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Re^3: Random quotes in the top left corner

by Anonymous Monk
on May 04, 2005 at 17:36 UTC ( #454066=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: Random quotes in the top left corner
in thread Random quotes in the top left corner

An interesting counter-example is an ecosystem - more components and interactions equal more robustness.

What's so robust about an "eco-system"? What functional elements of the "eco-system" are you claiming this robustness for?

If I've very carefully selectively bred, say, an ant colony to create tunnels in patterns that represent the solution set for a given computation, I've got a very fragile system, not a very robust one. I'd need massive amounts of parallelism to match the correctness of even a small microcomputer, in order to statistically correct for all the flaws in the individual ants.

Ecosystems are only robust in that it's reasonably hard to competely disrupt all biological processes in a given area, due to sheer numbers. But then again, it's even harder to destroy all geological processes, let alone radiation processes, due to an even bigger problem of scale.

And even when we examine ecosystems, we find that the small,simple organisms: like, bacteria, grass, and insects often tend to outlast the big, complicated ones (dodos, dinosaurs, and sabre tooth tigers).

K.I.S.S. is a good principle.

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