June 03, 2014 at 08:00PM
"[W]e could understand emergent behaviour from the observer viewpoint quite easily in promise theory." #readingToday

Siri Fagernes and I went further and showed that we could understand so-called emergent behaviour, or unexpected side-effects, from the viewpoint of a system observer quite easily in promise theory 233 . An emergent behaviour is a semantic illusion that arises from a dynamical process, like the swarming of birds, or how insects build apparently intelligently designed structures, complex pattern formation in physics: any case where something unexpected arises from the cooperation of apparently dumb entities. If a dynamical system can be interpreted by an observer as appearing to keep a particular promise, then the observer cannot distinguish this from a situation in which the system actually promised the behaviour. We would then say the behaviour was emergent if we happened to believe that the behaviour was not explicitly promised, but the collective behaviour appeared intentional. This is a purely semantic mirage, experience by our brains' model of the world.

In Search of Certainty, Mark Burgess, 2013