How to Write an Essay on Epistemology by zqx15399

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									"'You, your joys and your sorrows, your
memories and your ambitions, your sense of
personal identity and free will, are in fact no
more than the behavior of a vast assembly of
nerve cells and their associated molecules."




                                 -Francis Crick

                                     Brad Layton,Drexel University
"If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be
destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next
generations of creatures, what statement would contain the
most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic
hypothesis (or the atomic fact or whatever you wish to call it)
that all things are made of atoms — little particles that
move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other
when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon
being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence, you
will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the
world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied"

                                        -Richard P. Feynman

                                             Brad Layton,Drexel University
"For the real amazement, if you wish to be amazed, is this
process. You start out as a single cell derived from the
coupling of a sperm and egg; this divides in two, then four,
then eight and so on, and at a certain stage there emerges a
single cell which has as all its progeny the human brain. The
mere existence of such a cell should be one of the great
astonishments of the earth. People ought to be walking
around all day, all through their waking hours calling to each
other in endless wonderment, talking of nothing except that
cell."


                                        -Lewis Thomas

                                             Brad Layton,Drexel University
If you can't explain it to a high school student you probably
don't understand it."


                                        -Richard P. Feynman


"If I could explain it to you, it wouldn't have been worthy of a
Nobel Prize."




                                         -Richard P. Feynman

                                               Brad Layton,Drexel University
“The best thing you can do for the environment is kill yourself”



                                       -Fred Loucks




                                             Brad Layton,Drexel University
"I say that everything bar nothing, being a possibility, we are
placing our bets right now on the wrong tables, exploring
regions of reality where our senses are not reliably sensitive,
when there are obvious things needing our attention right now,
where our senses are reliable. Let's look our for long-term
comets and straying asteroids. Let's go to Mars. Let's do
biochemistry. Let's think about what kinds of senses people
have and how they can use them to their advantage. Let's not
spend our time and resources thinking about things that are so
little or so large that all they really do for us is puff us up and
make us feel like gods. We are mammals, and we have not
exhausted the annoying little problems of being mammals. "
                                          -Kary Mullis

                                               Brad Layton,Drexel University
"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and
express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when
you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in
numbers, your knowledge is a meagre and unsatisfactory
kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have
scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science."




                                        -Lord Kelvin
"Light, strong, cheap...
                     -Pick two."




                          -Keith Bontrager
MechanoEvolution

         Bradley Layton
        Assistant Professor
 Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
           Drexel University
         Philadelphia, PA USA



         February April 27, 2007
OUTLINE


 • BRADLEY LAYTON HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
 • MECHANOEVOLUTION: WHAT IT IS
 • MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS
 • FEEDING OURSELVES w/ ENERGY AND INFORMATION
 • THREE WAYS OUT




                                 Brad Layton,Drexel University
OUTLINE
 • BRADLEY LAYTON HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
    - Indiana
    - MIT
    - Michigan
    - Drexel MechanoEvolution Class 2005, 2006




                                      Brad Layton,Drexel University
SEYMOUR INDIANA, SLIM CALLIS, RICK SCHULEY, GARY
CHRISTOPHER, RICHARD SCHULEY




    The word of the day…
          Why don’t you comb your hair…
                 Michigan Institute of Trucking...

                                            Brad Layton,Drexel University
MIT
Elzbieta Ettinger (ELIZABETH CHODAKOWSKA, The T)

                          Delbrück, M. (1986), Mind
                          From Matter? An Essay on
                          Evolutionary Epistemology

                          Nobel Laureate-led course
                                                          Elzbieta Ettinger


                                       Head of the Charles 1993



              Hunger

  On the T:
    Regardless of what you do you’ll always have to write...

                                                 Brad Layton,Drexel University
University of Michigan
Pulling Nerves              smax
              3                                                         Fmax

        Force 2
         (N)          E                                     40%
                                                                        Frelax
              1
                                                20%
                              5%          10%
              0
                  0    50      100      150     200       250       300
                                     time(s)


                      unstrained                                 strained
                      sciatic                                    sciatic
                      nerve                                      nerve
                                                                 Figure 3
                                                      Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTION
  •    Simple weekly take-home quizzes on the upcoming week’s lecture will be given
      and will count for 50% of your grade.
  •    A final report summarizing a topic of your choice from the syllabus will count for
      30% of your grade. The length of the paper should be between 3,000 and 10,000
      words. The paper will be graded on the basis of clarity, organization and originality.
      This course is writing intensive and you are required to meet with WITS at
      least twice during the term for writing support. If you have any questions about
      the role of writing in learning, please see our web page
      (www.drexel.edu/provost/writing) or contact: Pol Montgomery,
      witmanager@gmail.com. A mid-term version of your project is due in the sixth class
      meeting, on May 12th and the final project is due June 12th, or earlier if you are
      graduating. You should meet with the writing advisor between the fourth and fifth
      weeks and again between the seventh and eighth weeks. Additional critical notes
      about your writing assignment: Your writing should include at least the following:
      •      You must include some type of mathematical model of the artifact,
            phenomena, trait, or idea you are discussing.
      •      You must have at least ten valid citations from either journal literature or
            textbooks. Web references are allowed, but will not be included in the list of
            ten.
      •      You must extrapolate your discussion into the distant past and into the distant
            future.
      •      You must include comparisons to biology if your paper is primarily
            technological and comparisons to technology if your paper is primarily
                                                                  Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTION




                   Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTION Spring 2006 Student topics

 Evolution of love
 Evolution of information
 Evolution of human intelligence
 The evolution of warfare and weaponry
 The evolution of flight
 Innovations of the piano
 Nitrogen and human interaction
 Intelligence outside the brain
 Evolution of fuel delivery to internal combustion engines
 Evolution of computing
 Evolutionary aspects of germline engineering
 The evolution of sonar navigation
 The heart and its replacement


                                             Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTION
  TERM PROJECT: THE EVOLUTIONOF WEAPONRY
  Abstract:
  Evolution is based on natural selection. Nowhere is natural selection more apparent and dominant
  than on a battlefield. Weapons are objects designed by human beings to overcome their innate
  physical weaknesses in the realm of combat with other species and groups of human beings.

  Since the dawn of mankind, humans have been using weapons to carve out their ascendancy on
  other humans and animals. This paper aims at examining the role played by certain key weapons
  through the history of human civilization and how they proved to be the deciding factor for survival of
  certain cultures and civilization in various cases.

  In this paper, I aim to quantify and evaluate the evolution in design; conception and manufacturing
  process for certain key weapons. I will try to analyze the ascendancy of various designs for individual
  weapons and how one design dominated and ultimately became the pre-eminent weapons of their
  era.

  Given the huge variety of weapons developed by man since the Stone Age, I will confine my study to
  certain key weapons and eras. I aim to study the evolution of hand held weapons such as the bow,
  the lance, the axe and the sword etc and how they dictated the way wars were fought and won. I will
  also try to analyze certain platforms on which these weapons were employed such as the chariot,
  Armor, heavy cavalry and the phalanx and so on.

  The scope of this paper covers the evolution of weaponry from the Stone Age to the dawn of the
  gunpowder era. The evolution of gunpowder based weapons is not covered since that would require
  a separate study on its own.

                                                                           Brad Layton,Drexel University
OUTLINE


 • BRADLEY LAYTON HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
 • MECHANOEVOLUTION: WHAT IT IS
 • MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS
 • FEEDING OURSELVES w/ ENERGY AND INFORMATION
 • THREE WAYS OUT




                                 Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTION WHAT IT IS
 • MECHANOEVOLUTION: WHAT IT IS
     EVOLUTION: Successful passage of information from
    the past to the future
     SPECIES: A discrete unit capable of sharing information
    with the sole purpose of persisting into the future (not
    necessarily in the same form, but in an uninterrupted
    lineage)
     TECHNOLOGY REPLICATION: Machine selection is
    driven by human utility
     MACHINES AS PROSTHETICS: Machines that improve
    the likelihood of human DNA persistence survive as well
     MATERIAL CONTINUITY: Biology passes actual physical
    materials (DNA) in an unbroken lineage. Machines do not
    do this yet without human intervention.
                                          Brad Layton,Drexel University
OUTLINE
• EVOLUTION:
   - Successful passage of information from the past to the
   future
   - Favors simplicity (virus), but also occasionally rewards
   complexity (human)
   - Seems to favor efficiency (high reproduction rate / energy
   throughput ratio) but also rewards inefficiency (high casualty
   cost to protect species members)
   - Seems to encourage modeling (navigation systems, sensory
   systems, decision systems, alternative genetic pathways,
   Newtonian mechanics) but also rewards ignorance
   - Becomes increasingly energetically expensive to maintain
   low entropy locally, the higher on the information food chain*
   one becomes, making many members vulnerable (humans only)

      *Shrodinger
                                             Brad Layton,Drexel University
BIO VS. TECHNO

  FUNCTION           BIO          TECHNO
   information       DNA        BLUEPRINT
      entropy
                  MEMBRANE       MATERIAL
    resistance
  energy source       SUN       COMBUSTION
 ladder pushing    KILL / EAT      WAR
                  REPRODUC-      BUSINESS
 ladder pulling
                     TION         MERGER


                                Brad Layton,Drexel University
MOORE’s LAW of MechanoEvolution
12    10y parts in a machine           organism complexity
                                                                     12
11                                                                   11
10                                                                   10
 9                                                                    9
 8                                                                    8
 7                                                                    7
 6                                                                    6
 5                                                                    5
 4                                                                    4
 3                                                                    3
 2                                                                    2
 1                                                                    1
 0                                                                    0
     10   9   8   7   6    5   4   3    2    1     0 x1 2
                                                    10 years ago
                                            Brad Layton,Drexel University
MACHINE TYPES

TYPE I: low energy, entropy limited, slow evolution
      hammer, microscope, telescope, wheelbarrow,
eyeglasses, bicycle, table

TYPE II: high energy, entropy spewing, rapid evolution
     computer, car, airplane, MRI machine, air filter,
lawnmower, dishwasher, cell phone, brain implants, PDA

TYPE III: high energy, entropy spewing, self replicating
     artificial plasmids??, self-reproducing robots,

TYPE IV: high energy, entropy dogpile, bio techno integration
     Kreyszig’s GNR, nanorobots, Terminator

                                             Brad Layton,Drexel University
OUTLINE


 • BRADLEY LAYTON HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
 • MECHANOEVOLUTION: WHAT IT IS
 • MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS
 • FEEDING OURSELVES w/ ENERGY AND INFORMATION
 • THREE WAYS OUT




                                 Brad Layton,Drexel University
OUTLINE
• MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS
• Richard Feynman (1918-1988): Plenty of Room at the Bottom
• Arthur C. Clark (1917-), Futurist, predicts space elevator
• Richard Dawkins (1941-): Evolutionary Biologist
• Jared Diamond (1937-): Anthropologist
• Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot (1796-1832): Thermodynamacist
• Claude Shannon (1916-2001): Information Theory
• Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961): Life Eats Chemical Information
• John Avery: Information Theory and Biology
• Hubert Yockey: Information Theory and Evolution
• Antonella Vannini: Syntropy, Info from Future
• Bradley Edwards: Space Elevator
• Rusty Schweickart: Gravity Tractor
• Ray Kurzweil: The Singularity, silicon immortality
                                           Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Richard Feynman

                             “The only two engineers who
                             contributed anything to
                             science were Carnot and
                             Shannon”

                              “Quiet, we are observing
                              something holy” when he first
                              saw the images from an early
                              atomic force microscope

  There’s plenty of room at the bottom, 1957



                                               Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Arthur C. Clarke



                                Over thirty Sci-fi novels
                                between 1951 and present




      A space elevator: 1960s
      2001: 1964
      2010: 1982


                                           Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Richard Dawkins


                             Also by Dawkins:
                             The Selfish Gene, (1976)
                             The God Delusion, (2007)


                               Continuous web between all
                               currently living organisms.
                               Cousins all are we.
The Ancestor’s Tale (2004)
Richard Dawkins




                                              Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Jared Diamond



                          Also by Diamond:
                          Guns, Germs and Steel (1997)
                          Collapse (2005)

                           Metabolic budgeting for
                           reproductive organs, muscles,
                           etc.
   The Third Chimpanzee, 1992
   Jared Diamond




                                        Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Carnot
                         Maximum mechanical work accomplishable is a function
                         of the gradient or discrepancy between two thermal states




  S  k B ln 
                                            kB: Boltzmann's constant
    dS
       0                                   S: entropy
                                            W: number of microstates
    dt      http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~huskey/images/carnot_cycle.jpg   Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Claude Shannon
                    what is the total number of states available to a system?


                        Information may only be passed from
                        one entity to another if a sufficient
                        energy gradient exists.


                      if the energy gradients available to transmit
                      information are depleted, how do we persist
                      into the future? My argument is that aw we
                      feed our machines energy, we are
                      increasing entropy and noise in Shannon’s
                      equation



              S        B: bandwidth
 C  BLog2 1          C: channel’s information carrying capacity
            N          N: noise
                         S: signal
                                                  Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Erwin Schrödinger

                     What is Life? is a non-fiction book on
                     science for the lay reader written by
                     physicist Erwin Schrödinger (ISBN
                     0521427088). Francis Crick cited What is
                     Life? as the best theoretical description,
                     before the actual discovery of DNA, of
                     how genetic storage would work. In the
                     book, Schrödinger introduced the idea of
                     an "aperiodic crystal" that contained
                     genetic information in its configuration of
                     covalent chemical bonds. This idea both
                     stimulated enthusiasm for discovering the
                     genetic molecule and could be seen (in
                     retrospect) as having been a well-
                     reasoned theoretical prediction of what
                     biologists should have been looking for
                     during their search for the genetic
                     material.

                                               Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: John Avery


                    "The phenomenon of life,
                    including its origin and
                    evolution, against the
                    background of
                    thermodynamics, has its
                    paradox of resolution in
                    the information content of
        Avery       the Gibbs free energy
                    that enters the biosphere
                    from outside sources."


            Information Theory
            and Biology, 2003
                                        Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Hubert Yockey




                               DNA contains
                               information that is
                               responsible for
                               maintaining life in its
                               entropically unlikely
     Hubert Yockey
                               state


                              Information Theory,
                              Evolution and the
                              Origin of LIfe
                                      Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Antonella Vannini
                     “…all physical and chemical phenomena, which are
                     determined by causes placed in the past, are governed by
                     the principle of entropy, while all those phenomena which
                     are attracted towards causes which are placed in the
                     future (attractors), are governed by a principle
                     which is symmetrical to entropy and which Fantappiè
                     named syntropy.”




 Antonella Vannini




                                                        Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: ???


 Why keep a Nobel laureate around? (e.g. MRI inventor, etc…)
 Who cares about quarks and quasars?
 Could it be that what a laureate knows will hold the key to human immortality in one of
 the “Three Ways Out?” Syntropic information from the future, aside, could the ability to
 model and thus predict the future be a weak form of what Vannini proposes?


 What is the value of human intelligence, if not a self-fulfilling
 prophecy of actual immortality?

 Machines, information, and the information stored on machines
 has allowed us to live longer than we already might have. Will
 this trend continue?


                                                             Brad Layton,Drexel University
OUTLINE


 • BRADLEY LAYTON HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
 • MECHANOEVOLUTION: WHAT IT IS
 • MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS
         OURSELVES w/ ENERGY AND
 • FEEDING
 INFORMATION
 • THREE WAYS OUT




                                 Brad Layton,Drexel University
The Second Law of Thermodynamics

  “The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium
  will tend to increase over time, approaching a
  maximum value at equilibrium.”

                                     Rudolf Clausius:

                         dS
                            0
                         dt



                                             Brad Layton,Drexel University
                                                                           d 2S
                                                                                  0
The Big Picture of MechanoEvolution                                        dt 2

                                                                            d 2S
                                                                               2
                                                                                  0
S         We know from the second law that dS/dt is                         dt
          positive, but what about the                                      d 2S
                                                                                 0
entropy




          acceleration of                                                   dt 2
          entropy?
                                                                          d 2S
                                                                             2
                                                                               0
                                                                          dt


                                                      living systems, d 2S
                                                      humans included    2
                                                                            0
                                                                      dt

                                As we humans attempt to make
                        ourselves increasingly anomalous (or
                   entropically unlikely to exist), we do so at the
                   expense of accelerating the second law by sending
                   more entropy into the environment than would
                   happen in a world where we did not exist.        time
                                                        Brad Layton,Drexel University
OUTLINE


 • BRADLEY LAYTON HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
 • MECHANOEVOLUTION: WHAT IT IS
 • MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS
 • FEEDING OURSELVES w/ ENERGY AND INFORMATION
 • THREE WAYS OUT




                                 Brad Layton,Drexel University
Three Ways out of living at the top of the

  • Maintenance of Status Quo
          NIH: Info and techno will kill cancer (safest bet?)
          BRADLEY EDWARDS: Space Elevator (long shot?)
          RUSTY SCHWEICKART: Gravity Tractor (long shot?)
  • Transcendence of Biology
          RAY KURZWEIL: Silicon immortality (difficult to predict)
  • Spirituality? Prayer will take you to immortality… You will
          “live” in heaven forever.
          Jerry Falwell (longest shot?)
          Pope Benedict (longest shot?)
          Dahli Lamma (long, but more practical?)




                                              Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Bradley Edwards




                                   Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Rusty Schweickart

                      “My current primary interest is the subject of
                      Near Earth Asteroids, or NEAs. They’re actually
                      part of a more general group, the NEOs or Near
                      Earth Objects, which also includes comets.”

                      “My initial interest in NEO’s was the role that
                      they played, over geologic time, in defining the
                      Earth’s environment and in shaping the
                      evolution and development of life. The history of
                      asteroidal and cometary impacts on the Earth,
                      and indeed all solar system bodies, is most
                      evident when looking at the pockmarked
                      surface of the moon. However, it is generally
                      understood that the cratering evident there is no
                      different from what it would be on other inner
                      solar system bodies, but for the mitigating
                      effects of atmospheres, weather and erosion.”



                                              Brad Layton,Drexel University
MECHANOEVOLUTIONISTS: Ray Kurzweil



                                   Human
                                   transcendence of
                                   biology




many technologists speak of
what a great time it is to be
alive. I disagree. We are on a
bubble between certain death
and possible immortality. But
what will be the quality of this
immortality? Corporeal?
Extracorporeal? Digital? -BEL

                                                      Brad Layton,Drexel University
In the meantime… What do we do as engineers?

            syntropic engineering?

            green rockets?

            brain-machine interface?

            personal genome sequencing?

            GATTACA future?

            towards full machine integration?

            away from full machine integration?

                                            Brad Layton,Drexel University

								
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