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FleshFactor: the goals of chaoplexity...



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Shafer Ramsey wrote:

>Life isn't as complex as we think it is.  We -make- it complex by not
>completely defining the terms.  There is no definition for Intelligence,
>Life, Death, Good or Evil.  Until we define these terms we will always see
>various problems as complex and goals unattainable.  How can you map out
>intelligence/life experiences when you don't have a definition of what
>those concepts are? 


One of the most profound goals of chaoplexity is the elucidation of a new
law, or set of principles, or unified theory, or _something_ that will
make it possible to understand and predict the behaviour of a wide variety
of seemingly dissimilar complex systems. 

A closely related proposal is that the universe harbors a
complexity-generating force (!) that counteracts the second law of
thermodynamics and creates galaxies, life, and even life intelligent
enough to contemplate itself. 

For such hypotheses to be meaningful, proponents must tell us what,
exactly, complexity is and how it can be measured. Underlying most
definitions of complexity is the notion that the complexity of a
phenomenon is proportional to its improbability, or inversely proportional
to its inevitability. If we shake a bag of molecules, how likely are we to
get a galaxy, a planet, a paramecium, a frog, a stock broker? The best way
to answer such questions would be to find other universes or other
biological systems and analyze them statistically.  That is obviously not
possible. 

Chaoplexologists nonetheless contend that they can answer these
probability questions by constructing alternative universes and life
histories in computers and determining which features are robust and which
are contingent, or ephemeral. (Horgan)


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