Re: Random processes create meaning

From: Bert Massie (
Date: Thu Sep 21 2000 - 21:58:01 EDT

  • Next message: Dale K. Stalnaker: "Re: Geocentricity"

    > On Thu Sep 21 11:10:08 2000, "Lawrence Johnston" <> wrote:
    > > Hey, Glenn -
    > > Great to have you back. We hope you are finding Scotland ok, and hope you are
    > > finding warm Christian friends there. Things on the List haven't
    > been the same without
    > > your frank and sage postings.
    > >
    > > Glenn hat geschrieben:
    > Thanks for the kind words. I know Mandarin and English (read a bit of French)
    > but know no German. What is geschrieben?
    > > (LJ):
    > > Glenn - You are using keywords of nearly the same length and possible
    > complexity as
    > > the short messages you encode. Thus all it takes is to use a computer
    > take a given
    > > message and generate a codeword that is tailored to reproduce the new target
    > > message. You have enough free parameters to do this. So, your new
    > keyword has
    > > been tailored to produce your new message from the old one. It is hardlly
    > a
    > > random sequence.
    > Ah, but this issue really arises in code breaking. In trying to break codes,
    > occasionally they will use random sequences just to see if anything useful
    > drops out. It is risky but when all else has failed, this is a technique that
    > they sometimes used.
    > As to the randomness of the letters in my keywords, I would bet that they would
    > pass the K-S test for randomness. Having learned a bit of statistics from a
    > friend lately, it is impossible to prove randomness, but it is possible to
    > prove non-randomness. My friend can correct me if I am in error here.
    > >
    > > This is a bit like Dawkins' bamboozle in his "Blind Watchmaker". There he
    > > takes
    > > the sentence "Methinks it looks llike a weasel" and essays to reproduce it
    > by
    > > randomly selecting letters, starting with a first letter. He has the
    > computer make
    > > guesses at what the first letter is, and in less than 26 guesses the computer
    > hits
    > > upon the letter M.
    > No, actually it isn't like Dawkins weasel which isn't a bamboozle. What is a
    > bamboozle is the criticism of Dawkins weasel which tries to delete the
    > selection and the measurement of fitness out of the process and turn the search
    > for 'Me thinks it looks like a weasel' into a random search. Evolution is
    > anything BUT a random search algorithm. It consists of random mutation followed
    > by a measurement of fitness to the particular problem (in this case the
    > *selection of letters). This measurment and selection acts as a ratchet,

    You need several things for Dawkins model to work( and this list is not complete)

    When a random change occurs (never mind the tough problem of how it all began)
            It must be small change because large beneficial changes are virtually
    statistically impossible.

    There must be a "ratchet" or "latch":
        This means that something locks in the change.

    This is proposed to be a "benefit" to the organism so that it will survice better
    than an organism without this small change and the measure is that it will produce
    more survivable offspring who will not loose this benefit through breeding with
    those who do not have it.

    There must be a path of tiny (genetic) changes which lead to the new macro-feature
    (such the eye)

      and each step of this macro-featuredevelopment must have a genetic representation
    which also has a functional benefit however so small.

    There must be time enough for all of this to accumlate before some catastropic event
    wipes out this organism.

    There must not be a change in the reverse direction.

    The pool of organisms with these changes must not be exterminated because some other
    genetic change in the balance of the population has some other change more
    beneificial (list a more sensitive since of smell.)

    And ad nausaum.

    Bert M.


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