Cellular Automata

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
from this article on origins of life research / "prebiotic chemistry" (https://www.quantamagazine.org/origin-of-life-study-points-to-chemical-chimeras-not-rna-20190916/):

It makes sense that experimentalists preferred to keep things clean and direct — to synthesize important compounds like amino acids or nucleotides in bits and pieces, and to think of life as bubbling out of more pristine beginnings. “The feeling was that if you tried to incorporate too much into your system,” said John Sutherland, a chemist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in England, “everything would start to degrade and you’d just get a mess.”

But research is beginning to show that starting with the right kind of mess is not only more realistic, but more effective at generating the materials vital to life, while also doing away with problems that have plagued purer systems. “There are times when we have mixtures, rather than just the isolated reactants that people typically use, and we get better results,” said Nicholas Hud, a chemist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. When mixtures are taken into consideration, the emergence of life on Earth in some ways “is not as hard as we might think it is.”
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
The narrative that has tantalized origin-of-life researchers for decades is the RNA world scenario: Pure RNA arose within the original prebiotic broth of molecules; the RNA made copies of itself but also later evolved and invented DNA as a more stable partner in replication; peptides joined the dance somewhere along the way. This theory has mainly been bolstered by the discovery that RNA can act both as a genetic material and as a catalyst, meaning it could have performed those roles early in life’s history and handed the baton over to DNA and proteins later on.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
In short, this thread is about how complex systems can emerge from a "soup" of units that interact in more or less predetermined ways, and how this soup can give way to distinct and functional structures, such as those that life itself is built from.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
But "cellular automata" refers to a simulated soup of units/cells/pixels/voxels whose behavior is determined by A) the governing algorithms/laws and B) the surrounding cells, which also abide by these laws.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
In short, this thread is about how complex systems can emerge from a "soup" of units that interact in more or less predetermined ways, and how this soup can give way to distinct and functional structures, such as those that life itself is built from.
I shall shortly be concocting a "soup", as it were, from a nutrient-rich, pro-biotic "broth", or stock, incorporating units of ham, baby corn, mange tout and spring onions, in a more or less predetermined way.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Heres a gif I was looking for a while ago, but forgot the name of the enzyme: ATP synthase.

MildImaginaryCougar-size_restricted.gif
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Presumably synthesizes adenosine triphosphate, seemingly the bioenergetic fuel molecule, from molecular components in the extracellular soup/matrix, but I could be wrong.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Yeah you can see that little blue molecule binding to the complex between the red and yellow parts.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
The significance here is that this enzyme expedites the synthesis of a vital molecule whose naturally-occurring frequency would presumably be insufficient to sustain the various biotic functions that require it. Its as if ATP-synthase ups the ante of bioenergetic complexity and helps enable further degrees of structure and organization.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
For a sense of scale and context, that surface that the enzyme is attached to, a phospholipid bilayer, is the membrane of a single cell, and apparently we have tens of trillions of cells in our body, but I don't know how that number is arrived at.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
The significance here is that this enzyme expedites the synthesis of a vital molecule whose naturally-occurring frequency would presumably be insufficient to sustain the various biotic functions that require it. Its as if ATP-synthase ups the ante of bioenergetic complexity and helps enable further degrees of structure and organization.
Not unlike how new computer networking protocols impart new features to the stack and up the ante of our society's informational complexity. The enzyme is natural where the computer networking protocol is artificial, the artificial merely being an extension of the natural, a sort of fold.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
How can we learn from this in terms of cellular automata? Perhaps there are ways to create structures from digital cells, structures that form envelopes or pockets that alter the otherwise uniform behavior of digital cells, so as to create a heterogenous fabric of parameters, matrices within matrices, etc.

Not unlike how membranes allow for a difference between an intracellular matrix (cytoplasm) and an extracellular matrix, all by screening what manages to get through the membrane, perhaps by setting up gates and channels that can be activated to let in certain molecules.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Its my understanding that water molecules need some kind of "chaperone" functional group to carry them through the phospholipid bilayers, which are otherwise hydrophobic (the tails of the phospholipids, anyway).

Boundless possibilities for molecular architectures here, provided we can simulate such complexity.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
I good insight I just got from this lecture is that, in order to understand the origins of biotic chemistry, one must understand the environmental conditions that allow the more fundamental molecules to be "thermodynamically poised to polymerize," to form structures of many parts (poly - mer).

 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
The connection i make between this and capitalism is really one of industry and production, about finding ever more efficient resource-consumption patterns, in the interest of spreading the industry and the wealth.

Yes, spreading the wealth, albeit far from evenly. I suspect the middle class American today enjoys a considerably higher quality of life than aristocrats and royalty did in previous centuries.
 
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