Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Evolution acts just like evolutionary algorithms

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Clive Davidson wrote a terrific account of what happens when you let programs evolve: Creatures from the Primordial Silicon (PDF). It seems peculiar at how the particularities of the chip were baked into the program so that it, in effect, worked only with this particular chipset—i.e., these chips. That’s the way I remember it, anyway. (UPDATE: I just tracked the article to its original source in New Scientist in 1997. Here it is.)

And now they are finding that spending too many days in freefall makes you go blind. It turns out that our eyesight evolved with gravity baked into the program. (Short version: In freefall, blood pressure in the head increases (no gravity), and the additional pressure puts stress on the optic nerve, leading to massive breakdown and blindness. So much for colonizing other planets. Glad to put paid to that romantic and completely unrealistic notion. I love science-fiction myself, but most of the really good stuff is impossible fantasies—but fun.) Details here at New Scientist.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 March 2012 at 9:08 am

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