[ by Charles Cameron — fitness landscapes and the Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond ]
With the rise and fall of sea levels, sky levels, land emerges or submerges, mountain ranges with scattered lakes in their valleys transform into archipelagos, island clusters surge up to become continents — rise and fall, ebb and flow, wave upon wave..
I mean, really, what of the moral high ground?
Adaptive Basins and Strange Peaks
Biologists talk about adaptive landscapes. In these metaphorical places, species climb uphill towards optimal fitness. Going up is a struggle. Climbing takes energy. Optimal peaks can be hard to attain. Many species are distracted by getting stuck on sub-optimal false peaks, or waylaid by the intervening rugged landscape.
ResearchGate, Schematic “adaptive” or “fitness” landscape
The Technium, Adaptive Basins and Strange Peaks
Nemesis and the Prophets are agreed:
Every valley shall be exalted, every mountain and hill made low
— or as Mary said of her son’s father:
He buffets proud folk about like leaves in a gale.
He upsets those that hold themselves high and mighty
and rescues the least one of us.
Ursula le Guin voiced Lao Tzu for us in English:
is like water.
It doesn’t compete.
It goes right
to the low loathsome places,
and so finds the way.
What’s softest in the world
rushes and runs
over what’s hardest in the world.
O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road, And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye