What is this… emergent mortality?



I changed my mind and posted this, just because I like the last line.

I tested a short-lived population, they made it to 923 in the name field, before dying out. I saved the first two figures of that line to play around with them.

They do make random calls, as I expected, but most of the time, different numbers result in the same final outcome. They make 923 figures and then die.

A usual run was that one seed, random birth, making size 75 figures in the dish, maximum population 2, realm size 3.

Once, I saw one stop after 898, but most of the time, it was 923 figures made and the line stopped. Most of the time, they made 7444 random calls, but I saw a different number a couple of times. The number of get and set commands varied a lot from one run to another, but I did see some repeat sets.

They apparently can take any one of… I don’t know, half a dozen paths…? I’m guessing… but they all lead to the same result… mostly.

This isn’t what I expected. I thought that an unstable line might end up stable if it were fed a different sequence of pseudorandom numbers. I thought to results of feeding them different numbers would be all over the map. If I hadn’t been tracking get and set command counts, I wouldn’t believe the result. I double checked and made certain I wasn’t running it with the same random seed over and over again. I wasn’t, but no matter what numbers they were fed, most runs—all but one—ended after the birth of 923 figures.

It seems like this particular line, saved in “923.pop,” has a built-in lifespan.


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