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Old 11/07/2009, 06:44 AM
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Prom, I am not sure if you wanted a larger writing sample to evaluate, but this is a very concrete exposition I wrote of Selfish Gene Theory and my own hypotheses as applied to eusocial insects, so maybe it will help:



Theory of Labor Specialization in Apocrita

This is where the true mechanics of life and the most accurate descriptions of evolution are to be found. Selfish Gene Theory has plenty of interesting discussion regarding the interplay between sex ratios, segregation distorters, parasites, altruism, symbiosis, and game theory, all of which empirically support the thesis. There is one particular example which is very revealing: Why do the social insects, such as ants, bees, and wasps, have sterile castes (workers/soldiers) while only their queen is fertile...would it not be far more advantageous to have every female reproducing? From the perspective of an individual it makes no sense whatsoever - naturally everyone should want to make their own contribution to the gene pool rather than rely on another, especially in the event that they are ultimately more fit with respect to future environmental conditions. In his On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin mentioned this manifestation specifically as the "one special difficulty, which at first appeared to me insuperable, and actually fatal to the whole theory. I allude to the neuters or sterile females in insect communities" . The evolution of sterile traits seems to defy selective fitness; unproductive genomes cannot themselves replicate and must be considered evolutionary dead ends.

The answer thus lies in individual gene perspectives: In hymenoptera there are several different sex alleles; heterozygous diploid eggs become females while haploid (and the much rarer homozygous diploid) eggs become male. A mother with 100 maternal genes will give her daughter or arrhenotokous (unfertilized) son 50 maternal genes. The daughter will also have 50 paternal genes, which is the full set of genes of the father (who was haploid). So both daughters and sons are only 50% related to the mother because they only share half of her genes with her. Sisters, on the other hand, are at the very least 50% related to each other because their father's sperm, being haploid, were all identical. If there is a 50% chance that they share the same maternal genes as well, then they are 75% related. Because of this, sisters are more closely related to each other than they would be to their own offspring and it is thus feasible for a gene to reproduce by promoting the replication of sisters (which will house 75% of the genes, 100% of which would individually 'like' to be passed on) over offspring (which will only house 50% of the genes) in the hopes that it will replicate along with the other genes. This way it is possible (in such an asymmetric mating scheme) for any genes that encourage forced mass-replication in an individual to become statistically favored for doing so.

Thus, it is the individual gene that is hoping for a shot at replication, and it gets a better chance by protecting the queen than protecting itself - the queen genes (which provide little more to the colony than genitalia) are merely considered a sister-harvesting mechanism that is harnessed and controlled by the more powerful caste genes (after all, it is the workers that select the queen as a larva when they feed her a special diet and the soldiers that have the most sophisticated and powerful roles). This segregation of duties has allowed a diversity of specialized labor to occur in the form of selective expressions of the strain's own hereditary information that mimics the variation of function in our own internal organs and rivals the scope of our entire civilization unlike any other animal - ants are able to conquer other species of ants in actual warfare and harness sterile workers as slaves to their own colony, a benefit for their sister genes alone. You may wonder, what is the point of meiotic sex if the ultimate goal is to replicate all of the genes in a genotype, which is better accomplished by simple mitosis? The merit of sex lies in that although agamogenetic species might still evolve and become naturally selected, the redistribution of these beneficial acquired genes permits a natural process of experimentation with potentially superior recombinations that is not at all inhibited by the sexual bias of apocrita - offspring of any set of parents are at most 50% related to each one!

As half of the male genome is missing, sisters can reproduce in large quantities but not in many generations because labor divisions allow an excess of resources to support the colony and free the queen to have many young for a long time without stopping. The fact that this reproduction occurs in one generation rather than many simultaneously allows the strain to avoid inbreeding depression, which would be much more likely to occur if the nearly-identical sisters were to reproduce by themselves repeatedly and so combinatorially pair identical weak alleles (that increase in frequency as the male gene pool and diversity of preferential male alleles decrease) with males that only contribute one homolog (which have half the opportunity to evolve and might also be defective). Eusocial queens are known to mate with many, many drones immediately before founding a colony. Experiments have shown that kin selection precedes eusociality: matings of many females with a single male among monogamous insects leads to eusociality and queen mating with multiple males; I believe hemizygous (or inbred homozygous) polygyny resulting from decreases in viable males accelerated bottlenecking in male genotypes, making (by surplus of labor) caste-defined totipotency and eventually even polyandry statistically preferable to monogamy despite seeming evidence to the contrary.
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Thanks. Now I understand why Prom thinks you are the most intelligent person at this forum.
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Old 11/07/2009, 06:58 AM
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here is the more abstract critique of Popper that I wrote that perhaps led you to believe that I am alpha...I agree that Popper was ENTj and I will isolate his accepting in red and creative in blue:

A Comparison of Ideals in the Pursuit of Scientific Enquiry
Having been more of a solipsist than an excessively indulgent skeptic, I loathe to sympathize with the ever-enduring plight of criterion-seekers. However, I must conclude that if there is some method for efficiently accrediting a format for hypotheses, it is not to be found here. Lakatos seemed to realize this reality to some extent in the promotion of a vague scheme of progressive science, one that is tolerant of the many possibilities open to empirical verification (while Popper thinks nothing of “eliminating many bad theories, and inventing many new ones” in a process he likens to survival of the fittest, Lakatos recognizes the reluctance of scientists to simply “abandon a theory merely because facts contradict it” in attachment to their long-favored implements of perception) and less forgiving of the semantics and sophistry required for justifying a dissociated instance of falsification. Though Lakatos may be somewhat blind to the general incentive for scientific inquiry (he admits this in his opening statement), Popper’s reduced and axiomatic adulation of science fails to capture much of its own influence in the many branches of study. I personally believe that Popper is not consistent in his definitions - he must realize that falsifiable claims are in fact only partially so as they are simultaneously unfalsifiable due to the necessary inclusion of overlooked assumptions (including a priori deductions applied in the design of the probing utensil and the inductive classification of data readings that is the inconceivable demarcation of verisimilitude…the often overlooked but actual subject of the hypothesis). An unfalsified method of holistically evaluating scientific falsifiabilities will quickly fall prey to an infinite regression of arbitrary inclination in this manner, leaving Popper’s reduced claim for the justification of a criterion of demarcation seemingly quite irrefutable in itself (at least by finite or simplified methods). In addition, any pseudoscience can arbitrarily select some illusory condition for falsifiability, and even a credible falsifier might simply represent a potential mechanism for altering the initiation of processes described successfully by the theory and not the failure of the theory in describing ontological events (for example the effects of gravity on particles otherwise described by theories of electromagnetic interaction; in actuality the most accurate and complete formulations of gravity and electromagnetism, general relativity and quantum electrodynamics, respectively, are quite incompatible for simultaneous cross-reference, and so are both responsible for fundamental commonalities that are considered anomalous within the other framework). If this is the case, then the initiative to progress scientifically depends on an elucidation of the experimental record concerning factors represented in the theory as well as factors that might simply cause an aberration of perception. Popper’s criterion does not recognize this elucidation, though it does engage in ad hominem circumstantiae- immediately attributing the blame to the individual when his theory does not immediately meet empirical standards by claiming that his own original formulation and subsequent adaptations must be less or even not “scientific”, while exempting identical but independently formulated modifications from besmirchment. As Popper said of Hume (the anti-rationalist), I will say of Popper: “[He] never accepted the full force of his own logical analysis”. Popper states that “a critical attitude needs for its raw material, as it were, theories or beliefs which are held more or less dogmatically”, a clause he expounds upon in asserting that science originally must use previously existing myths as the subject of improvement. In this instance science is distinguished from pre-scientific activities not by refutability but by a critical expectation towards its own conclusions. If this is the case, Popper negates his original assertion that refuted claims rescued by auxiliary scientific claims are unscientific. In addition, the original hypothesis, while also less correct than the new undefeated hypothesis, might also be less scientific, in the event that the auxiliary proposition rescuing it provides novel methods of refutability.
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Thanks. Now I understand why Prom thinks you are the most intelligent person at this forum.

Last edited by shadowpuppet; 11/07/2009 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 11/07/2009, 07:09 AM
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A Comparison of Ideals in the Pursuit of Scientific Enquiry (Continued)
Popper is not so impeccable in his quest for ontological purity as he might at first seem. His theories of dogmatic vs. critical personality types, along with their origins and their inclinations, reek of the very irrefutable psychobabble he so bitterly opposes. However, there is more to it- Karl Popper, the great defender of scientific innocence, recognizes a discrepancy in his logic epitomized by David Hume’s conclusive analysis of the Problem of Induction, which Popper immediately accepts. I would have to agree with (posthumously) Hume that certainly algorithmic repetitions (inductions) must precede Popper’s individual impositions of arbitrary regularity (conjectures) which Popper uses to hypocritically redeem scientific-status inquiries (what I might consider a definitive “conventionalist twist”), for the extent of regularity and even the agreement of the action of imposition with the premise must represent conformity to some abstracted principle of repetition of a desirable trend (which must be sufficiently repeated for stability, notice, and distinction; Popper’s analogy of the chicken and the egg is quite irrelevant…a mutation in the body of the precursor species to the chicken or a mutation in its embryo can make all the difference in this scenario). Hume uses this form of repetition to form a recursive basis of the inductive justification for a class of local empirical observations considered stable in the immediate present which he asserts is invalid for producing deductive assertions as applied to theoretical science, where formulations are ultimately accredited by making novel refutable predictions. Popper's confusion lies in the fact that he cannot accept Hume's rejection of logical inference because it is incompatible with Popper’s own unfalsifiable justification for the belief in the conclusions of scientific deductive processes (Popper is content to label the contributions of induction to thought as mythical, suggesting that perhaps combinations of genetically “induced” archetypes are exclusively responsible for generating the tower of conjectures originating in the mind; also, Popper’s use of Born’s assertion that empirical circumstances never repeat both defies the premise for investigating stable, recurring manifestations and fails to negate the basis for inductive observation because the characteristics inducted into the mind represent only the present degrees of perceptual qualia as identified locally in the mind, the circumstance that repeats, and not disputable ætiological suppositions…ideally conjectures must necessarily address previously encountered elements of this nature when constructing a deductive argument, which is when the actual mistake of “expecting and imposing” obsolete constructs on an unobserved reality and “deducing” the independent culpability of an abstracted agent associated somewhat vaguely with a discretely observed but presumably consistent trend, the individual instances of Popper’s “scanty material”, must occur), a belief which he admits is in general essentially dogmatic unless the deduced conclusion leads incontrovertibly to falsification, though in doing so it must imply unfalsified claims collectively entailed in the composite impetus of falsification that are then invalidated themselves, somewhat dogmatically I might add, only to falsify the actuality of falsification. Popper expects to replace Hume’s unjustified assimilations of inductive experience and illogical sustained repetitions with conjectures and refutations, regardless of their inferential origins (along with Popper’s acceptance of Wittgenstein’s empirical 'observation statements' as inherently unscientific but still meaningful, deduction might only be necessary to polarize theoretical accreditations and experimental interpretations; Popper states that “Only the falsity of the theory can be inferred from empirical evidence, and this inference is a purely deductive one”). A mechanical trial-and-error falsification of beliefs by process of elimination, which might certainly exhaust even the most creative of entrepreneurs, in no way affirms the realization of knowledge (a process equivalent to mutation and selection), nor does it dispute Hume’s process of dogmatic belief by induction and its inherent deductive invalidity (which isn’t so bad when you consider that use of logic is inductively invalid for application to elements of inductive classes anyway, either in discrete cases or directly because induction, a supposed manner of consistently classifying knowledge for use in novel scientific arguments, is empirically and often randomly inspired by circumstantially anomalous perceptions that already lack a documentable relevance and thus a justifiable accountability to a counterfactually-imposed negation of a hypothetically-deduced behavior, and so lacks even a proper criterion for determining either the dimension of influence or the threshold of significance of data inclusion in a specific inductive class). In actuality I believe that he is undermining Hume’s psychological theory of concrete observation preceding abstract classification in the interest of promoting his attitudes towards science as an explicitly directed theorize-first-observe-later affair (he does this by appealing to the notion that the instincts of an infant, so-called genetically-a-priori inborn expectations which he validates using a generalization of Kantian logic, represent an unconscious holistic conjecture without the contamination of past inductive observations regarding the present and future states of its life whether the infant is in a state conducive to the recognition and assimilation of knowledge or not, hardly a falsifiable proposal for the infant as well as for Popper), though obviously one must have some notion of what he is doing if he is to successfully perform a credible experiment. Unfortunately for Popper, true experimentation is one possible result of years of the necessary assimilation of knowledge by a less demanding means so as not to submit to predisposed judgment by innate expectation, such as the a common inclination of vaguely attending to something partially undefined in the environment which also provides no interest while looking for something to do; note that his induction machine’s limitations do not cater to implanted predispositions as much as to physical sensory deficits and perhaps Popper’s own lack of acquaintance with the power of neural nets, either trained to process inductively by choosing the class of the individual sense receptor using the unfalsifiable-but-preprogrammed genetic reward signals that are the actual physiological triggers of Hume’s repetitive inducting behaviors, or otherwise associated deductively in a convoluted Boolean model of Hebbian synaptic plasticity performing statistical pattern recognition in the inductively-limited class of binary digits.
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