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Towards a Logical Data Model for Genetics 1 of 4 - Thought Experiment: Thomas Edison Receives a Broken iPod

Exploring the use of man-made existence models as a path to understand nature's logical data model



Warren Jones, Lana Rubalsky (2010) "Towards a Logical Data Model for Genetics - Thought Experiment: Thomas Edison Receives a Broken iPod", wJones Research, July 28, 2010

At a Glance

  1. Thought Experiment: Could Edison in 1901 have reverse engineered a broken iPod without a computer manual?
  2. Current methods in the study of genetics and neuroscience are similar to the Edison-iPod thought experiment in that they probe and test without a model of the underlying logical structure of existence or the mind.
  3. Stored Purpose offers a general reference manual for genetics and neuroscience by providing a transparent and documented architecture of how intelligent existence is constructed.
Components of an Intelligent Computer


Stored Purpose machine intelligence is a complete model for intelligent systems developed between 2006 and 2010. As its architecture has been refined and made more efficient, its underlying information structures have become similar to the data of chromatin, the basis for genetics, and its functions similar to those of the human mind.

Most scientific effort today in the areas of genetics and neuroscience is focused on studying outcomes. Using tools such as suppression, copy and paste, research attempts to learn the meaning of the specific parts of the genome and brain by way of methodical probing and observation of results. Much like Thomas Edison would attempt to learn the workings of a broken iPod sent from the future, modern genetic and mind research probes physical and chemical structures in life, and attempts to understand its underlying logical structure from an “outside-in” perspective.

As the first fully man-made architecture for intelligent entities, Stored Purpose offers an “inside-out” approach to the study of both disciplines. Its logical structures provide a genetic data model, a transparent window on fundamental approaches to genetic architecture or an intelligent mind. In providing a catalog of the underlying data that “must” be present for existential intelligence, Stored Purpose creates the first genetic software and may provide a road to better understanding and ultimately decoding and constructing eukaryote, prokaryote, mitochondria and chloroplast based genetic systems, much as it will provide the basis for a new generation of intelligent cloud infrastructure.

Limitations of the Current Approach - the Edison-iPod Thought Experiment

Consider as a thought experiment, if Thomas Edison’s lab, circa 1901 received a damaged iPod in the mail, circa 2001. What would his team be able to learn about the device? How much time would be required to reverse engineer the device?

We take for granted an understanding of the stored program computer architecture that is the basis for iPod design. Ideas such as input/output, display technology, processors, memory and storage are common knowledge today … but in 1901, Edison’s team would have no such advantage.

Absent an understanding of the logical structure of computers, Edison would likely still learn much based upon observation of physical structures. Within a few weeks, his lab might open the case and apply electrical power. Within a few months or years, they might probe its firmware. Absent tools like a keyboard, programing language or terminal, his team might determine the purpose of the tiny hard drive, locate segments of its operating system, determine the existence of byte code, and identify shared and isolated segments of programs. With diligent effort, the lab that would one day become General Electric, might also learn to copy, move, change and delete code segments, ... even map each identified code block. The team could ultimately determine which blocks of code make screen lights flicker, the system restart, cause a song to play or disappear, the speaker to make screeching noises and make the damaged screen light up.

Yet, despite the likely success in learning the basics of construction and purpose based upon physical observation of the iPod, Edison’s team’s success would likely be dwarfed by a lesser team, if it were equipped with a single manual for a modern day computer. Such a team would not need a manual specific to the iPod, but any guide that conveys knowledge of the stored program architecture … programs, programming languages, data storage, media file formats, display interfaces, serial communications, power buses, dynamic memory, hard disk drives and batteries.

Would an iPod in 1901 be Less Mysterious than Chromatin and the Brain are Today?

The development of modern neuroscience, and the decoding of the genome have been tremendous achievements, but each effort shares much with our Edison-iPod thought experiment. Minds and fruit flies, like broken iPods lost in time, don’t come with manuals.

A Manual

A manual describing the information bus of the nervous system or fruit fly genome would enable scientists to understand each system’s structures and purpose with absolute precision. It would expose organizational, procedural and data details sufficient to enable scientists to build a genetic data model … to learn, modify and even write its genetic make-up. Such a manual would describe the genetic software of the system and how it runs.

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