Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy
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Rescooped by J. Mario Siqueiros-Garcia from Libros y Papers sobre Complejidad - Sistemas Complejos
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The Self-Organizing Society: A Grower's Guide

Can a human society be organized in such a way that self-organization will always tend to produce outcomes that advance the goals of the society? Such a society would be self-organizing in the sense that agents which pursue only their own interests would none-the-less act in the interests of the society as a whole, irrespective of any intention to do so. In contrast to current human societies, such a society would have a resilient and universal tendency to self-organize “the good” (however “the good” is defined by the society). The paper sketches an agent-based model that identifies the conditions that must be met if self-organizing societies are to emerge. The model draws heavily on an understanding of how self-organizing societies have emerged repeatedly during the evolution of life on Earth (e.g. evolution has produced societies of molecular processes, of simple cells, of eukaryote cells and of multicellular organisms). The model suggests that the key enabling requirement for a self-organizing society is consequence-capture: all agents that comprise the society must capture sufficient of the benefits (and harms) of the impacts of their actions on the goals of the society (if this condition is not met, agents that invest resources in actions that produce global benefits will be outcompeted by those that do not). This condition can be met where a society is managed by appropriate systems of evolvable constraints that suppress free riders and support pro-social actions. In human societies these management constraints include governance and enculturated pre-dispositions such as norms. Appropriate management can produce a self-organizing society in which the interests of all agents (including individuals, associations, firms, multi-national corporations, political organizations, institutions and governments) are aligned with those of the society as a whole. In such a society, agents that pursue only their immediate self-interest will advance societal goals.

 

The Self-Organizing Society: A Grower's Guide

John E. Stewart

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2657948


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Indirect reciprocity with optional interactions

Indirect reciprocity with optional interactions | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it
Indirect reciprocity means that my behavior towards you also depends on what you have done to others. Indirect reciprocity is associated with the evolution of social intelligence and human language. Most approaches to indirect reciprocity assume obligatory interactions, but here we explore optional interactions.

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Network structure beyond food webs: mapping non-trophic and trophic interactions on Chilean rocky shores

Network structure beyond food webs: mapping non-trophic and trophic interactions on Chilean rocky shores | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

Chilean Marine Ecological Network


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The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic

The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it

Though they started at opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, McCulloch and Pitts were destined to live, work, and die together. Along the way, they would create the first mechanistic theory of the mind, the first computational approach to neuroscience, the logical design of modern computers, and the pillars of artificial intelligence. But this is more than a story about a fruitful research collaboration. It is also about the bonds of friendship, the fragility of the mind, and the limits of logic’s ability to redeem a messy and imperfect world.


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Colbert Sesanker's curator insight, February 6, 2015 8:08 PM

Nice story.  On the other hand, it exemplifies finding what you're looking for: 

 

"Which got McCulloch thinking about neurons. He knew that each of the brain’s nerve cells only fires after a minimum threshold has been reached: Enough of its neighboring nerve cells must send signals across the neuron’s synapses before it will fire off its own electrical spike. It occurred to McCulloch that this set-up was binary—either the neuron fires or it doesn’t. A neuron’s signal, he realized, is a proposition, and neurons seemed to work like logic gates, taking in multiple inputs and producing a single output. By varying a neuron’s firing threshold, it could be made to perform “and,” “or,” and “not” functions."

 

Oh yes. After days of mulling over binary operations one begins to see strange things. Hallucinations, flashes of bits saturating everything. All of a sudden, one no longer inhabits a world of things, but a world of bits. The bits, deeply burned into the cornea like a cataract, never seem to get out the way. Is that a brain, or is it bit soup? Ahh, I never thought about it that way. What a *nice* way to think about it.

 

Interesting Section:

 

"There was a catch, though: This symbolic abstraction made the world transparent but the brain opaque. Once everything had been reduced to information governed by logic, the actual mechanics ceased to matter—the tradeoff for universal computation was ontology. Von Neumann was the first to see the problem. He expressed his concern to Wiener in a letter that anticipated the coming split between artificial intelligence on one side and neuroscience on the other. “After the great positive contribution of Turing-cum-Pitts-and-McCulloch is assimilated,” he wrote, “the situation is rather worse than better than before. Indeed these authors have demonstrated in absolute and hopeless generality that anything and everything … can be done by an appropriate mechanism, and specifically by a neural mechanism—and that even one, definite mechanism can be ‘universal.’ Inverting the argument: Nothing that we may know or learn about the functioning of the organism can give, without ‘microscopic,’ cytological work any clues regarding the further details of the neural mechanism."

 

The idea here is that the map from behavior to neural mechanism is one to many. They are many turing complete circuit topologies, so the idea of finding THE circuit for behavior or action X breaks down. 

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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, 2014 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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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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Collective dynamics of belief evolution under cognitive coherence and social conformity

Human history has been marked by social instability and conflict, often driven by the irreconcilability of opposing sets of beliefs, ideologies, and religious dogmas. The dynamics of belief systems has been studied mainly from two distinct perspectives, namely how cognitive biases lead to individual belief rigidity and how social influence leads to social conformity. Here we propose a unifying framework that connects cognitive and social forces together in order to study the dynamics of societal belief evolution. Each individual is endowed with a network of interacting beliefs that evolves through interaction with other individuals in a social network. The adoption of beliefs is affected by both internal coherence and social conformity. Our framework explains how social instabilities can arise in otherwise homogeneous populations, how small numbers of zealots with highly coherent beliefs can overturn societal consensus, and how belief rigidity protects fringe groups and cults against invasion from mainstream beliefs, allowing them to persist and even thrive in larger societies. Our results suggest that strong consensus may be insufficient to guarantee social stability, that the cognitive coherence of belief-systems is vital in determining their ability to spread, and that coherent belief-systems may pose a serious problem for resolving social polarization, due to their ability to prevent consensus even under high levels of social exposure. We therefore argue that the inclusion of cognitive factors into a social model is crucial in providing a more complete picture of collective human dynamics.

 

Collective dynamics of belief evolution under cognitive coherence and social conformity
Nathaniel Rodriguez, Johan Bollen, Yong-Yeol Ahn

http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.01502 ;


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What Isn't Complexity?

The question What is Complexity? has occupied a great deal of time and paper over the last 20 or so years. There are a myriad different perspectives and definitions but still no consensus. In this paper I take a phenomenological approach, identifying several factors that discriminate well between systems that would be consensually agreed to be simple versus others that would be consensually agreed to be complex - biological systems and human languages. I argue that a crucial component is that of structural building block hierarchies that, in the case of complex systems, correspond also to a functional hierarchy. I argue that complexity is an emergent property of this structural/functional hierarchy, induced by a property - fitness in the case of biological systems and meaning in the case of languages - that links the elements of this hierarchy across multiple scales. Additionally, I argue that non-complex systems "are" while complex systems "do" so that the latter, in distinction to physical systems, must be described not only in a space of states but also in a space of update rules (strategies) which we do not know how to specify. Further, the existence of structural/functional building block hierarchies allows for the functional specialisation of structural modules as amply observed in nature. Finally, we argue that there is at least one measuring apparatus capable of measuring complexity as characterised in the paper - the human brain itself.


What Isn't Complexity?
Christopher R. Stephens

http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.03199


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Luciano Floridi on the Philosophy of Information | Five Books | Five Books

Luciano Floridi on the Philosophy of Information | Five Books | Five Books | Complexity in the Social Sciences & Philosophy | Scoop.it
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The Mathematics of Terrorism

Seemingly random attacks contain an unexpected regularity: the same numerical pattern seen in Wall Street booms and busts.

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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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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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