The Secret life of Plants
January 21, 2004 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Emergent computation: Plants seem to do it! Does that mean we do three? [more here :]
posted by kliuless (7 comments total)
Taking this one step further into the realm of mysticism, Astrology has a fractal nature, it could be a primitive way to explain the cellular automata forces at work in the universe that we normally can't see with classic science. It would be like, why does the motion of massive bodies in space effect us here on earth. Just like with fractals, one tiny change in the matrix changes things dramatically elsewhere, but there are predictable patterns. If this can be shown it would open a whole new way of looking at how things in the universe interact.
posted by stbalbach at 10:02 PM on January 21, 2004

As a botanist, I've got to say: very cool. See dad, plants are interesting, see? I didn't need to do pharmacology like you wanted me to! I'm not wasting my life! I think some of the greatest discoveries in biological science in the near future will come from looking at systems, on the micro and macro scale, in terms of cellular automata, and the communication between parts.

why does the motion of massive bodies in space effect us here on earth.

Well, there are some farily obvious ways heavenly bodies can influence biological systems. Phases of the moon. Tides. Seasons. Beyond that, I think it will be a while before they can prove Saturn is to blame for the arsehole who put a dent in my car last week.
posted by Jimbob at 10:54 PM on January 21, 2004

was his moon in uranus?
posted by quonsar at 11:34 PM on January 21, 2004

Hmmmm. Is there a program I could apply to in Computational Botany?
posted by namespan at 6:36 AM on January 22, 2004

Birds do it. Bees do it.

Even trees do it.

posted by sonofsamiam at 10:05 AM on January 22, 2004

I think that's the first mention of Wolfram's crappy book I've seen over a year! Good work, Nature!

(but, yeah, this is cool.)
posted by kaibutsu at 10:30 AM on January 22, 2004

haha kaibutsu, I rushed out and spend my $50 on Wolfram's book after reading a hyped up write up of it on wired. I must admit that the pictures are pretty and his hypothesis seems right, but without spending the next decade engrossed in running similar computer programs at home I stand no chance of ever understanding 1/3 of it. I'm excited by what he's saying, but the book is so big and full of footnotes and appendices and tiny print that I can only stare at it in awe.

It's been sitting on my shelf for months now after I made it half way thru. I really think it's going to change the way that we view the world, but seeing as how it took him 20 years just to publish it I think it will take decades more before it begins to shape our outlook on science.
posted by daHIFI at 4:02 PM on January 22, 2004

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