Fixed Action Pattern
“Follow your nose. Trust your instincts. What bullshit. Might as well say a bedtime prayer cause that’s all you’re doing when you go with your gut.” Traisa took a swig and set her highball glass down. “It’s worked so far,” Darte said, glowering at Traisa’s cocktail. “That’s because, so far, the competition has been sorely limited. We’ve been competing against ants and termites. Not anymore. And the suits that oversee the lab and all our work don’t get it. ” She reached for her drink, but suddenly pulled her hand back. “You get it. I know you get it, Darte. You must get it.” “They’re bots, Traisa. Simbots. They can’t evolve. They can’t get smarter. They’re too simple.” She reached for her drink again. Stopped herself again. “They don’t have to evolve. Simple is smart—when the numbers get big enough. Simple machines following simple rules can ultimately make highly intelligent decisions.” “Swarm behavior does not mean hive intelligence,” Darte argued. “Simbots do not have a collective conscious. They’re not instinctual.” “Of course not. I’m not arguing a divinely innate ability. Simbots are coded. Just like we are genetically coded.” Traisa stared at her drink. Stared hard. “It’s all a fixed action pattern. All this crap we call life, the sham we call free will. It’s hard wired. Just like the simbots. We’ve got to figure out the pattern before they do.” Darte shook his head, reached for her drink. She slapped his hand away. “You’re the one with an action pattern problem, Traisa. And you need to fix it!” He stood up. Before Darte could go, Traisa raised her drink to him. “The game from here on out is tic-tac-toe, not chess. So, here’s to three in a row.” She downed her drink. Then went to the bar and ordered two more.