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SubjectRe: Coding style - a non-issue
On December 2, 2001 09:12 pm, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> On Sun, 2 Dec 2001, Rik van Riel wrote:
> > Also, natural selection tends to favour the best return/effort ratio,
> > not the best end result. [...]
> there is no 'effort' involved in evolution. Nature does not select along
> the path we went. It's exactly this property why it took 5 billion years
> to get here, while Linux took just 10 years to be built from grounds up.
> The fact is that bacteria took pretty random paths for 2 billion years to
> get to the next level. That's alot of 'effort'.

One fact that is often missed by armchair evolutionists is that evolution is
not random. It's controlled by a mechanism (most obviously: gene shuffling)
and the mechanism *itself* evolves. That is why evolution speeds up over
time. There's a random element, yes, but it's not the principle element.

The fact that Linux has evolved from nothing to what it is in a mere 10 years
- 30 if you count the 20 years of Unix that came before it - is due entirely
to the fact that Nature has evolved a very efficient mechanism (us) to guide
Linux's evolution.

> So *once* we have something that is better, it does not matter how long it
> took to get there.

Sure, once you are better than the other guy you're going to eat his lunch.
But time does matter: a critter that fails to get its evolutionary tail in
gear before somebody eats its lunch isn't going to get a second chance.

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