Re: Biological = trivial?

Dwight W. Read (dread@ANTHRO.UCLA.EDU)
Mon, 12 Aug 1996 23:38:38 -0700

McCreery replies:

>My memories of working as an AI programmer suggest a slightly different
>conclusion. The first iteration of a program requires *some* comprehension
>to get off the ground. The joy of computer simulation, however, is (1) the
>way that the computer provides instant feedback, showing you unexpected
>implications of what you've just told it and (2) the ease with which the
>program can then be modified and run again.
>The computer is also, as Patrick Winston notes in his introduction to
>programming in LISP, a wonderful educational tool, since you can't--except
>in trivial cases--simply tell the computer to go from A to B (from bands to
>tribes for example). You have to tell the poor mechanical idiot precisely
>how to get from A to B, in tiny, perfectly logical steps.


Precisely--hence why a "generative" program can't be written without
understandning the phenomenon in question. McCreery nicely points out that
programming can be a very saluatory educational tool.

D. Read