[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!)
> "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
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
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
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