20 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Examples of Species Evolved through Human Artificial Sele...

The dog can stand for the success of other breeding programs. As Darwin noted in The Origin, “Breeders habitually speak of an animal’s organization as something quite plastic, which they can model almost as they please.” Cows, sheep, pigs, flowers, vegetables, and so on—all came from humans choosing variants present in wild ancestors, or variants that arose by mutation during domestication. Through selection, the svelte wild turkey has become our docile, meaty, and virtually tasteless...
  1  notes

Turkeys, corn, broccoli, tomatoes, etc, etc, all bred from wild species into their modern domesticated forms.

21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Guy Steele: Computers are Too Complex to Know it All

I guess to me the biggest change is that nowadays you can't possibly know everything that's going on in the computer. There are things that are absolutely out of your control because it's impossible to know everything about all the software. Back in the '7Os a computer had only 4,000 words of memory. It was possible to do a core dump and inspect every word to see if it was what you expected. It was reasonable to read the source listings of tine operating system and see how that worked. And I ...
  1  notes

It was once possible to know all aspects of the computer, but the system has grown too large and complex for that now.

09 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Campbell's Rule of Design Through Evolution

We should think of it like this - evolutionary theory describes how design is created by the competition between replicators. Genes are one example of a replicator and memes another. The general theory of evolution must apply to both of them, but the specific details of how each replicator works may be quite different. This relationship was clearly seen by the the American psychologist Donald Campbell (1960, 1965) long before the idea of memes was invented. He argued that organic evolution, ...
  1  notes

Natural selection doesn't just apply to biological designs, but exists on molecular and memetic levels as well.