Friday, November 05, 2004

I was listening to a review of The Incredibles - a new Pixar movie - and after a few moments of dialog, I thought, all you need is the premise for a movie like this, and it writes itself. It's so predictable. And then I remembered the movie I saw a few days ago- I Heart Huckabees - which was the opposite - completely unpredictable. And Stephen Wofram's idea of computational irreducibility came to mind - that's the idea that some scientific models can be reduced to a simple formula, and the outcome is certain. There is another way to get at modeling, and that is simulation. Well, it turns out that there are a lot of simulations that are unpredictable - the only way to get an answer is to run them, and there's no knowing, in at least some cases, whether when the thing is finished, or if indeed it can ever finish. This is really a piss-poor run down of this idea. Go read Wolfram - or visit the link. anyway, I think the point is that some works of art (there I go again using that word) are unpredictable, lead you on a journey that you don't know the end of. Some, like Tolkien, and other tales, you enjoy even though you know where you're going. Others are unpredictable, like Being John Malkovich, but without content. There's something in there I'll try to get at more clearly, but gotta go now.


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