Amoeba Code

If organisms are programs, then DNA is our source code. Some people attempt to measure the complexity of an organism by the number of base pairs in its DNA.

For instance, the human genome is 250x longer than the yeast genome. Makes sense.

But then, the amoeba genome is 225x longer than the human genome[1]. Does this mean amoebas are the real intelligent life on the planet?

The complexity of the code does not determine the complexity of the results. 

We’ve all seen extremely complex code that performs a simple task. This is like the amoeba genome.

Our goal as developers is to keep our code simple. Like in NKS: simple rules can lead to very complex output. This is the holy grail – finding a new way to look at problems, so that the solution is simpler than you’d expect from the meaningfulness of the output.

Don’t write the amoeba genome. Learn from the yeast, and maybe someday we’ll build a human.

[1] Complexity, A Guided Tour, by Melanie Mitchell, chapter 7