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Re: Means to an end WAS: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] On Tournaments

On Thursday, June 20, 2002, at 09:27  AM, Eric Armstrong wrote:
> At the outset, variation explodes. Think of all the fanciful
> ideas for flying machines that we laugh at now. But it wasn't
> clear at the time which was the *right* idea. The machines
> are humorous in retrospect, because now we know.    (01)

Knowing the solution is also a limiting factor because it eliminates 
classes of investigation. An example of a weird flying machine is the 
gyroplane which is recently making a comeback because of its all-round 
capabilities and ability to fly low in a far safer manner than any 
mainstream aircraft.    (02)

Even knowing this (and flying them as I do), they are a bizarre 
contraption. Without the driving force of ignorance, I doubt they'd have 
been invented since a greater knowledge would have covered the 
gyroplanes considerable limitations as well. They don't scale large 
enough to carry more than a couple of people without some intensive 
engineering.    (03)

Too much knowledge appears to be a local maxima, so I wonder what 
implications this has. I wonder whether genetic algorithms like 
randomised hillclimbing may be one way of stripping down the excessive 
amount of information current hypertext systems are giving us. If 
computer systems treated people as learning algorithms, then it wouldn't 
matter who came up with the answer as long as someone did.    (04)

Somehow this propect doesn't seem appealing to me.    (05)