So, To replace objects with events (happenings), first part of the transition might be to move from object to swarm (collection of smaller objects) with simpler behaviors that perform different behaviors collectively that individually they are unaware of or incapable of doing and can’t be predicted by studying only one or just a few of them. I know it well from the artificial swarm pov (30 years an amateur on and off with cellular automata thinking) but never sat down to look at biological swarms. Backwards, I know. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarm_behaviour

So, To replace objects with events (happenings), first part of the transition might be to move from object to swarm (collection of smaller objects) with simpler behaviors that perform different behaviors collectively that individually they are unaware of or incapable of doing and can’t be predicted by studying only one or just a few of them.
 
I know it well from the artificial swarm pov (30 years an amateur on and off with cellular automata thinking) but never sat down to look at biological swarms. Backwards, I know.
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarm_behaviour
==
 Bearing fruit already: I knew these concepts only from the computer side and not from where they came from outside of vague ant metaphors https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stigmergy Stigmergy. Weird word I should’ve known but didn’t.
===
Bacteria as Multicellular Organisms
They differentiate into various cell types and form highly regular colonies that appear to be guided by sophisticated temporal and spatial control systems.
 
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN June 1988
by James A. Shapiro
 
https://web.archive.org/web/20120526105956/http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/Shapiro.1988.scientificamerican0688-82.pdf
===
To get to “objects-as-slow-events”, I’m going to journey through “objects-are-swarms-but-with-specializations” which turns out EXISTS and has a name:
 
STIGMERGY
 
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1389041715000327
===
Stigmergy
 
“But why did not someone else come up with this simple and elegant notion? A more fundamental answer is that stigmergic interaction is by definition indirect, while our mind is biased to look for direct causes of the phenomena we observe. If we note that agents act in a coordinated way, our natural inclination is to seek the cause of one agent’s behavior directly in another agent’s behavior, assuming that there is an immediate communication from the one to other. Failing to find this link, we assume that the agents are driven by the same cause, such as a shared instinct, plan, or leader that controls their behavior. We do not spontaneously consider the option that one agent may drive another agent’s behavior only via the indirect route of an unintentional trace left in a passive environment. “
===
 “However, the concept of agent does not appear to be necessary for a definition of stigmergy: the mechanism applies perfectly well to the coordination of actions performed by a single, unspecified agent, in which case there is no need to identify different agents. Moreover, further extensions of the stigmergy concept can even do away with the notion of agent altogether and consider the coordination of “agentless” actions that are merely events or physical processes—such as chemical reactions “
===
 “This views  fits in with the ontology of action (Heylighen, 2011; Turchin, 1993), which sees action as the primitive element from which all other concepts are derived.”
==
“This views fits in with the ontology of action (Heylighen, 2011; Turchin, 1993), which sees action as the primitive element from which all other concepts are derived.”
 
Ah ha! Ontology of action – is that what I’m looking for? Time to segue.
===
Adding to reading list as it jives with my way of thinking about homeostatic systems in general.
 
Sustainable systems as organisms? 2005
 
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15985324/
===
Self-organizing systems theory — in CHEMISTRY? SO rare to see Theoretical Chemistry instead of Theoretical Physics. This should be good.
 
“The relevancy of our theory is underlined by a theorem that says that given a differential equation describing the chemical dynamics of the network, then every stationary state is an instance of an organisation.”
 
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17415616/
====
Stigmergy
“Medium”. A trace has to be left behind in a medium. Air and clouds would not be a medium to something on the ground but a sandy beach would be a medium.
Tracing in sand.
So “environment” is too vague a word.
===
 ” It is this mediating function that underlies the true power of
stigmergy “
SWARM. Memory being external via traces is something I Never knew.
Compared to traditional methods of organization, stigmergy makes absolutely minimal demands on the agents. In particular, in stigmergic collaboration there is no need for:
 
• planning or anticipation: agents only need to know the present state of the activity; the overall goal, next step or end result is irrelevant for their present work. In Wikipedia, there is no plan specifying which information should be added to the encyclopedia when.
 
• memory: agents do not need to remember their previous activity; no information about the state of the work needs to be stored anywhere except in the medium.
 
• communication: no information needs to be transferred between the agents, except via the work done in the medium; there is in particular no need for the agents to negotiate about who does what.
 
• mutual awareness: each agent works independently; it does not even need to know that others participate. For example, contributors to Wikipedia generally do not know each other or communicate with each other.
 
• simultaneous presence: there is in general no need for the agents to be present at the same time or at the same place; tasks are registered in the medium so that they can be picked up by agents whenever and wherever they are available. That is how worldwide communities can collaborate on a single software project.
 
• imposed sequence: actions are performed automatically in the right order, since an action will not be started until the right condition is in place; the workflow emerges spontaneously, as the completion of one task triggers the initiation of the next task(s)
 
• imposed division of labor: each agent will only perform the actions for which it has the required competence, i.e. for which it possesses adequate condition-action rules; normally, the more “confident” the agent is about the right action (i.e. the stronger the connection between condition and action), the more it will be stimulated by the condition and the quicker it will be to start the job; in this way, tasks are automatically assigned to the most competent agents (Heylighen and Vidal, 2008)
 
• commitment: agents do no need to commit to a particular task (in contradiction to what (Jennings, 1993) claims about multi-agent coordination); an agent decides on the spot what work it should do, depending on opportunity and other contingent conditions; an agent that quits or otherwise becomes unavailable is automatically replaced by another one
 
• centralized control or supervision: errors or perturbations are automatically corrected, as they merely create a new condition stimulating new actions to deal with the challenge; the activity is self-organizing. For example, bugs in open- source software are spotted by users and resolved by other contributors.
 
via https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1389041715000327?via%3Dihub
===
The way termites build towers and the way that people in forums talk about what’s popular making it even more popular are used as examples of the positive feedback part of stigmergy.
 —

===

 

Persistent traces –> asynchronous stigmergy
Transient traces –> synchronous stigmergy
—–
“These examples illustrate once again that no sharp distinction can be made between persistent and transient traces used in stigmergy: these are merely the opposite ends of a continuum. Yet, the distinction may be useful for conceptual clarification.
 
Persistent traces lead to what may be called asynchronous stigmergy: the different agents do not need to be present at the same time, since the trace remains to guide them at any later time. Asynchronous communication (Cristian, 1996) can be illustrated by media such as print, email, or websites. Its advantage is that information remains available, so that it can be processed at the most appropriate occasion, and can accumulate and mature over the longer term.
 
Transient traces lead to synchronous stigmergy: the agents need to be simultaneously present for the coordination to succeed. Synchronous communication may be exemplified by media such as telephone and Internet “chat”. Its advantage is that interaction, and therefore feedback, is instantaneous, so that urgent problems can be tackled immediately.
a warning cry or a chemical signal exemplify indirect communication: they are targeted at no one in
particular, but merely “released” in the medium. “
—-our brain is an energy-intensive, costly organ, whose storage capacities remain quite limited. That is why we continue to use stigmergy to support our memory and reasoning. Let us discuss a few examples. Whenever we have to do a complex job, such as repairing a bicycle, preparing a dinner, or filling out our tax forms, we tend to keep both the objects we work on, and the different tools and resources that support the work at hand, in such a way that they are easy to see and to manipulate.For example, while taking apart the bicycle we arrange all the screws and pieces in clear view, close to the screwdrivers or pincers we will need to put them back on, so that we are unlikely to forget what must be added when and where. Each tool or piece is a stimulus for performing a particular action. The perceived state of the bicycle is the condition that determines which action is to be performed next. If before we start we had to analyze, plan and memorize all the steps that need to be performed in taking apart, repairing, and then reassembling the bicycle, it is unlikely that we would ever succeed in this task. The arrangement of the physical components in space here plays the role of the activity’s trace, which constantly guides the stigmergic coordination of actions.

Ergonomic studies have shown that the spatial arrangement of a workplace is crucial to the efficient performance of work (Hollan et al., 2000; Kirsh, 1995, 1996). One obvious reason is that when tools are positioned near to where they are likely to be used, there will be less need for physical movement. However, stigmergy reminds us that good arrangement saves cognitive effort as well as physical effort, by connecting the right reminders to the right circumstances. For example, one of the reasons why “Post it” notes are popular is that they make it easy to spatially connect a cognitive “call for action” (challenge, stimulus, marker) with the physical resource needed to perform the action. Sticking a “Please photocopy!” note on a document, e.g., makes it obvious for anyone what needs to be passed through the copying machine.

===
“The evolution of cooperation “
[…]
“An example can be found in Wikipedia “edit wars” (Sumi, Yasseri, Rung, Kornai, and Kertész, 2011), in which two contributors who disagree about a particular statement in a Wikipedia article repeatedly undo each others’ corrections.
 
This does not prevent other contributors from elaborating the rest of the article (and the encyclopedia).
 
Often, the conflict tends to get resolved by a third party who proposes a compromise statement that the conflicting parties no longer object to.
 
Even without third party intervention, the conflict is unlikely to continue, either because the antagonists themselves chance upon a statement that is acceptable to both, or because one of them simply gives up repeating the same ineffectual action, and decides to focus on some more productive task.
 
From this stigmergic perspective, the emergence of cooperation between selfish individuals seems a much less daunting issue than from a traditional evolutionary or economic perspective (Axelrod, 1997)”
===
Hanging onto this: bye bye “prisoner’s dilemma” and “tragedy of the commons”
 
“From this stigmergic perspective, the emergence of cooperation between selfish individuals seems a much less daunting issue than from a traditional evolutionary or economic perspective (Axelrod, 1997)”
===

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


9 − = three

Leave a Reply