How God Makes God
A toolbox for understanding emotions and the creation of wealth
by Peter Small
A CD-ROM for the Mac (PC version scheduled for early 1998)
On a cursory level, this CD-ROM isn't very impressive. It's in black and white, with no sound or glitzy presentation tricks. The balloon style dialogues and the fidgety pseudo animations drive some people mad and the navigation controls leave a lot to be desired. A few careless spelling mistakes and grammatical errors show how unprofessionally the whole thing has been put together (even though it took four years to complete). If you have strong religious convictions you may even be offended by the contents.
However, if you like exercising your mind, you might find it very entertaining; after all, it did win a major award, has received many rave reviews and in some areas even has a cult following.
The main attraction is the way in which it introduces and explains abstract concepts in an understandable way. If you liked the style of Lingo Sorcery you will certainly appreciate the way in which complex conceptual frameworks are explained here.
The general idea is that each of 204 scenes presents the reader with a new concept. These 204 concepts progressively add together to build a complete conceptual framework to provide a new way of looking at life. It analyses life in terms of probability and game theory and describes the genetic and biological elements in terms of computer programming concepts.
Although covering fairly sophisticated ideas and theory the style is light hearted, even humorous at times, with no arcane language or mathematics. Difficult concepts are explained using drawings and games.
These are some of the main conceptual areas covered:
a) Understanding the patterns which emerge in probability theory by playing various games of chance.
b) Seeing money creation strategies in terms of trying to increase efficiency by competing for and arranging acts of cooperation.
c) Understanding John Maynard Kenynes' perceptive model of economic activity.
d) Putting a strategy for creating wealth into a games theory context.
e) Understanding the concept of risk taking and working out how to take calculated risks.
f) Learning the essential corner stones of finance and the theory of money.
g) Understanding the simple ideas behind discounted cash flow, compound interest and exponential growth.
h) Comparing optimum strategies for creating wealth with the rules of major religions.
i) Seeing how rules can evolve in the same way that biological features can evolve in an organic structure.
j) Seeing the cell as a biological computer.
k) Looking at biological structures as information carrying networks of communicating cells.
l) The mathematical concepts driving evolution.
m) Seeing instinctive behavior patterns as being driven by combinations of evolved emotions triggered by environmental stimuli.
n) Using genetic algorithms to demonstrate how patterns of emotion and behavior can evolve to form a control system.
o) Speculations on the evolution of intelligent machines
It is a lot to go through - it takes about 14 hours to read - but it is not as heavy as it looks. It builds up like a detective story, allowing you to compare your own developing thoughts with those of two guides who discuss with each other the implications of the succession of new ideas and concepts as they are presented.
The fun is in seeing if this exercise of the mind can make any significant difference to the way you look at life and also to your conception of computer programming.
Lingo Sorcery - The magic of lists, objects and intelligent agents
by Peter Small
Published by J. Wiley & Sons Ltd (May 1996)
From the publicity blurb:
"This book provides an alternative approach to using Macromedia's Director multimedia authoring application.
You'll discover a new twist to Lingo programming when you move beyond the deceptively simple syntax of the manuals and delve into the world of object oriented programming. It is a world which has to be discovered, not learned.
For Web applications it may give you an important programming edge because it shows you how to work outside of the Director metaphors.
The book shows you how to make full use of the versatile list structures of Lingo. The book will teach you to think in objects. It'll show you how to work with a different mind set to use objects and lists to deliver information and entertainment with real style and originality.
Above all, it will provide your imagination with a powerful new vehicle for producing truly creative multimedia."
Overview of contents
Why learn about list and objects - The enigmatic quality of object-oriented techniques - OOPS as an aid for the creative process - OOPS as a way of dealing with complexity - Objects and lists in nature
Chapter 1 - Making a fully functioning object
What is an object - Creating a simple object - Getting the object to do something - Sending messages to objects - Object properties - Giving an object an image and stage presence - Objects which exist independent of the movie which created them - Moving objects from movie to movie
Chapter 2 - Adding sophisticated features to objects
Giving objects memories and intelligence - Defining your objects and deciding what objects are needed for a given task or project - Making an object which can find its way around the stage - Creating objects which can perform useful tasks - Getting an object to tell you what it can do - Getting an object to tell you how it is coded - Getting objects to help prepare the production of movies - The awesome potential of using objects
Chapter 3 - Understanding OOPS
An overview of object-oriented thinking - Semantics - Paradigm shifts, mind sets and conceptualization - Abstraction, encapsulation and hierarchy - Objects, classes and ancestors - Virtual objects
Chapter 4 - Messages, control and feedback
Sending spacecraft objects on a mission to another planet - Multiple instances - Putting several objects on stage - Communication between objects - Setting up a message control object - Remote control of objects - Feedback from objects and feedback control
Chapter 5 - The ancestor portal
The ancestor property - Creating message paths with objects- -Sharing object properties - Polymorph objects - Design of a virtual calculator
Chapter 6 - The basis of complex objects
Building complexity from a simple base - Using objects to repair or modify complex systems - Giving an object the ability to make its own calculations
Chapter 7 - The mechanics of linear lists
Linear list commands and functions - Creating and manipulating linear lists - Getting objects to use and manipulate linear list structures - Mathematical manipulation of linear lists
Chapter 8 - The mechanics of property lists
Property list commands and functions - Creating and manipulating property lists - Getting objects to use and manipulate property list structures - Mathematical manipulation of property lists
Chapter 9 - Using lists
Functions which operate on lists - Copying, transferring and saving lists - Making uses of lists - Using lists for switches and networks - Multi dimensional lists
Chapter 10 - Messages and message paths
Message paths of event messages - Tapping into Director message paths - Different ways an object can communicate with a user - Using the message box as an object - Treating scripts as objects
Chapter 11 - Using lists in message paths
Creating and modifying message paths between objects - Using lists in message paths - Sequencing list operations - The actorList - Using objects in a non object-oriented system - Objects in a hierarchical structure - Killing objects in a hierarchy
Chapter 12 - The object/user interface
Teaching an object to communicate with a user - Monitoring user actions - Communicating through the mouse - Communicating through the keyboard - Complex user choices
Chapter 13 - Object controlled Menus
Using an object to create and control menus - Dynamic menu changes - Feedback from menu selections - Pop up and pseudo menus - Intelligent menus - Time and timing with objects - Time controlled action
Chapter 14 - Magical tricks with lists and objects
Objects which change form - Objects which can clone themselves - Objects which design and build other objects - Complex object assembly - Custom made objects by remote control
Chapter 15 - Making a paint box with a memory
Designing the painting tools and color palette - Recording the sequence and details of each stroke in list structures - Storing dynamic pictures - Reproducing paintings a stroke at a time - Adapting the paint box to draw mathematical graphs and shapes
Chapter 16 - Intelligent button and palette objects
A generic button object - Clickable map objects - Multiple hot spot palette objects - Irregular shaped clickable map objects - Objects which help design image maps - Draggable palettes
Chapter 17 - The magic of MIAW objects
Getting a MIAW object mind set - Creating and destroying MIAWs - Treating MIAWs as objects - Communicating with MIAWs - Message paths with MIAWs - Playing a game of cards with a couple of MIAWs - Special features of MIAWs - The windowList
Chapter 18 - Using MIAW objects
MIAWs as intelligent guides - Getting a guide's face on screen - Communicating to the user with MIAWs - MIAW palettes - Navigation palettes - Updating and patching using MIAW objects
Additional chapters to Lingo Sorcery
The following three chapters were meant to be included in the "Lingo Sorcery" book but exceeded the publisher's brief and were pulled at the editing stage. These will now be included in a modified form in the new Avatar book and, where applicable, demonstrated as working examples in biotelemorphic cells.
Virtual chapter 19 - Lingo structures for logical decision making
Hierarchical structures - Decision making hierarchies - Routing a path through a hierarchy - Reconfiguring hierarchies and networks - A simple, decision making, hierarchical system of objects - Networks which can make logical decisions
Virtual chapter 20 - Designing a brain in Lingo
The real meaning of OOPS - The design and construction of a brain - Simulating emotions using simple programming structures - Emotional decision making - Emotional conditioning - Feedback to change emotions - Using the techniques of genetic algorithms for training and learning
Virtual chapter 21 - Interface to the next place to go from here
Abstract object-oriented thinking - polymorphing with paradigms - Fantasy and illusion with OOPS, the Internet and the World Wide Web - Bots, COISes and Intranets - Design of a bot - A bot party - Design of a personal intelligence network