[MUD-Dev] Re: MURKLE: Wot it is

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Wed May 20 13:04:53 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Tue, 19 May 98 23:13:33 MST 
Chris Gray<cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA> wrote:

> [J C Lawrence:] 

>> Yes, very similar.  I'd love to dig out that original article.

> Ouch! My back is sore from sitting on the floor in my library
> room. (Actually I was lucky - I started at the correct end of the
> correct shelf!)

Oy vey!

> "Sharks and fish wage an ecological war on the toroidal planet
> Wa-Tor" - A. K. Dewdney, "Computer Recreations", December 1984
> Scientific American.  The issue has a gold-coloured scorpion on the
> cover.

The bugger of it is that even with the xact title I can't determine
whether or not it exists on the ScientificAmerican site.

However, I found other interesting bits:

  A windows version of the game at:


  David Jefferson, UCLA, "RAM: A System for Simulation of Complex
    Biological Systems"

    A Lisp-based ecological system model. They actually presented
    several example applications, but I have included just a "foxes,
    rabbits, and cabbages" sample application discussion. Each
    animal's behavior is a few pages of Lisp. The system supports
    natural selection (evolution) of the programmer-assigned gene
    alleles. This is simultaneously one of the systems greatest
    strengths and its greatest weaknesses. The ability to include
    evolutionary changes in the indigenous population is an
    interesting and valuable computational research
    aid. Unfortunately, however, as with all of these types of
    systems, the complete complement of available genes and their
    manners of expression must be fully assigned in advance by the
    programmer-as-god. Hence the system is incapable of evolving any
    previously unspecified behaviors, much less unspecified
    organisms. Still, this is interesting work. And no one at the
    conference presented, or was even able to make suggestions for a
    truly "open-ended" approach that could conceivably overcome this
    inherent appriori- specification limitation, though the need for
    such an approach was voiced repeatedly.

  (I haven't found a copy of this presentation or article yet, 
  just the above reference).

  Richard Dawkins, U. of Oxford, England, "Biomorph Evolution" / "The
    Evolution of Evolvability"

    Watch out Carl Sagan. Dawkins is a terrific speaker and also a
    pretty mean thinker. He is author of The Blind Watchmaker and is a
    dyed-in-the- wool Neo-Darwinist. He demonstrates his Biomorph
    system, which permits various forms of highly interactive
    evolution amongst 16 different gene types, on a Macintosh. His
    software is supposed to become available with the second printing
    of Watchmaker. As he himself points out, however, he has pretty
    much exhausted the approach he has taken to date, and, as has
    everyone, he has hit this brick wall of not knowing how to
    implement an open-ended system that is not wholey specified by the
    programmer-as-god at the outset when he/she defines the available
    genes and the genotype to phenotype mappings.

  Again I can't find anything but the above reference.  Why does this
    sound scarily similar to the social engineering constraints that
    Raph and Co are fighting with?

  Some discussion of CoreWars, PolyWorld, Tiera and other variations
    can be found at:


J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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