Breeders is a virtual ecological sporder. The developer has designed simple “organisms” that operate on simple rule-sets, which interact and form a dynamic ecosystem.
Perhaps my colleagues and friends can help me out, since I neither play Minecraft nor have a deep understanding of computer science, but this astonished me nonetheless. It seems players in Minecraft have accomplished a great feat and made computing recursive by building simple computers within the game world.
PBS/NOVA has a great, short, easy to understand video on emergence. It describes the prominent status of “emergent complexity” research in the sciences, largely focusing on applications in natural sciences and biological examples of herd behavior in particular.
Here are a couple of highlights from the video: Continue reading
Diablo II is a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) computer game that came out in 2001. It provides an interesting case study in virtual sporders because it beautifully demonstrates the emergence of money from the market and the impossibility of truly fiat money.
Carl Menger explained the origin of money as a market phenomenon, the unintended consequence of people pursuing their own ends in the market. Money is the result of human action, but not of human design. Here’s how it works: Continue reading
Science is an example of a bottom-up, emergent social order. The community of scientists is not organized in a top-down fashion with some guiding purpose; there is no scientific central planning board.
Rather, individual scientists pursue their own research interests—there is an ‘anarchy of production’ in scientific research. And yet science is quite orderly and productive: the global scientific community functions as a coherent, integrated whole. A bottom-up order emerges because of the incentives and feedback mechanisms that guide scientists in their decisions of where to allocate their research resources. Science, in a word, is self-regulating. Continue reading