Inevitable Life
Research on Steve Grand's Work
Waxing psychological - Extract of the devlog of Steve Grand

This is not as exciting a solution as I was hoping for, I admit, but I do think there’s something quite attractive and maybe even psychologically significant about it. For one thing, we’re gradually and continually constructing a narrative. Not just a standalone plan, or a narrative about what might happen next, but also about what is happening in general. If you’ve ever woken up in hospital and suddenly wondered where you are, how you got there, and maybe even who you are and who these people are that are standing by your bed, you’ll know what it feels like when our personal narratives break down and have to be reconstructed from scratch. Hypnotists can even deliberately break down our narratives by surprising us with a suspiciously Trump-like handshake or similar, and as a result of this sudden shock they're able to make us believe the most ridiculous things. Yet when we have a good sense of what’s going on, when one prediction after another proves true, and when we even have a recent past that makes narrative sense alongside our predictions for the future, we tend to feel confident and calm, we act quickly and efficiently, and we even do things on autopilot, and hence can afford to spend more time looking inward instead of trying to figure out what happens next.
"(we're not the chemicals - we're the networks)"
Lis Morris' terrific Creatures fan fiction
lis morris creatures

Hi Steve !
I hope everything is fine for you.

I took some time to explore forums and dev blog with a real pleasure. This is so interesting and there is so many things I want to discuss with you !!
I needed to pick some threads to build the guideline of the article that will be published. As for an art publication, some questions will be here as an introduction to your work and maybe I'll write a bit myself to presents your games and projects. I don't want to take too much of your time, so I'm preparing a bunch of questions, trying not to make you repeat things that I could have read into the forums but I can't really figured how complicated it will be to answer so don't hesitate to pass some questions or to shorten some answers.

I was thinking to ask you about the difference between a-life and virtual life as a form of introduction. What is the difference between Creatures, Grandroids, and any kind of virtual life sim.
Then talk a bit about your way of seeing consciousness. Can we talk about "zophenia" as life emerging from game systems and artificial life as a phenomenon? (I love neologism and I'm afraid we lack of words that does not start from anthropocentrism to talk about agents and machines, so Zo as from old greek life and phenia from old greek "to reveal", "appear". Maybe the word already exists but I couldn't find any references online)

To keep going I was thinking to ask you about your creatures' psychology. Do they "think" like we do, how their brain is built, analogies with neural network and real neural connexions in biology...

Another thing I was interested to talk with you about : ecosystems. How did you thought the ecology and ecosystems in artificial simulations you built/are building? In my research I was wondering about the way of NPC in videogames were representing their worlds, starting with the notion of horizon (as a separation line between the known and accessible world and the "out of bound", "out of perception") to reach the point were virtual agents were "knowing" and "being" their own horizon because of they were coded directly into their world, into the source code as well as the environnement so there was no boundaries between them and their world. They were existing as separated, secondary files and in the main game file at the same time. And as Tim Ingold notion of "ecology of life" present things - that any being should be thought according to its whole connexions to its world, always -

What do you think, is it too long or in the need of too long responses? (I'm good with long and interesting talks but I don't want to take too much of your time! ) It's not the final questions but before to write more precisely I wanted to have your point of view.

I also wanted to show you some of the work of Louis Bec, who is working about a speculative "Technozoosemiotic" between machines and nature, and to quote " They present as epistemological nodes uniting the "near-technique of aliveness and the near-aliveness of technique" and provide the signs of a new relationship between the machine and nature." I thought it could maybe interest you (maybe you already know him!), I've read some of his work in french but I found this article in english that could be relevant :
This as a introduction point to some questions around Creatures language and mind, I was really interested in what you called "autobiographical memory" and personnal narratives in your 12-2017 post ( (the "waxing psychology" part)

Sadly, I couldn't make it to gloops : the game crashed as soon as I try to make a new creature with an error message relative to the genome. I will try harder this evening to setup the game on another computer, try importing external gloop files, etc.

I will soon send you a webpage were I gather references, pictures, texts, video and audiofiles on current topics of my research. Tell me if it's alright (or not) for you if I publish some pics from grandroids on social networks and on this page !

Sorry for this long e-mail.
Looking forward for your response !

All the best,
You will always have backups
Permalink Submitted by Xyem on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 18:00.
Because if you don't, you could lose them to something completely external to the game (file corruption, disk death, accidental deleting) and it is *that* that ruins the realism. If you want to "play hardcore" and not reload a save or backup.. just don't use that functionality - it is that easy :) There is no good reason to leave it out in the first place.
I don't "revive" creatures when they die, regardless of the emotional attachment but would be very annoyed if they couldn't survive things external to the world.
Louis Bec - Flusser Studies
Maurice Godelier,
tout ce qui est imaginaire a
beau être imaginé, tout ce qui
est imaginé n'est pas imaginaire.

Du grec ancien ζῷον, zỗion (« animal »).

Du grec ancien ζῶ, zỗ \ˈzdɔːˌ\ intransitif (conjugaison)
Vivre. Être en vie.

HIÉROPHANIE, , subst. fém.
* Dans l'article "HIÉR(O)-,(HIÉR-, HIÉRO-), élém. formant"
Élém. tiré du gr. ι ̔ ε ρ ο ́ ς « sacré, saint, auguste », entrant dans la constr. de mots sav. (subst. et adj.), où il introduit la notion de sacré ou de rituel; le 2eélém. est le plus souvent d'orig. grecque.

PHANIE, subst. fém.
Intensité lumineuse perçue, étudiée par rapport à la perception subjective de l'intensité.
"φαίνειν" (phainein), révélé)

Zophanie : révéler l'être-en-vie
Qu'est-ce que l'être-en-vie?
Louis Bec - Oscar Roméo
'Creation : Life and how to make it'
Steve Grand
" In the late Middle Ages this vital essence was deemed to be chemical in nature. By the early nineteenth century it had become electrical. (...)
The implication that life is akin to magnetism or gravity."

"the answer may lie in quantum physics . He argues that the nature of thought transcends the limits of a mechanical computer, and so may require a forme of "hypercomputation" that exploits quantum uncertainty."
Roger Penrose, The Emperor's new Mind. 

Vitalism is a materialistic notion because
it tries to embody a spiritual idea in an esentially physical form. Materialism holds that there is no separate division into material and spiritual worlds. "

"The beauty of materialist, mechanist, reductionist thinking is that it can explain so much about our world; its danger is that it can also explain things away. 

The soul(...) it has been turned into first a substance, then a force, and now a mechanism "

"Our division of the world into categories'living' and 'non-living' seems tobe one of the most fundamental judgements we make and, wether it is fair or not, we treat eac category in very different ways. Perhaps the most profound distinction we make between living and non-living is in our application of morals. "
Life is not made of atoms, it is merely built out of them. What life is actually 'made of' is cycles of cause and efect, loops of causal flow. These phenomena are just as real as atoms - perhaps even more real. If anything, the entire universe is actually made from events, of which atoms are merely some of the consequences. 
Now informationnal? 

Pro, devant
Fenum, Lieu consacré
Agamben : Profaner, c'est restituer à l'usage commun ce qui a été séparé dans la sphère du sacré.

Concepts of 'right' and 'wrong' are applicable only to living things. We never accuse an avalanche of being a murderer