More comments from Anarchist in the Library

February 6, 2006 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

I list still more notes from The Anarchist in the Library by Siva Vaidhyanathan

P. 144 still discussing ‘the anarchy and oligarchy of science’ the author comments that “…our thinking about genes, development…is bound up in tired, incomplete, and frankly harmful metaphors.  For instance, how well does the software metaphor work?  Development relies on complex interactions among nuclear, intracellular, extracellular, and extraorganismic environments.  Software for the most part relays input into outputs on a one-to-one basis.  Complexity in software is an illusion generated by scale….”

Oho. But I am reminded of Stephen Wolfram’s incredibly dense and neurotic, yet fascinating and insightful book, A new kind of science, that I continue to dig into.  If I understand the main tenet, and I’m not sure I fully grasp it, it might be paraphrased: simple rules (programs) can lead to extraordinary complexity.  In other words, just because nature looks incredibly complex this does not require the underlying rules (programs) to be incredibly complex.  I think this deserves more research and understanding, at least on my part, and as the line in Mr. Vaidhyanathan’s book seems to contradict the basic idea in Wolfram’s New Science, it would be interesting to push further down this line of thought.

Wow, check out this review for Wolfram’s book.  If nothing else the author of this review provides a wealth of other references to dig into that attack the same topic.  Feed my pet brain.


Entry filed under: anarchist in the library, feed my pet brain.

Notes and quotes from Anarchist in the Library Another ‘New Kind Of Science’ link

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