics from Nothing is Hard
• Earth, Sun, Moon, Life
• (pre)historic c...
Maturing
Cosmos
Galaxy
Solar
System
Red
Giant
Type 1a
Supernova
Chaotic
Inflation
Conservative
Bubble
Neutron Star
Earth
Va...
Think
Act
Global
Local
Victorian Volcanic Plains Grasslands
• John Batman 1835: most beautiful sheep pasturage
• Almost destroyed by sheep and su...
Nature of Knowledge
• Could defer this to Bill Hall
• Towards a Knowledge Network
• Conversation Piece (1997)
• TransForum...
• Knowledge encoded in DNA, synapses, muscles
guides response to environmental variability (How?)
• Knowledge encoded in d...
The Human Experiment
• Homo Sapiens do not enjoy special uniqueness
• beyond emergent characteristics coming together
• Science is but one of o...
• Avoid projection and
assumption of privilege
• Nature mostly doesn’t care
• Tomorrow is good assumption
• Implications o...
Selected Cellular Automata
• Discrete versus Continuous
• Deterministic does not imply
predetermined, allows rerunning
• M...
Two years running
Generations 345/3/6
developing software
compressed rendering
animation pan & zoom
Near last of 500 seeds...
COMFORT FEATURES Generations WMPVN
Count range 0-8 0-12(c)
Survive 345(8?) 45678(b?c?)
Born 3(6?7?8?) 45(9?a?b?c?)
1/2 for...
One from http://wmpvn.com/45678xx_45xxxx/c_9_11/images/
Emergence/Systems/Complexity
Supervenience 101
• Emergent organisation
constrains the behaviour of
component parts
• Math ...
Invasions of Australia
• Alfred Russell Wallace’s line
• Tim Flannery: Future Eaters
• Northern contacts, the Dingo
• Bill...
No Secrets and
No Need for Secrets
• Chapter originally planned for
1987 iteration on The Prospect
of an Informed Age
• No...
• We act within relationships (later) and communities
• Communities are very supportive within boundaries
• Wider communit...
Opening Collectives
Beyond Democracy
• This is newish, moving target
• Though seen by 1987, only
now becoming permissible ...
• Creative Commons, Open Standards, MOOC
• Open Data, Open Geographic Information Systems
• Open Government, Occupy Everyw...
A Tale of Two Streams
c. 1900
Creek Cumbo
• Home 1949-1957
• Couldn’t build on block next
door because Moonee Ponds
Creek floods kept eroding
• School 1958-1963
• Ho...
♥
• Originally in context of #EWfail
and last Federal election
• Now fit Colin’s human-sized
• Cumberland River Holiday Park
...
Plans for Melbourne
• President of Master Plumbers
• MMBW, Public Works Dept
• Increasing fan of Local Govt
• despite comp...
WYNDHAM
HUME
MELTON
WHITTLESEA
Box Hill
Footscray
Broadmeadows
Central
Melbourne
Contested Values and
Growing Pool of Money
• Money & me: worst of enemies
• Your time cannot be replaced
• but resupply fa...
• Money as rubber ruler: intrinsic value less volatile
• Collect deep pools, stabilise surface, drain out
underneath to ir...
Nurturing Diversity
Indigenous Culture
is just a starting point
• We occupiers enjoy a life of extraordinary comfort
at disproportionate cost to the occupied
• We have more to learn from...
Why I am not Agnostic
• Staying open to evidence is fundamental, but doesn’t
ignore weight of evidence nor shift burden of proof
• I try to stay...
Turning Hopes
into Expectations
• Self-fulfilling prophecies
• Reincarnation technologies
ask more than they answer but
we ...
• Hypothesise for a moment that we can productively
limit social interaction to maps: language & media
• Swap familiar bio...
Slaughtering Sacred Cows
• Some things must stay unsaid
• Common heritage as animal,
chordate, reptile, mammal
• Biologica...
• Issues fuel religious dogma, self-styled do-gooders
• Ending paternalism without destroying safeguards
• Schoolyard and ...
Exploring Possibilities
Met Bill McPherson and others 1 June 1982
on first assignment for Computerworld
• Is? and Ought? The two
great questions have the
same two word answer
• Exploring Possibilities
• also known as PLAY
• Ne...
“Lets see, I reckon put like walls down here that kids are allowed to graffiti.
There’s not a whole lot of other places. Li...
Questions?
Connecting Dots
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Summary presentation identifying way too many separate threads.

Note the Homer Hanu animation on Slide 17 is available at https://vimeo.com/108529438

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Connecting Dots

  1. 1. Connecting Dots Tony Smith Melbourne Emergence Meetup 14 August 2014
  2. 2. Tonight’s Challenge • Tell a story with currently 17 major parts • each of which should eventually get a lot more than a full length presentation • Make clear their framing in fundamental principles • Engage any who may find something that touches them in part, framing or whole • Wrap it while everyone is still with us
  3. 3. Why bother? • Before I’m gone, hopefully • Laying it out in summary • leaving unfinished clues • Marcia Salner’s challenge • Towards a “better” world • Multi generational project • we’ve only just begun • Need a “better” road map
  4. 4. • Late in a self-indulgent life • lived at a fortuitous time in a fortuitous place • Chatterbox in my head is reward from that journey • A life well lived is artistic masterpiece too easily lost • In the here and now we can but leave traces • Giving thanks to the space, time, energy, matter and other lives that have allowed me to tell my lies on this old and damp ball of rock • Our systemic servants do not good masters make
  5. 5. Knowledge of Nature • Cosmogenesis in Multiverse • Physics from Nothing is Hard • Earth, Sun, Moon, Life • (pre)historic contingency recursion • Observing common behaviour • Learning to look closely • under reef ledges • volcanic plains grasslands
  6. 6. Maturing Cosmos Galaxy Solar System Red Giant Type 1a Supernova Chaotic Inflation Conservative Bubble Neutron Star Earth Vacuum Sources Sinks Producers Reproducers Locally Conservative Physics Human Intellectual Retreat from Centre Stage • Purging naive assumptions • Communicating a feel for the very big, small, fast, slow • (when $18b road confuses) • Empty space far from nothing • expanding or self-producing • Physics looks highly evolved • c.f. Lee Smolin • presented as e.g. at workshop on Philosophy of Complexity, Stellenbosch, Sth Africa, 2007
  7. 7. Think Act Global Local
  8. 8. Victorian Volcanic Plains Grasslands • John Batman 1835: most beautiful sheep pasturage • Almost destroyed by sheep and superphosphate • Shown on vegetation maps as uniform pale yellow • Obscuring its rich detail, rocky rises, orchids, …
  9. 9. Nature of Knowledge • Could defer this to Bill Hall • Towards a Knowledge Network • Conversation Piece (1997) • TransForum • Pseudoscience Psychology Economics deny agency to co-inhabitants of this planet • Legal Fictions • Intellectual Property
  10. 10. • Knowledge encoded in DNA, synapses, muscles guides response to environmental variability (How?) • Knowledge encoded in deeply recursive grammars offers responses to endless human curiosity (Why?) • Verbal blindness obscures much from human gaze • Double-edged sword revealing truth, spreading lies • Knowing your own kind, territory, movement, needs • Stories, curation, transformational potential (What if?)
  11. 11. The Human Experiment
  12. 12. • Homo Sapiens do not enjoy special uniqueness • beyond emergent characteristics coming together • Science is but one of our significant stepping stones • Extreme division of labour counterfeits ecosystems • producing platforms & silos for further exploration • Alpha male legacies thwart quest for civil society • Still share planet & cities with many fellow travellers
  13. 13. • Avoid projection and assumption of privilege • Nature mostly doesn’t care • Tomorrow is good assumption • Implications of life extension • Choosing our exit strategies • Approaching The Ant Road • Specialists and generalists • Why, in general, Life Is Good • Shit Happens as useful starting philosophy
  14. 14. Selected Cellular Automata • Discrete versus Continuous • Deterministic does not imply predetermined, allows rerunning • Many discrete mechanisms in Wolfram: A New Kind of Science 2002 • Principle of Computational Equivalence • Computational Irreducibility • Evolving Networks, Tick Tock • Fredkin Automata, Pattern Breeder • Game of Life, Generations 345/3/6
  15. 15. Two years running Generations 345/3/6 developing software compressed rendering animation pan & zoom Near last of 500 seeds run for 100,000+ iterations produced fresh surprises Of all early surprises the above demanded getting very serious and naming Hanu
  16. 16. COMFORT FEATURES Generations WMPVN Count range 0-8 0-12(c) Survive 345(8?) 45678(b?c?) Born 3(6?7?8?) 45(9?a?b?c?) 1/2 forward movement born 3 born 45 1/2 toggling side cells born 3 born 4 asym ship central cell death not survive 6 not survive 9 sym ship central cell death not survive 7 not survive a tail/edge clean up not survive 12 not survive (1?)23 track without gap stability survive 35 survive 48 double track with gap stability survive 34 survive 46 gapless double track stability survive 345 survive 468 block stability survive 3 survive 5 blocked track stability survive 5 survive 8 gap stability not born 4 not born 6(7?8?) track toothed edge stability not born 5 not born 8 • Key to Generations 345/3/6 is track-laying engines • These can occur in 345/3/n through 3458/3678/n • None of those offered more, so explored new rule super family • Moore and von Neumann neighbourhoods, so Weighted Moore Plus Von Neumann • Identified 64 individual rule families as comparable targets • Many new behaviours found, highlight WMPVN 45678c/459/11
  17. 17. One from http://wmpvn.com/45678xx_45xxxx/c_9_11/images/
  18. 18. Emergence/Systems/Complexity Supervenience 101 • Emergent organisation constrains the behaviour of component parts • Math concept of degrees of freedom useful here • Novel organisation can emerge where there is a gradient to be dissipated • Stan Salthe’s rule of thumb suggests maximum 50% of gradient can do useful work • Theory poorly recognised
  19. 19. Invasions of Australia • Alfred Russell Wallace’s line • Tim Flannery: Future Eaters • Northern contacts, the Dingo • Bill Gammage: Greatest Estate • Bruce Pascoe: Dark Emu • Sheep and Superphosphate • Detroit and Hollywood • The Russians are coming • The Yellow Peril
  20. 20. No Secrets and No Need for Secrets • Chapter originally planned for 1987 iteration on The Prospect of an Informed Age • No Secrets clearly on track • No Need now problematic • Collective courage to move away from censoriousness • How to live in megacities? • Institutions don’t scale well
  21. 21. • We act within relationships (later) and communities • Communities are very supportive within boundaries • Wider community needs confidence that individual groups are not up to no good • Challenge to strip judgement calls on individuals and groups back to necessary minimum • Well regulated supply better than prohibition • Treat mental illness seriously but never as pretext
  22. 22. Opening Collectives Beyond Democracy • This is newish, moving target • Though seen by 1987, only now becoming permissible to say Democracy doesn’t scale • Open Source Software was a novel approach to collective agency, with strong validation • Challenge to extend strengths where success judgement call • Co-working spaces find need for better resource discovery
  23. 23. • Creative Commons, Open Standards, MOOC • Open Data, Open Geographic Information Systems • Open Government, Occupy Everywhere, Loomio • DIY Bio, 3D Printing, Maker Spaces, Mens Sheds • The Commons, Co-operatives, Crowd Funding • Co-ordination, Co-operation, Collaboration • Social Media, Citizen Reporting, Sousveillance
  24. 24. A Tale of Two Streams c. 1900 Creek Cumbo
  25. 25. • Home 1949-1957 • Couldn’t build on block next door because Moonee Ponds Creek floods kept eroding • School 1958-1963 • Home and Creek obliterated 1966 for Tullamarine Freeway and Flood Amelioration
  26. 26.
  27. 27. • Originally in context of #EWfail and last Federal election • Now fit Colin’s human-sized • Cumberland River Holiday Park • Camp, Bush, Beach
  28. 28. Plans for Melbourne • President of Master Plumbers • MMBW, Public Works Dept • Increasing fan of Local Govt • despite compliance regime • Hydrology, Public Transport • Transport Integration Act 2010 • Better use interested public • Work back from Long Big Pic
  29. 29. WYNDHAM HUME MELTON WHITTLESEA Box Hill Footscray Broadmeadows Central Melbourne
  30. 30. Contested Values and Growing Pool of Money • Money & me: worst of enemies • Your time cannot be replaced • but resupply fairly reliable • Interests and affections • 1987 book plan substructure multidimensional value vector easy as scalar for computers • Triple bottom line accounting • beauty, belonging, stimulation, caring, relief, novelty, comfort,
  31. 31. • Money as rubber ruler: intrinsic value less volatile • Collect deep pools, stabilise surface, drain out underneath to irrigate other enterprises, repeat • Local domination by banking (and “planning”) authorisation for a development to proceed • Growth imperative, rent seekers, empires in decline • Re-insurance, hedge funds strive against volatility • Long term investment with short term performance
  32. 32. Nurturing Diversity Indigenous Culture is just a starting point
  33. 33. • We occupiers enjoy a life of extraordinary comfort at disproportionate cost to the occupied • We have more to learn from them than they from us • Close to Deaths in Custody & Stolen Generation • More recent studies revisit long-ignored evidence • Despite well known disadvantages, their cultures retain an attraction, better international recognition • Paternalist assimilation must not be default choice
  34. 34. Why I am not Agnostic
  35. 35. • Staying open to evidence is fundamental, but doesn’t ignore weight of evidence nor shift burden of proof • I try to stay rational but am not a Rationalist • I try to stay humane without becoming a Humanist • Happy to be Secular, but that is a political position • Scepticism is appropriate in face of unsupported claims to common sense or obviousness #EWfail • Better a TransHumanist seeing human as transitional
  36. 36. Turning Hopes into Expectations • Self-fulfilling prophecies • Reincarnation technologies ask more than they answer but we are not likely to give up • Might we transmit updates to digital souls around Galaxy? • Science Fiction makes worlds to explore but stays familiar • Book I identify with in which a gifted ivory playing piece God is broken by Hanuman li Tosh
  37. 37. • Hypothesise for a moment that we can productively limit social interaction to maps: language & media • Swap familiar biological for Moravec’s rich robotics • Amount of data needed to represent an individual’s conversational potential may drop precipitously • Take reincarnation literally: awoken knows it is you • Question moves: when in life’s story? multiplicity? • Seeding a proxy first step to viable autonomous heir
  38. 38. Slaughtering Sacred Cows • Some things must stay unsaid • Common heritage as animal, chordate, reptile, mammal • Biological imperatives meet behavioural plasticity • Product of peculiar life history • Discover/construct who we are • Expected to know rules without anyone allowed to teach them • All seen thru coloured glasses
  39. 39. • Issues fuel religious dogma, self-styled do-gooders • Ending paternalism without destroying safeguards • Schoolyard and folk wisdom sets ugly expectations • Entitlement without empathy, adversary legal system • Ends with disillusioned partner seeking retribution • Learning, rewards and addiction closely related • Authoritarianism taught as psychological diagnosis
  40. 40. Exploring Possibilities Met Bill McPherson and others 1 June 1982 on first assignment for Computerworld
  41. 41. • Is? and Ought? The two great questions have the same two word answer • Exploring Possibilities • also known as PLAY • Need confident platform from which to explore and for happy returns • Demographics & social complexification create adolescence to explore personal possibilities • Are we all adolescent?
  42. 42. “Lets see, I reckon put like walls down here that kids are allowed to graffiti. There’s not a whole lot of other places. Like there’s a few places in the city. Kids have to go all the way into the city. Most of the time when kids go into the city, older people like try and steal their stuff, like that.”
  43. 43. Questions?

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