Re: Algorithmic Revolution?

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 11:25:24 +1100 (EST)

Colin Hales wrote:
> Here is another possible confusion: ‘emergence’ as a descriptive artefact vs
> ‘emergence’ as real layered behaviour in a real system. The wording
> initially looks as if you think emergence is not real. The emergence is real
> (whatever we consider real is!). Example: There are at least 6 fundamental
> layers of emergence from quantum froth to mind. The agreed view appears to
> be that any formal mathematics of each layer stops at each layer whereas an
> algorithmic approach generates/spans the layers, which are delineated by an
> appropriately sensitised observer. Both styles of description seem
> appropriate and able to coexist provided their character is understood.

Remember my insistence on the models being "good" (by whatever
criterion "good" is). Emergence in a poor model is most definitely not
real. But we expect good models to be capturing something about
reality, so emergence in these models is in some sense a real

However, all I really insist upon is that two observers discussing a
phenomenon agree that a particular model (or language as it were) is
good. Then they can agree upon the emergence in that case. For the
billions of people who believe in God, presumably God is equally a
real emergent phenomenon.

> Not really TOE stuff, so I’ll desist for now. I remain ever hopeful that one
> day I’ll be able to understand Bruno…. :-)

Same here!


A/Prof Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (")
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Received on Thu Nov 28 2002 - 19:28:08 PST

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