steve_grand's picture
Founder, Cyberlife Research; author, Creation: Life and How to Make It
Grand's Law

Grand's First Law

Things that persist, persist; things that don't, don't.

This tautology underlies every single phenomenon we see around us, from
molecules to religions. The purpose of science is simply to discover how and
why any given class of pattern manages to persist. Life is best understood
as a group of patterns that are able to persist because they spontaneously
duplicate themselves and adapt to change. Equally, an electron is a pattern
that persists as a self-maintaining resonant mode in the electromagnetic
field. The universe is what is left over when all the non-self-maintaining
patterns have faded away.

Grand's Second Law

Cortex is cortex is cortex.

Our brains may end up as a collection of highly specialised 'modules', but
the functioning of these modules is not the key to intelligence. The key is
the deeper set of rules that enable a homogeneous pink goo to wire itself up
into such a collection of specialised machines in the first place, merely by
being exposed to the sensory world.

Grand's Third Law

The more carefully one makes contingency plans, the more bizarre the actual
circumstances will turn out to be.