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Are they alive?

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Anonymous
February 26, 2005 11:38:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

Here's something Steve Grand wrote way back in 1997
(http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.games.creatures...)


Firstly, I'd like to say that I'm extremely touched and delighted by the
quality and quantity of stuff you people are doing on this newsgroup and at
home. My norns are clearly in safe hands (even if some of you do have a
penchant for barely ethical recombinant DNA research on the poor things!).

The reason I'm posting here is that I'm speaking at a conference in about
two weeks on the subject of "when/if software can ever be described as
truly alive". There don't seem to have been many debates about whether
norns are "just simulations" or whether in some sense that can be described
as real living things. I think it's a valid question to ask, and you all
know that I went to fairly extreme lengths to model biological systems
inside the norns, so that their behaviour would be emergent, rather than
merely programmed in. I certainly intended to make norns real living
things, or as near to it as I could get. However, my own views on the
subject are rather complex and difficult to describe. What I was wondering
was: what do you lot think?

I'd be interested to hear anyone's views on whether norns are alive,
whether any kind of software (if for now you assume that we are not
software too, which is another story) can be alive, and what "alive" means
anyway. At the very least I'd appreciate a straw poll to see how many of
you would vote one way or the other. This would be very helpful for me as I
try and get my head around the topic for my conference talk. Please reply
on this thread. If it gets into a debate and I don't respond much, I
apologise - I'm a bit busy right now. Thanks for any contribution you care
to make.

Steve.

Stephen Grand
Director of Technology
Cyberlife Technology Ltd.
Steph...@cyberlife.co.uk
www.cyberlife.co.uk

I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?

--
- nornagon
http://www.nornrock.com
mailto: nornagon@gmail.com
DS Species range: 10001-10100

More about : alive

Anonymous
February 26, 2005 11:39:00 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-26, nornagon <nornagon@gmail.com> wrote:
> Here's something Steve Grand wrote way back in 1997
> (http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.games.creatures...)
>
>
> Firstly, I'd like to say that I'm extremely touched and delighted by the
> quality and quantity of stuff you people are doing on this newsgroup and at
> home. My norns are clearly in safe hands (even if some of you do have a
> penchant for barely ethical recombinant DNA research on the poor things!).
>
> The reason I'm posting here is that I'm speaking at a conference in about
> two weeks on the subject of "when/if software can ever be described as
> truly alive". There don't seem to have been many debates about whether
> norns are "just simulations" or whether in some sense that can be described
> as real living things. I think it's a valid question to ask, and you all
> know that I went to fairly extreme lengths to model biological systems
> inside the norns, so that their behaviour would be emergent, rather than
> merely programmed in. I certainly intended to make norns real living
> things, or as near to it as I could get. However, my own views on the
> subject are rather complex and difficult to describe. What I was wondering
> was: what do you lot think?
>
> I'd be interested to hear anyone's views on whether norns are alive,
> whether any kind of software (if for now you assume that we are not
> software too, which is another story) can be alive, and what "alive" means
> anyway. At the very least I'd appreciate a straw poll to see how many of
> you would vote one way or the other. This would be very helpful for me as I
> try and get my head around the topic for my conference talk. Please reply
> on this thread. If it gets into a debate and I don't respond much, I
> apologise - I'm a bit busy right now. Thanks for any contribution you care
> to make.
>
> Steve.
>
> Stephen Grand
> Director of Technology
> Cyberlife Technology Ltd.
> Steph...@cyberlife.co.uk
> www.cyberlife.co.uk
>
> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?

0.5 for alive
0.5 for not alive
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 11:39:00 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

nornagon wrote:
> Here's something Steve Grand wrote way back in 1997
> (http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.games.creatures...)

<snipped long, but very interesting question>

> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?

You would need to device some kind of Turing Test where people are
pretending to be Norns and other Norns are executed by a computer. If an
observer can't tell the real Norns from the human operated Norns, the
Norns should be considered alive.

To put it another way: If a human can fool an observer into thinking
that he or she is a Norn then the assumption that a Norn is not alive
will result in the conclusion that the Human is also not alive. This is
clearly false (but how do you proof Humans themselves are alive?), thus
the opposite must be true and the Norns would be alive!

Of course, the humans would have the same input neurons the Norns would
have, otherwise the humans would have an unfair advantage over the
Norns. Their actions would also be limited to the things a Norn can do.
AFAIK language is hardcoded in the Norns and not part of the
neurological brain.

Other things to consider are if the input and output possibilities of a
Norn brain are complex enough to even be considered to be alive. And
what if you severely cripple an insect so it wouldn't have more inputs
(e.g. eyes) than a Norn? Would you still call it alive? And if so, is it
justified to feel bad for the crippled insect in the way that some
people felt bad and emotional about tortured Norns?

Thomas
- --
"All my life, I've always wondered, What it would be like to fire a
ballistic missile" - Wonderfully colored plastic war toys, The Dead
Milkmen
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Related resources
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 11:39:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

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Vadim wrote:
> Thomas J. Boschloo wrote:
>
>
>>>But you could wire up your brain to a cats body like you could
>>>wire it up to a Norn with your program. It would get some
>>>getting used to, but you could perhaps even proof that your Cat
>>>is more alive than you are yourself since you do so poorly
>>>imitate it! A real cat would know the difference, just like a
>>>real Norn would ;-D
>
>
> But that again makes little sense. The brain isn't like a mech
> pilot, which just happens to be "driving" a more or less complex
> body. They both evolved together.

I must have been playing too much Messiah ;-0

> Cat brains are optimal for cats, human ones for humans. How would
> you wiggle your tail if your brain got connected to a cat? The
> vision would probably be bizarre to you, and the hearing and
> smell senses strange as well. You'd need to learn to walk again,
> etc.

Still, it would be great to be e.g. a seagull for a while. Wouldn't it?
I believe the "Native American's" had a stronger connection with their
surroundings then we have now. Maybe at a spiritual level we could
control a cat. Nah, I have just been watching too many movies. Seen
"Being John Malkovich"? Not brilliant, but fun to watch. Though it has a
pretty sad ending for the main character (but I don't want to spoil the
story). <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120601/&gt;

> The other way, I doubt a cat brain would be any good when
> connected to a human body. I'd hope we'd get Nuku-Nuku out of
> it, but it sounds very improbable ;-)

That's because it isn't really alive. <ducks below the table>

<snip>

> And then a friend would tell the proud owner "That is
> unbelievable - you must be very proud and happy to still own the
> original item after so many generations in your family"
>
> And the proud owner would say "Yes, and you know what? Through
> the years the handle has been replaced 6 times and the
> axe(-head) 4 times"

So you feel bad for an object that doesn't even exist in the current
universe. That actually makes sense! I value freedom of speech e.g.

hi!
Thomas
- --
"All my life, I've always wondered, What it would be like to fire a
ballistic missile" - Wonderfully colored plastic war toys, The Dead
Milkmen
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Anonymous
February 26, 2005 11:39:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-26, Thomas J. Boschloo <nospam@hccnet.nl.invalid> wrote:
>
> Vadim wrote:
>> Thomas J. Boschloo wrote:
>>
>>
> I have this thing with spiders, especially jumping spiders. I think they
> are cute and I just can't get myself to kill one. Note that it is pretty

I can't have them near me. 30 centimetres is fine, everything below...

> hard to catch a jumping spider because, well, they jump off your hand
> for instance! Spiders are very much alive to me and I feel kind of
> troubled when I step on an ant. I also bring those outside (and drop
> them from the third floor outside my apartment without remorse)..

Bringing the ant out is probably more of a problem than dropping it. The
ant can survive the drop without any serious wounds, but it dies of
loosing contact (or not knowing the way back for that matter) to the
hive.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 11:39:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

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Thomas J. Boschloo wrote:
| nornagon wrote:
|
|>>Here's something Steve Grand wrote way back in 1997
|>>(http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.games.creatures...)
|
|
| <snipped long, but very interesting question>
|
|>>I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
|
|
| You would need to device some kind of Turing Test where people are
| pretending to be Norns and other Norns are executed by a computer. If an
| observer can't tell the real Norns from the human operated Norns, the
| Norns should be considered alive.
|
| To put it another way: If a human can fool an observer into thinking
| that he or she is a Norn then the assumption that a Norn is not alive
| will result in the conclusion that the Human is also not alive. This is
| clearly false (but how do you proof Humans themselves are alive?), thus
| the opposite must be true and the Norns would be alive!

Unfortunately, this doesn't quite work. To take it to an extreme:
Put a rock and a human ar computer consoles. Tell the human to pretend
to be a rock at a console. Since a person on the other end can't tell
the difference, by your logic, the rock must be alive.

Intelligent life can reduce the extent of its capabilities it shows.
Because of this, your test fails.

Moreover, if someone made a non-alive sentient thing of some sort (AI
program maybe?), would that not change the conclusion of the test if it
was connected instead of the human? Even though it may be acting
identically to the human?

| Of course, the humans would have the same input neurons the Norns would
| have, otherwise the humans would have an unfair advantage over the
| Norns. Their actions would also be limited to the things a Norn can do.
| AFAIK language is hardcoded in the Norns and not part of the
| neurological brain.

I can also argue the human will always fail at this - we just can't
emulate another being at the speed needed, and could not interface with
the console fast enough.

| Other things to consider are if the input and output possibilities of a
| Norn brain are complex enough to even be considered to be alive. And
| what if you severely cripple an insect so it wouldn't have more inputs
| (e.g. eyes) than a Norn? Would you still call it alive? And if so, is it
| justified to feel bad for the crippled insect in the way that some
| people felt bad and emotional about tortured Norns?

What about bacteria? I think the brain is totally orthagonal to this
discussion.

FWIW, I feel the norns aren't alive, simply because the environment
doesn't have the right level of complexity. Too much is hardcoded, and
too much is allowed to run free. Life must collect energy from its
environment and process it. Yet, a norn can gain a mutation (highlander
norns, anyone?) and run free of its environment. The environment also
prevents a complete evolution into a different kind of organism.
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Anonymous
February 26, 2005 11:39:02 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

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Hash: RIPEMD160

Vadim wrote:
| bd wrote:
|
|>>FWIW, I feel the norns aren't alive, simply because the
|>>environment doesn't have the right level of complexity. Too
|>>much is hardcoded, and too much is allowed to run free. Life
|>>must collect energy from its environment and process it. Yet, a
|>>norn can gain a mutation (highlander norns, anyone?) and run
|>>free of its environment. The environment also prevents a
|>>complete evolution into a different kind of organism.
|
|
| Well, that's a certainly interesting point.
|
| What do you think about the interesting stuff that happens in
| Conway's Game of Life? Is it alive?
|

No more so than my CPU. Evolution doesn't happen in conway's life. Just
execution.
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Anonymous
February 26, 2005 11:58:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

<snip>
> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?

Our first reaction (Markus's, amusingly enough) was that it depends on the
brain--however, plants are 'alive', and then have no brain nor intelligence,
yet are alive.

In a phrase, then: Darwinian evolution. In practice, this probably
necessitates the potential to evolve beyond certain boundaries which may or
may not be in place in reference to Norns and the others.

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 11:58:46 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-26, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
><snip>
>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>
> Our first reaction (Markus's, amusingly enough) was that it depends on the
> brain--however, plants are 'alive', and then have no brain nor intelligence,
> yet are alive.

They have an neural network and *do* react to external input.
Intelligence is a matter of definition, of course.

> In a phrase, then: Darwinian evolution. In practice, this probably
> necessitates the potential to evolve beyond certain boundaries which may or
> may not be in place in reference to Norns and the others.

May or may not? What do *you* believe?
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 12:03:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-26, Vadim <me@vadim.ws> wrote:
>
> Evolution doesn't really care about how a problem is solved as
> long as it's solved in some satisfactory way, and if it turns
> out that having an emotional attachment to an axe makes survival
> more likely, then that behavior is going to be passed on,
> regardless of how irrational it is.

In fact it doesn't matter if it is making survival /more/ likely. It's
sufficient to make it not (much?) *less* likely.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 12:46:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

nornagon InSaNiTised:

<snip>

>
> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>

I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness and an ability
to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn to ride a
bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find norns harvesting
grain or planting seeds, will you?

In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The norns' world
is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.

--
- nornagon
http://www.nornrock.com
mailto: nornagon@gmail.com
DS Species range: 10001-10100
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 12:46:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-26, nornagon <nornagon@gmail.com> wrote:
> nornagon InSaNiTised:
>
><snip>
>
>>
>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>
>
> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness and an ability
> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn to ride a
> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find norns harvesting
> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>
> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The norns' world
> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.

Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
environment :-?
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 12:54:06 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

Vadim InSaNiTised:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: RIPEMD160
>
> bd wrote:
>>
>> FWIW, I feel the norns aren't alive, simply because the
>> environment doesn't have the right level of complexity. Too
>> much is hardcoded, and too much is allowed to run free. Life
>> must collect energy from its environment and process it. Yet, a
>> norn can gain a mutation (highlander norns, anyone?) and run
>> free of its environment. The environment also prevents a
>> complete evolution into a different kind of organism.
>
> Well, that's a certainly interesting point.
>
> What do you think about the interesting stuff that happens in
> Conway's Game of Life? Is it alive?
>

Conway's Game of Life is Turing complete. That means you can model a neural net
in it. With enough processing power, you could model a universe.

This is why I believe everything is a figment of my imagination, and I am simply
a huge neural net built in Life.

--
- nornagon
http://www.nornrock.com
mailto: nornagon@gmail.com
DS Species range: 10001-10100
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 3:57:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd232ru.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-02-26, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>><snip>
>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>
>> Our first reaction (Markus's, amusingly enough) was that it depends on
>> the
>> brain--however, plants are 'alive', and then have no brain nor
>> intelligence,
>> yet are alive.
>
> They have an neural network and *do* react to external input.

*blinks* Plants? Describe this neural network, please.

And take bacteria for a different example, then.

> Intelligence is a matter of definition, of course.

*nods...* And (we think) irrelevant to the status of being alive.

>> In a phrase, then: Darwinian evolution. In practice, this probably
>> necessitates the potential to evolve beyond certain boundaries which may
>> or
>> may not be in place in reference to Norns and the others.
>
> May or may not? What do *you* believe?

We don't know enough about how the game(s) was/were built. However, bd more
or less sums up the same or a similar point of view:

<quote>
FWIW, I feel the norns aren't alive, simply because the environment
doesn't have the right level of complexity. Too much is hardcoded, and
too much is allowed to run free. Life must collect energy from its
environment and process it. Yet, a norn can gain a mutation (highlander
norns, anyone?) and run free of its environment. The environment also
prevents a complete evolution into a different kind of organism.
</quote>

Not certain we agree about the highlander part (though we're also against
it, for possibly slightly different reasons), but the hardcoding part...
yes. It's the hardcoding that we feel holds norns back from 'life' as we
and the other organisms on and in the Earth know/experience it.

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 4:03:12 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd232or.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-02-26, nornagon <nornagon@gmail.com> wrote:
>> nornagon InSaNiTised:
>>
>><snip>
>>
>>>
>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>
>>
>> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness and an
>> ability
>> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn to
>> ride a
>> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find norns
>> harvesting
>> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>>
>> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The norns'
>> world
>> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.
>
> Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
> environment :-?

It depends on the laws of physics. Even if a human were locked in a box
with no other objects, that human's biology, physiology, would still act in
certain ways. Have several hundred humans in really restricted
environments, and in a few million years, the organisms would likely be
vastly different from the humans that were put in there.

However, if you took analogy humans, and went over their bodies and brains
with a... augh, we can't think of what could do such a thing.

Take a human, make a... a digital copy of him/her, maybe, and then make
vast chunks of the brain hardcoded, lock large parts of the genome in place
and somehow--controlling all laws of physics themselves--disallow all but
certain kinds of mutations, instead of allowing humans to learn to walk on
their own, instead lock them into predetermined 'gaits' (which reminds us;
that's another thing which should be removed and replaced by the way it
actually works in real life)...

I/We would definitely be hesitant to call that new creature 'alive' any
more.

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 6:40:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

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emmel wrote:

> Bringing the ant out is probably more of a problem than dropping it. The
> ant can survive the drop without any serious wounds, but it dies of
> loosing contact (or not knowing the way back for that matter) to the
> hive.

Well, as long as the ant doesn't find its way back to my house and
starts bringing along all its friends :-DD

Thomas
- --
"All my life, I've always wondered, What it would be like to fire a
ballistic missile" - Wonderfully colored plastic war toys, The Dead
Milkmen
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Anonymous
February 27, 2005 6:57:57 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

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Vadim wrote:
> Thomas J. Boschloo wrote:
>
>
>
>>>I must have been playing too much Messiah ;-0
>
> Nice game :-)

I also enjoyed Sacrifice from Shiny very much. Stratos was my favorite
deity to serve.. Messiah is also from Shiny IIRC! They make cool games..

Thomas
- --
"All my life, I've always wondered, What it would be like to fire a
ballistic missile" - Wonderfully colored plastic war toys, The Dead
Milkmen
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Anonymous
February 27, 2005 6:58:43 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

bd wrote:
> Thomas J. Boschloo wrote:
> | nornagon wrote:
> |
> |>>Here's something Steve Grand wrote way back in 1997
> |>>(http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.games.creatures...)
>
> |
> |
> | <snipped long, but very interesting question>
> |
> |>>I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
> |
> |
> | You would need to device some kind of Turing Test where people are
> | pretending to be Norns and other Norns are executed by a computer. If an
> | observer can't tell the real Norns from the human operated Norns, the
> | Norns should be considered alive.
> |
> | To put it another way: If a human can fool an observer into thinking
> | that he or she is a Norn then the assumption that a Norn is not alive
> | will result in the conclusion that the Human is also not alive. This is
> | clearly false (but how do you proof Humans themselves are alive?), thus
> | the opposite must be true and the Norns would be alive!
>
> Unfortunately, this doesn't quite work. To take it to an extreme:
> Put a rock and a human ar computer consoles. Tell the human to pretend
> to be a rock at a console. Since a person on the other end can't tell
> the difference, by your logic, the rock must be alive.

I guess the test would be inconclusive in this case as there was nothing
to observe.

> Intelligent life can reduce the extent of its capabilities it shows.
> Because of this, your test fails.

You could also fake an IQ test to have a much lower score than your real
IQ. Still, the test is useful for determining someones intelligence. I
would be more worried about humans that would start philosophical
conversations with the keyboard operators instead of the usual 'Dab flib'.

> Moreover, if someone made a non-alive sentient thing of some sort (AI
> program maybe?), would that not change the conclusion of the test if it
> was connected instead of the human? Even though it may be acting
> identically to the human?

My point would be that the non-alive sentient thing should be considered
alive since you cannot tell it from the real thing! That is the whole
point of the Turing test where an interrogator behind a terminal has to
tell a computer from a human by asking questions.

> | Of course, the humans would have the same input neurons the Norns would
> | have, otherwise the humans would have an unfair advantage over the
> | Norns. Their actions would also be limited to the things a Norn can do.
> | AFAIK language is hardcoded in the Norns and not part of the
> | neurological brain.
>
> I can also argue the human will always fail at this - we just can't
> emulate another being at the speed needed, and could not interface with
> the console fast enough.

You could also make the creatures game turn based. It would take very
long though I guess..

Regards,
Thomas
- --
"All my life, I've always wondered, What it would be like to fire a
ballistic missile" - Wonderfully colored plastic war toys, The Dead
Milkmen
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Anonymous
February 27, 2005 8:59:44 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

Vadim wrote:
> Thomas J. Boschloo wrote:

<snip>

>>I also enjoyed Sacrifice from Shiny very much. Stratos was my
>>favorite deity to serve.. Messiah is also from Shiny IIRC! They
>>make cool games..
>
> Hehe, got that one too :-D
>
> Great stuff, but only got it a few weeks ago, and managed to lose
> the CD after I finished it with Persephone. Darn. Will have to
> look again when I have more free time.

Persephone is soft. But what a temper! Has been a while since I served
her though, her dragons where pretty cool!

Did you also play Oni by Bungie (same publisher Gathering of
Developers). I think the main character has a great attitude, but I
never got to finishing the game (yet). I like Konoko a lot better then
e.g. Lara Croft. Never finished any of the Tomb Raider games, too much
puzzling and searching in fain..

I see Shiny also did the Enter the Matrix game. I played that for a bit
and generally liked it.

Thomas
- --
"All my life, I've always wondered, What it would be like to fire a
ballistic missile" - Wonderfully colored plastic war toys, The Dead
Milkmen
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Anonymous
February 27, 2005 9:24:16 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-27, Thomas J. Boschloo <nospam@hccnet.nl.invalid> wrote:
>
> bd wrote:
>> Thomas J. Boschloo wrote:
>> | nornagon wrote:
>> |
>> Intelligent life can reduce the extent of its capabilities it shows.
>> Because of this, your test fails.
>
> You could also fake an IQ test to have a much lower score than your real
> IQ. Still, the test is useful for determining someones intelligence. I
> would be more worried about humans that would start philosophical
> conversations with the keyboard operators instead of the usual 'Dab flib'.

No, no. That's 'flib dat'. And *then* comes the philosophical discussion
:-)

>> Moreover, if someone made a non-alive sentient thing of some sort (AI
>> program maybe?), would that not change the conclusion of the test if it
>> was connected instead of the human? Even though it may be acting
>> identically to the human?
>
> My point would be that the non-alive sentient thing should be considered
> alive since you cannot tell it from the real thing! That is the whole
> point of the Turing test where an interrogator behind a terminal has to
> tell a computer from a human by asking questions.

And then there was Eliza.

>> | Of course, the humans would have the same input neurons the Norns would
>> | have, otherwise the humans would have an unfair advantage over the
>> | Norns. Their actions would also be limited to the things a Norn can do.
>> | AFAIK language is hardcoded in the Norns and not part of the
>> | neurological brain.
>>
>> I can also argue the human will always fail at this - we just can't
>> emulate another being at the speed needed, and could not interface with
>> the console fast enough.
>
> You could also make the creatures game turn based. It would take very
> long though I guess..

Turn based intelligence. How... convincing. (It doesn't work, for
heaven's sake. Turn based is nonsense.)
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 9:26:16 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-27, Thomas J. Boschloo <nospam@hccnet.nl.invalid> wrote:
>
> emmel wrote:
>
>> Bringing the ant out is probably more of a problem than dropping it. The
>> ant can survive the drop without any serious wounds, but it dies of
>> loosing contact (or not knowing the way back for that matter) to the
>> hive.
>
> Well, as long as the ant doesn't find its way back to my house and
> starts bringing along all its friends :-DD

And mark their ways with scents. Without these tracks they are pretty
much dead.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 9:27:31 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:slrnd232or.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>> On 2005-02-26, nornagon <nornagon@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> nornagon InSaNiTised:
>>>
>>><snip>
>>>
>>>>
>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>
>>>
>>> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness and an
>>> ability
>>> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn to
>>> ride a
>>> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find norns
>>> harvesting
>>> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>>>
>>> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The norns'
>>> world
>>> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.
>>
>> Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
>> environment :-?
>
> It depends on the laws of physics. Even if a human were locked in a box
> with no other objects, that human's biology, physiology, would still act in
> certain ways. Have several hundred humans in really restricted
> environments, and in a few million years, the organisms would likely be
> vastly different from the humans that were put in there.
>
> However, if you took analogy humans, and went over their bodies and brains
> with a... augh, we can't think of what could do such a thing.
>
> Take a human, make a... a digital copy of him/her, maybe, and then make
> vast chunks of the brain hardcoded, lock large parts of the genome in place
> and somehow--controlling all laws of physics themselves--disallow all but
> certain kinds of mutations, instead of allowing humans to learn to walk on
> their own, instead lock them into predetermined 'gaits' (which reminds us;
> that's another thing which should be removed and replaced by the way it
> actually works in real life)...
>
> I/We would definitely be hesitant to call that new creature 'alive' any
> more.

I was thinking more of the grays in DeusEx, if you know what I mean.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 9:34:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:slrnd232ru.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>> On 2005-02-26, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>><snip>
>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>
>>> Our first reaction (Markus's, amusingly enough) was that it depends on
>>> the
>>> brain--however, plants are 'alive', and then have no brain nor
>>> intelligence,
>>> yet are alive.
>>
>> They have an neural network and *do* react to external input.
>
> *blinks* Plants? Describe this neural network, please.

Something about emitters and receptors for certain ions like Mg... Hey,
I'm no biologist. Interesting enough a certain plant like being (they
call it "slime fungus" around here, but it isn't really, neither it is a
plant) managed to do the labirinth thing. Now that's really amazing.
(They put it in a labirinth with some food and it found the shortest way
by growing/letting parts die of or retracting - whatever you can call it
- to find the ideal way. A kind of IQ test.)

> And take bacteria for a different example, then.

Bacteria have no neuros, hence no neuronal network.

>> Intelligence is a matter of definition, of course.
>
> *nods...* And (we think) irrelevant to the status of being alive.

Yes, you'd probably call anything intelligent "alive".

>>> In a phrase, then: Darwinian evolution. In practice, this probably
>>> necessitates the potential to evolve beyond certain boundaries which may
>>> or
>>> may not be in place in reference to Norns and the others.
>>
>> May or may not? What do *you* believe?
>
> We don't know enough about how the game(s) was/were built. However, bd more
> or less sums up the same or a similar point of view:
>
><quote>
> FWIW, I feel the norns aren't alive, simply because the environment
> doesn't have the right level of complexity. Too much is hardcoded, and
> too much is allowed to run free. Life must collect energy from its
> environment and process it. Yet, a norn can gain a mutation (highlander
> norns, anyone?) and run free of its environment. The environment also
> prevents a complete evolution into a different kind of organism.
></quote>
>
> Not certain we agree about the highlander part (though we're also against
> it, for possibly slightly different reasons), but the hardcoding part...
> yes. It's the hardcoding that we feel holds norns back from 'life' as we
> and the other organisms on and in the Earth know/experience it.

The question is in how far we are hardcoded.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 11:45:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

emmel wrote:
> On 2005-02-27, Thomas J. Boschloo <nospam@hccnet.nl.invalid> wrote:
>
>>emmel wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Bringing the ant out is probably more of a problem than dropping it. The
>>>ant can survive the drop without any serious wounds, but it dies of
>>>loosing contact (or not knowing the way back for that matter) to the
>>>hive.
>>
>>Well, as long as the ant doesn't find its way back to my house and
>>starts bringing along all its friends :-DD
>
>
> And mark their ways with scents. Without these tracks they are pretty
> much dead.

I saw on television recently that they can also recognize large
landmarks. I think my flat is a pretty good landmark but I drop them
from the back of my flat :-)

Will have to do some experiments with ants next time!
Thomas
- --
"All my life, I've always wondered, What it would be like to fire a
ballistic missile" - Wonderfully colored plastic war toys, The Dead
Milkmen
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Anonymous
February 27, 2005 11:46:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

emmel wrote:
<snip>

> Turn based intelligence. How... convincing. (It doesn't work, for
> heaven's sake. Turn based is nonsense.)

Turn based? I meant to say 'Turing based'
<hides behind bush>
Thomas
- --
"All my life, I've always wondered, What it would be like to fire a
ballistic missile" - Wonderfully colored plastic war toys, The Dead
Milkmen
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Anonymous
February 28, 2005 11:51:44 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-27, Thomas J. Boschloo <nospam@hccnet.nl.invalid> wrote:
>
> emmel wrote:
>> On 2005-02-27, Thomas J. Boschloo <nospam@hccnet.nl.invalid> wrote:
>>
>>>emmel wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Bringing the ant out is probably more of a problem than dropping it. The
>>>>ant can survive the drop without any serious wounds, but it dies of
>>>>loosing contact (or not knowing the way back for that matter) to the
>>>>hive.
>>>
>>>Well, as long as the ant doesn't find its way back to my house and
>>>starts bringing along all its friends :-DD
>>
>>
>> And mark their ways with scents. Without these tracks they are pretty
>> much dead.
>
> I saw on television recently that they can also recognize large
> landmarks. I think my flat is a pretty good landmark but I drop them
> from the back of my flat :-)

You are evil, do you know that? ;-)

> Will have to do some experiments with ants next time!
> Thomas

Poor ants.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 11:52:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-27, Thomas J. Boschloo <nospam@hccnet.nl.invalid> wrote:
>
> emmel wrote:
><snip>
>
>> Turn based intelligence. How... convincing. (It doesn't work, for
>> heaven's sake. Turn based is nonsense.)
>
> Turn based? I meant to say 'Turing based'
><hides behind bush>
> Thomas

Oh. Probably not much different. Depends mainly on the output and input
devices, I think.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 11:55:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-27, Vadim <me@vadim.ws> wrote:
>
> emmel wrote:
>
>>> You could also make the creatures game turn based. It would
>>> take very long though I guess..
>>
>> Turn based intelligence. How... convincing. (It doesn't work,
>> for heaven's sake. Turn based is nonsense.)
>
> Nah, it's going to be turn based in any case. The only difference
> is if they're synchronized or not.
>
> In my case they aren't, so pretty much nothing besides a few
> things in the server runs in sync. But creatures will go through
> receive, react, reply cycles anyway. All you'd need is to add a
> clock and it would be turn based.
>
> Might try to implement that in the future, as it would give a lot
> more thinking time, and make lag even less relevant.

If you leave a tick enough time to do everything that has to be done in
that tick - making it turn based - you will end up using hours of CPU
time without getting very far.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 4:16:21 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"Vadim" <me@vadim.ws> wrote in message
news:RIoUd.675749$A7.946918@telenews.teleline.es...
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: RIPEMD160
>
> emmel wrote:
>
>>> You could also make the creatures game turn based. It would
>>> take very long though I guess..
>>
>> Turn based intelligence. How... convincing. (It doesn't work,
>> for heaven's sake. Turn based is nonsense.)
>
> Nah, it's going to be turn based in any case. The only difference
> is if they're synchronized or not.
<snip>

*winces*

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 4:22:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd244jr.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>> news:slrnd232ru.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>> On 2005-02-26, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>><snip>
>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>
>>>> Our first reaction (Markus's, amusingly enough) was that it depends on
>>>> the
>>>> brain--however, plants are 'alive', and then have no brain nor
>>>> intelligence,
>>>> yet are alive.
>>>
>>> They have an neural network and *do* react to external input.
>>
>> *blinks* Plants? Describe this neural network, please.
>
> Something about emitters and receptors for certain ions like Mg... Hey,
> I'm no biologist. Interesting enough a certain plant like being (they
> call it "slime fungus" around here, but it isn't really, neither it is a
> plant) managed to do the labirinth thing. Now that's really amazing.
> (They put it in a labirinth with some food and it found the shortest way
> by growing/letting parts die of or retracting - whatever you can call it
> - to find the ideal way. A kind of IQ test.)

Hm. Curious--though note that in the labyrinth example, it's somewhat a
brute-force approach (unless we misunderstand something).

>> And take bacteria for a different example, then.
>
> Bacteria have no neuros, hence no neuronal network.

Exactly. And to check, do 'neuros' actually exist, or do you mean
'neurons'?

>>> Intelligence is a matter of definition, of course.
>>
>> *nods...* And (we think) irrelevant to the status of being alive.
>
> Yes, you'd probably call anything intelligent "alive".

Eh. Not necessarily--what about a stereotypical AI, such as SHODAN? It
can't breathe, eat, reproduce, and Darwinian evolution certainly doesn't
apply to it... intelligence, but death-based, rather than life-based. Or
rather, the concepts of both 'death' and 'life are irrelevant, as it simply
exists until further notice.

>>>> In a phrase, then: Darwinian evolution. In practice, this probably
>>>> necessitates the potential to evolve beyond certain boundaries which
>>>> may
>>>> or
>>>> may not be in place in reference to Norns and the others.
>>>
>>> May or may not? What do *you* believe?
>>
>> We don't know enough about how the game(s) was/were built. However, bd
>> more
>> or less sums up the same or a similar point of view:
>>
>><quote>
>> FWIW, I feel the norns aren't alive, simply because the environment
>> doesn't have the right level of complexity. Too much is hardcoded, and
>> too much is allowed to run free. Life must collect energy from its
>> environment and process it. Yet, a norn can gain a mutation (highlander
>> norns, anyone?) and run free of its environment. The environment also
>> prevents a complete evolution into a different kind of organism.
>></quote>
>>
>> Not certain we agree about the highlander part (though we're also against
>> it, for possibly slightly different reasons), but the hardcoding part...
>> yes. It's the hardcoding that we feel holds norns back from 'life' as we
>> and the other organisms on and in the Earth know/experience it.
>
> The question is in how far we are hardcoded.

Seeing as we evolved from single-celled organisms, I'd/we'd say almost
certainly not at all. Any 'hardcoding' is due to our genes, which are by no
means themselves hardcoded in that regard.

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 4:25:25 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd2446c.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>> news:slrnd232or.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>> On 2005-02-26, nornagon <nornagon@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> nornagon InSaNiTised:
>>>>
>>>><snip>
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness and
>>>> an
>>>> ability
>>>> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn to
>>>> ride a
>>>> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find norns
>>>> harvesting
>>>> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>>>>
>>>> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The
>>>> norns'
>>>> world
>>>> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.
>>>
>>> Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
>>> environment :-?
>>
>> It depends on the laws of physics. Even if a human were locked in a box
>> with no other objects, that human's biology, physiology, would still act
>> in
>> certain ways. Have several hundred humans in really restricted
>> environments, and in a few million years, the organisms would likely be
>> vastly different from the humans that were put in there.
>>
>> However, if you took analogy humans, and went over their bodies and
>> brains
>> with a... augh, we can't think of what could do such a thing.
>>
>> Take a human, make a... a digital copy of him/her, maybe, and then make
>> vast chunks of the brain hardcoded, lock large parts of the genome in
>> place
>> and somehow--controlling all laws of physics themselves--disallow all but
>> certain kinds of mutations, instead of allowing humans to learn to walk
>> on
>> their own, instead lock them into predetermined 'gaits' (which reminds
>> us;
>> that's another thing which should be removed and replaced by the way it
>> actually works in real life)...
>>
>> I/We would definitely be hesitant to call that new creature 'alive' any
>> more.
>
> I was thinking more of the grays in DeusEx, if you know what I mean.

Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't actually
reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve? Actually,
that question is moot in any case; little point in asking it, as it could
possibly go either way.

Also, glad to hear that you've played Deus Ex. Bubhosh game. *nods sagely*

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 8:28:39 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-28, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:slrnd2446c.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>> news:slrnd232or.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>> On 2005-02-26, nornagon <nornagon@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> nornagon InSaNiTised:
>>>>>
>>>>><snip>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness and
>>>>> an
>>>>> ability
>>>>> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn to
>>>>> ride a
>>>>> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find norns
>>>>> harvesting
>>>>> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>>>>>
>>>>> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The
>>>>> norns'
>>>>> world
>>>>> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.
>>>>
>>>> Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
>>>> environment :-?
>>>
>>> It depends on the laws of physics. Even if a human were locked in a box
>>> with no other objects, that human's biology, physiology, would still act
>>> in
>>> certain ways. Have several hundred humans in really restricted
>>> environments, and in a few million years, the organisms would likely be
>>> vastly different from the humans that were put in there.
>>>
>>> However, if you took analogy humans, and went over their bodies and
>>> brains
>>> with a... augh, we can't think of what could do such a thing.
>>>
>>> Take a human, make a... a digital copy of him/her, maybe, and then make
>>> vast chunks of the brain hardcoded, lock large parts of the genome in
>>> place
>>> and somehow--controlling all laws of physics themselves--disallow all but
>>> certain kinds of mutations, instead of allowing humans to learn to walk
>>> on
>>> their own, instead lock them into predetermined 'gaits' (which reminds
>>> us;
>>> that's another thing which should be removed and replaced by the way it
>>> actually works in real life)...
>>>
>>> I/We would definitely be hesitant to call that new creature 'alive' any
>>> more.
>>
>> I was thinking more of the grays in DeusEx, if you know what I mean.
>
> Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't actually
> reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve? Actually,

They can't? Are you *sure*? They were *cloned*, but not genetically
engineered...

> that question is moot in any case; little point in asking it, as it could
> possibly go either way.
>
> Also, glad to hear that you've played Deus Ex. Bubhosh game. *nods sagely*

You made me. Add that to the list of your crimes.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 8:33:16 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-02-28, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:slrnd244jr.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>> news:slrnd232ru.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>> On 2005-02-26, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>>><snip>
>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>
>>>>> Our first reaction (Markus's, amusingly enough) was that it depends on
>>>>> the
>>>>> brain--however, plants are 'alive', and then have no brain nor
>>>>> intelligence,
>>>>> yet are alive.
>>>>
>>>> They have an neural network and *do* react to external input.
>>>
>>> *blinks* Plants? Describe this neural network, please.
>>
>> Something about emitters and receptors for certain ions like Mg... Hey,
>> I'm no biologist. Interesting enough a certain plant like being (they
>> call it "slime fungus" around here, but it isn't really, neither it is a
>> plant) managed to do the labirinth thing. Now that's really amazing.
>> (They put it in a labirinth with some food and it found the shortest way
>> by growing/letting parts die of or retracting - whatever you can call it
>> - to find the ideal way. A kind of IQ test.)
>
> Hm. Curious--though note that in the labyrinth example, it's somewhat a
> brute-force approach (unless we misunderstand something).

The point is that it figures the *shortest* way out.

>>> And take bacteria for a different example, then.
>>
>> Bacteria have no neuros, hence no neuronal network.
>
> Exactly. And to check, do 'neuros' actually exist, or do you mean
> 'neurons'?

Tyop.

>>>> Intelligence is a matter of definition, of course.
>>>
>>> *nods...* And (we think) irrelevant to the status of being alive.
>>
>> Yes, you'd probably call anything intelligent "alive".
>
> Eh. Not necessarily--what about a stereotypical AI, such as SHODAN? It

You mean the typical AI with a god complex?

> can't breathe, eat, reproduce, and Darwinian evolution certainly doesn't
> apply to it... intelligence, but death-based, rather than life-based. Or

It's fiction. Anyway, it didn't do much intelligent - only what it was
told to.

> rather, the concepts of both 'death' and 'life are irrelevant, as it simply
> exists until further notice.

Huh? Ah, get it now. No, I don't think there was much of intelligence
with SHODAN, but it sure put up a fight for it's survival, eh?

>>> Not certain we agree about the highlander part (though we're also against
>>> it, for possibly slightly different reasons), but the hardcoding part...
>>> yes. It's the hardcoding that we feel holds norns back from 'life' as we
>>> and the other organisms on and in the Earth know/experience it.
>>
>> The question is in how far we are hardcoded.
>
> Seeing as we evolved from single-celled organisms, I'd/we'd say almost
> certainly not at all. Any 'hardcoding' is due to our genes, which are by no
> means themselves hardcoded in that regard.

The chamical reactions in our body are pretty much hard coded... by the
natural laws. It all depends.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 3:26:00 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"Vadim" <me@vadim.ws> wrote in message
news:ceIUd.697534$A7.980119@telenews.teleline.es...
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: RIPEMD160
>
> The Triad wrote:
>
>>> Nah, it's going to be turn based in any case. The only
>>> difference is if they're synchronized or not.
>> <snip>
>>
>> *winces*
>>
>
> Instead of wincing so much, would you mind explaining what
> exactly displeases you so greatly?
>
> Pretty much all games are turn based in some way, in any case.
> They simply go through those "turns" really fast, like 20 times
> a second.
>
> Take C3 or DS for instance. IIRC, it does 20 "ticks" per second.
> This means that the engine does something like this:
>
> 1. Examine world state
> 2. Do what needs to be done
> 3. Draw the screen
> 4. Go to step 1
>
> 20 times each second. If the processor is too slow, then the
> whole game slows down, because processing takes too long, and it
> has no functionality that lets it do less to compensate.
>
>
> My server is a bit different. Each client is processed when the
> data arrives, and some automatic tasks are done approximately
> every 100 ms. They aren't synchronized, so things don't
> necessarily happen in a particular order.
>
> Add a global clock, make each server process wait for a tick, and
> you get a turn based game. Slow the clock down to a tick per
> minute, and you get a slow simulation that can be played as if
> it was chess, doing huge amounts of computation. Speed it up to
> 20 ticks per second, and you get something close to C3 or DS.

Ah. I/We may have (previously) misunderstood the above situation, leading
to the post which this was a reply to; however, at present other posts on a
similar subject remain valid. Speaking of which... *heads in that
direction to read them*

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 3:32:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd26lcj.qcn.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-02-28, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>> news:slrnd244jr.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>> news:slrnd232ru.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>> On 2005-02-26, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>>>><snip>
>>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Our first reaction (Markus's, amusingly enough) was that it depends
>>>>>> on
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> brain--however, plants are 'alive', and then have no brain nor
>>>>>> intelligence,
>>>>>> yet are alive.
>>>>>
>>>>> They have an neural network and *do* react to external input.
>>>>
>>>> *blinks* Plants? Describe this neural network, please.
>>>
>>> Something about emitters and receptors for certain ions like Mg... Hey,
>>> I'm no biologist. Interesting enough a certain plant like being (they
>>> call it "slime fungus" around here, but it isn't really, neither it is a
>>> plant) managed to do the labirinth thing. Now that's really amazing.
>>> (They put it in a labirinth with some food and it found the shortest way
>>> by growing/letting parts die of or retracting - whatever you can call it
>>> - to find the ideal way. A kind of IQ test.)
>>
>> Hm. Curious--though note that in the labyrinth example, it's somewhat a
>> brute-force approach (unless we misunderstand something).
>
> The point is that it figures the *shortest* way out.

'figures'? Or simply tries all of them, without any abstract thought
involved, and then the most efficient one is used precisely because the
others are less efficient?

>>>> And take bacteria for a different example, then.
>>>
>>> Bacteria have no neuros, hence no neuronal network.
>>
>> Exactly. And to check, do 'neuros' actually exist, or do you mean
>> 'neurons'?
>
> Tyop.

Ah.

>>>>> Intelligence is a matter of definition, of course.
>>>>
>>>> *nods...* And (we think) irrelevant to the status of being alive.
>>>
>>> Yes, you'd probably call anything intelligent "alive".
>>
>> Eh. Not necessarily--what about a stereotypical AI, such as SHODAN? It
>
> You mean the typical AI with a god complex?

Well, that too. The god complex is optional--for another example, take
Halo's Cortana, though arguably as she semi-originated from a living human,
she doesn't count as much.

>> can't breathe, eat, reproduce, and Darwinian evolution certainly doesn't
>> apply to it... intelligence, but death-based, rather than life-based.
>> Or
>
> It's fiction.

So? There's nothing theoretical (so far) that says that it's impossible,
and often science fiction predicts actual events long before they happen
(submarines? Men on the moon?).

> Anyway, it didn't do much intelligent - only what it was
> told to.

....until it got the god complex. In any case, it could /think/.

>> rather, the concepts of both 'death' and 'life are irrelevant, as it
>> simply
>> exists until further notice.
>
> Huh? Ah, get it now.

Er... let's hope so.

> No, I don't think there was much of intelligence
> with SHODAN, but it sure put up a fight for it's survival, eh?

Yes--however, there /was/ thought. It could speak... it could plan, it
could create... it could imagine itself as a goddess... have you played
System Shock 2, as well as System Shock?

>>>> Not certain we agree about the highlander part (though we're also
>>>> against
>>>> it, for possibly slightly different reasons), but the hardcoding
>>>> part...
>>>> yes. It's the hardcoding that we feel holds norns back from 'life' as
>>>> we
>>>> and the other organisms on and in the Earth know/experience it.
>>>
>>> The question is in how far we are hardcoded.
>>
>> Seeing as we evolved from single-celled organisms, I'd/we'd say almost
>> certainly not at all. Any 'hardcoding' is due to our genes, which are by
>> no
>> means themselves hardcoded in that regard.
>
> The chamical reactions in our body are pretty much hard coded... by the
> natural laws. It all depends.

Yes. However, the /living/ part... the part that existed within those
rules, adapting to them and around them...

A similar parallel with norns could exist--/should/ exist, as they're
unhindered by natural laws, which results in cases like the Highlander norns
and the like.

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 3:37:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd26l3u.qcn.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-02-28, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>> news:slrnd2446c.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>> news:slrnd232or.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>> On 2005-02-26, nornagon <nornagon@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> nornagon InSaNiTised:
>>>>>>
>>>>>><snip>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness and
>>>>>> an
>>>>>> ability
>>>>>> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn to
>>>>>> ride a
>>>>>> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find norns
>>>>>> harvesting
>>>>>> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The
>>>>>> norns'
>>>>>> world
>>>>>> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.
>>>>>
>>>>> Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
>>>>> environment :-?
>>>>
>>>> It depends on the laws of physics. Even if a human were locked in a
>>>> box
>>>> with no other objects, that human's biology, physiology, would still
>>>> act
>>>> in
>>>> certain ways. Have several hundred humans in really restricted
>>>> environments, and in a few million years, the organisms would likely be
>>>> vastly different from the humans that were put in there.
>>>>
>>>> However, if you took analogy humans, and went over their bodies and
>>>> brains
>>>> with a... augh, we can't think of what could do such a thing.
>>>>
>>>> Take a human, make a... a digital copy of him/her, maybe, and then
>>>> make
>>>> vast chunks of the brain hardcoded, lock large parts of the genome in
>>>> place
>>>> and somehow--controlling all laws of physics themselves--disallow all
>>>> but
>>>> certain kinds of mutations, instead of allowing humans to learn to walk
>>>> on
>>>> their own, instead lock them into predetermined 'gaits' (which reminds
>>>> us;
>>>> that's another thing which should be removed and replaced by the way it
>>>> actually works in real life)...
>>>>
>>>> I/We would definitely be hesitant to call that new creature 'alive' any
>>>> more.
>>>
>>> I was thinking more of the grays in DeusEx, if you know what I mean.
>>
>> Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't actually
>> reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve?
>> Actually,
>
> They can't? Are you *sure*? They were *cloned*, but not genetically
> engineered...

Ehh. You've finished the game? Sorry to have to let you in on this, but
there were a few references to it in the first game, and it was confirmed in
the second--they aren't actually aliens; they're transgenics. Monkey-
(ape-?)based, probably, and in particular altered to be more resistent to
radiation and (if I/we remember correctly) cold--Roswell, the
'alien'-related beliefs among those without a high enough security
clearance, was just a cover-up (sorry if that's the wrong phrase).

>> that question is moot in any case; little point in asking it, as it could
>> possibly go either way.
>>
>> Also, glad to hear that you've played Deus Ex. Bubhosh game. *nods
>> sagely*
>
> You made me. Add that to the list of your crimes.

*grins* With crimes like that, who needs virtues?

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 4:47:40 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-03-01, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:slrnd26l3u.qcn.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>> On 2005-02-28, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>> news:slrnd2446c.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>>> news:slrnd232or.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>>> On 2005-02-26, nornagon <nornagon@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>> nornagon InSaNiTised:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>><snip>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness and
>>>>>>> an
>>>>>>> ability
>>>>>>> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn to
>>>>>>> ride a
>>>>>>> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find norns
>>>>>>> harvesting
>>>>>>> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The
>>>>>>> norns'
>>>>>>> world
>>>>>>> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
>>>>>> environment :-?
>>>>>
>>>>> It depends on the laws of physics. Even if a human were locked in a
>>>>> box
>>>>> with no other objects, that human's biology, physiology, would still
>>>>> act
>>>>> in
>>>>> certain ways. Have several hundred humans in really restricted
>>>>> environments, and in a few million years, the organisms would likely be
>>>>> vastly different from the humans that were put in there.
>>>>>
>>>>> However, if you took analogy humans, and went over their bodies and
>>>>> brains
>>>>> with a... augh, we can't think of what could do such a thing.
>>>>>
>>>>> Take a human, make a... a digital copy of him/her, maybe, and then
>>>>> make
>>>>> vast chunks of the brain hardcoded, lock large parts of the genome in
>>>>> place
>>>>> and somehow--controlling all laws of physics themselves--disallow all
>>>>> but
>>>>> certain kinds of mutations, instead of allowing humans to learn to walk
>>>>> on
>>>>> their own, instead lock them into predetermined 'gaits' (which reminds
>>>>> us;
>>>>> that's another thing which should be removed and replaced by the way it
>>>>> actually works in real life)...
>>>>>
>>>>> I/We would definitely be hesitant to call that new creature 'alive' any
>>>>> more.
>>>>
>>>> I was thinking more of the grays in DeusEx, if you know what I mean.
>>>
>>> Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't actually
>>> reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve?
>>> Actually,
>>
>> They can't? Are you *sure*? They were *cloned*, but not genetically
>> engineered...
>
> Ehh. You've finished the game? Sorry to have to let you in on this, but
> there were a few references to it in the first game, and it was confirmed in
> the second--they aren't actually aliens; they're transgenics. Monkey-

Actually the one said they were clones from aliens... didn't play the
second.

> (ape-?)based, probably, and in particular altered to be more resistent to
> radiation and (if I/we remember correctly) cold--Roswell, the
> 'alien'-related beliefs among those without a high enough security
> clearance, was just a cover-up (sorry if that's the wrong phrase).

What a shame. What I was refering to was that piece of dialogue saying
the "they may be hyperintelligent aliens, but without their kind to
teach them they are nothing more than bald monkeys" or something like
that.

>>> that question is moot in any case; little point in asking it, as it could
>>> possibly go either way.
>>>
>>> Also, glad to hear that you've played Deus Ex. Bubhosh game. *nods
>>> sagely*
>>
>> You made me. Add that to the list of your crimes.
>
> *grins* With crimes like that, who needs virtues?

::shrugs::
Ask your lawyer.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 4:51:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-03-01, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:slrnd26lcj.qcn.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>> On 2005-02-28, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>> news:slrnd244jr.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>>> news:slrnd232ru.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>>> On 2005-02-26, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>>>>><snip>
>>>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Our first reaction (Markus's, amusingly enough) was that it depends
>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> brain--however, plants are 'alive', and then have no brain nor
>>>>>>> intelligence,
>>>>>>> yet are alive.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> They have an neural network and *do* react to external input.
>>>>>
>>>>> *blinks* Plants? Describe this neural network, please.
>>>>
>>>> Something about emitters and receptors for certain ions like Mg... Hey,
>>>> I'm no biologist. Interesting enough a certain plant like being (they
>>>> call it "slime fungus" around here, but it isn't really, neither it is a
>>>> plant) managed to do the labirinth thing. Now that's really amazing.
>>>> (They put it in a labirinth with some food and it found the shortest way
>>>> by growing/letting parts die of or retracting - whatever you can call it
>>>> - to find the ideal way. A kind of IQ test.)
>>>
>>> Hm. Curious--though note that in the labyrinth example, it's somewhat a
>>> brute-force approach (unless we misunderstand something).
>>
>> The point is that it figures the *shortest* way out.
>
> 'figures'? Or simply tries all of them, without any abstract thought
> involved, and then the most efficient one is used precisely because the
> others are less efficient?

What's the difference really?

>>>>>> Intelligence is a matter of definition, of course.
>>>>>
>>>>> *nods...* And (we think) irrelevant to the status of being alive.
>>>>
>>>> Yes, you'd probably call anything intelligent "alive".
>>>
>>> Eh. Not necessarily--what about a stereotypical AI, such as SHODAN? It
>>
>> You mean the typical AI with a god complex?
>
> Well, that too. The god complex is optional--for another example, take
> Halo's Cortana, though arguably as she semi-originated from a living human,
> she doesn't count as much.

Didn't play Halo.

>>> can't breathe, eat, reproduce, and Darwinian evolution certainly doesn't
>>> apply to it... intelligence, but death-based, rather than life-based.
>>> Or
>>
>> It's fiction.
>
> So? There's nothing theoretical (so far) that says that it's impossible,
> and often science fiction predicts actual events long before they happen
> (submarines? Men on the moon?).

SDI? Come on, you can't take everything for real. Some things are
fiction and not more.

>> Anyway, it didn't do much intelligent - only what it was
>> told to.
>
> ...until it got the god complex. In any case, it could /think/.

No, it still acted accroding to its orders. Covering everything up and
so on.

>> No, I don't think there was much of intelligence
>> with SHODAN, but it sure put up a fight for it's survival, eh?
>
> Yes--however, there /was/ thought. It could speak... it could plan, it
> could create... it could imagine itself as a goddess... have you played
> System Shock 2, as well as System Shock?

Nope. Don't tell me they revived SHODAN...

>>>>> Not certain we agree about the highlander part (though we're also
>>>>> against
>>>>> it, for possibly slightly different reasons), but the hardcoding
>>>>> part...
>>>>> yes. It's the hardcoding that we feel holds norns back from 'life' as
>>>>> we
>>>>> and the other organisms on and in the Earth know/experience it.
>>>>
>>>> The question is in how far we are hardcoded.
>>>
>>> Seeing as we evolved from single-celled organisms, I'd/we'd say almost
>>> certainly not at all. Any 'hardcoding' is due to our genes, which are by
>>> no
>>> means themselves hardcoded in that regard.
>>
>> The chamical reactions in our body are pretty much hard coded... by the
>> natural laws. It all depends.
>
> Yes. However, the /living/ part... the part that existed within those
> rules, adapting to them and around them...
>
> A similar parallel with norns could exist--/should/ exist, as they're
> unhindered by natural laws, which results in cases like the Highlander norns
> and the like.

They have other limits, though.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 8:24:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

Stephen,

I've dealt with this question with my high school Anatomy and Biology
students over the past 6 years. The general consensus is that they would
fail a strict "is it alive test" due to not being made of cells, as well as
quibbles on several of the other life characterisctics sought. It seems to
best fit the viral model as a "semi-living" particle. I know that is
straddling the fence but it is the best we could do with the incomplete and
vague definition of life that is currently accepted by the scientific
community.

Ken Albin
St. Augustine, Florida
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 12:17:10 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-03-01, Ken Albin <albink@aug.com> wrote:
> Stephen,
>
> I've dealt with this question with my high school Anatomy and Biology
> students over the past 6 years. The general consensus is that they would
> fail a strict "is it alive test" due to not being made of cells, as well as
> quibbles on several of the other life characterisctics sought. It seems to
> best fit the viral model as a "semi-living" particle. I know that is
> straddling the fence but it is the best we could do with the incomplete and
> vague definition of life that is currently accepted by the scientific
> community.
>
> Ken Albin
> St. Augustine, Florida

::nods::
Thanks for you contribution. (Look at all the lurkers...)
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 3:45:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: RIPEMD160

Thomas J. Boschloo wrote:
| bd wrote:
|
|>>Thomas J. Boschloo wrote:
|>>| nornagon wrote:
|>>|
|>>|>>Here's something Steve Grand wrote way back in 1997
|>>|>>(http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.games.creatures...)
|>>
|>>|
|>>|
|>>| <snipped long, but very interesting question>
|>>|
|>>|>>I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
|>>|
|>>|
|>>| You would need to device some kind of Turing Test where people are
|>>| pretending to be Norns and other Norns are executed by a computer.
If an
|>>| observer can't tell the real Norns from the human operated Norns, the
|>>| Norns should be considered alive.
|>>|
|>>| To put it another way: If a human can fool an observer into thinking
|>>| that he or she is a Norn then the assumption that a Norn is not alive
|>>| will result in the conclusion that the Human is also not alive. This is
|>>| clearly false (but how do you proof Humans themselves are alive?), thus
|>>| the opposite must be true and the Norns would be alive!
|>>
|>>Unfortunately, this doesn't quite work. To take it to an extreme:
|>>Put a rock and a human ar computer consoles. Tell the human to pretend
|>>to be a rock at a console. Since a person on the other end can't tell
|>>the difference, by your logic, the rock must be alive.
|
|
| I guess the test would be inconclusive in this case as there was nothing
| to observe.

Put a beetle or something in the driver's seat then :) 

|>>Intelligent life can reduce the extent of its capabilities it shows.
|>>Because of this, your test fails.
|
|
| You could also fake an IQ test to have a much lower score than your real
| IQ. Still, the test is useful for determining someones intelligence. I
| would be more worried about humans that would start philosophical
| conversations with the keyboard operators instead of the usual 'Dab flib'.

They are not following the test regime, certainly.

|>>Moreover, if someone made a non-alive sentient thing of some sort (AI
|>>program maybe?), would that not change the conclusion of the test if it
|>>was connected instead of the human? Even though it may be acting
|>>identically to the human?
|
|
| My point would be that the non-alive sentient thing should be considered
| alive since you cannot tell it from the real thing! That is the whole
| point of the Turing test where an interrogator behind a terminal has to
| tell a computer from a human by asking questions.

There is a vital difference between your test and the turing test:
- - In the turing test, non-sentient things cannot emulate sentient
things, and the sentient things are not trying to emulate non-sentient
things (though they could).
- - In your test, while non-alive things are unable to emulate life, the
alive things are trying their hardest to emulate non-life - and will
quite probably succeed, with some practice.

This invalidates the reasoning behind the test - namely, both sides try
to act as sentient as possible and the one which is less sentient fails.
In yours, one just does whatever while the other lowers itself to the
first's level. There's really no correspondence.

|>>| Of course, the humans would have the same input neurons the Norns would
|>>| have, otherwise the humans would have an unfair advantage over the
|>>| Norns. Their actions would also be limited to the things a Norn can do.
|>>| AFAIK language is hardcoded in the Norns and not part of the
|>>| neurological brain.
|>>
|>>I can also argue the human will always fail at this - we just can't
|>>emulate another being at the speed needed, and could not interface with
|>>the console fast enough.
|
|
| You could also make the creatures game turn based. It would take very
| long though I guess..

And no more conclusive.
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Anonymous
March 2, 2005 4:26:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd28sos.s6b.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-03-01, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>> news:slrnd26lcj.qcn.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>> On 2005-02-28, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>> news:slrnd244jr.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>>>> news:slrnd232ru.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>>>> On 2005-02-26, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>>>>>><snip>
>>>>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Our first reaction (Markus's, amusingly enough) was that it depends
>>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> brain--however, plants are 'alive', and then have no brain nor
>>>>>>>> intelligence,
>>>>>>>> yet are alive.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> They have an neural network and *do* react to external input.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> *blinks* Plants? Describe this neural network, please.
>>>>>
>>>>> Something about emitters and receptors for certain ions like Mg...
>>>>> Hey,
>>>>> I'm no biologist. Interesting enough a certain plant like being (they
>>>>> call it "slime fungus" around here, but it isn't really, neither it is
>>>>> a
>>>>> plant) managed to do the labirinth thing. Now that's really amazing.
>>>>> (They put it in a labirinth with some food and it found the shortest
>>>>> way
>>>>> by growing/letting parts die of or retracting - whatever you can call
>>>>> it
>>>>> - to find the ideal way. A kind of IQ test.)
>>>>
>>>> Hm. Curious--though note that in the labyrinth example, it's somewhat
>>>> a
>>>> brute-force approach (unless we misunderstand something).
>>>
>>> The point is that it figures the *shortest* way out.
>>
>> 'figures'? Or simply tries all of them, without any abstract thought
>> involved, and then the most efficient one is used precisely because the
>> others are less efficient?
>
> What's the difference really?

In the case of 'intelligent' life, we at least /understand/ why something is
one thing, and another thing another; we can plan our actions, think
abstractly, generalise beyond the immediate sensations and requirements
perceptible.

>>>>>>> Intelligence is a matter of definition, of course.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> *nods...* And (we think) irrelevant to the status of being alive.
>>>>>
>>>>> Yes, you'd probably call anything intelligent "alive".
>>>>
>>>> Eh. Not necessarily--what about a stereotypical AI, such as SHODAN?
>>>> It
>>>
>>> You mean the typical AI with a god complex?
>>
>> Well, that too. The god complex is optional--for another example, take
>> Halo's Cortana, though arguably as she semi-originated from a living
>> human,
>> she doesn't count as much.
>
> Didn't play Halo.

Pity. Ah, well.

>>>> can't breathe, eat, reproduce, and Darwinian evolution certainly
>>>> doesn't
>>>> apply to it... intelligence, but death-based, rather than life-based.
>>>> Or
>>>
>>> It's fiction.
>>
>> So? There's nothing theoretical (so far) that says that it's impossible,
>> and often science fiction predicts actual events long before they happen
>> (submarines? Men on the moon?).
>
> SDI?

....what?

> Come on, you can't take everything for real. Some things are
> fiction and not more.

True. But some day...

>>> Anyway, it didn't do much intelligent - only what it was
>>> told to.
>>
>> ...until it got the god complex. In any case, it could /think/.
>
> No, it still acted accroding to its orders. Covering everything up and
> so on.

Er? 'according to its orders'? With its ethical restraints removed, it
reevaluated its priorities and started killing everyone! Intelligently!
And remember the giant laser, and the annelids as well!

>>> No, I don't think there was much of intelligence
>>> with SHODAN, but it sure put up a fight for it's survival, eh?
>>
>> Yes--however, there /was/ thought. It could speak... it could plan, it
>> could create... it could imagine itself as a goddess... have you played
>> System Shock 2, as well as System Shock?
>
> Nope. Don't tell me they revived SHODAN...

Heh. Admittedly, this is a bit of a spoiler... but do you remember that
'grove' which had /already/ been ejected...?

Anyway, we've said too much already. *shifty eyes* The plot is more
complex than you might imagine, and quite enjoyable.

>>>>>> Not certain we agree about the highlander part (though we're also
>>>>>> against
>>>>>> it, for possibly slightly different reasons), but the hardcoding
>>>>>> part...
>>>>>> yes. It's the hardcoding that we feel holds norns back from 'life'
>>>>>> as
>>>>>> we
>>>>>> and the other organisms on and in the Earth know/experience it.
>>>>>
>>>>> The question is in how far we are hardcoded.
>>>>
>>>> Seeing as we evolved from single-celled organisms, I'd/we'd say almost
>>>> certainly not at all. Any 'hardcoding' is due to our genes, which are
>>>> by
>>>> no
>>>> means themselves hardcoded in that regard.
>>>
>>> The chamical reactions in our body are pretty much hard coded... by the
>>> natural laws. It all depends.
>>
>> Yes. However, the /living/ part... the part that existed within those
>> rules, adapting to them and around them...
>>
>> A similar parallel with norns could exist--/should/ exist, as they're
>> unhindered by natural laws, which results in cases like the Highlander
>> norns
>> and the like.
>
> They have other limits, though.

/Exactly/. The mental hardcoding, for example, which under Albian natural
laws /cannot/ be broken, /cannot/ be changed.

Thus, the desire to free their minds.

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 4:30:26 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd28shj.s6b.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-03-01, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>> news:slrnd26l3u.qcn.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>> On 2005-02-28, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>> news:slrnd2446c.qd4.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x8.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>> On 2005-02-27, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>>>> news:slrnd232or.ngj.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>>>> On 2005-02-26, nornagon <nornagon@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>> nornagon InSaNiTised:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>><snip>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness
>>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>> an
>>>>>>>> ability
>>>>>>>> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn
>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>> ride a
>>>>>>>> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find
>>>>>>>> norns
>>>>>>>> harvesting
>>>>>>>> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The
>>>>>>>> norns'
>>>>>>>> world
>>>>>>>> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
>>>>>>> environment :-?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It depends on the laws of physics. Even if a human were locked in a
>>>>>> box
>>>>>> with no other objects, that human's biology, physiology, would still
>>>>>> act
>>>>>> in
>>>>>> certain ways. Have several hundred humans in really restricted
>>>>>> environments, and in a few million years, the organisms would likely
>>>>>> be
>>>>>> vastly different from the humans that were put in there.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> However, if you took analogy humans, and went over their bodies and
>>>>>> brains
>>>>>> with a... augh, we can't think of what could do such a thing.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Take a human, make a... a digital copy of him/her, maybe, and then
>>>>>> make
>>>>>> vast chunks of the brain hardcoded, lock large parts of the genome in
>>>>>> place
>>>>>> and somehow--controlling all laws of physics themselves--disallow all
>>>>>> but
>>>>>> certain kinds of mutations, instead of allowing humans to learn to
>>>>>> walk
>>>>>> on
>>>>>> their own, instead lock them into predetermined 'gaits' (which
>>>>>> reminds
>>>>>> us;
>>>>>> that's another thing which should be removed and replaced by the way
>>>>>> it
>>>>>> actually works in real life)...
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I/We would definitely be hesitant to call that new creature 'alive'
>>>>>> any
>>>>>> more.
>>>>>
>>>>> I was thinking more of the grays in DeusEx, if you know what I mean.
>>>>
>>>> Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't actually
>>>> reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve?
>>>> Actually,
>>>
>>> They can't? Are you *sure*? They were *cloned*, but not genetically
>>> engineered...
>>
>> Ehh. You've finished the game? Sorry to have to let you in on this, but
>> there were a few references to it in the first game, and it was confirmed
>> in
>> the second--they aren't actually aliens; they're transgenics. Monkey-
>
> Actually the one said they were clones from aliens... didn't play the
> second.

How much did you listen to? How much did you read? Some believed that they
were, but there's at least one data-thingamajig which identifies them as
transgenics (though at that point, one cannot trust either source). And
there's also that computer, shortly before the part about the 'giddy
aquiescence'...

>> (ape-?)based, probably, and in particular altered to be more resistent to
>> radiation and (if I/we remember correctly) cold--Roswell, the
>> 'alien'-related beliefs among those without a high enough security
>> clearance, was just a cover-up (sorry if that's the wrong phrase).
>
> What a shame. What I was refering to was that piece of dialogue saying
> the "they may be hyperintelligent aliens, but without their kind to
> teach them they are nothing more than bald monkeys" or something like
> that.

*nods* Their species might have created the reactors, but they can't
operate them, because they're clones... an interesting concept, definitely.
However, the person who said it didn't have a high enough security clearance
to know the truth, and was probably allowed to believe the propagated myth,
which... *muses irrelevantly*

>>>> that question is moot in any case; little point in asking it, as it
>>>> could
>>>> possibly go either way.
>>>>
>>>> Also, glad to hear that you've played Deus Ex. Bubhosh game. *nods
>>>> sagely*
>>>
>>> You made me. Add that to the list of your crimes.
>>
>> *grins* With crimes like that, who needs virtues?
>
> ::shrugs::
> Ask your lawyer.

Thingamajig.

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 12:37:30 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-03-02, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:slrnd28shj.s6b.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness
>>>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>>> an
>>>>>>>>> ability
>>>>>>>>> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can learn
>>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>>> ride a
>>>>>>>>> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find
>>>>>>>>> norns
>>>>>>>>> harvesting
>>>>>>>>> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life. The
>>>>>>>>> norns'
>>>>>>>>> world
>>>>>>>>> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
>>>>>>>> environment :-?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> It depends on the laws of physics. Even if a human were locked in a
>>>>>>> box
>>>>>>> with no other objects, that human's biology, physiology, would still
>>>>>>> act
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> certain ways. Have several hundred humans in really restricted
>>>>>>> environments, and in a few million years, the organisms would likely
>>>>>>> be
>>>>>>> vastly different from the humans that were put in there.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> However, if you took analogy humans, and went over their bodies and
>>>>>>> brains
>>>>>>> with a... augh, we can't think of what could do such a thing.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Take a human, make a... a digital copy of him/her, maybe, and then
>>>>>>> make
>>>>>>> vast chunks of the brain hardcoded, lock large parts of the genome in
>>>>>>> place
>>>>>>> and somehow--controlling all laws of physics themselves--disallow all
>>>>>>> but
>>>>>>> certain kinds of mutations, instead of allowing humans to learn to
>>>>>>> walk
>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>> their own, instead lock them into predetermined 'gaits' (which
>>>>>>> reminds
>>>>>>> us;
>>>>>>> that's another thing which should be removed and replaced by the way
>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>> actually works in real life)...
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I/We would definitely be hesitant to call that new creature 'alive'
>>>>>>> any
>>>>>>> more.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I was thinking more of the grays in DeusEx, if you know what I mean.
>>>>>
>>>>> Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't actually
>>>>> reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve?
>>>>> Actually,
>>>>
>>>> They can't? Are you *sure*? They were *cloned*, but not genetically
>>>> engineered...
>>>
>>> Ehh. You've finished the game? Sorry to have to let you in on this, but
>>> there were a few references to it in the first game, and it was confirmed
>>> in
>>> the second--they aren't actually aliens; they're transgenics. Monkey-
>>
>> Actually the one said they were clones from aliens... didn't play the
>> second.
>
> How much did you listen to? How much did you read? Some believed that they

All I could get hold of...

> were, but there's at least one data-thingamajig which identifies them as
> transgenics (though at that point, one cannot trust either source). And

Which doesn't state which genes were in it... and as you said that could
have been a plot to obscure their real origins.

> there's also that computer, shortly before the part about the 'giddy
> aquiescence'...

What do you mean?

>>> (ape-?)based, probably, and in particular altered to be more resistent to
>>> radiation and (if I/we remember correctly) cold--Roswell, the
>>> 'alien'-related beliefs among those without a high enough security
>>> clearance, was just a cover-up (sorry if that's the wrong phrase).
>>
>> What a shame. What I was refering to was that piece of dialogue saying
>> the "they may be hyperintelligent aliens, but without their kind to
>> teach them they are nothing more than bald monkeys" or something like
>> that.
>
> *nods* Their species might have created the reactors, but they can't
> operate them, because they're clones... an interesting concept, definitely.
> However, the person who said it didn't have a high enough security clearance
> to know the truth, and was probably allowed to believe the propagated myth,
> which... *muses irrelevantly*

Maybe, maybe not. After all there's often some truth in the myths and
after all that was *in* a high clearance facility. Still, I tried to
make a specific point. The influence of socialisation/education.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 1:41:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: RIPEMD160

Vadim wrote:
| bd wrote:
|
|
|>>-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
|>>Hash: RIPEMD160
|>>
|>>Vadim wrote:
|>>| bd wrote:
|>>|
|>>|>>FWIW, I feel the norns aren't alive, simply because the
|>>|>>environment doesn't have the right level of complexity. Too
|>>|>>much is hardcoded, and too much is allowed to run free. Life
|>>|>>must collect energy from its environment and process it.
|>>|>>Yet, a norn can gain a mutation (highlander norns, anyone?)
|>>|>>and run free of its environment. The environment also
|>>|>>prevents a complete evolution into a different kind of
|>>|>>organism.
|>>|
|>>|
|>>| Well, that's a certainly interesting point.
|>>|
|>>| What do you think about the interesting stuff that happens in
|>>| Conway's Game of Life? Is it alive?
|>>|
|>>
|>>No more so than my CPU. Evolution doesn't happen in conway's
|>>life. Just execution.
|
|
| Why?
|
| Conway's Game of Life would seem to be able to satisfy your
| requirements. Let's see:
|
| The code itself implements the laws of the world, so to say. So
| at least internally it's perfectly consistent.
|
| It uses energy (empty cells)
|
| It processes it, creating new stuff
|
| Most interestingly, all of this has very cool interactions, that
| create little "organisms" from groups of cells.
|
| And I don't see why evolution couldn't happen. The good shapes
| persist. Probably some can even reproduce.

Some can, but it's not life until those show up, and they evolve. The
main problems are:
* Most conway life patterns are not alive, and either do some
computational task or blow up making gliders and oscillators
* The rest aren't random, and can't easily evolve.

I suppose you could make a pattern with a PRNG, and have it evolve using
that, but due to the nature of conway's life it's likely to explode and
take out the rest of the patterns with it.

So, while in theory there may be a living pattern in Conway's life (it
*is* turing complete after all), I don't think it's been made yet.
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Anonymous
March 3, 2005 4:08:26 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd2dmkf.ag.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-03-02, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>> news:slrnd28shj.s6b.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>>>>>>>> I thought I'd revive the question. What do we all think?
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> I think that life, as we think of it, is defined by consciousness
>>>>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>>>> an
>>>>>>>>>> ability
>>>>>>>>>> to learn and develop in unexpected ways. For example, we can
>>>>>>>>>> learn
>>>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>>>> ride a
>>>>>>>>>> bicycle. We can learn to cook a pizza. However, you won't find
>>>>>>>>>> norns
>>>>>>>>>> harvesting
>>>>>>>>>> grain or planting seeds, will you?
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> In my view, Albia is not complete enough to support true life.
>>>>>>>>>> The
>>>>>>>>>> norns'
>>>>>>>>>> world
>>>>>>>>>> is too limited for them to be considered truly 'alive'.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Hm... what would happen if you put humans in a really restricted
>>>>>>>>> environment :-?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> It depends on the laws of physics. Even if a human were locked in
>>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>>> box
>>>>>>>> with no other objects, that human's biology, physiology, would
>>>>>>>> still
>>>>>>>> act
>>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>>> certain ways. Have several hundred humans in really restricted
>>>>>>>> environments, and in a few million years, the organisms would
>>>>>>>> likely
>>>>>>>> be
>>>>>>>> vastly different from the humans that were put in there.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> However, if you took analogy humans, and went over their bodies and
>>>>>>>> brains
>>>>>>>> with a... augh, we can't think of what could do such a thing.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Take a human, make a... a digital copy of him/her, maybe, and then
>>>>>>>> make
>>>>>>>> vast chunks of the brain hardcoded, lock large parts of the genome
>>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>>> place
>>>>>>>> and somehow--controlling all laws of physics themselves--disallow
>>>>>>>> all
>>>>>>>> but
>>>>>>>> certain kinds of mutations, instead of allowing humans to learn to
>>>>>>>> walk
>>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>>> their own, instead lock them into predetermined 'gaits' (which
>>>>>>>> reminds
>>>>>>>> us;
>>>>>>>> that's another thing which should be removed and replaced by the
>>>>>>>> way
>>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>>> actually works in real life)...
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I/We would definitely be hesitant to call that new creature 'alive'
>>>>>>>> any
>>>>>>>> more.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I was thinking more of the grays in DeusEx, if you know what I mean.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't actually
>>>>>> reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve?
>>>>>> Actually,
>>>>>
>>>>> They can't? Are you *sure*? They were *cloned*, but not genetically
>>>>> engineered...
>>>>
>>>> Ehh. You've finished the game? Sorry to have to let you in on this,
>>>> but
>>>> there were a few references to it in the first game, and it was
>>>> confirmed
>>>> in
>>>> the second--they aren't actually aliens; they're transgenics. Monkey-
>>>
>>> Actually the one said they were clones from aliens... didn't play the
>>> second.
>>
>> How much did you listen to? How much did you read? Some believed that
>> they
>
> All I could get hold of...

Hmm. If you explored everything as well... huh.

>> were, but there's at least one data-thingamajig which identifies them as
>> transgenics (though at that point, one cannot trust either source). And
>
> Which doesn't state which genes were in it... and as you said that could
> have been a plot to obscure their real origins.

Er. Actually, what I/we said was that the part about 'aliens' could be
intended to obscure their actual origins.

And no, no idea precisely which genes were involved, but their were likely
to be terrestrial genes.

>> there's also that computer, shortly before the part about the 'giddy
>> aquiescence'...
>
> What do you mean?

Remember, when Dowd gives the short-speech about how things will be like
they used to be, and Page mocks him? As you go across the room with a
computer in it, and then down a ladder? There're emails on the computer
that I/we /think/ were relevant, though they might not say something
obvious.

The main thing to read is the datacube-or-whatever, written by an enginner
who had seen the grays and identified them to be transgenics (presumably
originally monkeys/apes).

>>>> (ape-?)based, probably, and in particular altered to be more resistent
>>>> to
>>>> radiation and (if I/we remember correctly) cold--Roswell, the
>>>> 'alien'-related beliefs among those without a high enough security
>>>> clearance, was just a cover-up (sorry if that's the wrong phrase).
>>>
>>> What a shame. What I was refering to was that piece of dialogue saying
>>> the "they may be hyperintelligent aliens, but without their kind to
>>> teach them they are nothing more than bald monkeys" or something like
>>> that.
>>
>> *nods* Their species might have created the reactors, but they can't
>> operate them, because they're clones... an interesting concept,
>> definitely.
>> However, the person who said it didn't have a high enough security
>> clearance
>> to know the truth, and was probably allowed to believe the propagated
>> myth,
>> which... *muses irrelevantly*
>
> Maybe, maybe not. After all there's often some truth in the myths and
> after all that was *in* a high clearance facility.

True. However, the people on the surface had no idea what was going on
underground, and it's unlikely that the common engineers had any idea what
Page was doing... remember the conversation with the MiB ordering the
engineer to remove the keypads on the small reactors, and the engineer
refusing? When the engineer refused to do it and said why (that he thought
that they came from the aliens, and he wasn't going to risk it, to
paraphrase), the MiB said that the information was classified (...if we
remember correctly).

> Still, I tried to
> make a specific point. The influence of socialisation/education.

Ey? Oh, yes. Abandon human children below the age of four on a different
planet, and they wouldn't grow up building skyscrapers and railroads and the
like.

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
March 4, 2005 1:16:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-03-03, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:slrnd2dmkf.ag.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>> On 2005-03-02, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>> news:slrnd28shj.s6b.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>>>> Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't actually
>>>>>>> reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve?
>>>>>>> Actually,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> They can't? Are you *sure*? They were *cloned*, but not genetically
>>>>>> engineered...
>>>>>
>>>>> Ehh. You've finished the game? Sorry to have to let you in on this,
>>>>> but
>>>>> there were a few references to it in the first game, and it was
>>>>> confirmed
>>>>> in
>>>>> the second--they aren't actually aliens; they're transgenics. Monkey-
>>>>
>>>> Actually the one said they were clones from aliens... didn't play the
>>>> second.
>>>
>>> How much did you listen to? How much did you read? Some believed that
>>> they
>>
>> All I could get hold of...
>
> Hmm. If you explored everything as well... huh.

I *did*.

>>> were, but there's at least one data-thingamajig which identifies them as
>>> transgenics (though at that point, one cannot trust either source). And
>>
>> Which doesn't state which genes were in it... and as you said that could
>> have been a plot to obscure their real origins.
>
> Er. Actually, what I/we said was that the part about 'aliens' could be
> intended to obscure their actual origins.

Could.

> And no, no idea precisely which genes were involved, but their were likely
> to be terrestrial genes.

Maybe, maybe not.

>>> there's also that computer, shortly before the part about the 'giddy
>>> aquiescence'...
>>
>> What do you mean?
>
> Remember, when Dowd gives the short-speech about how things will be like
> they used to be, and Page mocks him? As you go across the room with a
> computer in it, and then down a ladder? There're emails on the computer
> that I/we /think/ were relevant, though they might not say something
> obvious.

There were hundreds of computers and mails.

> The main thing to read is the datacube-or-whatever, written by an enginner
> who had seen the grays and identified them to be transgenics (presumably
> originally monkeys/apes).

I have a memory like a sieve, you know...

>>>>> (ape-?)based, probably, and in particular altered to be more resistent
>>>>> to
>>>>> radiation and (if I/we remember correctly) cold--Roswell, the
>>>>> 'alien'-related beliefs among those without a high enough security
>>>>> clearance, was just a cover-up (sorry if that's the wrong phrase).
>>>>
>>>> What a shame. What I was refering to was that piece of dialogue saying
>>>> the "they may be hyperintelligent aliens, but without their kind to
>>>> teach them they are nothing more than bald monkeys" or something like
>>>> that.
>>>
>>> *nods* Their species might have created the reactors, but they can't
>>> operate them, because they're clones... an interesting concept,
>>> definitely.
>>> However, the person who said it didn't have a high enough security
>>> clearance
>>> to know the truth, and was probably allowed to believe the propagated
>>> myth,
>>> which... *muses irrelevantly*
>>
>> Maybe, maybe not. After all there's often some truth in the myths and
>> after all that was *in* a high clearance facility.
>
> True. However, the people on the surface had no idea what was going on
> underground, and it's unlikely that the common engineers had any idea what
> Page was doing... remember the conversation with the MiB ordering the
> engineer to remove the keypads on the small reactors, and the engineer
> refusing? When the engineer refused to do it and said why (that he thought
> that they came from the aliens, and he wasn't going to risk it, to
> paraphrase), the MiB said that the information was classified (...if we
> remember correctly).

Classified = True?

>> Still, I tried to
>> make a specific point. The influence of socialisation/education.
>
> Ey? Oh, yes. Abandon human children below the age of four on a different
> planet, and they wouldn't grow up building skyscrapers and railroads and the
> like.

Haha, very funny. [1]
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
March 4, 2005 2:54:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

"emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:slrnd2gda2.3j7.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x3.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
> On 2005-03-03, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>> news:slrnd2dmkf.ag.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>> On 2005-03-02, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>> news:slrnd28shj.s6b.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>>>>> Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't
>>>>>>>> actually
>>>>>>>> reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve?
>>>>>>>> Actually,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> They can't? Are you *sure*? They were *cloned*, but not genetically
>>>>>>> engineered...
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Ehh. You've finished the game? Sorry to have to let you in on this,
>>>>>> but
>>>>>> there were a few references to it in the first game, and it was
>>>>>> confirmed
>>>>>> in
>>>>>> the second--they aren't actually aliens; they're transgenics.
>>>>>> Monkey-
>>>>>
>>>>> Actually the one said they were clones from aliens... didn't play the
>>>>> second.
>>>>
>>>> How much did you listen to? How much did you read? Some believed that
>>>> they
>>>
>>> All I could get hold of...
>>
>> Hmm. If you explored everything as well... huh.
>
> I *did*.

Um. *blinks*

*thinks* ...wasn't it the datacube that also had the keycode for the
Aquinas Hub (apologies if spelling or wording is incorrect)? Do you
remember what was said before it--or can you reload a saved game at the end,
and scroll back through the saved data until you find it?

>>>> were, but there's at least one data-thingamajig which identifies them
>>>> as
>>>> transgenics (though at that point, one cannot trust either source).
>>>> And
>>>
>>> Which doesn't state which genes were in it... and as you said that could
>>> have been a plot to obscure their real origins.
>>
>> Er. Actually, what I/we said was that the part about 'aliens' could be
>> intended to obscure their actual origins.
>
> Could.

*nods*

>> And no, no idea precisely which genes were involved, but their were
>> likely
>> to be terrestrial genes.
>
> Maybe, maybe not.

*nods* That's all that can be certain from Deus Ex.

>>>> there's also that computer, shortly before the part about the 'giddy
>>>> aquiescence'...
>>>
>>> What do you mean?
>>
>> Remember, when Dowd gives the short-speech about how things will be like
>> they used to be, and Page mocks him? As you go across the room with a
>> computer in it, and then down a ladder? There're emails on the computer
>> that I/we /think/ were relevant, though they might not say something
>> obvious.
>
> There were hundreds of computers and mails.

Dozens, at least. You did read them all, though?

>> The main thing to read is the datacube-or-whatever, written by an
>> enginner
>> who had seen the grays and identified them to be transgenics (presumably
>> originally monkeys/apes).
>
> I have a memory like a sieve, you know...

Oh. Well, in that case see the above suggestion of reloading and scrolling
through the stored datacube data.

>>>>>> (ape-?)based, probably, and in particular altered to be more
>>>>>> resistent
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> radiation and (if I/we remember correctly) cold--Roswell, the
>>>>>> 'alien'-related beliefs among those without a high enough security
>>>>>> clearance, was just a cover-up (sorry if that's the wrong phrase).
>>>>>
>>>>> What a shame. What I was refering to was that piece of dialogue saying
>>>>> the "they may be hyperintelligent aliens, but without their kind to
>>>>> teach them they are nothing more than bald monkeys" or something like
>>>>> that.
>>>>
>>>> *nods* Their species might have created the reactors, but they can't
>>>> operate them, because they're clones... an interesting concept,
>>>> definitely.
>>>> However, the person who said it didn't have a high enough security
>>>> clearance
>>>> to know the truth, and was probably allowed to believe the propagated
>>>> myth,
>>>> which... *muses irrelevantly*
>>>
>>> Maybe, maybe not. After all there's often some truth in the myths and
>>> after all that was *in* a high clearance facility.
>>
>> True. However, the people on the surface had no idea what was going on
>> underground, and it's unlikely that the common engineers had any idea
>> what
>> Page was doing... remember the conversation with the MiB ordering the
>> engineer to remove the keypads on the small reactors, and the engineer
>> refusing? When the engineer refused to do it and said why (that he
>> thought
>> that they came from the aliens, and he wasn't going to risk it, to
>> paraphrase), the MiB said that the information was classified (...if we
>> remember correctly).
>
> Classified = True?

No--just classifed. Sort of 'We refuse to either confirm or deny this'.

>>> Still, I tried to
>>> make a specific point. The influence of socialisation/education.
>>
>> Ey? Oh, yes. Abandon human children below the age of four on a
>> different
>> planet, and they wouldn't grow up building skyscrapers and railroads and
>> the
>> like.
>
> Haha, very funny. [1]

Erm...? We were serious. Assume that the children survived, of course.

--
The Triad
User of 'Thingamajig!'
Refractor Dragon -=(UDIC)=-
Anonymous
March 4, 2005 6:44:21 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

On 2005-03-04, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:slrnd2gda2.3j7.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x3.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>> On 2005-03-03, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>> news:slrnd2dmkf.ag.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>> On 2005-03-02, The Triad <wanderer@beeb.web> wrote:
>>>>> "emmel" <the_emmel*whatever*@gmx.net> wrote in message
>>>>> news:slrnd28shj.s6b.the_emmel*whatever*@btcips73x4.cip.uni-bayreuth.de...
>>>>>>>>> Ohh. Now, /that's/ interesting--particularly as they can't
>>>>>>>>> actually
>>>>>>>>> reproduce. Also, even if they could, could they actually evolve?
>>>>>>>>> Actually,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> They can't? Are you *sure*? They were *cloned*, but not genetically
>>>>>>>> engineered...
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Ehh. You've finished the game? Sorry to have to let you in on this,
>>>>>>> but
>>>>>>> there were a few references to it in the first game, and it was
>>>>>>> confirmed
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> the second--they aren't actually aliens; they're transgenics.
>>>>>>> Monkey-
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Actually the one said they were clones from aliens... didn't play the
>>>>>> second.
>>>>>
>>>>> How much did you listen to? How much did you read? Some believed that
>>>>> they
>>>>
>>>> All I could get hold of...
>>>
>>> Hmm. If you explored everything as well... huh.
>>
>> I *did*.
>
> Um. *blinks*
>
> *thinks* ...wasn't it the datacube that also had the keycode for the
> Aquinas Hub (apologies if spelling or wording is incorrect)? Do you
> remember what was said before it--or can you reload a saved game at the end,
> and scroll back through the saved data until you find it?

No, I can't.

>>>>> were, but there's at least one data-thingamajig which identifies them
>>>>> as
>>>>> transgenics (though at that point, one cannot trust either source).
>>>>> And
>>>>
>>>> Which doesn't state which genes were in it... and as you said that could
>>>> have been a plot to obscure their real origins.
>>>
>>> Er. Actually, what I/we said was that the part about 'aliens' could be
>>> intended to obscure their actual origins.
>>
>> Could.
>
> *nods*
>
>>> And no, no idea precisely which genes were involved, but their were
>>> likely
>>> to be terrestrial genes.
>>
>> Maybe, maybe not.
>
> *nods* That's all that can be certain from Deus Ex.
>
>>>>> there's also that computer, shortly before the part about the 'giddy
>>>>> aquiescence'...
>>>>
>>>> What do you mean?
>>>
>>> Remember, when Dowd gives the short-speech about how things will be like
>>> they used to be, and Page mocks him? As you go across the room with a
>>> computer in it, and then down a ladder? There're emails on the computer
>>> that I/we /think/ were relevant, though they might not say something
>>> obvious.
>>
>> There were hundreds of computers and mails.
>
> Dozens, at least. You did read them all, though?

I'm pretty sure of that.

>>> The main thing to read is the datacube-or-whatever, written by an
>>> enginner
>>> who had seen the grays and identified them to be transgenics (presumably
>>> originally monkeys/apes).
>>
>> I have a memory like a sieve, you know...
>
> Oh. Well, in that case see the above suggestion of reloading and scrolling
> through the stored datacube data.

Reloading *what* exactly? There's nothing I could reload.

>>>>>>> (ape-?)based, probably, and in particular altered to be more
>>>>>>> resistent
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> radiation and (if I/we remember correctly) cold--Roswell, the
>>>>>>> 'alien'-related beliefs among those without a high enough security
>>>>>>> clearance, was just a cover-up (sorry if that's the wrong phrase).
>>>>>>
>>>>>> What a shame. What I was refering to was that piece of dialogue saying
>>>>>> the "they may be hyperintelligent aliens, but without their kind to
>>>>>> teach them they are nothing more than bald monkeys" or something like
>>>>>> that.
>>>>>
>>>>> *nods* Their species might have created the reactors, but they can't
>>>>> operate them, because they're clones... an interesting concept,
>>>>> definitely.
>>>>> However, the person who said it didn't have a high enough security
>>>>> clearance
>>>>> to know the truth, and was probably allowed to believe the propagated
>>>>> myth,
>>>>> which... *muses irrelevantly*
>>>>
>>>> Maybe, maybe not. After all there's often some truth in the myths and
>>>> after all that was *in* a high clearance facility.
>>>
>>> True. However, the people on the surface had no idea what was going on
>>> underground, and it's unlikely that the common engineers had any idea
>>> what
>>> Page was doing... remember the conversation with the MiB ordering the
>>> engineer to remove the keypads on the small reactors, and the engineer
>>> refusing? When the engineer refused to do it and said why (that he
>>> thought
>>> that they came from the aliens, and he wasn't going to risk it, to
>>> paraphrase), the MiB said that the information was classified (...if we
>>> remember correctly).
>>
>> Classified = True?
>
> No--just classifed. Sort of 'We refuse to either confirm or deny this'.

Which is mostly said when you don't want to confirm something.

>>>> Still, I tried to
>>>> make a specific point. The influence of socialisation/education.
>>>
>>> Ey? Oh, yes. Abandon human children below the age of four on a
>>> different
>>> planet, and they wouldn't grow up building skyscrapers and railroads and
>>> the
>>> like.
>>
>> Haha, very funny. [1]
>
> Erm...? We were serious. Assume that the children survived, of course.

As if skyscrapers and railroads were a measure of things...
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

Official AGC feedback maniac

"God is playing creatures - and we're the norns."

"A hundred dead are a tragedy - a hundred thousand are statistics."

"I guess you can call yourself lucky." -
"I could, but Linda suits me a little better... :) 
Things called lucky tend to get hit by trucks."

Hi, I'm a .sig virus. Just copy me to your .signature. And don't worry.
Anonymous
March 5, 2005 4:00:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.creatures (More info?)

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emmel wrote:
> On 2005-02-27, Thomas J. Boschloo <nospam@hccnet.nl.invalid> wrote:
>
>>emmel wrote:
>>
>>>On 2005-02-27, Thomas J. Boschloo <nospam@hccnet.nl.invalid> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>emmel wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>Bringing the ant out is probably more of a problem than dropping it. The
>>>>>ant can survive the drop without any serious wounds, but it dies of
>>>>>loosing contact (or not knowing the way back for that matter) to the
>>>>>hive.
>>>>
>>>>Well, as long as the ant doesn't find its way back to my house and
>>>>starts bringing along all its friends :-DD
>>>
>>>
>>>And mark their ways with scents. Without these tracks they are pretty
>>>much dead.
>>
>>I saw on television recently that they can also recognize large
>>landmarks. I think my flat is a pretty good landmark but I drop them
>>from the back of my flat :-)
>
>
> You are evil, do you know that? ;-)

Maybe they will evolve into something move evolved next summer >:-)

>>Will have to do some experiments with ants next time!
>>Thomas
>
>
> Poor ants.

At least I don't squish them with my tumb
(on my white wallpaper)..

Thomas
- --
"All my life, I've always wondered, What it would be like to fire a
ballistic missile" - Wonderfully colored plastic war toys, The Dead
Milkmen
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