Sunday, October 26, 2003

First Day At PDC 

Last night I read an interesting article by Francis HeyLighen "Mediator Evolution: a general scenario for the origin of dynamic hierarchies" and I thought it might be kind of interesting to apply some of his insights to what is going on at the PDC. Dynamic hierarchies are make out of components that "fit" together. This gets related to attractor dynamics. In general, finding these stable structures is a very difficult search problem, based on random interactions.
However, given the exponentially decreasing probability of encounter, even very small assemblies(more than three or so components) would seem to be highly unlikely. This is confirmed by the observation that practically all known chemical or physical reactions between particles, when analyzed at the most elementary level, involve the encounter of no more than two components.
Closure is related to the degree of freedom for properties. The main discussion centers around resource competition as it relates to asymmetries in conflict and cooperation. While the competition for globally accessible resources creates a zero sum game of conflict. Providing access to new or previously unavailable resources can provide an opportunity for cooperation. Therefore, you want someone with very similar goals and values but who consumes very different resources. This creates a selective pressure for differentiation. Asymetric synergy creates cultivator/crops. One important problem is the introduction of "free riders", that take but give nothing back.
The best person to collaborate with is one that supports you in achieving your objectives by bringing in resources such as talent, experience and connections that you doesn't have access to.

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