Monthly Archives: September 2018

Ep 192: The Pliocene: big bears, big cats, and a really big flood

The Pliocene: big bears, big cats, and a really big flood

I managed to talk Phil into co-hosting again, even though he’s far away. Thanks to the internet, we talked about the Pliocene. At the beginning of this time, a nearly dry Mediterranean basin was flooded by the sea, causing a global drop in sea levels. Later, north and south America were connected, allowing plants and animals to travel to new places. This included the largest cat and largest bear ever to roam the Earth.
Continue reading Ep 192: The Pliocene: big bears, big cats, and a really big flood

Perceptions: part II.

It was raining. Safe from the downpour, I stood on the porch and enjoyed the weather. Fall is one of my top five favorite seasons, especially if I don’t have to be out in the rain. It was really coming down too, the air filled with the hissing roar of all that water smashing against all that ground. Against the roof, a more percussive pounding, while the bushes and trees in my yard played host to myriad tiny streams and rivulets cascading down their leaves and branches.
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Solving the mutation problem

This might solve everything. I’ll need to do some testing to make sure I’m right, but there’s a beautiful way around the mutation problem.

It’s not the type of mutation; it’s the type of population. We’ve got two main types: the quick and the slow. The quick ones, like m1.pop, do their best to fill up all available space and to make new figures as quickly as possible. The slow ones generally find a particular population size, and stay there, no matter how much more room is available; and they only make new figures slowly. I’ve said several times, and it turns out to be true—speed isn’t everything.
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Ep 191: A few fragments

A few fragments

Though Phil is gone, his voice is not. Not quite yet. We spoke much more last time than made it in the episode. Some of what we talked about was interesting and/or amusing, so I stuck together another episode with it.
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Zombie code

I’ve come up with a mixed bag of modifications to my artificial life system. I’m trying to get my digital creatures, which I call “figures,” more stable, quicker to emerge from randomness, and better able to tolerate mutations. As far as quicker emergence and greater stability goes, the tricks are working out. The system as gone from requiring multiple runs of 8 to 12 hours each, just to generate one stable population; to a system that can make a stable population consistently in less than 15 minutes, usually less than ten, and often less than 5. As far as tolerating mutation goes, it still isn’t any better. One single mutation is still enough to kill off the entire population, no matter which trick or combination of tricks I use.
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Two entries from my project journal

22 :: Sunday September 2, 2018

I need to jot this down before I forget.

I only just yesterday got the fat ports to work. I’d been calling inner write on the baby figures before they were added to the realm. That meant there were no trackers connected to the baby figures when their safe random method got called. All that time, I was just running the system more or less like the fat ports weren’t even there. Once I fix that, it ran like a dream.
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Ep 189: The Miocene, the right teeth for the right job

The Miocene, the right teeth for the right job

Today we chat about the Miocene. During this epoch, kelp forest spread along the shoreline, creating habitat for otters and pinnipeds. The climate cooled and forest gave way to open grassland. Those grazing animals without the right kind of teeth died out, and the early apes diversified. Toward the end of the epoch, the branch of apes that would give rise to humans appeared.
Continue reading Ep 189: The Miocene, the right teeth for the right job