Click covers for info. Copyright (C) Rudy Rucker 2021.

Biology Lecture, Four Mile Beach

I posted another of my “Philosophy and Computers” lectures, this one is about the first part of Chapter 3 of my Lifebox book. I talk about self-reproduction, morphogenesis, and ecology in terms of computations.


I’m trying various MP3 compression settings, and so far I’m always ending up with about 1 Meg per minute, whether its mono or stereo, 128 kbps or 64 kbps, VBR off or on. One student suggested that if I ran it through a low-pass filter to remove high frequencies (hiss), I’d get smaller files. In any case, the sound is decent now, thanks to my clip-on microphone. I have quite a bit of computer demos in this lecture, by the way, so if you want to study it, you might want to get hold of CAPOW. You can download the new build of CAPOW by using the Download Software button on the Lifebox page.

I was out at Four Mile Beach on Route 1 four miles north of Santa Cruz earlier this week. The wild beaches of California are always even better than I remembered.

Every time it blows me away.

Escape from the machines.

But computation is everywhere. The paths of the birds.

I sat for awhile in this nice cove. Note the fog bank twenty meters offshore.

Now and then a wave would sweep up and a sheet of water would move around a rock and back into the ocean. After a few meters of motion, the edge of the sheet always develops a scalloped edge.

The scallops are always the same, yet always different. These pictures are of two different sheets of water. Unpredictable computations dancing on a strange attractor in phase space. Me too.

5 Responses to “Biology Lecture, Four Mile Beach”

  1. Kathryn Cramer Says:

    Hey Rudy: Your new book just came in the mail from Amazon! (I had preordered it.)

  2. Lisa Williams Says:

    Me too! I was impressed by what a nice object it was — bound in signatures, crisp flaps, good paper.
    Oh, the inside’s good too 😉
    There are two things that determine the level of compression in an MP3 — bitrate and sampling.
    An average music cd is the equivalent of 128 bits per second, with 44hz sampling (I think).
    You might want to try levering down the sampling rate.
    I use a GPL program called Audacity to do this. There are Mac and Win versions available on Sourceforge.

  3. Jonathan Says:

    Really enjoyed the lectures you posted. The audio quality is a little iffy, but tolerable. I’ll have to pick up the book so I can follow along.

  4. Mashuren Says:

    Hey, if you’re interested in “podcasting”, you should check out episode 4 of the webshow “Systm”… it goes over the basics of creating a “podcast”, with hardware and software guidelines. It’s pretty interesting stuff. There’s a link to download it at revision3 (dot) com (slash) systm. I just thought the show might be something you’re interested in.

  5. jerry kershner Says:

    i found your blog yesterday thru a search for “quantum” blogs… i’m 55 years old and need to feed my brain new ideas… new models.. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU…

Rudy's Blog is powered by WordPress