[p2p-research] is the mind a computer

Ryan Lanham rlanham1963 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 17:54:26 CET 2009

On 11/12/09, Samuel Rose <samuel.rose at gmail.com> wrote:
> "A Complex Adaptive System (CAS) is a dynamic network of many agents
> (which may represent cells, species, individuals, firms, nations)
> acting in parallel, constantly acting and reacting to what the other
> agents are doing. The control of a CAS tends to be highly dispersed
> and decentralized.

This is very difficult for me to understand because the boundary conditions
for what is and isn't a system are difficult to define.  Something discreet
occurs when a person exists.  They are part of social processes, etc., but I
know of no one who quibbles much with the idea of an individual.  Nations
are interconnected...as are ecosystems  Discreetness is much less clear.
But a person could talk about resident bacteria in a human...that humans are
ecosystems, etc.  I'm struggling with that...

There is also a macro versus micro approach issue going on I think.  At one
level we are discussing differences in macro systems...a brain versus a
highly complicated machine (say a supercomputer running a large program).
At another level there is a question as to whether processes that cause
changes to genetic material...whether those are programmatic and can be
simulated...or whether the workings of a set of neurons can be simulated.
At the macro scale, difference of opinion is more plausible to me.

So far is it the Complex Systems' peoples' opinion, Sam, that there is
something at an elemental level that makes these systems different?  Or is
it something that occurs as complexity arises?  In other words, are there
boundary cases between complex and not-complex?  You were getting into this
a little...

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