Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Randomness & Chaos - what a life!

Managed to get up early this morning for Seaton's 'WICKED PROBLEM & STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING' - a lecture for the Master students I teach in the School of Design. Unlike scientific problems, most of our design problems, of course design research problems included, are wicked problems that are not only complicated but also complex... solving such problems (eh, perhaps handlling would be a better word) is like putting your finger into a sticky toffee pudding - sticky & messy. It is just impossible to pull out one bit... everything is linked and of course nothing is easy to be left behind.

Right after that, my friend, also a PhD researcher, Emma Murphy talked about research methodology. I am really happy to see that my talk in two weeks time on Action Research and methods will fit perfectly into hers today...

Right after Emma, Space&Place has Dr Norman Alm talking about Randomness. His example of the importance of randomness in Darwin's evolution, in comparison with artificial intelligence and computer programming , is a very interesting one. Basically he is saying that there are very simple element of any system: natural or artificial. And these elements make complicated results by re-producing itself according to some simple rules. What makes situation complex and also allows the system to survive any comlpex environment or solving complex problem is the occasional randomness inhabits in the system itself. Therefore, for a species to survive, the gene has to create random mutant that allow itself to increase the change of adaptability. For a robort, it has to be able to make random decisions to allow it to jump out the cyclic reforming codes - you know all these 0&1... One thing learned today: random number can be produced by computers automatically and it needs to pass a randomness test to be a qulified random number!

Also contribute to Emma's talk, here is my 'doodle of the day' - don't mistake it as a negative sign towards lecturers, my doodles can only be stimulated by really inspiring speeches!

1 comment:

  1. So I take it you were never moved to draw anything in one of mine?!