The Race to Inner Space:
Seeing, Guiding, and Benefiting from Humanity’s
Faster, Smaller, Smarter, and Wealthier Future
Global Future 2045
Feb 2012  Moscow, Russia
John Smart, President,
Acceleration Studies Foundation
Slides: accelerating.org/slides
Evolution and Development
Two Basic Processes of Universal Change
Evolution and Development:
See them in Life, See them in the Universe
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Consider two ‘genetically identical’ twins:
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Chaos /
Chance
Predetermination /
Necessity
Their thumbprints, brain wiring, ideas, behaviors, local processes
and ‘small things’ are unpredictably unique in each twin.
But many ‘large things’ end up predictably the same, due to
special initial conditions and constant physical law.
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If the Universe is Like Life, unpredictable and creative
evolutionary process works with predictable and convergent
developmental process to create universal complexity.
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Evolutionary Development (Evo Devo):
The ‘Left and Right Hands’ of Universal Change
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“Natural Selection”
Requisite Variety
Mixed Attractors
Adaptation
“Experimentation”
“Convergent Unification”
Stochastic Search
Strange Attractors
Environmental Optimization
Standard Attractors
Radiation
Evolution
Development
‘Left Hand’ of Change
‘Right Hand’ of Change
New Computational Phase Space ‘Opening’
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Hierarchy
Evo Devo
Well-Explored Phase Space ‘Optimization’
(Intersection)
Evo Devo Universe?, J. Smart, In: Cosmos & Culture, Steve Dick (ed.), 2009
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Evo Compu Devo (ECD) Triad:
Three Basic Processes in All Complex Systems
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Three processes (telos) can
be seen in:
 Technological Systems
 Societal Systems
 Biological Systems
 Chemical Systems
 Physical Systems
Evo Devo Universe?, J. Smart, In: Cosmos & Culture, Steve Dick (ed.), 2009
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Evo Compu Devo (ECD) Triad: Classical
Quantitative Relationships in Complex Systems
S curve
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Power law
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Normal curve
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Human Society Also Uses
Evolution, Development, and Evo Devo Processes
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Ref: Jacob Bronowski, Science and Human Values, 1965
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The “95% vs. 5%” Ratio:
Evolution vs. Development
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95% Evo
Almost all (roughly 95%) of the events and
computation to create or control a complex
system are bottom-up evolutionary processes.
A small critical subset (~5%) are top-down,
hierarchical, developmental processes.
5% Devo
Examples:
▪ Almost all genes in an organism (eg, 97% of Dictyostelium DNA)
change often to create evolutionary variety vs. a special subset (3%)
which form the developmental toolkit and are highly conserved.
▪ Almost all cells in an organism compete for their location. A special few
are fated in advance to particular locations early in development.
▪ Almost all ideas and actions in an organism are experiments. A
special few become stable strategies, across many environments.
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▪ Almost all technology products and services are evolutionary
experiments. A few are developments destined to be the next big thing.
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Evo Compu Devo (ECD) Examples:
Experimentation + Selection + Convergent Unification
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Transition from “quantum darwinism” to classical physics
(relativity, thermo, classical mechanics) physics (Zurek 2005)
Stellar evolutionary nucleosynthesis to life cycle (Clayton 1968)
Molecular evolution to biogenesis (Smith and Morowitz 2006)
Multicellular evolution to tissue types (Newman and Bhat 2008)
‘Neural Darwinism’ to brain development (Edelman 1989)
Cognitive selectionism to conscious thinking (Calvin 1985)
‘Memetic’ imagination to moral universals (Wright 2000)
‘Technetic’ selection to technological archetypes (Kelly 2010)
Evolutionary computation to artificial intelligence (Koza 1998)
Cosmological natural selection to universe devel. (Smolin 1992)
EvoDevoUniverse.com
Evolutionary Convergences
(Developmental Attractors): A Few Examples
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Evolutionary convergences are developmental attractors in a
hierarchical informational computational universe:
 Organic (carbon) chemistry (vs. silicon, boron, etc.)
 Amino acids, purines&pyrimidines, pre-lipids as cell precursors
 RNA as enzyme and code for protein architectures (Woese)
 Dynamical pattern modules in multicellularity (Newman 2008)
 Antifreeze molecules in northern and southern polar fish
 Placental vs. marsupial mice, moles, rabbits, wolves, tigers, etc.
 Eyes, body plans, limbs, joints, wings, fins, emotions (Morris)
 Bilateral symmetry, binocular vision, tetrapod form
 Prehensile limbs, opposable thumbs, anthropoids (Russell)
 Mimicry memetics (languages) gestural, behavioral, oral, written
 Neolithic+ tools (rock, club, spear, lever, rope, wheel, pulley)
 Internal combustion engine, metallurgy, chemistry, electronics,
 Math, science, computers, internet, cellphones… Next?
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Accelerating Change
Evolutionary and Developmental Drivers
of the Race to Inner Space
Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar:
U-Shaped Curve of Complexity Development
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A U-Shaped Curve of Change:
Inner Space to Outer Space Back to Inner Space Again
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Big Bang Singularity
50 yrs: Scalar Field Scaffolds
50 yrs ago: Machina silico
400,000 yrs: Matter
100,000 yrs ago: H. sap. sap.
1B yrs: Protogalaxies
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Developmental Singularity?
8B yrs: Earth
Reproduction and Birth are Energetically
Accelerative in Complex Living Systems
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Salthe, Development and Evolution, 1990
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 Note the energy flow trends in
each phase of the life cycle
(birth, growth, reproduction,
senescence) of a developing
organism.
 Only reproduction and birth
phases are accelerative in
living systems.
 Stellar reproduction (via
supernovas) has the same
energetics profile.
 Key Question: In an evo
devo universe, does
complexity accelerate
because it is engaged in a
process of universal
reproduction?
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Free Energy (Phi, Φ) of Dissipative Systems:
A Hyperbolic Curve of Universal Development
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Energy Flow Density (Φ)
Substrate
(ergs/sec/gm)
Global AI of the 21st C
Pentium II of the 1990's
Intel 8080 of the 1970's
Modern Engines
Culture (human)
Brains (human)
Animals (hum. body)
Ecosystems
Planets (Early)
Stars
Galaxies
10^12+
(10^11)
10^10
10^5 to 10^8
500,000 (10^5)
150,000 (10^5)
20,000 (10^4)
900
75
2
0.5
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Eric Chaisson,
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Cosmic Evolution, 2001
Free energy flow density values in
hierarchically emergent CAS.
The Race to Inner Space:
Civilization’s Hidden Strategic Objectives
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Infotech/Simulation - Virtual Inner Space - Evolution
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“As Intelligence Rises, Thinking Becomes More Adaptive Than Acting”
Adult humans no longer act in novel ways, they think in novel ways.
Simulations allow “ephemeralization” (far less mass/energy per action)
Rise of scientific simulations. IPCC. NASA Solar System Simulator
Telepresence outcompetes traveling for perception
Telerobotics/haptics outcompetes traveling for action
Google maps, sensors, geoweb, parallelized GPUs: visual cortex for the web.
Machine sim data doubles every 2 years. Human sims grow far slower.
Nanotech/Engineering - Physical Inner Space - Development
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“There’s Plenty of Performance at the Bottom.”
Fission 1,000X more E than chem. Fusion 1,000X more E than fission
Fuel cells store 100,000X more E/mass than chemical batteries
Synthetic catalysts increase reaction speeds & yields 1,000-1,000,000X
Programmable synapses use 10^6 less E per comp. than neurons
Photonic crystal lasers 10^6 more E efficient than other microlasers
Single step efficiency jumps in macro (human) space are always far less
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The
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Hypothesis, J.Smart, 2011; The Future of Scientific Simulations, C. Vidal,
2008
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