Evo Devo Universe?
A Speculative Framework for Thinking about
Unpredictable and Predictable Aspects of Universal Change
SFI Business Network
Santa Fe Institute  Santa Fe, NM
Sept 2009
John Smart, President,
Acceleration Studies Foundation
Slides: accelerating.org/slides.html
[email protected]
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We practice evolutionary developmental (“evo
devo”) foresight, a model of change that proposes
the universe contains both:
1. Convergent and predictable developmental constraints
(initial conditions, constancies) which direct certain
aspects of our long-range future and
2. Contingent and unpredictable evolutionary choices that
we use to create unique, informationally valuable, and
creative paths (many of which will fail) on the way to
these highly probable developmental destinations.
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Some developmental trends that may be intrinsic to
the future of complex systems on Earth include:
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Accelerating intelligence, interdependence and immunity
in our global sociotechnological systems
Increasing technological autonomy, and
Increasing intimacy of the human-machine and physicaldigital interface.
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Evo Devo Universe: For Scholars of Evolutionary
and Developmental Processes in the Universe
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Improving foresight
through better theories of
universal change.
EvoDevoUniverse.com is a global community of physicists,
chemists, biologists, informational, computer, cognitive
and social scientists, technologists, philosophers, and
complexity and systems theorists who are interested in better
characterizing the relationship and difference between
evolutionary (mostly unpredictable) and developmental
(significantly predictable) processes in the universe and its
subsystems.
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Goals and Motivations
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To better understand the universe and its processes.
 To ask if the following process concepts make sense:
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To understand the apparent balance between:
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universal progress/intelligence improvement
accelerating progress/intelligence improvement
universal evolution and development
evolutionary process (purpose, teleology)
developmental process (purpose, teleology)
accelerating experimentation/creativity/evolution
accelerating adaptation/intelligence/progress, and
accelerating sustainability/immunity/resiliency
(noting that we have yet to well articulate this last concept).
To learn how to live more balanced lives individually,
organizationally and culturally, and to have goals
consistent with the goals (teleology) of the universe we
are embedded within.
Goals and Motivations - II
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To understand the evolutionary and developmental levers
that are most rapidly and powerfully moving the world in a
progressive direction.
 To learn how to make better personal, organizational, and
social decisions to support positive change.
 To better understand evil, imbalance, and maladaptiveness
within a theory of universal evolution and development.
 To better understand and assess global and societal risks
and risk management (vigilance, adaptiveness, resiliency),
within the context of historical accelerating progress
(apparent intrinsic developmental immune systems).
 To know our developmental limits and constraints.
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Goals and Motivations - III
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 To
improve the precision and clarity of EDU
hypotheses
 To make specific predictions (how things must happen)
and retrodictions (how things must have happened),
that can be falsified or verified.
 To recruit scholars to join us at EvoDevoUniverse.com
 To get scholars to read and comment on my 25,000word precis on these topics, Evo Devo Universe?, at
books.accelerating.org.
 To tell incrementally better stories about the future (to
improve our collective social foresight).
Talk Outline
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1. Evo Devo Universe Hypothesis
To what extent is our universe and its subsystems like an
evolutionary developmental, complex adaptive system?
2. Toward a Science of Universal Development
What mechanisms constrain universal development?
What is accelerating change, from a developmental frame?
What are development’s morphological dynamics?
3. Black Hole Destiny Hypothesis
Where does universal intelligence go as it develops?
4. 21st Century Developmental Futures
How are we constrained to develop, on average?
● If just one of these independently considerable topics has merit,
this talk is worth your attention.
● I look forward to further critique of each of these by the global
scientific community.
2020-2050 Developmental Scenarios
The Valuecosm Society / The Symbiotic Age
The IA-AI Convergence of ‘Metahumanity,’
a Human-Machine Superorganism
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Biologist William Wheeler, 1937: Termites, bees, ants, and other social
animals are parts of “superorganisms.”
Increasingly, they can’t be understood apart from the structures their
genetics compel them to construct.
Their developmental endpoint: an integrated cell/organism/supercolony.
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Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism, 1994
De Chardin on Technological Acceleration:
“Cephalization” / “Planetization” of Earth
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"No one can deny that
a network (a world network) of
economic and psychic
affiliations is being woven at
ever increasing speed
which envelops and
constantly penetrates more
deeply within each of us. With
every day that passes it
becomes a little more
impossible for us to act or
think otherwise than
collectively."
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“Finite Sphericity + Acceleration =
Phase Transition”
Understanding Process Automation
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Perhaps 80% of today's First World
paycheck is paid for by automation
(“tech we tend, not the arms we bend”).
Robert Solow, 1987 Nobel in Economics
(Solow Productivity Paradox,
Theory of Economic Growth)
“7/8 comes from technical progress.”
Human contribution (20%?) to a First
World job is Social Value of Employment
+ Creativity + Education
Developing countries are next in line
(sooner or later).
Continual education and grants
(“taxing the machines”) are the final job
descriptions for all human beings.
Termite Mound
Biologically-Inspired Technology and
Evo Devo Computing: The Next Frontier
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Today we have weakly biologically-inspired computing
technologies (neural nets, genetic algorithms,
developmental genetic programming, belief networks,
support vector machines, evolvable hardware, etc.)
When such systems become:
 Strongly biologically-inspired
 Extensively self-improving (semi-autonomous)
 Leading strategies for creating complex systems
Only then may the “technological singularity” be near.
For more,
attend:
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How do you get stability/safety in an evolutionary
system? Select for symbiosis.
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Look at how we do it in
domesticated animals (10,000
years, 5,000 breeding cycles).
How many breeds of dogs and
cats can you trust with small
children?
Military will always have the
warbots (narrowly trustable)
Most breeds of robotic systems will
be generally trustable, all will be
trustable for their missions, or we
won’t build them using evolutionary
processes.
Boston Dynamics BigDog
Humbot 1.0: The Sputnik (Robotic High
Ground) of our Global Network Society?
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Sputnik (1957)
Humbot 0.1 (2005)
Humbot 1.0 (2030)
U.S.-Surpassing
Space/Defense Tech
U.S. Soldier-Enhancing
Security/Warfighting Tech
Global Soldier-Surpassing
Security/Policing Tech
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Q: Will a U.S.-led consortium supply the world with Humbot 1.0?
Or will a Chinese, Japanese, or Korean-led consortium beat us to it?
This is an important strategic uncertainty at present. The choice is ours.
IA (Intelligence Amplification) and the
Conversational Interface (CI): Circa 2015-2025
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Codebreaking follows
a logistic curve.
Collective NLP may
as well.
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Smart,
Date
1998
2005
2012
2019
Avg. Query
1.3 words
2.6 words
5.2 words
10.4 words
Platform
Altavista
Google
GoogleHelp
GoogleBrain
Average spoken
human-to-human
query length is
8-11 words.
(2003) The Conversational Interface: Our Next Great Leap Forward. © 2009 Accelerating.org
Post 2020: The Symbiotic Age
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A Coevolution between Saturating Humans
and Accelerating Technology:
A
time when computers “speak our language.”
 A time when our technologies are very
responsive to our needs and desires.
 A time when humans and machines are
intimately connected, and always improving
each other.
 A time when we will begin to feel “naked”
without our computer “clothes.”
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Wearable Web: 24/7 Augmented Reality
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Necklace phone
(Nokia 2004)
‘Bracelet phone’ concept
(Vodafone 2006)
‘Carpal PC’ concept
(Metaverse Roadmap 2006)
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Wearcam.org’s
New York
Palo Alto‘sousveillance’
first-gen
cams (2001)
iPhone (Apple 2007)
Flip Ultra (2007, $130)
Top-selling camcorder.
Why Will We Want to Talk to an Avatar/Agent
Interface (“CyberTwin”) in 2020?
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Nonverbal and verbal language in
parallel is a much more efficient
communication modality.
Birdwhistell says 2/3 (but perhaps
only 1/3) of info in face-to-face
human conversation is nonverbal.
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“Working with Phil” in Apple’s
Knowledge Navigator Ad, 1987
Ananova, 2002
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Personality Capture: A Long-Term
Development of Intelligence Amplification
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Conversational interfaces lead to personality models.
In the long run, we become seamless with our machines.
No other credible long-term futures have been proposed.
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“Technology is becoming organic. Nature is becoming
technologic.” (Brian Arthur, SFI)
© 2009 Accelerating.org
Your “Digital You” (CyberTwin)
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“I would never upload my consciousness
into a machine.”
“I enjoy leaving behind stories about my life
for my children.”
Prediction: When your mother dies in 2050,
your digital mom will be “50% her.”
When your best friend dies in 2080, your
digital best friend will be “80% him.”
Successive approximation, seamless
integration, subtle transition.
When you can shift your own conscious
perspective between your electronic and
biological components, the encapsulation
and transcendence of the biological should
feel like only growth, not death.
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We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Greg Panos (and Mother)
PersonaFoundation.org
© 2009 Accelerating.org
Valuecosm 2040:
Our Plural-Positive Political Future
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Microcosm (Gilder), 1960’s
Telecosm (Gilder), 1990’s
Datacosm (Sterling), 2010’s
Valuecosm (Smart), 2030’s
- Recording and Publishing CT Preferences
- Avatars that Act and Transact Better for Us
- Mapping Positive-Sum Social Interactions
- Much Potential For Early Abuse (Advice)
- Next Level of Digital Democracy (Holding
Powerful Plutocratic Actors Accountable)
- Early Examples: Social Network Media
© 2009 Accelerating.org
Advent of the CyberTwin, Circa 2020:
The Biggest Single Change We May See In our Lifetimes!
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Consider the implications for:
 Subculture Diversity and Representation
 Global Comm and Collab (no lang barrier)
 Digital Divide (disappears)
 Accountablity of Powerful Actors
 Data Security and Privacy
 Crime and Fraud
 Public Relations Manipulation
 Reputation Systems and Transparency
 Socio-Economic-Political Democracy
 Parenting (How early can kids have CT’s?)
 Personal Empowerment (20% of us?)
 Entertainment and Dependency (80% of us?)
1. Evo Devo Universe Hypothesis
- As in evo-devo biology, must all complex systems engage in
both evolutionary variation and developmental hierarchy
production and replication to garner adaptive complexity?
- What are the (evolutionary) possibilities and (developmental)
constraints of replicating intrauniversal complex adaptive
systems, and can we expect similar possibilities and
predictable constraints on the universe as a complex system?
From Darwin to Post-Darwinian Models:
Evolution to Evolutionary Development
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Darwin
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The Darwinian model of evolution encompasses three fundamental
processes: variation, selection, and heritability.
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The post-Darwinian model of evolutionary development (evo-devo
biology) requires us to consider variational (“evolutionary”) and
heritable (“developmental”) processes as most fundamental to complex
systems. Selection (“computation”) is a composite process occuring
only in complex systems that have variation and replication (inheritance).
We can summarize this as an “evo compu devo” process model.
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While the term “evolution” can generically describe biological change,
this is a bit misleading, as both evolution and development are equally
fundamental to complexity. To understand macrotemporal, macroscale
selection (generalized “computation”) we must consider both processes.
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“Evo-devo” biology (Conway Morris, et. al.) asks such questions as:
 How does developmental process constrain evolutionary process?
 How does evolutionary process improve developmental process?
 What is macrotemporal “evolutionary convergence” (homoplasy)?
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The Evo Devo Universe hypothesis proposes that, just like biological
organisms, our universe itself is engaged in both evolutionary (variation,
creativity) and developmental (hierarchy, replication, lifecycle) process.
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Conway Morris
Evo Compu Devo (ECD) Process: Cartoon Model I
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The Evo Compu Devo process model proposes all complex systems engage
in three processes: two (variation and heritability) being fundamental, the
third (computation, selection) being an emergent blend of the first two.
EDU Hypothesis: Evolutionary and developmental processes are fundamental
and complementary modes of information processing in all complex adaptive
systems, including the universe as a system.
In other words, our universe is not only ‘evolving’ (varying, experimenting), it is
developing too. This development is guided by its special initial developmental
parameters, and the informational constancies of its environment (the multiverse).
‘Evolution’ (Evolutionary Variation):
A Tentative Definition
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Evolutionary (variational, ‘emergent’) processes in biology, and
in physical, chemical, cultural, technological, and universal
systems, are stochastic (random within constraints), creative,
divergent, contingent, nonlinear, and unpredictable.
This intrinsic unpredictability may be our most useful
quantitative definition and discriminator of evolutionary
processes at all systems levels.
Evolution (in this and the classic definition) doesn’t know the
future. Almost all evolutionary initiatives fail. Evolution’s
computational function is ‘tinkering’, or experimentation under high
uncertainty (Jacobs).
Note: Evolutionary variation is NOT natural selection. Its
fundamental dynamic is change and variation (within
constraints). It is a creativity generator, and thus a precursor to
natural selection.
Example: Genetic drift in neutral theory (Kimura 1983; Leigh 2007).
© 2007 Accelerating.org
Evolution(ary variation) is Random, Chaotic, Contingent:
Examples: Tree of Life, Vestigial Structures
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There’s no inherent directionality to
(almost all) evolutionary emergence,
other than increased variety over time.
On average, a species adapting to a
niche may almost as easily become less
complex as more complex (ex: remoras,
blind cave fish).
Vestigial structures abound: true human
tails, supernumerary nipples, whale
and dolphin atavistic legs, etc.
Development: A Tentative Definition
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Development has heritability, life cycle, and a constrained
hierarchy (not stochastic ‘emergence’): birth, growth, maturation,
reproduction, senescence, death (recycling). Development is
essentially conservative, not creative.
Developmental processes in biology, and we assume also in
physical, chemical, cultural, technological, and universal systems,
are directional, hierarchical, constraining, convergent, integrative,
self-assembling/self-organizing, and statistically predictable if
you have the right empirical or theoretical aids.
This systemic predictability may be our most useful quantitative
definition and discriminator of developmental processes at all
systems levels.
Note: Development is NOT natural selection. It is a convergent
unifier, and thus a specialized outcome of natural selection.
Examples: Biological development, differentiation, evolutionary
homoplasy, niche construction, self-similarity, self-organization…
© 2007 Accelerating.org
Evo Devo Universe hypothesis
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Evo-devo biology seeks to resolve the differences between
evolutionary and developmental processes spanning the scales
of cells, organisms and ecologies (Carroll 2005, many others).
Recalling Teilhard’s (1955) evocative phrase, ‘cosmic
embryogenesis,’ if the Big Bang acts like a seed, and the
expanding universe like an embryo, it must use both stochastic,
contingent, and local/micro ‘variational’ processes—what we are
calling evolutionary process—in its elaboration of form and
function, just as we see at the molecular scale in any embryo.
Embryos also transition through a set of statistically predictable,
convergent, and global/macro differentiation milestones, then
reproduction, senescence, and the unavoidable termination of
somatic (body) life—what we are calling development.
If the evo devo analogy has homology, there must be
unpredictable creativity and predictable developmental
milestones, reproduction, and ending to our universe.
© 2007 Accelerating.org
Evo Devo Universe? – An Article
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We can begin to model our universe as an information processing,
evolutionary and developmental systemas an evo compu devo
universe (abbrev. evo devo universe hereafter). Our framework will
try to reconcile the majority of unpredictable, ‘evolutionary’ features
of universal emergence with a subset of potentially statistically
predictable and developmental universal trends, including:
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Acceleration in universal complexity (e.g. Aunger 2007), a pattern seen
over the last half—but not the first half—of the universe’s history
Increasing spatial and temporal locality of universal complexity
development
Hierarchies of increasingly matter and energy efficient and matter and
energy dense ‘substrates’ (platforms) for adaptation and computation
The apparent accelerating emergence, on Earth, of increasingly
postbiological (technological) systems of physical transformation and
computation.
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Smart,
New York John M. 2008. Evo Devo Universe? A Framework for Speculations
In:
Cosmos and Culture, Steven J. Dick (ed.), NASA Press, 2009 (est.).
Palo Alto
on Cosmic Culture.
An EDU Analogy: Genetically Identical Twins
and Parametrically Identical Universes
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• In genetically identical twins, organogenesis, fingerprints, brain wiring,
learned ideas, behaviors, all the local, microscopic processes are
unpredictably (evolutionarily) unique in each twin (Jain 2002). Yet many
global, macroscopic processes are predictably the same.
• Would parametrically identical universes also be evolutionarily unique
yet developmentally the same? Are our universe’s (proposed) many
intelligent civilizations also evolutionarily unique yet developmentally
identical? Key questions for cosmology, astrobiology, simulation science.
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The Hypothesis: (Predictable and conservative) development is always
different from but works with (unpredictable and creative) evolutionary
processes. Both seem fundamental to universal complexity. © 2009 Accelerating.org
Development is Statistically Deterministic,
Self-Ordering, and “Robust” to Contingencies
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Two monozygotic twins look, and
function, in many probabilistic
respects, identically. How is that?
They’ve been tuned, cyclically,
for a future-specific convergent
emergent order, in a stable
development niche.
Just a few hundred
developmental genes are “cat
herders” (dampers, coordinators)
of massive molecular
evolutionary chaos.
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Origination of Organismal Form, Müller and Newman, 2003
Development and Life Cycle:
Seed, Organism, Environment (SOE) Intelligence Partitioning
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 The
disposable soma theory of
aging (Kirkwood 1977,2005)
outlines the different choices in
energy and information flow that
occur in the ‘disposable’ soma
(organism, body) versus the
‘immortal’ germline (seed, sperm/
egg) in all biological systems.
 But biological intell. actually lives
in three places: seed, organism, &
environment (SOE partitioning).
 In
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an evo compu devo universe, intelligence is also energetically
and informationally partitioned between a soma (universe) that is
finite, reproductive and mortal, an ‘immortal’ (and much slowerchanging) germline (seed) of parameters that have very slowly selforganized through many reproductive cycles in the multiverse, and
the multiverse itself (environment).
© 2007 Accelerating.org
Evo Devo in Observation, Creation and Control:
The ‘95/5%’ Rule of Thumb
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The vast majority (we may roughly propose 95%) of the
information and computation to describe and model both
creation of a new complex adaptive system (CAS) or control in a
mature CAS involves bottom-up, local, evolutionary processes.
A minor yet critical contribution (again, let us roughly propose 5%)
comes from top-down, hierarchical, developmental processes.
Ex: No. of genes used (and highly conserved) in developmental
toolkit in any species (eg., Dictyostelium, 2-3%), vs. the much
larger number of ‘evolutionary’ genes much more frequently
modified and which affect phenotype variation, not development.
The 95/5% Rule may explain why discovery of universal
development been difficult not in physics and chemistry (e.g.,
mechanics, relativity, particle physics), and in developmental bio,
but in macrobiological change, in society, and technology.
In these latter substrates, which are not yet ergodic, the life-cycle
of the (‘5%’) nonrandom devel. signal is much longer and only
partly observable vs. the (‘95%’) near-random evolutionary signal.
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Theory of Facilitated Variation:
“How Development Facilitates Evolution”
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An evo-devo theory which seeks to explain how phenotypic
complexity arises from a very limited number of genes and variation
mechanisms, by dividing variation into two fundamental types:
1. Deconstrained Exploratory (i.e., ‘Evolutionary’) processes, primarily
affecting the regulation of Core processes.
2. Constrained Core (i.e., ‘Developmental’) processes
Exploratory processes
create many
Complexity
phenotypes from
(Adaptation)
very limited set
of genes
Organism
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Gerhart
Core processes are
robust to many
exploratory
alterations of
phenotype
Deconstrained
Constrained
Gene Recomb & Expression
Gene Recomb & Expression
‘Exploratory’ Processes
Unconserved, Unpredictable
‘Core’ Processes
Conserved, Predictable
J, Kirschner M. 2007. "The theory of facilitated variation". PNAS USA. 104(S1):8582–9.
Universal Evolution and Development:
Five Adaptive Hierarchical Substrates
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Universal change to date has proceeded through an evolutionary
developmental hierarchy of increasingly complex (more unique material
relations), intelligent (higher-order information processing) and adaptive
computational substrates. Five are proposed below.
Astrotechnology, the italicized substrate, is not yet autonomous.
The underlined systems within these substrates are not presently known
to be replicative, unless our universe replicates in the multiverse.
1. AstroPhysics
(Universe-as-CAS, constants and laws, space-time, energy-matter)
2. AstroChemistry
(galaxies, stars, planets, molecules in inorganic and organic chemistry)
3. AstroBiology
(cells, organisms, populations, species, ecologies)
4. AstroSociology
(culture, human disciplines of economics, law, sci., engineering, etc.)
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5. AstroTechnology
(engines, cities, biology-inspired computing, postbiological ‘life’)
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Evo Compu Devo (ECD) Process: Cartoon Model II
A Post-Darwinian Model: Evolutionary Development
“Natural Selection”
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Main Actor: Organism
Modularity, Responsiveness,
Plasticity, Intelligence
(Local Adaptation)
Requisite Variety
Mixed Attractors
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“Experimentation”
Main Actor: Seed
Variation, Emergence,
Chaos, Contingency,
Early Species Radiation
(Mostly Nonadapted)
Stochastic Search
Strange Attractors
Adaptation
Radiation
“Convergent Unification”
Main Actor: Environment
Heritability, Life Cycle, Replic.,
STEM Compression, Self-Org.,
Ergodicity/Comp. Closure,
‘Evolutionary’ Convergence,
Path-Dependence,
Dissipative Structures,
Positive Sumness/Synergy,
Niche Construction/Stigmergy
(Global Adaptation)
Environmental Optimization
Standard Attractors
Hierarchy
Evolutionary
Compu (EvoDevo)
‘Left Hand’ of Change
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New Computational Phase Space ‘Opening’
(Intersection)
Development
‘Right Hand’ of Change
Well-Explored Phase Space ‘Optimization’
© 2007 Accelerating.org
Evo Compu Devo (ECD) Triad: At Least Three Universal
Telos (Values/Goals/Drives/Ethics) in Complex Systems
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Three functional processes
(telos) can be observed in:
 Physical Systems
 Chemical Systems
 Biological Systems
 Societal Systems
 Technological Systems
 Our Universe as a System
Using the ECD model, we can look at complex adaptive systems as either:
1. Adaptive Systems (making their evo and devo processes implicit),
2. Evo Devo Systems (making their adaptive/comp. processes implicit), or
3. Evo, Compu and Devo Systems (keeping all three perspectives explicit).
Universal Evolution and Development:
Dichotomous Processes
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Key Conjectures
Evolution causes ongoing unpredictability and novelty.
Development causes cyclic predictability and stability.
Evolution drives most unique local patterns.
Development drives most predictable global patterns.
Evolution is intelligence/adaptation accumulation.
Development is intelligence/adaptation preservation.
Life, Intelligence, and the Universe use both
evo and devo processes to emerge and persist.
Individually, each process has conflicting and
contrasting aims (functions, purposes, telos).
Together, they are complementary, and a complementary
evo devo teleology must exist.
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The
more consciously we are aware of this, the better
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we can understand, value, and work with both.
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Biological Complexity Can Be Analyzed
From Three Fundamental Perspectives
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Mature evo-devo theory will need to explain:
1. evolutionary experiment/creativity/divergence,
2. developmental constraint/conservatism/convergence, and
3. accelerating organismic adaptation/plasticity/intelligence
Adaptation
(Organism)
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Evolution, Reductionism
Development, Wholism
Evo Compu Devo (ECD) Examples:
Experimentation + Selection + Convergent Unification
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‘Quantum Darwinism’ in the transition from quantum to classical
(relativity, thermo, classical mechanics) physics (Blume-Kohout
and Zurek 2005)
Transition from chaotic/unpredictable to linear/integrable
models/physical regimes
Invariant vs creative/unpredictable emergences in cellular
automata (Game of Life, Wolfram)
Stellar nucleosynthesis (Wallenberg)
Biogenesis (Smith and Morowitz 2006)
Multicellularity (Newman and Bhat 2008)
‘Neural Darwinism’ in brain development (Edelman 1989)
Cognitive selectionism (thinking) (Calvin 1985)
Evolutionary psychology (Wright 1998)
Cultural, ‘memetic’ selection (Dawkins, Aunger)
Technological ‘technetic’ selection (Kelly, Blackmore)
Evolutionary computation and artificial life (Koza, Sipper)
Cosmological natural selection (Smolin 1992)
© 2007 Accelerating.org
Evo Compu Devo (ECD) Triad: Three Common
Quantitative Relationships in Complex Systems
S curve
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Power law
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Normal curve
Three Generic Perspectives on Selection?
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Johnson, Norman. 2000. Importance of Diversity: Reconciling Natural
Selection and Noncompetitive Processes, Ann NY Acad Sci 901:54-66.
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1. Evo Selection (power law spreadouts, competition)
2. Devo Selection (log-normal centricity, cooperation)
3. EvoDevo Selection (punctuated equilibrium, alternating punctuation
and stabilization).
S curve
Power law
Punctuating and
Stabilizing Selection
Bell curve
(Organism)
Divergent Selection
(Competitive)
Evo / “Natural Selection”
Self-Organizing Selection
(Cooperative)
Devo / “Self-Organization”
Power law / Pareto / Long-tail curves
How networks of evolutionary variety fill a niche
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Scale Free Network
Computing – Internet, World Wide Web (‘preferential attachment’)
Biology – Metabolic, gene, and protein networks, allometric scaling
Markets – Stock market crashes, equity networks (stock prices)
Socioeconomics – Pareto’s law (income distribution, contacts, etc.),
learning/experience curves (cost per cumulative units produced)
Engineering – Constructal law (trees, rivers, lungs, circulation)
Catastrophe – Size/frequency of earthquakes, fires, epidemics
Physics – Phase transitions (heat capacity, correlation length),
emergence of order in an expanding universe (Layzer,
Chaisson), inverse square laws (gravitation, EM & acoustic
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intensity), black body radiation, snowflake growth…
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Complexity
– SOC, self-similarity, fractals, and scaling laws
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Good Biz Text
Great Pop Sci Text
Normal and Log-Normal / Gaussian / Bell curves
How developmental processes produce future order
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“Results from a
large number of
small effects that act
additively (normal)
or multiplicatively
(log-normal curve)
and independently.”
Normal curve (special case):
Biology – collective physiological variables (blood pressure, milk
prod., etc.), heritable & learned capacities (intelligence/g, etc.)
Engineering – deviations from target values
Modeling – measurement error (variation)
Log-normal curve (most common case):
Biology – mature sizes (length, height, skin area, weight), organ
sizes, gene expression rates, mRNA stability, species abund.
Socioeconomics – exchange rates, price indexes, ‘rationalizing’ of
global wealth (started with a power law), spoken sentence lengths
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Physics
– resources in Earth’s crust, rainfall, air pollution, aerosol
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particle size, wireless comm. attenuation
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Good IQ Text
Log-normal
Distributions
across the
Sciences,
Limpert etal.,
BioScience
51(5), 2001.
Great Article!
Global income distribution
is turning log-normal
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Global income distribution is
normalizing, as a developmental
trend (Gapminder.org).
1970: Isolated economies
2000: Connected, flattening
© 2007 Accelerating.org
S curves and B curves / Life cycle curves
How complex systems (coll. & indiv.) perform over time
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♦ Biology - how populations grow in finite niches or under competition
♦ Epidemiology - the spreading and saturation of epidemics, AIDS, etc.
♦ Psychology – cumulative learning/performance in a new domain
♦ Technology - how new technologies diffuse and substitute
♦ Energy - diffusion and substitution of primary energy sources
♦ Industry - learning/experience curves in production
♦ Market - new product share growth
♦ Security - crime rates in developing cities, planetary conflict rates
♦ Demographics - human population growth on a finite planet
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♦ Transportation
– performance and capacity of each platform
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Good Intro Text
Nice Grad Text
Evo Devo Theory in Politics:
Innovation vs. Sustainability (Both are Fundamental!)
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Evo devo theory argues for process balance in political
dialogs on Innovation and Sustainability
Developmental sustainability without continuous
change/creativity creates sterility, clonality,
overdetermination, and adaptive weakness (Maoism).
Evolutionary creativity (innovation) without sustainability
creates chaos, entropy, and volatility that is not naturally
stable/recycling (Unregulated Capitalism).
© 2009 Accelerating.org
Evo Devo Theory in Politics:
Republican vs. Democrat (Both are Fundamental!)
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Evo devo theory suggests that both Republican and
Democratic platforms bridge the evo devo political center in
two complementary ways. That makes each integral,
fundamental dialogs (among other integral evo devo
mixes) likely to be long-term stable across cultures.
Republicans are
Devo/Maintenance/Tradition on Social-Political Issues
Evo/Innovation/Freedom on Economic Issues
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Democrats are
Evo/Innovation/Freedom on Social-Political Issues
Devo/Maintenance/Tradition on Economic Issues
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Competition and Collaboration Must Be Actively
Balanced in Adaptive Cultures, Orgs, and Individuals
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 Competition
breeds both innovation and inequality, which
democracy must “rationalize” (e.g., regulating rich-poor divides).
 Both positive-sum games (science, capitalism, morality) and
zero-sum games (most laws, taxes, budgets) are prevalent.
 Collaboration can create intelligence or mobs (balanced by rep.
democracy) and groupthink (balanced by individual liberty).
+
Adaptation
+
(Organism)
–
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–
Evolution, Competition
Development, Collaboration
Michael Conrad’s Computational ‘Tradeoff Principle’
Adaptability vs. Programmability vs. Efficiency
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A computing system cannot have all of the following properties:
1. High evolutionary variation capacity (adaptability) (Evo)
2. High formal/structural programmability (Devo).
3. High computational efficiency (adaptation) (EvoDevo)
The “DNA-Computer Disanalogy”:
DNA is strong in 1, very weak in 2 (programmability) and 3 (efficiency).
Digital computers are strong in 2, weak in 1 (variation capacity) and 3.
Generalized
Computational
Efficiency
(Adaptation)
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Conrad
M.
Evolutionary
Variation Capacity
Developmental
Programmability
1988. The Price of Programmability. In: Herken, R. (Ed.), The Universal Turing Machine:
2. Toward a Science of Universal Development
- Why are the leading edge of complex dynamics increasingly
dense and efficient with respect to Space, Time, Energy, and
Matter (STEM) resources over universal time, and where is this
(developmental?) trend headed, in the physical limit?
- What is the function of universal accelerating change
(complexity emergence) from a developmental perspective?
- What mechanisms constrain universal development?
- What are development’s large-scale morphological dynamics?
- What causes the (macroscopic, statistical) smoothness in
Earth’s complexity acceleration, and are hidden developmental
systems (resiliency, immunity) protecting it’s smoothness?
STEM Compression and
Free Energy Rate Density Increase
A Driver of Accelerating Complexity Emergence
From the Big Bang to Complex Stars:
The Decelerating Phase of Universal Development
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From Biogenesis to Intelligent Technology:
The Accelerating Phase of Universal Development
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Carl Sagan’s
“Cosmic
Calendar”
(Dragons of
Eden, 1977)
Each month
is roughly 1
billion years.
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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
Emergence Acceleration:
Independent Assessments (Preliminary Data)
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Ray Kurzweil, 2006
We Live in a STEM+IC Universe
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Space, Time, Energy, Matter  Info and Comp.
Increasingly Understood
 Poorly Known
STEM Efficiency/Density/Compression is the ever
decreasing STEM resources required for any
standard physical process or computation.
This seems to be the “engine” of accelerating change.
“STEM Efficiency is Doing More, Better, with Less.”
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Free Energy (Phi, Φ) of Dissipative Structures
Traces out a Universal Hyperbolic Curve
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Free Energy Rate Density (Φ)
Substrate
(ergs/sec/gm)
Galaxies
Stars
Planets (Early)
Ecosystems
Animals (hum. body)
Brains (human)
Culture (human)
Modern Engines
Intel 8080 of the 1970's
Pentium II of the 1990's
Global AI of the 21st C
0.5
2
75
900
20,000 (10^4)
150,000 (10^5)
500,000 (10^5)
10^5 to 10^8
10^10
(10^11)
10^12+
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Eric
Chaisson,
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Cosmic Evolution, 2001
Free energy rate density values in
hierarchically emergent CAS. © 2009 Accelerating.org
World Economic
Performance
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GDP Per Capita in
Western Europe,
1000 – 1999 A.D.
This curve looks
quite smooth on a
macroscopic scale.
Note the “knee of the
curve” occurs circa
1850, at the Industrial
Revolution.
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The J Curve
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First-Order Components
are Growth-Limited Hierarchical
Substrates (S and B Curves)
Second-Order
Hyperbolic Growth
Emergence Singularities
and a Limit Singularity
Examples:
Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar
Chaisson’s Phi (FERD)
Global Economic Performance
Sci & Tech Performance Metrics
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Sustained Positive Feedback Loops are Rare in Biology
EDU Thesis: Many (most?) are Tied to System Replication
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Positive Feedback/Accel-to-Emergence Examples:
 Adolescent growth spurt prior to puberty
 Courtship behavior leading to mate selection
 Competitions tied to nesting and reproduction
 Monthly ovulation, a positive feedback chemical
competition for the ‘fittest egg’ (Graafian follicle)
 Copulation leading to male and female orgasm
 Gamete competition leading to fertilization
Zygotic development is an energetic deceleration after
fertilization. (a “U”-shaped energetics curve).
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Reproduction and Birth are Energetically
Accelerative in Complex Living Systems
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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
Stellar reproduction (via
supernovas) has the same
energetics profile. What else
looks like this?
Key Question: In an evo
devo universe, does
complexity accelerate
because it is engaged in a
process of universal
reproduction?
© 2009 Accelerating.org
STEM Compression:
A Curious Process of Universal Development
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Our universe is apparently constructing special zones of local
intelligence (complexity, modeling capacity, meaningful information)
which are measurably and predictably more space, time, energy
and matter dense, or STEM dense (meaning increasingly localized
in space, accelerated in time, and dense in energy and matter
flows), and STEM efficient (in space, time, energy, and matter
resources used per standardized computation or physical
transformation) (Smart 1999,2000,2002b).
 Space Compression (Increasing Locality of CAS Hierarchy)
 Time Compression (accelerating change, Cosmic Calendar)
 Energy Compression (free energy rate density)
 Matter Compression (nanotech, cities, high density comp.)
© 2007 Accelerating.org
STEM Compression Creates a “Paradise of
Resources” for Leading Edge Computation
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Our machines are stunningly more STEM efficient
with each new generation.
Our main candidates for future computational
technology (nanomolecular and quantum computing,
reversible logic, etc.) require little or no energy.
We are all moving to increasingly energy efficient,
sustainable, and virtual cities.
Weight of GDP per capita goes down in all developed
Service Economies.
Global energy intensity (energy consumption per
capita or GDP) has been saturating or declining for
almost three decades in much of the developed world.
Why are Leading-Edge Developmental Niches
Increasingly Local in Both Space and Time?
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Biogenesis required a special iron-rich, rocky planet, and
billennia.
Multicellular organisms required a Cambrian Explosion,
and millennia.
Human culture required a Linguistic Explosion, and tens
of thousands of years.
Science and technology revolutions required a Social
Enlightenment, a fraction of the preserved biomass of
Earth’s extinct species, and hundreds of years.
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Intelligent computers will apparently be able to model
the birth and death of the universe with the refuse thrown
away annually by one American family. In tens of years?
Buckminster Fuller: STEM Compression as
Ephemeralization (Our ‘Weightless’ Economy)
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In Nine Chains to the Moon, 1938, poet and polymath
Buckminster Fuller coined "Ephemeralization,” positing
that in nature, "all progressions are from material to
abstract" and "eventually hit the electrical stage."
(e.g., sending virtual bits to do physical work)
Due to principles like superposition, entanglement,
negative waves, and tunneling, the world of the quantum
(single electrons, photons, etc.) appears even more
ephemeral than the world of collective electricity.
In Critical Path, 1981, Fuller called ephemeralization, "the invisible chemical,
metallurgical, and electronic production of ever-more-efficient and satisfyingly
effective performance with the investment of ever-less weight and volume of
materials per unit function formed or performed".
In Synergetics 2, 1983, he called it "the principle of doing ever more with
ever less weight, time and energy per each given level of functional
performance”
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This trend has also been called “virtualization,” “weightlessness,” and
Space, Time, Energy, Matter (STEM) compression, efficiency, or density.
“Unreasonable” Effectiveness and Efficiency of
Science and the Microcosm (Wigner and Mead)
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The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the
Natural Sciences, Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner, 1960
After Wigner and Freeman Dyson’s work in 1951, on simple
universalities and symmetries in mathematical physics.
F=ma
E=mc2
W=(1/2mv2)
F=-(Gm1m2)/r2
Commentary on the “Unreasonable Efficiency of Physics
in the Microcosm,” VSLI Pioneer Carver Mead, c. 1980.
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In 1968, Mead predicted we would create
much smaller (to 0.15 micron) multi-million
chip transistors that would run far faster and
more efficiently. He later generalized this
observation to a number of other devices.
Seeing STEM Efficiency and Compression
Everywhere in the World
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Barter > Coins > Paper Money > Checks > PayPal
Cities (>50% of world population circa 2005)
Working in Offices (or telecommuting with coming
videophone virtual offices)
Wal-Marts, Mega-Stores, 99 Cent Stores (Retail
Endgame: Wal-Mart #1 on Fortune 500 since 2001)
Flat-Pack Furniture (Ikea)
Big Box Retail (Home Depot, Staples)
Supply-Chain & Market Aggregators (Dell, Amazon,
eBay)
Local community/Third Space (Starbucks)
Disruptive STEM Compression in Nanospace:
Holey Optical Fibers for Microlasers
Lasers today can made cheaply only in some
areas of the EM spectrum, not including, for
example, UV laser light for cancer detection
and tissue analysis. It was discovered in 2004
that a hollow optical fiber filled with hydrogen
gas, a device known as a "photonic crystal,"
can convert microlasers to wavelengths
previously unavailable. May also enable
hundred terahertz photonic computing.
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Above: SEM image of a photonic crystal fiber. Note periodic
array of air holes. The central defect (missing hole in the middle)
acts as the fiber's core. The fiber is about 40 microns across.
This conversion system is a million times (106) more energy
efficient than all previous converters. These are the kinds of
jaw-dropping efficiency advances that drive the ICT revolution.
Such advances are due even more to human discovery (in
physical microspace) than to human creativity, which is why
they have accelerated throughout the 20th century, even as we
remain uncertain exactly why they continue to occur.
Inner Space: Using Quantum Computers for the
Simulation and Investigation of Quantum Processes
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 Quantum
Computing is a Vast, Uncharted
Investigation Space (‘Hilbert Space’).
 Today’s Early Quantum S&T Programs:
–
–
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Crypto, Factoring, Search Algorithms
Jon P. Dowling
Secret Communications (Quantum Internet)
Imaging and Sensing (‘No Emission’ Imaging) QST @ LSU
 No
Exponential Advantage of Quantum vs Classical
Computers for NP-Hard Problems (Scott Aaronson)
 So What is their Future “Killer Application”?
–
–
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–
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Modeling Quantum Processes (“Turning atoms into bits”)
Continue riding our Learning Curves in Materials Science
Positive feedback for nano, opto, quantum computing.
A 24 qubit quantum computer can instantly model ground
state of a Thorium atom. Far too difficult to do classically.
“Long run: “Programmable Matter?” (Wil McCarthy)
STEM Compression
Inner Space, Not Outer Space, may be our ‘Final Frontier’
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Mirror Worlds, David Gelernter, 1998: Real structures in “outer space” (the
physical world) are being modeled rapidly better and faster in inner, virtual
space (the digital world). By comparison to inner space, outer space is:
• Computationally very simple and tractable (transparent)
• A vastly slower substrate for evolutionary development
• Rapidly encapsulated by our simulation science
• Possibly a “rear view mirror” on the developmental trajectory of
emergence of universal intelligence
versus
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Non-Autonomous ISS
Autonomous Human Brain
Portal Pathways and
Evolutionary Convergence
Constraints on Universal Development
How Many Eyes Are
Developmentally Optimal?
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Evolution tried this experiment.
Development calculated an operational optimum.
Some reptiles (e.g. Xantusia vigilis, and certain skinks)
still have a parietal (“pineal”) vestigial third eye.
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How Many Wheels on an Automobile are
Developmentally Optimal?
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Examples: Wheel on Earth. Social computation device.
Diffusion proportional to population density and diversity.
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‘Search Basins’ and ‘Portal Pathways’:
Developmental Portal Pathways Must Exist
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Key Research Questions:
 Are portals/bottlenecks that lead to increasing complexity plentiful or rare?
 Are such portals/bottlenecks sequence-dependent or randomly traversible?
 Are such portals convergent, divergent, or non-vergent (as depicted here)?
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Crutchfield,
J.P. 2001. When Evolution is Revolution: Origins of Innovation. In: Crutchfield, J.P. and Schuster, P.
New
York
(eds.),
Palo Alto Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Interplay of Selection, Neutrality, Accident and Function.
Marbles, Landscapes, and Portal Pathways
(Evolution, Adaptive Systems, and Development)
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The marbles roll around on the landscape (system), each
taking unpredictable (evolutionary) paths. But the paths
predictably converge (development) on low points
(“attractors”, portal pathways) at the bottom of each basin.
STEM compression is a key feature of the attractors.
Portal Pathway for Complex Chemical Evo Devo –
Carbon Chemistry
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Genesis of Chemical Elements
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Carbon is the only way forward to complex (living ) chemistry. Boron and
Silicon no longer considered viable enough to form autocatalytic cycles.
Note that four of six most common elements in life chemistry (CHNOPS),
and both of the great oxidizers, oxygen, and sulfur, are formed in small,
Population I stars like our Sun
Portal Pathway for Cells –
Lipids and RNA
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Lipids and RNA may be the only way from organic chemistry to cells!
RNA, lipids/cell membranes, and protein precursors (amino acids) all form
spontaneously in Earth’s chemistry (and precursors on meteorites).
Nucleobases (AGCT/U) form from cyanide, acetylene and water.
 Sugars form from alkali and formaldehyde
 Phosphates are released from schreibersite in meteorites (“solar
system assist”), and (a little) from (modern) volcanic vents.
 Sutherland et. al., mixing sugar and nucleobase precursors and
phosphate got 2-aminooxazole (partial sugar, partial nucleobase)
 Exposure to intense solar UV in shallow water (“solar system assist”)
destroys the incorrect forms of nucleobases, leaving behind C and U.
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RNA is presently the only known molecule that can both reproduce itself
and catalyze protein production (ribozymes)
RNA later learned to store itself more permanently as DNA (RNA World
Hypothesis), but DNA may not be the only more stable nucleic acid.
Alonzo Ricardo and Jack Szostak. Life on Earth, Scientific American, Sept 2009.
Matthew W. Powner, Beatrice Gerland & John D. Sutherland. Synthesis of activated pyrimidine ribonucleotides in
prebiotically plausible conditions, Nature V. 460 May 13, 2009.
Portal Pathway for Visible-Infrared Photosynthesis Water, Oxygen/Nitrogen Atmosphere
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Only visible-infrared light gets through our atmosphere and the first
few feet of our water with any efficiency.
Water-based photosynthesis (blue-green algae, Photosystem I) had
to evolve (develop) inside this narrow fitness region (portal path),
and is likely chained to this pathway everywhere else as well.
Independent Convergence on Photosynthesis Portal Pathway?
Our Sun’s Spectral Output is Optimized for Visible-Infrared
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Our Sun puts out almost all its radiant energy in the spectral band
absorbable by our atmosphere and water and useful to life, and virtually
none in those regions harmful to life
Are these spectral fits independent or coupled processes? For example,
could solar wind sort atmospheric gases like this?
Is this Weak Anthropic Principle (observer dependent sorting), Strong
Anthropic Principle (Universal Devel. Process), or some other process?
Random probability of such a fortuitous Sun-Earth fit seems quite low.
Portal Paths, Variation, and Adaptation in Biology:
A Few Tentative Historical Examples
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Carbon chemistry (for
all viable life)
Other organic molecular Specific supramolecular
species (B, Si are false structures of most cell
variation, not viable)
components
Replic. carbohydrates
(RNA world) and fats
(lipid membranes), then
proteins (modern cells)
Subtypes and specific
structural and
enzymatic uses, other
organic polymers
DNA (inert, replicating
sugar phosphate) as
stable info carrier
Energetics: H2S
chemo-synthesis (1st
life) later, visible light
(photosynth and vision)
Various visible light
frequencies (other
freq’s are false
variation)
Blue-Grn photosystms,
tri- and quad-chromatic
vision
Nucleated cells (for
complex life)
Location & number of
nucleations
Mito + Nuclear DNA
Bilateral symmetry, two
eyes, hands, etc. (for
tool manipulation)
L vs. R asymmetries
(other symm. choices
are false variation)
Left-sided heart, rightsided liver in humans
Portal Paths, Variation, and Adaptation in Society:
A Few Tentative Historical Examples
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Agricultural-Domestic
Society
Variety of plants/farming
animals/husbandry
Feudal, Small Farm,
Sharecropper, etc.
Industrial Society
Variety of machine
designs, energy sources
Manchester factories,
Ford’s assembly line
Regulated Capitalism
with Property Rights
Variety of private and
collective property
schemes
‘Freer-Market’, Regul.,
and Autocratic
Capitalism
Rep. Democracy, Soc.
Justice, Entitlements
Order of voting/rights/
entitlemnt acquisitions
(child, women, slaves)
Freer vs. Stricter Social
Democracies, National
Justice Codes
Information-Automation
Society
Order and variety of
automations, degree of
job protection, IP
protection, public
benefits (education, etc.)
Japanese automation &
xenophobia, US free
market, Scandinavian
mixed economy,
African leapfrogging
Portal Paths, Variation, and Adaptation in Technology:
A Few Tentative Historical Examples
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Round and flaked rocks Variations in size,
for group rock-throwing shape, composition
Particular Acheulean tool
kits (1.7m-200Kya)
The wheel: 1-wheeled
One to multi-wheeled
barrows, 2-wheel bikes, vehicles, active and
4-wheeled carts & cars passive balancing.
Each culture’s mix of one,
two, three, four, and more
wheeled vehicles
Bilateral road traffic
symmetry
L vs. R asymmetries
L-sided in one country,
right-sided in another
Gunpowder, cannons,
and guns
Many types and
combinations.
Fireworks in China, no
guns in Japan for 250 yrs
Combustion engines
(external and internal)
Type of organic burned Variety of usable engine
(wood, coal, oil, gas)
designs, fuel mixes.
Electricity
DC vs AC, voltage diffs Competing standards,
each locally useful
Computers and human- Variety of engineering
surpassing robots
solutions & strategies
Diff. blends of employment
vs. automation.
Evo vs. Devo: Fanout, Adaptation, Portal Pathways
Understanding Variation, Selection, and Convergence/Conservation
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If the tape of life were played twice on two Earth-like environments
(astrobiology) or in two Universes with same init. conditions (evo devo U):
1. Devo portal paths (grey pinchers) would be predictably the same/similar.
2. Evo fanouts to generate selectable diversity, and most (95%?) selections/
adaptations on the way to devo portals would be unpredictably different.
Evo Fanout
Devo Portal Pathway
EvoDevo
Adaptation
(Competition,
Cooperation)
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Information is “a difference that makes a difference.”
Evolution generates/accumulates info (perhaps 95% of it?)
Development conserves/sustains info (perhaps 5% of it?)
EvoDevo selects, adapts info (turns info  knowledge, wisdom, etc.),
sometimes punctuating/innovating, sometimes stabilizing/optimizing.
Development as Evolutionary Convergence
(Homoplasy) - I
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Some
homoplasies greatly advance individual and cultural
information processing and adaptation in a broad range of
environments, for the first species that acquire them.
Simon Conway Morris (Life’s Solution, 2004): eyes, jointed
limbs, body plans, emotions, imagination, language,
opposable thumbs, tool use, math, science, etc.
The streamlined shape of fish fins is always first created as an
evolutionary morphological experiment, but must persist in the
genes of all organisms seeking to move rapidly through water on all
Earth-like planets, as a universal developmental constraint
imposed by the global physics of our universe.
In an evo devo universe, such advances are ‘evolutionary
ratchets’ (function randomly acquired but statistically irreversible
once acquired, across a broad range of environments), a type of
developmental optima (for a given level of environmental
complexity) in all universes of our type.
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Development as Evolutionary Convergence
(Homoplasy) - II
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Many homoplasies look like developmental attractors
in an adaptive informational physical universe:
 Organic (carbon) chem (vs. silicon, boron, etc.)
 Autocatalytic sets (Eigen, Varela, Kauffman)
 Protein, sugar, fat precursors (amino acids,
purines and pyrimidines, pre-lipids)
 RNA as enzyme and code (Woese)
 Dynamical patterning modules (Newman & Bhat 2008)
 Eyes, body plans, limbs, joints, wings, etc. (Morris)
 Bilateral symmetry, binocular vision, tetrapod form
 Bipedalism, opposable thumbs, anthropoid form
 Gestural, oral, written mimicry (languages)
 Tool use (rock, spear, lever, rope, wheel, pulley)
 Internal combustion engine, telegraph, internet
 Math, science, democracy, computers, etc.
© 2007 Accelerating.org
Evolutionary Convergence as a ‘Directional’
Signal (of Universal Development)
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The eye has arisen genetically at least five different
times, in lineages as diverse as snails and jellyfish.
The ‘camera-eye’ emerged independently in
cephalopods (octopus) and vertebrates (whale, us).
Cephalopod eyes are better built!
Intelligence (cognitive maps, memory, mind, selfawareness, emotion) all convergent. Cetacean, ape,
and crow intelligence are all strikingly similar.
Different molecular genetic pathways are now known
for some convergences (e.g., antifreeze in Northern
vs. Southern hemisphere coldwater fish)
Evolutionary convergence experiments now underway
Ex: Richard Lenski, e. coli, 40,000 generations, est.
tens to hundreds of substitutions in parallel
populations. Adaptive substitutions are seen in the
same few genes.
“Convergent Evolution” (Universal Development):
Troodon and the Dinosauroid Hypothesis
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Dale Russell, 1982: Anthropoid
forms as a global developmental
attractor.
A number of small dinosaurs
(raptors and oviraptors) developed
bipedalism, binocular vision,
complex hands with opposable
thumbs, and brain-to-body ratios
equivalent to modern birds. They
were intelligent pack-hunters of
both large and small animals
(including our mammalian
precursors) both diurnally and
nocturnally. They would likely
have become the dominant
planetary species due to their
superior intelligence, hunting, and
manipulation skills without the K-T
event 65 million years ago.
Inglehart’s Developmental Values Map: Do All Cultures
Migrate to the Upper Right, On Diff. Evolutionary Paths?
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Examples:
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Secularism (human-derived
values)
Ecumenicalism (seeing
wisdom in all faiths)
Rationality (logic+empiricism)
Self Expression
Subjective Well Being
Quality of Life
Sustainability
World Awareness
Future Orientation
Political Moderation
Interpersonal Trust
Casualness
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worldvaluessurvey.org
It seems that everyone ends up like Sweden, more or less.
Evolutionary Convergence to the Superorganism?
The stunningly niche-dominant social insects
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Why are only 2% of the 900,000 insect
species social insects?
Why does this 2% weigh more than
the mass of all other insects combined
(and is even 80% of all animal biomass
in the Amazon rainforest)?
Escalation of power/mass/intelligence
in competition (Evolution and
Escalation, Vermeij)
They use both social and individual
levels of computation (Lucifer Principle,
Bloom).
Competitive exclusion once the
social computation niche is occupied.
Do social insects cause most insect
extinctions (invasion theory)
Are humans now doing the same thing,
but on a vastly smaller scale the social
insects before us?
Terminal Differentiation and Ergodicity
A Morphology of Universal Development
Saturation in Macroscale S Curves:
a.k.a. Terminal Differentiation of the ‘Tree’ of Development
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Genesis of Chemical Elements
Note that four of six most
common elements in life (and
both of the great oxidizers,
oxygen, and sulfur) are formed in
small, Pop I stars like our Sun
Metazoan Cell Types
(‘Tree’ of Embryonic Development)
Family Origination Rates On Earth
Evolution and Escalation, Vermiej, 1987
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Saturation
occurs in the development of complex adaptive systems at every level
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of
hierarchy, from cosmic elements to cell types to family types.
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Metazoan Toolkit: Pre-Cambrian Accelerating Emergence
of Conserved Phenotypic-Genetic Structure and Process
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Gerhart
J, Kirschner M. 2007. "The theory of facilitated variation". PNAS USA. 104(S1):8582–9.
Facilitated Variation Thesis: Terminal Differentiation
in Metazoan Toolkit Since the Cambrian
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Functional innovation at the gene product level (protein and functional
RNA evolution) has nearly stopped since the Cambrian (570 mya)!

Almost all phenotypic
innovation in the
Cambrian Explosion
and since has been in
gene regulatory
networks (regulation,
phase three) since.
“New regulation
specifies new
combinations,
amounts, and
functional states of
those (core)
components to act at
particular times and
places in the animal.”
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J, Kirschner M. 2007. "The theory of facilitated variation". PNAS USA. 104(S1):8582–9.
Ergodicity (State Space ‘Closure’):
Terminal Differentiation in a Mathematical Context
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Astronomical discoveries and discovery rate,
projected to 2200 (Martin Harwit, Cosmic
Discovery, 1981).
3. Developmental Singularity
(Black Hole Destiny, Transcension) Hypothesis
- Where does universal intelligence go as it develops?
- In an evo devo universe, are successful universal intelligences
developmental replicators, constrained to a black hole destiny?
- As with biology, can such intelligences (slightly) alter their
developmental parameters and (more broadly) alter their
multiversal environment during each replication cycle?
Fine-Tuning Problem (Philosophy, not yet Science!)
Is our universe “self-tuned” for life, complexity emergence?
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Some (yet not all) ‘fundamental parameters’ of our universe seem
very finely and unreasonably “tuned” for the emergence of life and
complexity in a universal environment, as devel. genes are “tuned”
for the emergence of complex organism in a biological environment:
Gravitational coupling constant
 Electromagnetic coupling constant
 Fine structure constant
 Strong nuclear force
 Weak nuclear force
 Proton/electron mass ratio
 Mass and energy of the universe
 Expansion rate of the universe
 Uniformity and entropy level of the universe
 Speed of light
 Nuclear energy levels of Be, C, and O.
 Another dozen or so “special” constants…
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There are now twenty six or so ‘empirical’ parameters in the
standard model of particle physics, and cosmology. More to come?
What are black holes?
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Lee Smolin’s Answer: Developmental Systems
Engaged in ‘Cosmological Natural Selection’
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At least 8 of the 20+ standard model
parameters appear fine tuned for:
– black hole production
– multi-billion year old Universes
(capable of creating Life)
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Lee Smolin, The Life of the Cosmos, 1996
Cosmological Natural Selection (CNS)
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Perhaps the first viable astrophysical evo devo universe model to
date. Quentin Smith (1990,2000) Lee Smolin
(1992,1994,1997,2006).
Seeks to explain the ‘fine tuning’ or ‘improbable universe’
problem (Leslie 1989, Rees 1999, Barrow 2002,2007).
19+15, or 20, or 6, or ?? fundamental parameters, an ‘economical
but ungainly’ set, like developmental genes. We may eliminate
some, yet add more as particle physics advances.
In Smolin’s simulations (1992,1994,1997), eight of
approximately twenty parameters appear fine tuned both
for long-lived universes capable of generating complex
life and for the production of hundreds of trillions of
black holes (‘fecundity’ of production)
 CNS proposes the special values of our universal
parameters are the result of an evolutionary selection
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involving universe reproduction via black holes,
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thus universe adaptation in the multiverse).
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CNS is Testable By Simulation
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‘Baby universes’ exploring
universal phenospace on a
phylogenetic tree, with a low
branching rate and frequent
terminal branching in this cartoon
(Adapted from Linde 1994).
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Systematics diagram. Living organisms exploring a
phylogenetic tree in evo-devo biology
Just as we see developmental (conserved, critical, internally
selected) and evolutionary (varied, externally selected) genes in
biological phenospace, we must find both developmental (fine
tuned) and evolutionary (variable) fundamental parameters in our
own universe’s particular set of initial conditions.
Per Smolin (1996) and Vaas (1998) this prediction is already (and
increasingly) testable by simulation.
Black Hole Strangeness: They are Optimal
Computational and (One-Way) Time Travel Devices
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Black hole time dilation. Clocks near a black hole appear to slow
down to an external observer, and stop altogether at the event
horizon. Inside a black hole, external clocks move arbitrarily fast.
Black holes are the most efficient computational systems
known. tflip = tcomm on the event horizon (Lloyd 2000).
Seth Lloyd, Ultimate physical limits to computation, Nature, 2000.
Our Self-Fractionating Universe:
A Passive Black Hole Merger Scenario
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1. At the onset of acceleration, we
see the largest number of galaxies
we ever will.
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2. The visible region grows, but
the overall universe grows even
faster, so we see a smaller
fraction of what exists
3. Distant galaxies (not bound to us by
gravity) move out of our range of view.
Gravity pulls nearby galaxies together.
About six billion yrs ago, our universe’s expansion rate began to accelerate.
Our local universe is now self-fractionating into local ‘islands’ (supergalaxies).
Our supergalaxy will include only the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies
(Nagamine and Loeb 2003)
Each of these supergalaxies must apparently engage in evolutionarily unique
mergers (natural selection) among all their developed intelligent civilizations.
From the black hole intelligence’s time perspective, such mergers will occur
virtually instantaneously, in no subjective time. This is because black holes,
and only black holes, are a ‘one-way time travel device.’
Note the apparent advantages of this structure for evolutionary variation, natural
selection, and development, from the perspective of the accelerating intelligence.
The Fermi Paradox
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So where are the ET’s?
Andromeda Galaxy is
only 2 mill light yrs away
A Dev. Sing. Prediction:
SETI Fossils by 2080
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Our Milky Way Galaxy is just
45,000 light years in radius.
Earth-like planets 2-5 Billion years
older than us closer to the core.
“Answering the Fermi Paradox,” John Smart, 2003
Is “Hyperspace” the Future of
Universal Intelligence?
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Do STEM compression, Intelligence, Interdependence, and
Immunity lead us to Inner Space, Not Outer Space?
If so, what’s on the other side of an Inner Space transition?
Are Quantum Theory, String Theory, M-Theory, and Multiverse Theory
consistent with a “Black Hole Analogous” Transcension /
Developmental ‘Destiny’ for Intelligence?
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Science has started to ask such questions, but we are still a long
way from knowing the answers…
Brief Conclusions
A Few Implications of the Framework
Our Universe Appears to Have Both
Evolutionary Possibility and Developmental Purpose
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The more we study the dual processes of evo devo, the better we
discover how a simple yet specially-tuned background, plus diverse
local creativity (foreground), allows the self-organization of complex
systems.
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Evolutionary variation is generally increasing and becomes more
STEM efficient with time and substrate.
Development, in the leading-edge, most complex systems, seems
on an accelerating local trajectory to an intelligent destination.
Humans are both evolutionary & developmental actors, creating
and catalyzing a new substrate transition.
We will need to create adequate evolutionary generativity,
(emergent uniqueness) and protect adequate developmental
sustainability (niche construction) on this extraordinary journey.
Three Primary Foresight Skills
Future Creation, Discovery, Mgmt
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Futures Studies is concerned with “three P’s”, or Possible,
Probable, and Preferable futures.
In other words, foresight professionals try to create, discover,
and manage (“CDM”) the future.
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Creation (“Possible”)
– personal, collective, and entrepreneurial tools and strategies
for imagining and creating experimental futures, innovation,
exploratory research and development, creative thinking,
social networking
Discovery (“Probable”)
– forecasting methods, metrics, statistical trends, history of
prediction, technology roadmapping, science and systems
theory, risk analysis, marketing research
Management (“Preferable”)
– environmental scanning, competitive intelligence, networking,
scenario development, risk mgmt (insurance), hedging,
enterprise robustness, planning, matter, energy, space, and
time management systems, positive-sum outcomes
© 2007 Accelerating.org
Evo Devo Foresight:
Implications of the EDU Framework for Humanity - I
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Our History, Present, and Future can be rewritten as:
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Evolutionary choices (Evo, 95%), developmental forces
(Devo, 5%) and the Learning/Simulation increase (Info,
100%) from their interaction
Evo, Info, and Devo Teleology. Innovation, learning,
and sustainability goals, drives, and values constrain
humans and our tech, and will constrain AIs to come.
Sustainable Innovation. Devo and evo polarized
countries, parties, and people exist. We need both.
95/5 Rule. Don’t overconstrain (too much devo), don’t
see change as unstructured (too much evo).
Seed, Org, Envir (SOE) Intelligence Partitioning.
–
–
Biological immortality is a major, mistaken fantasy
We need a new theory of identity/intelligence
Evo Devo Foresight:
Implications of the Framework for Humanity - II
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Hierarchy and Acceleration.
–
–
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STEM Compression will continue on Earth
–
–
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Human cities will only get more STEM efficient/dense
STEM dense tech (nanotech, networks, sims) will continue
to deliver unreasonable returns
Inner Space increasingly encompasses Outer Space
–
–
–
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We are in a purposeful, accelerative, emergent process.
Humans aren’t the end of the line. We will ‘pass the baton.’
Increasing importance of the human mind and heart
(education, beliefs, emotion, reason) in culture, politics,
economics
Increasing growth in the value and capacity of the virtual,
increasing virtual-physical and human-machine interface
Importance of ‘gardening’ our technological extensions
(they are the next inner space), and guiding their interaction
with the current inner space (human consciousness).
Evo Devo Foresight:
Implications of the Framework for Humanity - III
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 Outlines
of an Evo Devo Theory
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–
Two-way exchange is necessary for complexity construction.
Feedback is a critical requirement (’95%’ of info flow).
One-way exchange is useful only for control. (‘5%’ info flow,
very sparingly used, to avoid overconstraining the system).
 Evo
Devo Cosmological Natural Selection with
Intelligence (Evo Devo CNS-I)
–
“We are a small piece of the universe, produced by the
universe to improve (evo), understand (compu), and care for
(devo) the universe, our world, and ourselves.”
 Developmental
–
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–
Singularity Hypothesis
“Everyone else is doing this, and we will meet many of them
very soon, in astronomical time.”
Predictions: METI beacons will never be constructed. SETI
fossils will be found. ‘Our destiny is density.’
4. 21st Century Developmental Futures
- Can we model past, present, and future universal dynamics as a
hierarchical series of evolutionary search basins and
developmental portal pathways?
- Can we find reliable predictive signals (STEM compression,
evol. convergence, terminal differentiation) of future
developmental portal pathways for intelligent civilization?
- Can we understand evolution (variation, experiment) and
development (hierarchy and replication/ diffusion) enough to
know the limits of prediction in evolutionary process, and to
identify both imminent convergences and false hierarchies
(‘flying car’ futures) in developmental process?
Future Portal Paths in a STEEPS Taxonomy
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Science
Technology
Acceleration ‘Engines’
Environment
Economics
Politics
Society
Acceleration ‘Steerers’
21st Century Developmental Futures: Science
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Physical Sciences
Social Sciences
- Evo Devo Physics (Qantm vs Rel.)
- STEM Compression/FERD, Inner
Space as Developmental Physics
- Intelligent Black Holes & Multiverse
- Evo Devo Memetics
- Developmental models of morality
- Predictive use of power law, S, Lognormal, Kuznets, other curves
Chemical Sciences
Engineering Sciences
- Evo Devo Chemistry
- Biogenesis. RNA+Lipids as only
and ubiquitous portal path to cells.
- Tree of terminal differentiation for
~10M Chemical Species
- Evo Devo Technetics
- Experience curves (cascaded Scurves) as a science of humanmediated machine learning
- Theory of technological immune
systems
Biological Sciences
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- Evo-Devo Biology subsumes
Darwinian evolutionary theory
- Convergent evolution, astrobio as
ecosystem macrodevelopment
- Biological scaling, terminal diff,
emergence & singularity theory.
Computer & Info Sciences
- Evo Devo Computation (eg, CA’s)
- Theory of tech and dev. singularities.
- Computational theories of
complexity, morality, immunity
- Einstein of information theory?
21st Century Developmental Futures: Technology
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Nanotech & Energy
Biotech & Bioinformatics
- Exp. nanocomp. growth (SETs,
spintronics, optical, quantum).
- Exponential nanoenergy growth
(PV, fuel cells, nanocapacitors)
- Human energy intensity saturation
- Massively more bioinformatics.
- Better agrobiotech, synthetic bio.
- Marginally better biosims and
reverse engineering.
- Biotech remains underwhelming &
a net money-losing invest. sector.
Networks & Computing
- Exp. network, sensor, platform
growth (transparency, capacity)
- Exp. growth, var. & specialization
in parallel computing
- Better bio-inspired computing.
AI & Robotics
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- CI, Cybertwins and Valuecosm.
- Human-surpassing robots
(humbots, robocars).
- Modular singularities leading to a
generalized tech singularity.
Medicine & Enhancement
- Massively better tech enhancement
(brain & body implants, wearables).
- Marginally better bioenhancement
(gene therapy, drugs etc.).
- Ever-declining longevity advances.
Space
- Declining info from astronomy and
cosmology, but not astrobiology.
- Stratellites, telerobots, end of
primates-in-cans-in-vacuum
21st Century Developmental Futures:
Environment, Ecosystem Services, Resources, Populations
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Sustainability finally becomes as important as
innovation in global economic-political-social system.
Environmental quantification continues to accelerate,
ecosystem services keep degrading in short-term
(Ehrlich) but are far better protected in longer-term.
Natural resources keep decreasing in cost (Julian
Simon) and increase in sustainability (regs, recycling).
Human birthrates stay on average inversely related to
techno-social-economic development (‘demographic
transition’).
Global population peaks circa 2040, with everdeclining biological human birthrates after.
21st Century Developmental Futures:
Economics, Finance, Business & IP Law
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Technical productivity seen as far more important than GDP.
Increasing corporate plutocracy (political & financial influence)
since 1950’s. This trend seems very likely to saturate in a
networked, transparent, cybertwin world.
Continued decreasing rich/poor divide globally (long-term, since
1700’s). Economic development finally spreading to very large
countries (China, India) with lowering population growth.
Income inequality in a typical developing country first increases,
then decreases (Kuznets curve of income inequality)
Increasing rich/poor divide in the most economically advanced
‘Great U-Turn’ countries US, UK, Switz. (short-term, since
1970’s). This trend seems very likely to saturate or reverse.
Triple bottom line capitalism (financial, social, environmental
benefits reporting) as Capitalism 3.0.
Socially responsible investing funds are owned preferentially by
women. As gender equity normalizes, SR investing advances.
Corporate transparency grows as liberal democracy increases.
http://www.unc.edu/~nielsen/special/s2/s2.htm and
Ackerman et. al. The Political Economy of Inequality, 2000.
21st Century Developmental Futures:
Politics, Policy, Rights, Security, Civil & Constitutional Law
Acceleration
Studies
Foundation
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit
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Global transition from illiberal to liberal democracies
(Zakaria) as networks, transparency, and valuecosm
advances.
Increasingly transparent society (anonymity
disappears, privacy protections increase).
Ever-rising entitlements, strong civics education
(Scandinavian democracies).
Eventual equitocracy (Lightman).
Ever-rising ‘victimless’ freedoms (Inglehart)
American anomaly (nonparliamentary democracy)
becomes parliamentary.
Los
Angeles The Future of Freedom 2007, The Post-American World, 2008
Zakaria,
New York
Smith,
Palo Alto The American Anomaly: US Politics and Govt. in Comparative Perspective,
2007
21st Century Developmental Futures:
Social Big – Culture, Ethics, Media, Education, Religion
Acceleration
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Los Angeles
New York
Palo Alto
Progressive decline of avg annual severity of violence
(but increasing intensity of rare events) (Pinker)
Entertainment, leisure time, travel keep growing (Kahn)
Increasing gender, minority and disadvantaged
economic, political, and cultural parity (eg., birthrate sex
bias (China, India) disappears forever.
True internet television with micropayments (100,000
channels of specialty content).
CI, cybertwin, valuecosm, metaverse-mediated schoolsurpassing education (‘global citizens’, massive new
subculture diversity).
Steady increase in secular-rational values, particularly
post-cybertwin (Inglehart)
Reform (ecumenical, tolerant, science-congruent)
variants of all major religions gain dominance over
fundamentalism.
21st Century Developmental Futures:
Social Medium – Entrepreneurship, Management, OD
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Los Angeles
New York
Palo Alto
Flextime, jobsharing, sabbaticals keep increasing.
More abstract and ‘high-touch’ service jobs available every
year (‘getting paid to sing to babies.’)
Innovation is much more abstract, harder to measure,
increasingly ‘under the hood’ (happening in machines).
More specialized high-tech and science jobs available (job
diversity grows).
Far more cybertwin-assisted jobs in all categories.
Management and org development more routinized, better
tuned to human psychology.
Advanced human resources rating and training systems.
Ratio of highest paid to average paid workers in public
companies ‘rationalizes’ to less than 100.
http://www.accelerating.org/articles/huebnerinnovation.html
http://extremeinequality.org
21st Century Developmental Futures:
Social Small – Family, Relationships, Personal Devel.
Acceleration
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New York
Palo Alto
More alternative families, relationships, lifestyles
Increasingly informal, casual relationships and behavioral
standards (short-term)
Increasingly better models of behavior consequences, cybertwinassisted behavior modification (long-term)
Continued loss of individual skills (domestication) concomitant
with great advances in social complexity
Rising narcissism and disempowerment with tech. development
short-term (Lasch), increasing self-actualization long-term
(Maslow)
Progressive change in our concept of identity, and eventually,
increasing self-transcendence (cyberself)
A postbiological transition is the clear, predictable long-term
developmental destination. Our variety of evolutionary paths and
levels of enlightenment on the way there seem far less
predictable.
The Leader’s Challenge:
Guiding Us to “Plural Positive” Futures
Acceleration
Studies
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Pluralistic
Positive-Sum
Differentiated
“Both/And”
Social-Tech
versus
versus
versus
versus
Plutocratic
Zero-Sum
Homogeneous
“Either/Or” Futures
AND
Individual advance
(Top-Down, Devo)
Los Angeles
New York
Palo Alto
Calculator Prolif.
Automation Incr.
Metaverse Adv.
Automated Cars
Digital Twins
Security
(Bottom-Up, Evo)
AND
AND
AND
AND
AND
AND
Math Skills
Work/Prod. Skills
Study/Reading Skills
Driving Skills
Self-Empowerment
Freedom (to & from)
‘Inevitables’ (Portal Pathways) Experience Great
Evolutionary Variation (Unique, Creative Transitions)
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Palo Alto
Example: Guns in Japan vs. Elsewhere
The Japanese govt. was strong enough to ban guns
for centuries. First guns (arquebus, right) came
with Portuguese in 1543, used in many massed battles. By 1600 Japan
had world's best guns, but they were increasingly regulated and finally
banned by centralized samurai clan (Tokugawa clan) for 250 years.
As inevitables, guns eventually had to reemerge. But they did so on Japanese
terms. Japan retains a strong police force and collectivist society today.
As of 2006 there are only 175K registered owners of 340K guns in Japan.
In US: ~40 million gun owners, ~180 million guns.
Japan has the lowest gun crime rate of any industrialized nation (93 gun
deaths in 1998, vs 36,000 in US. Japan has 130M vs. US 300M citizens).
All 175K gun owners were mass-checked after 2007 Sasebo shooting
‘rampage’ (2 deaths, 6 injuries). 90 were ‘declared unfit to own’ guns.
2008 laws prevent stalkers, spouse abusers, suicidal, and bankrupts from
owning guns, including hunting guns, for an extended period of time.
Fifteen year sentences for owning illegal guns, death penalty for org. crime
murder by gun, police raids on suspected illegal gun owners, etc.
Major observation: Every other industrialized nation (Australia, Europe, etc.) is
trending strongly in this postmilitary, postviolent direction (Pinker, Myth of
Violence). Just a few outliers (US, Brazil, Mexico, Estonia, etc.) remain.
Gun story foretells a Planetized level of social integration and immunity.
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