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Tron: legacy and isomorphisms

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Postby at1with0 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:58 am

http://www.science20.com/eye_brainstorm ... omorphisms

One of reasons I like Tron:Legacy is the existence of ISOs. ISOs are "isomorphic algorithms", which are lifeforms that emerged--unplanned--from the artificial environment of the grid. Besides being a cool movie manifestation of ALife and emergent phenomena, there is also an association with certain philosophical and AI ideas via the word "isomorphic." The introduction to ISOs may have sounded like a brief moment of technobabble to some, whereas to me it was a brilliant reference to Gödel, Escher, Bach.

In this famous (in some circles) 1979 book by Douglas Hofstadter , the author suggests that since isomorphisms produce meaning in simple formal systems (they act as the link between symbols and real world objects) they might be behind all meaning in humans.

Hofstadter says (p. 82):


In my opinion, in fact, the key element in answering the question "What is consciousness?" will be the unraveling of the nature of the "isomorphism" which underlies meaning.



The other awesome element of Tron:Legacy is the digital DNA. This can be repaired by manipulating the holographic interface of an entity's identity disk. In the movie this was demonstrated when Flynn fixed the digital DNA which then somehow resulted in the regeneration of Quorra's missing arm. Although this is Hollywood's presentation of hacking incredibly complex system of codes (note that unlike most movies, Tron:Legacy shows actual UNIX commands being entered in the real world 2010 scenes, saving the fake interfaces for the Grid), it makes one wonder--what if repairing DNA and/or physical body parts really was that easy?

The concept of the ISO's digital DNA is also a provocative idea aside form the ID disk interface. Is this DNA better than biological DNA? Are ISOs truly better than humans? Or are they simply the Grid isomorphism of "real" world humans? Flynn talks about all the improvements he can make in the world from Grid projects. However, Flynn tells his program CLU (which is a partial copy of himself) that there's no such thing as perfection. So we are left in the middle ground, and anybody who thought this movie was a simple black and white good vs. evil epic Hollywood effects regurgitation has missed the important grey areas.



A look a isomorphisms, perhaps the most important concept in math; definitely one of the most important concepts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isomorphism

Iso is Greek for same and Morphism is Greek for shape. In math, a morphism is basically a function, which is often called a map, and could be interpreted as metaphor.

To say that two objects are isomorphic basically means they are indistinguishable when looking at their "essential" features which has differing meaning, depending on context. There is a famous saying that a topologist can't tell the difference between a coffee cup and a doughnut because both have one hole and are both smooth, making them topologically isomorphic. Of course a geometer would see a difference :mrgreen:

This should provide more insight into what the quote means:
In my opinion, in fact, the key element in answering the question "What is consciousness?" will be the unraveling of the nature of the "isomorphism" which underlies meaning.

And I would also say that a TOE is something that is isomorphic to reality.

A TOE wouldn't literally be reality but would be essentially indistinguishable from reality in that a TOE is a complete description of reality. Of course what a TOE is is a matter of definition.

I think it's interesting to note that if such a TOE exists, then it would prove that the universe is essentially holographic in nature, with a TOE as being the film and reality being the image.
"it is easy to grow crazy"
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Postby bionic » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:59 am

Do you remember when early programmers would create little competative "lifeforms" that would 'learn' and 'evolve' in their little computer simulated world.
It fascinated me.
I remember one of the programmers set up a program goal for his little 'lifeforms", their main job was to learn how to simply move about within their little wolrd. Some developed little tails, some flippers.
It was amazing to observe..Darwin came to mind.
I wonder whatever happened with all that?

I loved the origional Tron..even if it was cheesey..but I always had a thing for Bruce Boxleitner
Willie Wonka quotes..
What is this Wonka, some kind of funhouse?
Why? Are you having fun?
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams
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Postby at1with0 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:21 am

Learning programs, interesting stuff. Like google trying to learn your search patterns and interests given what you've previously searched for (if you're signed in when you search) and what is in your email inbox.
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