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With simple initial conditions of the type we have used so far this rule will always produce essentially trivial behavior. But one way to see the properties of the rule is to use nested initial conditions, obtained for example from substitution systems of the kind we discussed on page 82.

With most rules, including 90 and 150, such nested initial conditions typically yield results that are ultimately indistinguishable from those obtained with typical random initial conditions. But for rule 184, an appropriate choice of nested initial conditions yields the highly regular pattern shown below.

Captions on this page:

The pattern produced by rule 184 (shown at left) evolving from a nested initial condition. The particular initial condition shown can be obtained by applying the substitution system -> , -> , starting from a single black element (see page 83). With this initial condition, rule 184 exhibits an equal number of black and white stripes, which annihilate in pairs so as to yield a regular nested pattern.

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]