But it is Still a Robot!

| 269 Comments

This months PLoS Biology contains a review article by Floreano and Keller on studies that explore evolution using robots. It is an interesting read.

Evolution of Adaptive Behaviour in Robots by Means of Darwinian Selection

Darwin suggested that adaptation and complexity could evolve by natural selection acting successively on numerous small, heritable modifications. But is this enough? Here, we describe selected studies of experimental evolution with robots to illustrate how the process of natural selection can lead to the evolution of complex traits such as adaptive behaviours. Just a few hundred generations of selection are sufficient to allow robots to evolve collision-free movement, homing, sophisticated predator versus prey strategies, coadaptation of brains and bodies, cooperation, and even altruism. In all cases this occurred via selection in robots controlled by a simple neural network, which mutated randomly.

269 Comments

Neat stuff! Just finishing a section on NS in my Intro. Bio class and can now add “Robotic Selection” to the menu of evidences for selection.

Number five… is alive…

But the mutations weren’t really random, at least not in some esoteric sense that I can’t define. I’m sure the results were front loaded and smuggled in somehow by some really good intelligent programmer. We just need to see the original code to figure out how they did it. I mean, nothing new can ever really evolve by random changes, right? I mean, if that could occur in robots then it could also occur in nature and that would mean that evolution is true and that is against my religion. SO now you can’t teach this in science class without violating my religiosity, right?

For those who’d like to chew on philosophical questions:

Do these robots exhibit free will? How is it different/similar to human/animal free will?

(My knowledge on philosophy is fuzzy, so I can’t answer these questions coherently.)

Monimonika said:

For those who’d like to chew on philosophical questions:

Do these robots exhibit free will? How is it different/similar to human/animal free will?

(My knowledge on philosophy is fuzzy, so I can’t answer these questions coherently.)

Reminds me of this scene from Dark Star.

Floreano has been doing a lot of work on genetic algorithms and robotics. Nolfi is another name in the field that’s worth looking into, since he goes a step further (he gets rid of representation inside his robot’s ‘brains’ - they accomplish complex behaviour without actually ‘thinking’, so to speak).

The two worked together to write one of the best books on the subject, which may interest some readers here. (Full disclosure: My thesis work heavily cites Nolfi.)

These robots consist of parts that resemble intricate machines. And we know all machines have a machinist!
Remove a motor driver, and the whole actuator system becomes non-functional by definition. There’s no way these machines can simply evolve by random mutation!
The chances of a tornado blowing through a junkyard and assembling one of these robots really, really teeny! Therefore, they must have been designed! Therefore, WE must have been designed!

I’ve just discovered the Theory of Intelligent Roboticists!

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

There is no such thing as free will, thus any appeal to that concept will automatically fail.

The creator is not always going to be greater than the created, especially if the created can improve itself. My parents created me, but I would not say they are superior to me.

(Preamble: I am a trained biologist, I absolutely accept evolution as fact, and I scorn “ID”.) Just a caveat here. From the paper:

The process of Darwinian selection is then imitated by selectively choosing the genomes of robots with highest fitness to produce a new generation of robots.

This is not ‘natural selection’; it is ‘artificial selection’. The results are truly astonishing, but until researchers test a system which considers only survival, reproduction and competition for limiting resources, and does not require the intervention of a human … er … designer, ‘evolution by natural selection’ has not been tested.

The title should have been “But it is Still of the Robot KIND!”

dlactin said:

This is not ‘natural selection’; it is ‘artificial selection’.

Would you like to explain the difference?

Is the increase in grain size in food crops since farming began “natural” or “artificial” selection?

Is the decrease in adult cod size due to smaller adults surviving by passing though nets “natural” or “artificial” selection?

Would this be true for a hunted species where the fishing method intelligently targeted large individuals?

Pot fisherman return undersized lobsters to the sea with the intention of allowing them to mature and breed. But this selection is on size, not sexual maturity, so there must be some unplanned selection pressure tending to make lobsters become smaller. Would this unplanned outcome be “natural” or “artificial” selection?

There is a very large experiment called “The Natural World” which shows evolution happens. A lab experiment can show that a mechanism to allow replication with mutation then selection can produce better solutions under specific circumstances. Any claim to accurately model the “The Natural World” in its entirety with “only survival, reproduction and competition for limiting resources” is doomed to failure from the start if all selection pressures have to be defined in advance.

Monimonika said:

For those who’d like to chew on philosophical questions:

Do these robots exhibit free will? How is it different/similar to human/animal free will?

(My knowledge on philosophy is fuzzy, so I can’t answer these questions coherently.)

This depends on the definition of “free will”. Some define “free will” as “the apparent human ability to make choices that are not externally determined.” Using this definition only humans might possess free will (but perhaps they don’t).

Dave Lovell said:

dlactin said:

This is not ‘natural selection’; it is ‘artificial selection’.

Would you like to explain the difference?

If I’ve understood the paper correctly, the difference is that in the robot study, the robots were evolving toward set goals (implicit in the fitness functions used to determine which robot genomes were passed on to the next generation). No such predetermined goals exist in the biosphere as a whole.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

dlactin said: but until researchers test a system which considers only survival, reproduction and competition for limiting resources, and does not require the intervention of a human … er … designer, ‘evolution by natural selection’ has not been tested.

In a trivial sense, we are a natural part of the robot’s environment, acting like a predator by eliminating some robots using some internal criteria (in this case, feeding our careers rather than our bodies). So it is natural selection in that all the actors in this drama are natural.

But in a historical sense you’re right; Darwin contrasted natural selection to dog breeding because he wanted to make the point that the world without people could make the same changes people could make.

IANA robot researcher. It seems to me a conceptually easy thing to do to allow the non-human environment to have a say on the goals (i.e. fitness measures). However, IMO this type of addition is both needless and counter-productive at this stage. Needless because we already generally know that non-human species act as selecting agents and how they do so, so we can model them using human action and be fairly confident in the results. Second, its counter-productive because the population of robots in these experiments is pretty small (three experiments, 80 each), which means random fluctuations in the behavior of any non-human selector you introduce are going to have an unnaturally large impact on the selection process. Your suggestion wouldn’t add greater fidelity to the experiment, it would just trade “unnaturally over-determination” for “unnaturally higher randomness.”

Hmmm… there’s a difference between ‘goals’ and ‘improving fitness’.

A fairly recent paper (I’ll try to remember the reference if anyone needs it or doesn’t know it already) subjected enzymes with a poor PCR enzyme to a fitness problem. The scientist reduced the availability of some raw materials (it’s really much more complex than this, but I don’t want to be accused of misrepresentation here).

Over 400 or so generations (about 72 hours), the enzymes had a number of mutations that improved their ability to extract the raw material. It was a 92 fold increase.

Now the purpose of the experiment was do develop an enzyme that was more effective at producing hydrogen gas. That was the ‘goal’ of the scientist. However, that goal was never set on the enzymes. They were subjected a ‘fitness’ problem in that only certain enzymes were allowed to reproduce (i.e. those with an increase in hydrogen production).

It may be artificial selection (which BTW is exactly the same as natural selection, just with something other than nature choosing what ‘fitness’ means), but it is still undirected evolution in that there is no specific goal, just a general improvement in the ‘fitness’ of the organism.

BTW: This same experiment showed how Behe’s irreducable structures can develop via evolution. The most efficient enzymes had a set of four mutations that resulted in the huge increase in hydrogen production. However, three of the mutations taken seperately resulted in decreases in production. Only when all four mutation were present did the highest hydrogen production occur.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

Monimonika said: Do these robots exhibit free will? How is it different/similar to human/animal free will?

In so far as humans have free will, it’s just to (*incredibly* roughly) say that we’re acting rationally and making choices by our own immediate cognitive abilities. This is called compatibilism, and is an account of free will that allows for people to be held moral responsible despite determinism.

What most people think of when they say free will, known as libertarian free will, is a willed action that is neither determined nor random. Unfortunately, determined and random fill in all the possibilities.

If these robots were as emotionally and socially complex as humans then they would likely have just as much compatibilist free will as we’re able to have.

Lyin wrote:

“When are people going to drop the willful suspension of disbelief which Hero of Alexandria and Leonardo Da Vinci were able to exploit and trick people (like DS) into thinking they were seeing independent thought/will/action?”

I never said there was any independent thought/will/action. There are random changes acted on by selection that produce can adaptations over time. That is called evolution. It doesn’t matter that the changes are not really mutations in the biological sense. It doesn’t matter that the selection is artificial and not “natural” in the biological sense. This is clear evidence BY ANALOGY that the basic processes of random variation and selection have the ability to produce novel features. When are you going to drop the willful disbelief and admit that all of the evidence is consistent with evolution? When are going to admit that the evidence is clear that evolution actually occurred regardless of your preconceptions? When are you going to stop trying to exploit and trick people into denying the evidence?

Look dude, this is just microevolution. Everybody believes in that. What is your problem? Do you deny that random mutations occur? Do you deny that there is selection in nature? Do you deny that adaptations can occur without the intervention of an intelligent agent? If you deny these obvious realities should anyone care what you think?

Whenever anybody says “category error”, you can be sure the rest of the message is not worth reading.

SWT said:

If I’ve understood the paper correctly, the difference is that in the robot study, the robots were evolving toward set goals … No such predetermined goals exist in the biosphere as a whole.

The goal is simple. Live long enough to get laid.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

SWT said:

Dave Lovell said:

dlactin said:

This is not ‘natural selection’; it is ‘artificial selection’.

Would you like to explain the difference?

If I’ve understood the paper correctly, the difference is that in the robot study, the robots were evolving toward set goals (implicit in the fitness functions used to determine which robot genomes were passed on to the next generation). No such predetermined goals exist in the biosphere as a whole.

Could you argue that there is a “predetermined” goal in the biosphere: that of getting your genes into the next generation ?

What’s not predetermined is the method of ensuring they get there.

talkorigins.org:

As astonishing and counterintuitive as it may seem to some, genetic algorithms have proven to be an enormously powerful and successful problem-solving strategy, dramatically demonstrating the power of evolutionary principles. Genetic algorithms have been used in a wide variety of fields to evolve solutions to problems as difficult as or more difficult than those faced by human designers. Moreover, the solutions they come up with are often more efficient, more elegant, or more complex than anything comparable a human engineer would produce. In some cases, genetic algorithms have come up with solutions that baffle the programmers who wrote the algorithms in the first place!

Genetic algorithms use evolutionary principles to evolve computer programs. They don’t look much like human designed programs.

PCR is used to evolve aptamers, RNA molecules that bind to a given target. A drug to treat a common cause of blindness was evolved this way, Macugen for macular degeneration.

While the IDists/creationists are attacking science, science is busy making a better world.

OgreMkV:

Please try to remember the reference. I would like to read the paper, but couldn’t fin it on my own.

Science Avenger said:

Your certainty is refuted by AI already in existence, some of which have produced results (like antenna design, someone help me and find the link) that were BETTER than anything the engineers could come up with on their own.

Is this the link you wanted?

http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/projects/esg[…]/antenna.htm

PP

Why was my previous comment moved to the Bathroom Wall? (a first btw)

JKS said:

I have been teaching science for 30+ years and I agree 100% - creationists have made Teaching science harder – in all fields of science (I have or currently teach Bio, Chem, Physics, and Earth science). I get hits from all of the fields at some point or another. I use the vast concise rebuttals of TO continually.

I am quite familiar with this phenomenon. Even those teachers who teach in math/science centers in presumably moderate communities get regular hits and curtail their teaching of evolution accordingly. School administrators are also at fault for not backing teachers while attempting to avoid “controversy” and parent complaints.

Science HAS become more adept to responding to their criticisms - something it would not have done if they were not there- as the vent critters adapted to the high temp water something they would not have done otherwise – Just happened nobody’s (no scientists’ any way) plan.

What I have observed in several communities since the 1960s and 70s is that it was the biology teachers who were taking all the hits. And I am ashamed to say that not many physicists or chemists were taking these attacks on biologists seriously. We ceded the field to the ID/creationists by not getting organized and not taking ID/creationists to task for the misconceptions and misrepresentations they were systematically introducing.

Even after some of us started getting involved, we didn’t understand the political nature of the ID/creationist movement. Many of us started out thinking that creationists just had some misconceptions that could be easily corrected.

It was only when we watched them turn right around and reuse the same refuted misconceptions and misrepresentations in new venues that we began to realize it was a deliberate political tactic. Still, it took almost a decade before the entire scientific community to started working together more effectively on cataloguing ID/creationist propaganda and providing teachers with the materials to rebut it.

Misconceptions have always been an issue in getting science across to students and the public. Most of the professional science teaching organizations now have entire sections of their organizations devoted to identifying and correcting these problems.

However, in the years since the 1960s, ID/creationism has become a well-funded and highly sophisticated propaganda machine driven by some pretty intense fanatics.

I teach in a rural conservative setting so I don’t have the luxury of the retorts and the smacdowns to a student like in a faceless blog, facts and tact are all I have.

Unfortunately, one of the tactics of ID/creationists is to attempt to tie the hands of teachers and scientists by making a point of “tact” and “politeness”. Even direct statements of fact about the misconceptions and misrepresentations of ID/creationists are paraded as rudeness.

The idea has always been to leave open the door that ID/creationism might just be right and that good people with good intentions are behind it.

Many of the rank and file are good people with good intentions. But at some point they need to understand that ID/creationism gets every major scientific concept wrong. There is no way around that.

DS said:

mcplavcan [sic] wrote:

“In spite of Coyne’s assertion, experiments in evolutionary biology are often repeated, albeit this depends on the nature of the study, and your exact definition of replicability.”

Well we repeated Morgan’s experiments with fruit files in genetics lab yesterday. It has been repeated literally millions of times over the last one hundred years. Repeatability is a hallmark of good science. Kettlewell’s experiments have been repeated many times and have served as the basis for many more detailed studies. Anyone who claims that experiments are not repeated just doesn’t understand how science works. Of course science is self correcting, who else is going to correct it, not creationist that’s for sure.

Using false creationist claims and quote mines is going to get you labelled a creationist. Why shouldn’t it?

The flippancy of her reply, coupled with a reliance on pseudo-authority, strongly suggests that she hasn’t read the relevant literature, knows little about the nature of the science, and has no intention of doing any research on the issue. This is diagnostic behavior, so to speak.

Dave Luckett, Read my damn posts and you’ll see that “I get that you don’t think evolution is important” and “Evolution is not important” “ is a stupid lie.

Brenda wrote:

“Read my damn posts and you’ll see that “I get that you don’t think evolution is important” and “Evolution is not important” “ is a stupid lie.”

Really? Even though you think that conclusions in evolution are accepted unquestioningly? Even though you think that experiments in evolution are never repeated? Even though you apparently think that evolution is not useful in fighting AIDS? Even though you have displayed every characteristics of a creationist troll? Even though you claimed you wanted to discuss the paper about robots but never read it? Even though you berated others for their uncivility and then claimed you didn’t care about that? Even though you said you were done here and are now back yet again, still without having read the paper?

Brenda said:

Dave Luckett, Read my damn posts and you’ll see that “I get that you don’t think evolution is important” and “Evolution is not important” “ is a stupid lie.

I did read your posts, including the one where you said

Brenda said:

Raven writes: “While the IDists/creationists are attacking science, science is busy making a better world.”

Lets toss off your anger, Raven, and recognize that science is huge, but these people attack only a few areas of science, those areas of science that contribute relatively little to making a better world. And they try to make a better world in their own way.

I just spent a few minutes reviewing the article, and a question occurred to me … have our friends at the DI weighed in on this? It appears to me that this would be a perfect example where one could apply the explanatory filter. Alas, I suspect this is just another missed opportunity for them.

That’s it. That’s a troll, of the “concern” variety. Perfect profile. Never state a position, always attack those of others, initially by insinuation and innuendo and implicitly, until they react, then accuse them of impoliteness. When brought face-to-face with your own assertions, do not defend them, only attack those who tax you with them. Lie about it.

Robin, it was an honourable attempt, and I honour you for it. But that’s a troll, a good one, and a successful one in the currency of trolldom, but a troll nevertheless.

Dave Luckett said:

That’s it. That’s a troll, of the “concern” variety. Perfect profile. Never state a position, always attack those of others, initially by insinuation and innuendo and implicitly, until they react, then accuse them of impoliteness. When brought face-to-face with your own assertions, do not defend them, only attack those who tax you with them. Lie about it.

Agreed. Thing is, she could have played it out for a few more days by just pretending to read the paper or stating a position on something, anything. Guess that isn’t allowed in the troll playbook. The quote mine condemning an entire field of science was a nice touch. Kind of hard to claim you are pro science after that.

Course no one buys that this isn’t really Brenda Tucker either. Doesn’t really matter, since they seem to be cut from the same cloth. Of course this all could have been avoided by judicious use of the bathroom wall, something I recommended days ago.

As for the comment by SWT, you can bet that if the DI ever notices this research, the knee jerk response will include the words “front loading” with no evidence whatsoever. If they were smart they would ignore it, safe in the knowledge that none of the faithful will ever read the primary literature.

JKS said: Not understand? I did teach straight evolutionary bio for 26 years- no room for the “controversy”. It was meant as analogy Science didn’t ask for creationists, they are there in the environment they have caused a change in the Science work(not directed as good or bad just a change)

Fair enough. Sorry if I came down hard on you, but to be honest the bit about being made hardier did sound like the standard ladder/directional misconception that we get all the time. I understand now that that was just due to phrasing, not your intent.

Accepted. As I said I understood - reading the posts, the site gets hit with trolls often. Have to admit I enjoy the banter - unfortunately it also illustrates the confrontational problems that exist.

Like a blog over troll-ed waters…

AI that currently exists is narrow. It just happens to do its dedicated jobs better than a true intelligence, like consciousness does. But who’s to say that a new consciousness can’t be created that is better than these AIs?

All this just points to the fact that we are going to be gods, and there is a chance that we could have been created in a similar way by similar gods.

DS wrote: “If anyone is studying AIDS without considering evolution he is fighting a losing battle. The only chance we ever have of stopping AIDS is to understand how it evolves. This work will depend critically on evolutionary theory and the thousands of experiments that have already been performed. Anyone who dismisses evolutionary biology as irrelevant will simply be condemning millions of people to death. That appears to be what Brenda is promoting here.” and: “You have said that you won’t post anything else here. If you do you will once again be shown to be a liar.”

You caught me. I’m a liar. Yup. Y’see, I just couldn’t let your lie go unaddressed.

DS, instead of calling you an idiot, I’ll just call you a fellow who lets his biases cause him to become blind. In my last post, I said that my researcher friend DOES use a little evolutionary theory (a category of evolutionary theory that is mostly uncontroversial even among creationists) in his research. I even mentioned his use of “mutation rates.” (Should I have used a bigger font, DS?) His cohorts analyze the statistics of population shifts and whatnot. Your fear/accusation that my friend might lead to the deaths of millions of people makes me think that you’re just like Glenn Beck.”

Oh, I missed this gem: “Course no one buys that this isn’t really Brenda Tucker either.”

Since I’m sure you didn’t ask anyone, I will have to conclude that you are no one. Would it help if I stated that Tucker’s “7 races of man” theory is the second most craziest thing I’ve seen all week?

Hint hint about number one, DS.

Dave Luckett asks several questions, but I only feel like answering one of them.

Again.

“Do you or do you not accept that the above review article on experiments applying Darwinian evolution to robots provides evidence for the effectiveness of Darwinian evolution? “

I answered it here:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/201[…]mment-205382

(For the record, I asked DS if he was an expert in the subject of the paper. I was concerned that he might be blindly believing what it says. I may have missed his answer.)

I am shocked – shocked – to find that gaming is going on in this thread … three more posts from Brenda and still no explicit articulation of a position regarding the validity of modern evolutionary theory.

Like I said several times, SWT, it was never on my agenda to articulate my position. The “gaming” continues because people like you keep trying, even though your trying has no point.

Like I said several times, SWT, it was never on my agenda to actually read the paper or discuss it. The “gaming” continues because people like me keep trying, even though my trying has no point. I have admitted that everything that I once claimed was wrong. I even tried to claim that that was what I meant all along. I wonder why no one cares.

So, let’s review shall we. Brenda thinks that evolution is not all that important but admits that it is. Brenda thinks that evolution isn’t important for studying AIDS but admits that it is. Brenda thinks that everyone in evolutionary biology accepts everything unquestioningly but admits that they don’t. Brenda has absolutely no point to make, but keeps arguing with everyone anyway, even though she promised to go away. And finally, Brenda absolutely refuses to actually read the paper and discuss it, even though she is obviously familiar with what Brenda Tucker writes.

If Brenda can demonstrate that she has read and understood the paper, then I might choose to reply to something she writes her in the future. If not she can argue with herself all she wants to. That seems to be her speciality. She might eventually get around to admitting what her real position is about something, but of course by then no one will care.

Brenda said:

Like I said several times, SWT, it was never on my agenda to articulate my position.

Your agenda is to troll here, nothing more.

DS, do you only think in binary? Is there such a thing as a middle ground to you? Your second paragraph above screams “no” to both of these.

Stanton, you’re wrong. I don’t think that you or DS are even interested in discussing the paper. Only one or two people here asked me a question about the paper, but it was so generic. It was basically a challenge as to whether I believe it validated evolution. Boring! I answered that question – which sounded just like a litmus test kind of question. Don’t you have anything better?

Oops, I meant to word that differently. I meant to charge you, DS, with thinking only in binary, with no middle ground.

Okay, then, cut to the chase, Brenda:

Why are you here?

fnxtr said:

Okay, then, cut to the chase, Brenda:

Why are you here?

Since Brenda has no interest in providing us with context for her remarks, I think Stanton nailed it a couple of posts ago. I have no idea why she thinks we should be asking her questions about the paper.

I think we should declare feeding time over.

Brenda wrote:

“DS, do you only think in binary? Is there such a thing as a middle ground to you? Your second paragraph above screams “no” to both of these.”

Well then, I’m glad that’s settled.

If Brenda is so thrilled with binary thinking, she should really like the robot paper. Too bad she will never read it. Why on earth would anyone want to ask her a question about a paper she hasn’t read?

SWT writes: “Since Brenda has no interest in providing us with context for her remarks”

What does this mean? When I asked my original question, who needed a context? Did you need it in order to know whether you should answer politely or with swords unsheathed? Bible-following folks like to know whether the people asking them questions are atheists or believers or whatnot so that they can craft their answers most effectively. But this is science, where the truth is the truth. At least it’s supposed to be.

Fnxtr writes: “cut to the chase…Why are you here?”

Sorry, but I’m not inclined to answer this more than two times. Please go back and look.

DS writes: “If Brenda is so thrilled with binary thinking…:

Poor, poor DS, he missed my subsequent post, where I’m disgusted with DS’s binary thinking.

And DS, I read the fine paper. It’s just that the first time I read it, I didn’t read it carefully enough.

Another hundred words of claiming that she read the paper, claiming that she wanted to discuss the paper, claiming that she did discuss the paper, but not actually, you know, discussing the paper. How troll, er I mean droll.

In any event, sexual reproduction and recombination were mentioned in the second paragraph. Crossing over was shown in the first figure. If anyone did read this paper and had to ask if the genomes were passed on intact, they either do not understand anything about biology or really can’t read very well. No wonder the troll doesn’t want to answer any direct questions about her beliefs.

So now that she has admitted that the paper supports mainstream evolutionary biology and has admitted that it is a “fine paper”, i guess we’re done here.

Brenda said:

SWT writes: “Since Brenda has no interest in providing us with context for her remarks”

What does this mean? When I asked my original question, who needed a context? Did you need it in order to know whether you should answer politely or with swords unsheathed? Bible-following folks like to know whether the people asking them questions are atheists or believers or whatnot so that they can craft their answers most effectively. But this is science, where the truth is the truth. At least it’s supposed to be.

I believe your first post in this thread included three comments:

1) What a shame it was the djlactin felt the need to make his position clear

2) That Raven shouldn’t be angry because creationists (“these people,” not “creationism”) only challenge a few areas of science that don’t make much of a difference

3) A question about the paper.

Why on earth would you think that only your final point is a fair topic of discussion?

As to context … if a mainstream Democrat and a mainstream Republican each tell me “We need to reform the tax system,” knowing their affiliations provides me some insight into what they actually mean, since they use the same words to sum up very different approaches to policy. If you were to be kind enough to grace us with a clear statement of your position regarding evolution, I suspect it would most likely show either that (a) we’ve been rightly arguing with someone who is aligned with movements that, if successful, will undermine the foundations of modern science or (b) we’ve horribly misunderstood someone who is in fact our ally in the pursuit of mainstream science.

Or possibly that (c) your concern trolling has been exceptionally successful.

DS, do you only think in binary? Is there such a thing as a middle ground to you? Your second paragraph above screams “no” to both of these.

Fallacy of the Middle Ground

you are a waste of time.

Thank you, Ichthyic, for the barely relevant link. Also, you quoted my pre-corrected post.

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