[from Gary Cziko 950614.1920 GMT]
Rick Marken (950614.0930) pined:
I loved my little E. coli demo. But I have to admit that, in its present
form, it is not a rejection of the "control by consequences" view of the
Necker Cube of purposeful behavior.
Back to the drawing board. Sob.
Your original E. coli demo may not have done what you wanted it to do, but
I think your approach was a good one--finding the simplest example of
goal-oriented behavior that could not be accounted for by reinforcement
But do you really have to make it much more complicated to make the same
point? Hasn't it already been agreed by Bruce Abbott that your
modification which makes the E. coli instantly appear in a new location
cannot be handled by his model?
And couldn't the same effect be achieved more realistically by adding a
disturbance to the bacterium's movements (like a water current) that would
push it while it was tumbling (with tumbling taking some time) while the
food source remained anchored to one spot?
So perhaps making the E. coli model a little more complicated but also more
realistic will accomplish the same goal as the too-simple model.--Gary