[Humanist] 26.570 coevolution
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Dec 11 07:50:15 CET 2012
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 570.
Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 15:55:15 +0000
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
I am enormously grateful to those who have responded to my query about
extension of the biological idea of coevolution to non-biological
systems. I already knew Bardini's book, Licklider's essay and one or two
other things but had not encountered most of the other items mentioned.
A brilliant demonstration of how helpful colleagues on Humanist can be.
Thank you, all.
I had encountered the idea of epigenesis in Jean-Pierre Changeux's "The
Epigenetic Variability of Memory", in Nalbantian et al, eds, The Memory
Process (2011), but now my machine's searching capabilities show me that
I've already gathered in many related items that I had forgotten about.
Ah, the variability of memory :-)...
And I hasten to add, to reassure Haines Brown, that I also am "not at
all comfortable with approaching things by means of a cognitive and
physical closure that supports explanation simply in terms of causal
interactions", as he said. I am *deeply* puzzled by how humans and
machines (or just about any two strands of development) are connected --
how it is that such strands, often from very different origins, become
interrelated. Computing provides a very good example of that original
separateness, as Michael Mahoney pointed out repeatedly. But it is
equally wrong, I think, to deny relatedness. And horribly difficult to
talk about such matters simply -- as Einstein said, I think, as simply
as possible but not more so.
Willard McCarty, FRAI / Professor of Humanities Computing & Director of
the Doctoral Programme, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Professor, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics,
University of Western Sydney; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
(www.isr-journal.org); Editor, Humanist
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