Discussion Board

Topic: Basing in transcience

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 05/09/2007

Quick OT: strangely, that last topic doesn't display that there are any replies. Now, for this post:

"Antiferromagnetic materials are currently used in read heads for magnetic storage devices and show promise for use in spintronic devices, which could make use of both the spin and charge of the electron to process information. However, any future technologies that rely on the precise location of antiferromagnetic domains could be affected by this tunnelling. A solution, according to Shpyrko, is the introduction of defects or impurities in the antiferromagnetic materials, which tend to fix the domain locations."

http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/11/5/5/1

This got me thinking about how we conceive of design. Generally, there must be some physically-based constant to facilitate a consistency in operation of a device. Buy perhaps we could base the operation in the flux of its constituents.

Re: Basing in transcience

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/11/2007

Using noise or unreliability... hm! I've heard of stochastic resonances enhancing signals or performance. Could this be a related technique?

Re: Basing in transcience

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 05/12/2007

I'm not sure what I meant there...you know, a eureka moment not easily reached again. Maybe there's nothing to it. Perhaps another, maybe related, idea is to somehow create (or utilise) a system that doesn't stop...it never finishes an operation, it just uses the continually-evolving behavior...Roddy could've perhaps been like this, so you've already thought of it. (Not sure I'm clear enough on this.)

Re: Basing in transcience

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/14/2007

Organic systems shed entropy by sacrificing individuals, while error-correcting and replicating the essential elements. That seems a lot like what you're describing.

Re: Basing in transcience

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose
Date: 06/08/2007

This is way over my head, but really appealing. Just to add to the somewhat chaotic thread:

If charactieristics of the internal flux of a system where to be used as a reference, rather than some fixed datum, it seems like the reference would have to be established relative to the bounds or charactertistics of the enclosing system. It seems like this is the way a domain like (for example) mathematics works in which a formula can be used to provide an answer, but the formula has to exist within a contextual system for it to have meaning and predictive value.

Re: Basing in transcience

From: Greg Bear
Date: 06/12/2007

If I understand what you're getting at, then the contextual system is actually the interaction between the system and its environment--which is encoded in the biogenetic complex. (Note I didn't just say genes--there's actually a lot of environmentally-tuned support systems within the cell that manage and restrict genetic expression.) This determines the rules of the system--its flexibility, its range, and its final product.

Re: Basing in transcience

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose
Date: 06/13/2007

Wow! That's a great extrapolation of my mumbling. Seriously holistic.

I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by "range." Is it something like its ability to influence its surroundings, and to what degree that influence spreads? If so, its's an interesting argument for how micro activities can scale to the macro. Maybe you'd need to add "intent" or "goals" to the list of rules you provided. Maybe not! < Your wonderful book "Vitals" certainly blurred this line in my thinking.

Best regards

Re: Basing in transcience

From: Greg Bear
Date: 06/13/2007

By range, I mean the environmental "space" the ecological unit can successfully occupy--which blurs the distinction between the "range" of a function--the values it can take--and "home on the range"! But now I'm probably getting much too obscure.

Re: Basing in transcience

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose
Date: 06/14/2007


Thank you for the explanation
One final thought on this, to bring it closer to the thread's original path:

Getting back to your interesting comment about stochastic resonances being used to enhance performance, I believe this is always an averaging technique that while making any given data point inherently less accurate, it pulls the average of a large number of data points above the noise level, and gives us access to data that would otherwise be obscured.

Because this has the potential to damage individual data points, it has to be applied very carefully.

The alternative is to use other data gathering/modeling techniques that essentially break the constraints of the context by introducing a new factor, such as perceptual encoding, or >3 dimensional math.'

This feels similar to what you did with Olmy's Jart.

Re: Basing in transcience

From: Greg Bear
Date: 06/17/2007

Excellent analysis and explanation, Steven.

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