Here's something interesting from Bruce Lipton 5 of 7 Bruce Lipton - Biology of Perception 5 of 7
My thought is +Chris Jones
that this is Reeee-ally relevant to just how much weight we place on emergent behaviors (that is, I'm suspecting that things aren't as emergent as we think they are -- they only appear that way because we can't see the cause and effect).
Let me set a bit of a background. Lipton is showing how genes don't control anything -- they're simply patterns/instructions for creating proteins. Proteins are the inanimate machine parts for causing cell behaviors. If a new protein is needed the DNA must be referenced (like a software code library). Genes contribute to the production of proteins. One particular slide says: "When a gene product is needed, a signal from its environment, not an emergent property of the gene itself, activates expression of that gene."
Lipton goes on to say, "The genes are selected in response to the environment that you're in." Unless you would consider the environment part of an algorithm, this sounds a bit like a heuristic operating environment. Save you'd like to suggest that it's a heuristic-algorithmic operating environment -- which is reasonable since from my perspective, all things at an optimal design are operating as a mystery-heuristic-algorithmic-binarycode environment -- all at once, simultaneously. The biggest distinction across different situations is the distribution of 'weights' across the model (some decidedly more weighted toward one section/side of the model).
To determine why certain behaviors ensue, we have to look for the signals in the environment which elicit perceptions and then behaviors. But the signals themselves are also moderated by perceptions, so behaviors are driven by perceptions -- whether or not they're accurate. Our perceptions are shaped by our beliefs and once we get to beliefs, we've now moved all the way to the 'mystery' side of the model.
Do you see the potential, even at all levels? Design operates in response to constraints/circumstances (the environment). We 'design' our lives on a daily basis by responding to constraints/circumstances across the full model: we engage our beliefs and based on our previous experiences we may either move forward based on intuition (which of itself is an act of pattern matching), try something new to see the results, evaluate the variables and apply a corresponding algorithm (when these conditions are present, I do...), or operate totally predictably (in response to...I always...).
But then of course this is a highly simplified version of the reality. In reality, there is some portion of us that engages one element, another portion that engages another, etc. etc. In the end, we engage them all, simultaneously.