Sunday, July 06, 2008

Emergent Behavior and Software

Recently watched the interesting movie Idiocracy by Mike Judge. The basic premise is that intelligence reaches its pinnacle in evolutionary usefulness sometime during our recent history and that it is generally reduced in the next 500 years due to selective pressures to the point that the mean IQ is just about barely functional. This is an interesting idea based on the selfish gene theory and a rather non-blank slatish theory of mind that says most of what we posses in the mental department is god given. This allows natural selection to determine genetically what will be the dominant and useful traits for survival, reproduction, and ultimately the mean IQ of the general population.

Now there is another notion of selection that occurs not at the gene level, but at the idea level. This is often refered to as memes, either on a social/cultural level, or at a more basic story level. In this model, what survives is not the hardware but the software. If this model is true, then what will determine the daily lives of people will not be the quality of their hardware, but that of their software. What ideas, theories, algorithms will survive?