re. top ten list

From: Don Klemencic (
Date: Fri Feb 18 2000 - 21:54:41 MST

In response to Greg Burch's request for questions, this is one of my

There is a proposition that all creative processes have natural selection as
an underlying mechanism: 1. Mutation or a random information source external
to the system. 2. A progressive winnowing of the information for
compatibility or usefulness. 3. Amplification and combination of the
survivors to compete at a higher level. (I use 'natural selection' rather
than 'Darwinian process' because Darwin's view excluded, unnecessarily I
think, feedback from phenotype to genotype as the Lamarckian view allowed.)

This seems very compatible with a 'bottom up' view of mental organization,
such as Marvin Minsky's book 'Society of Mind' or very recently, the article
'Swarm Smarts' in the March, 2000 issue of Scientific American. I first came
across the idea in Gregory Bateson's book 'Mind and Nature'. One thing I
remember from Bateson's book was a discussion of parthenogenesis: hatching a
frog egg by pricking it with a pin. He said that this was necessary to break
the symmetry of the egg-which side would the belly be on?. The system cannot
generate this information internally (technically it would then not be
'information'). And creativity might be like that-whether genetic or mental:
to avoid getting in a rut, there may need to be a continual inflow of new
information, percolating from the bottom levels of organization upward.

I was thinking of this while reading Eliezer Yudkowsky's Singularity
documents where he mentioned getting a 'creative spark' into his systems.
Could this be the parameter that must be taken into consideration?

I've only been on the list for a few months and this is my first substantive
post. I hope it generates some discussion.

                                                                Don Klemencic

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:03:55 MDT