Submitted by Flora Shepherd on Sat, 2006-04-15 21:22
Earlier on in the semester, doug wrote
"I think the study of "emergence" can be seen as a luxury topic. People may see it as non-critical, and do not see it as a field of inquiry that will immediately solve real problems. (I beg to differ). I suspect that the few women and other underrepresented groups are attracted, first, to the major topics, and slowly diffuse into "fringe" areas."
This sentiment rang all too true to me. Emergence may attempt to explain and describe the physical world, but constructing computer models does not feel like solving everyday problems. It feels like playing games.
Submitted by Flora Shepherd on Mon, 2006-02-20 00:04
I was just looking through the book list
on the course site. And I noticed that all of the books appear to have been written by white men. I was just wondering if anyone knew of any books written by women/minority scholars, too. I know the book list is a work in progress, and I'd be happy to see if we can flesh it out a little more.
Submitted by Flora Shepherd on Tue, 2006-02-14 01:15
Slime Mold Controls ROBOT!!!
I just thought this was pretty pertinent given today's discussion about slime mold/sand and emergent properties.
Submitted by Flora Shepherd on Mon, 2006-02-13 19:31
”Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.”
Alan Turing, found
When thinking about emergence, my mind ping pongs between three different issues. The first two, my overwhelming distrust of Wolfram and explorations of the top down dichotomy, I will save for another post. Since we are still discussing agent based modeling, I will stick to my third fury.
From the first day of class
, I have been troubled by the idea that in making computer models, our objective “is to be ‘surprised’, to ‘surprise’ others, to establish that some pattern/phenomenon that is presumed to depend on complexity/planning/a directive element can be produced without that. To show what might be, rather than what is.” This has been a recurring theme in lecture and it just does not sit well with me. Why is it that models cannot be used to solve problems? Why don’t they portray what is? This rankles me. If the modeling method has no utility beyond surprise, then it is little more than an intellectual jack in the box: entertaining and beautiful but not appropriate for solving problems in a science class (see my icon? ).