I’ve been reading one of Wolfram’s earliest papers on cellular automata, “Statistical mechanics of cellular automata“, and there are some striking similarities to themes and approaches that he utilized to explore elementary (and beyond) automata, and my attempts to understand some aspects of the CEG model, namely variance and criticality. The CEG model, however, while founded on necessary and sufficient ecological first principles, generates a level of complexity that does not allow the level of insight that Wolfram gets into the CAs. For example, I’ve looked at sensitivity to initial network configurations using an estimate of Hamming distance, but the relationship between Hamming distance and $\Psi$ remains unclear. So, I’m going to begin again by deconstructing CEG and re-building incrementally. The first step is to implement the iterative matrix approach to topological extinction, to see how much of the full model is reproducible.