> In Squeak, what was first: VM or image?<br>> It is said the Squeak VM is created by itself, but how to run the first image file?<br>> And how to creat the first image file?<br><br>Something always needs to start things off. Although we're still trying to figure out the exact spark that created life itself, I always liked the idea of a homunculus as the "unknowable prime actor".
<br><br>From Wikipedia: <<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus</a>><br><br>The concept of a homunculus (Latin for "little man", sometimes spelled "homonculus," plural "homunculi") is often used to illustrate the functioning of a system. In the scientific sense of an unknowable prime actor, it can be viewed as an entity or agent.
<br>...<br>The term homunculus was later used in the discussion of conception and birth. In 1694, Nicolas Hartsoeker discovered "animalcules" in the sperm of humans and other animals. Some claimed that the sperm was in fact a "little man" (homunculus) that was placed inside a woman for growth into a child; these later became known as the spermists. This is not as silly as it sounds today, and neatly explained many of the mysteries of conception (for instance, why it takes two). However it was later pointed out that if the sperm was a homunculus, identical in all but size to an adult, then the homunculus must have sperm of its own. This led to a reductio ad absurdum, with a chain of homunculi "all the way down".
<br><br>Today the term is used in a number of ways to describe systems that are thought of as being run by a "little man" inside. For instance, the homunculus continues to be considered as one of the major theories on the origin of consciousness, that there is a part (or process) in the brain whose purpose is to be "you". The homunculus is often invoked in cybernetics as well, for similar reasons.