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Abstracts - Data Ecologies 2003

Karl Svozil

Suppose you are God---How would you do it?

Abstract: The concept of the world as a machine is an old suspicion that has its ups & downs as time goes by. From early Pythagorean thinking to present day non-mainstream speculations of Zuse, Fredkin, Toffoli, Wolfram and many more, this project lingers on. Let us consider the question top-down: suppose you could create a universe. What options do you have, what would you do, what do you obtain?

Ross Rhodes

Suppose you are in a computer game simulation -- How would you find out? Interpreting quantum mechanics as a computational process.

Abstract:Quantum mechanics may be described as a set of mathematical tools with a perfect relationship to the universe we observe. The results predicted by the mathematics can be demonstrated, yet these results have been characterized as 'impossible, absolutely impossible to explain' in physical terms. [Feynman] In many respects, the paradoxes that plague physical interpretations of quantum mechanics can be seen as logically arising from the operations of a computer. Let us consider our human experience bottom-up: if you were immersed in a virtual reality computer game, what would you expect to notice that would be understandable only as artifacts of a computational process?

Hartwig Thim

Experimental refutation of Relativistic Time Dilation

An experiment is described showing that a 36 GHz microwave signal received by rotating antennas is not exhibiting the frequency shift ("transverse Doppler effect") predicted by the relativistic Doppler formula. From the observed absence of the transverse Doppler shift it is speculated that either the time dilation predicted by the standard theory of special relativity does not exist in reality or, if it does, is a phenomenon which does not depend on relative velocities but may be a function of absolute velocities in the fundamental frame of the isotropic microwave background radiation. This second possible conclusion agrees with some theories for a computational background to the universe.

Maciej Komosinski and Szymon Ulatowski

Framsticks introduction and workshop

The objective of these experiments is a study of evolution capabilities of creatures in simplified Earth-like conditions. They are: a three-dimensional environment, genotype representation of organisms, physical structure (body) and neural network (brain) both described in genotype, stimuli loop (environment - receptors - brain - effectors - environment), genotype reconfiguration operations (mutation, crossing over, repair), energetic requirements and balance, and specialization.

The simulator allows the study of both directed (with fitness criterion defined) and spontaneous (with no such criterion) evolution. In the directed case, it is possible to "grow" creatures with the given properties, like simple construction and smooth movement, strength and robustness, ability to move in land and water environments, seeking food, following targets, escaping and many others. The system allows users to create more experiment definitions, which may lead to unexpected results and emergence of very complex behaviors.

The most important part of the research is the study and evaluation of capabilities of various evolutionary processes, including those concerning undirected evolution (which has not already been done in such a complex environmental and simulation conditions).