"Teleological Pruning" Laboratory (NetLogo)

TpLab is conceived as a laboratory in which I can explore the effects of evolutionary pressures on the belief systems of people involved in a Darwinian struggle for survival.

Downloading the TpLab Application

This model is written using release 5.0.5 of the NetLogo Application Development Environment (ADE) developed and maintained by Northwestern University.  NetLogo is an interpreted language (i.e. each line of code is compiled at time of execution), and so you need to run the compiler (the ADE) at the same time as the application.  They are continually doing research on this ADE, adding new features and extensions, and deprecating and removing old features.  For the most part, deprecated features continue to be supported for many releases.  So, I believe this should work on all new versions of the ADE.  We shall see, I guess.

My TpLab application can be downloaded from this website, from the NetLogo Modeling Commons site, or from the OpenABM site:

TpLab_V2.07.nlogo From this site

From the NetLogo Modeling Commons site 

From the OpenABM site 

The NetLogo ADE can be downloaded from the Northwestern University site here:

NetLogo ADE

Some Useful Documentation

160702 03 PPT MPP in Sustainable Society R8.pptx - A presentation in which the problem of "teleological pruning" is first presented.

170219 NTF Reconciling Eco n Sci R5.pdf - A diary note in which I consider a means to bring scientific theory and economic theory into agreement.

170312 NTF TpLab V2.06 User Doc R3.pdf - A partly technical and partly practical description of the TpLab software.

170322 NTF TpLab Change Log R2.07.pdf - Of interest only to coding nerds, I think.

Research Questions

Here are my research questions for TpLab:

- Can I effectively model a society which is a hybrid between a biophysical ecosystem and a social (i.e. teleological) system?

- Can I demonstrate teleological pruning convincingly?  Do the belief systems always align with the heuristic search patterns that evolution produces in the genomes?

- Can desired and potent belief systems that are contrary to the effects of the MPP (e.g. we should not do it that way) nevertheless continue to persist?

Unfortunately, I believe that the answers that come out of this version of TpLab are: "Yes!", "Yes!" and "It seems not!".

Some panels - With interpretations

The main panel - showing the dales in which (green) fruit can be found, for those with the most effective search pattern.

NetLogo "monitors" in which the averages of all key evolving values are displayed. Base values, gene values, learned beliefs, and effective strengths are shown in four columns.  The "clock face" shows the "effective phenotype", combining the effects of the genes and the belief systems.

A breakout of society by belief system.  Note that a single (red) belief system dominates in the left graph.  Those belief systems that do not directly support high rates of discovery and consumption of fruit are poorly represented. 

The two graphs on the left demonstrate the Maximum Power Principle in it's most simple and obvious interpretation.  The population quickly rises to carrying capacity and then stays there.  The system is in a "stationary state" from the point of view of energy consumption.  However, as is clear from the graphs to the right, evolution is not complete, and the genome of the population is not in a stationary state yet, as it continues to evolve.  In this scenario, agents are "fundamentalists", holding their beliefs strongly, and sharing wisdom only between those with a similar belief.  Those beliefs that are not in support of maximum consumption lead to reduced numbers of adherents, and the associated populations disappear eventually.  The beliefs of society as a whole are thus pruned to ensure that maximum power is maintained.

Again we see the typical patterns of distribution of wealth and age associated with societies in a long-term multi-generational sustainable stationary state.  A few are very wealthy but many are poor with the distribution of wealth heavily skewed to the right.  But the bulk of the population are young.  In brief, the poor have short lives of misery and starvation, while the wealthy live better, and live longer.  Distributional social justice is NOT automatically a characteristic of a sustainable society.

Last Update: 23 April 2017.