Tips from Biology

We have always been inspired by genetics and population dynamics but know that these mechanisms alone fall short of full explanations of life. Here we catalog subjects from which we can borrow more.

Cognitive horizons. One way to compare cognitive systems, whether artificial or evolved, simple or complex, is by mapping the size, shape and persistence of the goals it can support. aeon

Active inference. Understanding behavior as using an internal generative model to predict incoming sensory data. The fit between model and data may be improved by further observation or invoking action. springer


Mike Danilchik has reminded me that in biology all things start with the cell and compound from there. What is, he asks, federated wiki's cell?

I have suggested that CC, JSON and CORS are all foundational in the way DNA, ATP and H2O are to biology. But these are parts of what whole?

The role of cell is fulfilled by federated wiki's Item. The Item remains whole even as it is moved within or between pages. The Item has a preserved identity even as its manifestation is transformed from type to type.

A word or sentence is too small to deserved this interest as is a marker on a map or a node in a diagram. An Item completes a Story which completes a Page, and then a Site and a Neighborhood.

We ask of our cell, how does an Item represent persistent but still malleable agenda, how is this shared, and what is the extent in space and time of its influence?


- In physics, the laws define the system. - In biology, the system defines the laws.

Three laws of biology. springer