The manifestation of binary situations like recessive vs.dominant is often the result of a lot of gain being applied to an analog signal, thus causing the expressed trait to saturate quickly if it’s expressed at all.‘SS’ and ‘Ss’ pairings of genes leads to saturated colors, while only the ‘ss’ combination leads to a net low saturation (albinism).
A badge’s sperm is transmitted wirelessly to another host badge, where it’s mixed with the host’s egg and a new individual blending traits of both parents is born.
The new LED pattern replaces the current pattern on the egg donor’s badge.
Albinism – a badge light pattern looking white or gray – happens only when both maternal and paternal values are small.
‘S’ means large saturation, and ‘s’ means little saturation.
In order to capture the wonderful diversity offered by sex, I implement quantitative traits in the light genome.
Instead of having a single bit for each trait, it’s a byte, and there’s an expression function that combines the values from each gene (alleles) to derive a final observed trait (phenotype).In an act of shameless biomimicry, I copied nature’s most popular protocol for creating individuals – sex.By adding a peer-to-peer radio in each badge, I was able to implement a protocol for the breeding of lighting patterns via sex.Things like the color range, blinking rate, and saturation of the light pattern are mapped into a set of diploid (two copies of each gene) chromosomes (code) (spec).Just as in biological sex, a badge randomly picks one copy of each gene and packages them into a sperm and an egg (every badge is a hermaphrodite, much like plants).For Burning Man, I chose saturating addition as the expression function, to have the population lean toward vivid colors.