Randomness, Logic, & Integrative Complexity

Fri, 23 Feb 1996 09:33:38 -0500

Ask twenty college students to complete coordinate grids composed of
meaningful figures.

Fill out twenty coordinate grids with random ranks.

You will find that the random grids are far less logical and far less
integratively complex than are the college students' grids.

Do not overestimate the intellectual potential of the random ranks. They are
unlikely to translate War and Peace into Chimpanzee. They will require very
complex iterative procedures to solve. Remember what you intro statistics
teacher taught you about fishing trips and William of Ockham will not roll
over in his grave. It is true that a little randomness makes a small
intelligence appear unfathomable. Take some time, however, and you will see
through the smoke and the ostentatious clamor, and the arbitrary basis of the
powers of ignorance. Plato helps. Bach does too. Kelly does wonders. Even old
Mandelbrot has something to say. We'll see if the Dice Man does, ya'll.

William Chambers