I'm using the term somewhat tongue in cheek, as these are family friendly and more healthy hippy than those smoke filled taverns in other zip code areas, even if both have pool tables (this one doesn't, Centralia's does).
I'm patched in through the company WiFi, from my Ubuntu Dell, awaiting a Lynchburg Lemonade (just sampling the Jack Daniels, No. 7 -- if anyone ever takes my order, not a given seeing as how I blend in with the decor). Most customers are eating outside, but I'm into darkness and airconditioning, on this beautiful blue day.
On my plate this morning, Darwinism again, and this idea of randomness. What's true about random is it might just be pseudo-random, perhaps even signaling a close encounter of some kind -- but how would we know for sure?
Wolfram's A New Kind of Science studies this question, among other books in the chaos tradition (dynamical systems theory). Eternally incommensurable medio-phase seems optimized for problem solving in some important ways.
As I post in the archives, the idea of "an alien intelligence" becomes oxymoronic at some limit, given ye old "man is the measure of all things" cliche (is all too human in other words). Like, we don't recognize what we don't recognize, if "passing the Turing Test" is not the criterion.