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Characterizing Autopoiesis in the Game of Life

Maturana and Varela's concept of autopoiesis defines the essential organization of living systems and serves as a foundation for their biology of cognition and the enactive approach to cognitive science. As an initial step toward a more formal analysis of autopoiesis, this article investigates its application to the compact, recurrent spatiotemporal patterns that arise in Conway's game-of-Life cellular automata. In particular, we demonstrate how such entities can be formulated as self-constructing networks of interdependent processes that maintain their own boundaries. We then characterize the specific organizations of several such entities, suggest a way to simplify the descriptions of these organizations, and briefly consider the transformation of such organizations over time.

 

Characterizing Autopoiesis in the Game of Life
Randall D. Beer

Artificial Life

http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/ARTL_a_00143


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june holley's curator insight, September 1, 1:16 PM

Behind a paywall but looks good.

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The small-world effect is a modern phenomenon

The small-world effect is a modern phenomenon | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

The "small-world effect" is the observation that one can find a short chain of acquaintances, often of no more than a handful of individuals, connecting almost any two people on the planet. It is often expressed in the language of networks, where it is equivalent to the statement that most pairs of individuals are connected by a short path through the acquaintance network. Although the small-world effect is well-established empirically for contemporary social networks, we argue here that it is a relatively recent phenomenon, arising only in the last few hundred years: for most of mankind's tenure on Earth the social world was large, with most pairs of individuals connected by relatively long chains of acquaintances, if at all. Our conclusions are based on observations about the spread of diseases, which travel over contact networks between individuals and whose dynamics can give us clues to the structure of those networks even when direct network measurements are not available. As an example we consider the spread of the Black Death in 14th-century Europe, which is known to have traveled across the continent in well-defined waves of infection over the course of several years. Using established epidemiological models, we show that such wave-like behavior can occur only if contacts between individuals living far apart are exponentially rare. We further show that if long-distance contacts are exponentially rare, then the shortest chain of contacts between distant individuals is on average a long one. The observation of the wave-like spread of a disease like the Black Death thus implies a network without the small-world effect.


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Phys.Org Mobile: Genome-wide analysis reveals genetic similarities among friends

Phys.Org Mobile: Genome-wide analysis reveals genetic similarities among friends | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it
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We need a Github of Science

We need a Github of Science | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

I am postdoctoral fellow, and my academic department is currently running a junior faculty search. We are interviewing four candidates, each of whom will present a job talk attended by the entire department. Before each talk, I’ll receive each candidate’s application packets, and my eyes will scan the “publications” section of their resume. The presence of a first-author article in the ultra-prestigious academic journals Science or Nature would all but guarantee an offer. Multiple publications in top-tier journals would indicate a strong application. If those are missing, meaning the publication history is weak, I’ll wonder how that person got an interview in the first place. Cultural fit, letters of reference and other credentials certainly matter, but beyond publications, everything is secondary.


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Bruce Edmonds: Edited Book: "The Complexity of Social Norms"

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Multiple percolation transitions in a configuration model of a network of networks

Multiple percolation transitions in a configuration model of a network of networks | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

Recently much attention has been paid to the study of the robustness of interdependent and multiplex networks and, in particular, the networks of networks. The robustness of interdependent networks can be evaluated by the size of a mutually connected component when a fraction of nodes have been removed from these networks. Here we characterize the emergence of the mutually connected component in a network of networks in which every node of a network (layer) alpha is connected with q_alpha its randomly chosen replicas in some other networks and is interdependent of these nodes with probability r. We find that when the superdegrees q_alpha of different layers in a network of networks are distributed heterogeneously, multiple percolation phase transition can occur. We show that, depending on the value of r, these transition are continuous or discontinuous.


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[1405.6009] Transmission of cultural traits in layered ego-centric networks

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Editors of sociological Open Access journals seem hesitant to adopt Open Knowledge principles

Editors of sociological Open Access journals seem hesitant to adopt Open Knowledge principles | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it
An analysis based on data from the Directory of Open Access Journals Editors of sociological Open Access journals seem
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The Strength of the Strongest Ties in Collaborative Problem Solving : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

The Strength of the Strongest Ties in Collaborative Problem Solving : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it
Complex problem solving in science, engineering, and business has become a highly collaborative endeavor. Teams of scientists or engineers collaborate on projects using their social networks to gather new ideas and feedback. Here we bridge the literature on team performance and information networks by studying teams' problem solving abilities as a function of both their within-team networks and their members' extended networks. We show that, while an assigned team's performance is strongly correlated with its networks of expressive and instrumental ties, only the strongest ties in both networks have an effect on performance. Both networks of strong ties explain more of the variance than other factors, such as measured or self-evaluated technical competencies, or the personalities of the team members. In fact, the inclusion of the network of strong ties renders these factors non-significant in the statistical analysis. Our results have consequences for the organization of teams of scientists, engineers, and other knowledge workers tackling today's most complex problems.
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The direction of evolution: The rise of cooperative organization

The direction of evolution: The rise of cooperative organization | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

Two great trends are evident in the evolution of life on Earth: towards increasing diversification and towards increasing integration. Diversification has spread living processes across the planet, progressively increasing the range of environments and free energy sources exploited by life. Integration has proceeded through a stepwise process in which living entities at one level are integrated into cooperative groups that become larger-scale entities at the next level, and so on, producing cooperative organizations of increasing scale (for example, cooperative groups of simple cells gave rise to the more complex eukaryote cells, groups of these gave rise to multi-cellular organisms, and cooperative groups of these organisms produced animal societies). The trend towards increasing integration has continued during human evolution with the progressive increase in the scale of human groups and societies. The trends towards increasing diversification and integration are both driven by selection. An understanding of the trajectory and causal drivers of the trends suggests that they are likely to culminate in the emergence of a global entity. This entity would emerge from the integration of the living processes, matter, energy and technology of the planet into a global cooperative organization. Such an integration of the results of previous diversifications would enable the global entity to exploit the widest possible range of resources across the varied circumstances of the planet. This paper demonstrates that it's case for directionality meets the tests and criticisms that have proven fatal to previous claims for directionality in evolution.

 

The direction of evolution: The rise of cooperative organization
John E. Stewart

Biosystems
Available online 1 June 2014

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystems.2014.05.006


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Eli Levine's curator insight, June 15, 10:06 PM

Cooperation is the best way to improve, sustain, maintain, and repair.  Competition is what drives everyone and everything towards something different, be it competition for resources or competition against the elements around us.

 

I don't get what the point of competition amongst the species is for.  Part of cooperation, after all, is knowing what works, learning about what could work better or doesn't work, and then letting the negative or sub-optimal slip back beneath the waves of ignorance, such that the new ways can rise to prominence.

 

Change is the only constant in this universe of universes.

 

Yet cooperation, I think, yields the higher and stronger of the universal structures that are out there, even if it means that there are still losers and winners.  The only difference is the level of consent and consensus that's reached within the social, ecological, economical, and/or political landscape.  One way works towards what is best.  The other way simply yields what is best at competing, which is not the same as being the actual best solution to a given problem or condition.

 

Think about it.

Luciano Lampi's curator insight, June 16, 9:51 AM

is this the end of stove pipes?

Ra's curator insight, June 22, 6:02 AM

Have I been reading too much science fiction?

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Traversing News with Second Order Swarm Intelligence | Chemoton ...

Traversing News with Second Order Swarm Intelligence | Chemoton ... | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it
Random thoughts and works around Artificial Life & Intelligence, Bio-inspired Computation, Complex Sciences, their Applications, Technology, Science, Culture and Society. Home · About · Books ...
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Network X and Gephi - Gilad Lotan

Are you interested in working with social data to map out communities and connections between friends, fans and followers? In this session I'll show ways in which…

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Jose Nevado's curator insight, May 23, 1:22 PM

Interesting introduction to python module Networkx and the opensource tool for analysing social data visually Gephi. Worth to see it!

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Morphogenesis at criticality

Morphogenesis at criticality | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

Biological networks are described by many parameters, and the behavior of a network is qualitatively different (monostable, bistable, oscillating, etc.) in different parts of parameter space. Critical points and surfaces are the borders between such qualitatively different regimes, as with phase transitions in equilibrium thermodynamics. We argue that, as expected from the thermodynamic case, genetic regulatory networks should exhibit behaviors near criticality that are independent of most molecular details. Analyzing recent experiments on the gap gene network in the early Drosophila embryo, we find that these signatures of criticality can be seen, quantitatively. This raises the question of why evolution has tuned this network to such a special point in its parameter space.

 


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Against Divisiveness: Digital  Workers of the World Unite!  A Rejoinder to César Bolaño by Christian Fuchs

Against Divisiveness: Digital   Workers of the World Unite!   A Rejoinder to César Bolaño  by Christian Fuchs | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

Abstract

This piece is a short rejoinder to César Bolaño’s paper The Political Economy of the Internet and related articles (e.g., Comor, Foley, Huws, Reveley, Rigi and Prey, Robinson) that center around the relevance of Marx’s labor theory of value for understanding social media. I argue that Dallas Smythe’s assessment of advertising was made to distinguish his approach from the one by Baran and Sweezy. Smythe developed the idea of capital’s exploitation of the audience at a time when both feminist and anti-imperialist Marxists challenged the orthodox idea that only white  factory workers are exploited. The crucial question is how to conceptualize productive labor. This is a theoretical, normative, and political question. A mathematical example shows the importance of the “crowdsourcing” of value-production on Facebook. I also point out parallels of the contemporary debate to the Soviet question of who is a productive or unproductive worker in the Material Product System.

Keywords: Social media, Internet, digital labor, Karl Marx, Dallas Smythe, labor theory of value


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Code Tricks - Coding and Beyond

Code Tricks - Coding and Beyond | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

Just a quick tip for those who are not familiar with the which command. You can use it to easily find the location of an executable in your system.

For instance, if you are looking for which python executable is running by default you can type:

1 which python

Result:

1 /usr/bin/python


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80+ Best Free Hacking Tutorials

80+ Best Free Hacking Tutorials | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

Learning to become hacker is not as easy as learning to become a software developer. I realized this when I started looking for learning resources for simple hacking people do. Even to start doing the simplest hack on own, a hacker requires to have in depth knowledge of multiple topics. Some people recommend minimum knowledge of few programming languages like C, Python, HTML with Unix operating system concepts and networking knowledge is required to start learning hacking techniques. 
Though knowing a lot of things is required, it is not really enough for you to be a competent and successful hacker. You must have a passion and positive attitude towards problem solving. The security softwares are constantly evolving and therefore you must keep learning new things with a really fast pace. 
If you are thinking about ethical hacking as a career option, you may need to be prepared for a lot of hard/smart work. I hope these free resources will help you speed up on your learning. If you decide you pursue ethical hacking as a career option, you may also want to read some in depth ethical hacking books. 


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Code as a Research Object

Code as a Research Object | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

Archive your GitHub code repository to figshare and receive a citable DOI.


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Thinking Big: How the Evolution of Social Life Shaped the Human Mind (by Robin Dunbar et al.)

Thinking Big: How the Evolution of Social Life Shaped the Human Mind

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A closer look at genealogy, incorporating how biological, anthropological, and technical factors can influence human lives

We are at a pivotal moment in understanding our remote ancestry and its implications for how we live today. The barriers to what we can know about our distant relatives have been falling as a result of scientific advance, such as decoding the genomes of humans and Neanderthals, and bringing together different perspectives to answer common questions. These collaborations have brought new knowledge and suggested fresh concepts to examine. The results have shaken the old certainties.

The results are profound; not just for the study of the past but for appreciating why we conduct our social lives in ways, and at scales, that are familiar to all of us. But such basic familiarity raises a dilemma. When surrounded by the myriad technical and cultural innovations that support our global, urbanized lifestyles we can lose sight of the small social worlds we actually inhabit and that can be traced deep into our ancestry. So why do we need art, religion, music, kinship, myths, and all the other facets of our over-active imaginations if the reality of our effective social worlds is set by a limit of some one hundred and fifty partners (Dunbar’s number) made of family, friends, and useful acquaintances? How could such a social community lead to a city the size of London or a country as large as China? Do we really carry our hominin past into our human present? It is these small worlds, and the link they allow to the study of the past that forms the central point in this book.

 

 


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Editors of sociological Open Access journals seem hesitant to adopt Open Knowledge principles

Editors of sociological Open Access journals seem hesitant to adopt Open Knowledge principles | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it
An analysis based on data from the Directory of Open Access Journals Editors of sociological Open Access journals seem
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[1406.0673] Effects of Deception in Social Networks

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Game Theory Makes New Predictions for Evolution | Simons Foundation

Game Theory Makes New Predictions for Evolution | Simons Foundation | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it
An insight borrowed from computer science suggests that evolution values both fitness and diversity.
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Connecting Core Percolation and Controllability of Complex Networks : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

Connecting Core Percolation and Controllability of Complex Networks : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it
Core percolation is a fundamental structural transition in complex networks related to a wide range of important problems. Recent advances have provided us an analytical framework of core percolation in uncorrelated random networks with arbitrary degree distributions. Here we apply the tools in analysis of network controllability. We confirm analytically that the emergence of the bifurcation in control coincides with the formation of the core and the structure of the core determines the control mode of the network. We also derive the analytical expression related to the controllability robustness by extending the deduction in core percolation. These findings help us better understand the interesting interplay between the structural and dynamical properties of complex networks.
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The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning (by Marcelo Gleiser)

The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning

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Do all questions have answers? How much can we know about the world? Is there such a thing as an ultimate truth?

To be human is to want to know, but what we are able to observe is only a tiny portion of what’s “out there.” In The Island of Knowledge, physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence. In so doing, he reaches a provocative conclusion: science, the main tool we use to find answers, is fundamentally limited.

These limits to our knowledge arise both from our tools of exploration and from the nature of physical reality: the speed of light, the uncertainty principle, the impossibility of seeing beyond the cosmic horizon, the incompleteness theorem, and our own limitations as an intelligent species. Recognizing limits in this way, Gleiser argues, is not a deterrent to progress or a surrendering to religion. Rather, it frees us to question the meaning and nature of the universe while affirming the central role of life and ourselves in it. Science can and must go on, but recognizing its limits reveals its true mission: to know the universe is to know ourselves.

Telling the dramatic story of our quest for understanding, The Island of Knowledge offers a highly original exploration of the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers in history, from Plato to Einstein, and how they affect us today. An authoritative, broad-ranging intellectual history of our search for knowledge and meaning, The Island of Knowledge is a unique view of what it means to be human in a universe filled with mystery.


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Questioning Life and Cognition: Some Foundational Issues in the Paradigm of Enaction

John Stewart's book is a life achievement. It looks at three foundational issues for Enaction envisaged as a tenable paradigm for Cognitive Science: at first, the question of a “missing link” between the first living organisms – which, logically, have been dissipative structures simple enough to arise by spontaneous generation – and the simplest extant organisms that exhibit too complex a DNA-based genetic system to have arisen in that way; secondly, a relatively specific area with the cardinal virtue of being open to empirical refutation, i.e. the primitive immune system of vertebrates. Finally, the author tackles the social dimension of human cognition, presenting some of the basic concepts of sociology that typically need to be integrated into a potential paradigm of Enaction.

 

http://www.enactionseries.com/library/bookjs/co/Original_book_JS.html


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Biologists Find New Rules for Life at the Edge of Chaos

Biologists Find New Rules for Life at the Edge of Chaos | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

In the space between order and chaos, a zone usually described with the mathematics of impending avalanches and crystallizing liquids, scientists are finding new rules for life.

 

They’re researching the dynamics of criticality, where one system transforms rapidly into another. Scientists have studied such behavior in physical systems for decades; some have theorized that it might be found in living systems too, perhaps underlying some of biology’s fundamental and largely unexplained phenomena: how a few interacting genes shape an organism’s development, and how networked neurons give rise to complex cognitive functions.

 

Such speculation has been intriguing, but also difficult to study. Only now, with the advent of exquisitely sensitive biological probes and high-powered data analysis, have experiments started catching up to theory.

 

“In the past, there has been a lot of discussion about the potential benefits of biological systems poised at criticality,” said theoretical biophysicist Dmitry Krotov of Princeton University, co-author of a Feb. 10Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper on criticality in genetic networks. “Now high-quality experimental data are appearing, and we are able to quantitatively test these ideas.”

 

In the new study, Krotov and co-author William Bialek, also a biophysicist at Princeton, measured protein-coding activity in a genetic network crucial to the development of fruit fly embryos. Expressed in mathematical terms, the activity contained the signatures — relationships between gene activity, patterns of correlation at far-flung locations in embryos — characteristic of criticality.

 

The study is just one data point, a bit of extra weight on the evidentiary scale. But other researchers have made similar findings, observing apparently critical patterns in the genetic networks of single-celled and also multicellular organisms. Criticality seems to be an integral part of life.


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