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Thousands of Romanians form human chain to protest gold mine project

Thousands of Romanians form human chain to protest gold mine project | Complex World | Scoop.it
Thousands of Romanians formed a human chain Saturday around parliament to protest against a Canadian company's plan to open Europe's largest gold mine in a picturesque Transylvanian village.

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Complex World
Cutting Edge Research about Complex Systems
Curated by Claudia Mihai
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Control Profiles of Complex Networks

Control Profiles of Complex Networks | Complex World | Scoop.it

Studying the control properties of complex networks provides insight into how designers and engineers can influence these systems to achieve a desired behavior. Topology of a network has been shown to strongly correlate with certain control properties; here we uncover the fundamental structures that explain the basis of this correlation. We develop the control profile, a statistic that quantifies the different proportions of control-inducing structures present in a network. We find that standard random network models do not reproduce the kinds of control profiles that are observed in real-world networks. The profiles of real networks form three well-defined clusters that provide insight into the high-level organization and function of complex systems.

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A stranger in Transylvania

A stranger in Transylvania | Complex World | Scoop.it
A woman gets more than she bargained for when visiting her friend’s mother in Romania.

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How Virtual Gaming Worlds Are Revealing the Nature of Human Hierarchies

How Virtual Gaming Worlds Are Revealing the Nature of Human Hierarchies | Complex World | Scoop.it
The way players form into groups in online games reveals that hierarchies are an inevitable product of the human condition, say complexity scientists.

“Remarkably, the online players exhibit the same type of structured hierarchical layers as the societies studied by anthropologists, where each of these layers is three to four times the size of the lower layer,” say Fuchs and co.

That’s an interesting result. That the same hierarchy emerges in wildly different situations suggests that whatever produces this effect is independent of the environment. In other words, it must be an innate property of human social behavior.

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Data Mining Reveals How Conspiracy Theories Emerge on Facebook

Data Mining Reveals How Conspiracy Theories Emerge on Facebook | Complex World | Scoop.it
Some people are more susceptible to conspiracy theories than others, say computational social scientists who have studied how false ideas jump the “credulity barrier” on Facebook.

Conspiracy theories seem to come about by a process in which ordinary satirical commentary or obviously false content somehow jumps the credulity barrier. And that seems to happen through groups of people who deliberately expose themselves to alternative sources of news.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 18, 1:35 PM

Some people live closer to reality than others.

 

Not surprising.

 

But interesting from a social psychological point of view, which then feeds into a political view, which then leads to credulity and viability for an individual or an individual's beliefs.

 

Think about it.

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Resilience of Natural Gas Networks during Conflicts, Crises and Disruptions

Resilience of Natural Gas Networks during Conflicts, Crises and Disruptions | Complex World | Scoop.it

Human conflict, geopolitical crises, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters can turn large parts of energy distribution networks offline. Europe's current gas supply network is largely dependent on deliveries from Russia and North Africa, creating vulnerabilities to social and political instabilities. During crises, less delivery may mean greater congestion, as the pipeline network is used in ways it has not been designed for. Given the importance of the security of natural gas supply, we develop a model to handle network congestion on various geographical scales. We offer a resilient response strategy to energy shortages and quantify its effectiveness for a variety of relevant scenarios. In essence, Europe's gas supply can be made robust even to major supply disruptions, if a fair distribution strategy is applied.

 

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Google Flu Trends gets it wrong three years running

Google Flu Trends gets it wrong three years running | Complex World | Scoop.it
The search giant's much-hyped flu tracker has been way out on its predictions for years – raising concerns over our reliance on big data
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Netconomics: Novel Forecasting Techniques from the Combination of Big Data, Network Science and Economics

Netconomics: Novel Forecasting Techniques from the Combination of Big Data, Network Science and Economics | Complex World | Scoop.it

The combination of the network theoretic approach with recently available abundant economic data leads to the development of novel analytic and computational tools for modelling and forecasting key economic indicators. The main idea is to introduce a topological component into the analysis, taking into account consistently all higher-order interactions. We present three basic methodologies to demonstrate different approaches to harness the resulting network gain. First, a multiple linear regression optimisation algorithm is used to generate a relational network between individual components of national balance of payment accounts. This model describes annual statistics with a high accuracy and delivers good forecasts for the majority of indicators. Second, an early-warning mechanism for global financial crises is presented, which combines network measures with standard economic indicators. From the analysis of the cross-border portfolio investment network of long-term debt securities, the proliferation of a wide range of over-the-counter-traded financial derivative products, such as credit default swaps, can be described in terms of gross-market values and notional outstanding amounts, which are associated with increased levels of market interdependence and systemic risk. Third, considering the flow-network of goods traded between G-20 economies, network statistics provide better proxies for key economic measures than conventional indicators. For example, it is shown that a country's gate-keeping potential, as a measure for local power, projects its annual change of GDP generally far better than the volume of its imports or exports.

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The Simple Rules of Social Contagion

The Simple Rules of Social Contagion | Complex World | Scoop.it
It is commonly believed that information spreads between individuals like a pathogen, with each exposure by an informed friend potentially resulting in a naive individual becoming infected. However, empirical studies of social media suggest that individual response to repeated exposure to information is far more complex. As a proxy for intervention experiments, we compare user responses to multiple exposures on two different social media sites, Twitter and Digg. We show that the position of exposing messages on the user-interface strongly affects social contagion. Accounting for this visibility significantly simplifies the dynamics of social contagion. The likelihood an individual will spread information increases monotonically with exposure, while explicit feedback about how many friends have previously spread it increases the likelihood of a response. We provide a framework for unifying information visibility, divided attention, and explicit social feedback to predict the temporal dynamics of user behavior.
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Arjen ten Have's curator insight, March 12, 5:21 AM

These are things we need to consider when we think about society.

Eli Levine's curator insight, March 12, 11:53 AM

I've come to the conclusion that I am not going to spread like wildfire throughout the whole of the population.  My best bank is target who reads what I've got to write, so as to increase the chances that I'm able to do what I'm drawn to do.

 

Who knows if this will work.

 

But I'd rather try than do nothing; take the chance of failure rather than the guarantee of it.

 

Think about it.

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Mathematical Proof Reveals How To Make The Internet More Earthquake-Proof

Mathematical Proof Reveals How To Make The Internet More Earthquake-Proof | Complex World | Scoop.it
Decentralised networks are naturally robust against certain types of attack. Now one mathematician says advanced geometry shows how to make them even more robust.

One of the common myths about the internet is that it was originally designed during the Cold War to survive nuclear attack. Historians of the internet are quick to point out that this was not at all one of the design goals of the early network, although the decentralised nature of the system turns out to make it much more robust than any kind of centralised network.

Nevertheless, the internet is still vulnerable. For example, the magnitude 9 earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March 2011, caused huge damage to the Japanese telecommunications infrastructure.

The Japanese telecom company NTT says it lost 18 exchange buildings and 65,000 telegraph poles in the disaster which also damaged 1.5 million fixed line circuits and 6300 kilometres of cabling.

That raises an interesting question: could the spatial layout of the internet be made any more robust against this kind of damage?

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Jean-Michel Livowsky's curator insight, March 6, 3:02 AM

La géométrie avancée montre comment rendre les réseaux encore plus robustes et fiables.

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A heartfelt tribute to Maria Tanase - Romania's Edith Piaf

A heartfelt tribute to Maria Tanase - Romania's Edith Piaf | Complex World | Scoop.it

When Romanian singer Maria Tanase died in 1963, almost a million people flooded onto the streets of Bucharest for her funeral. A brief, grainy archival snippet on the internet reveals a sea of mourners parting around Tanase's open coffin and overflowing from every balcony.

''Maria Tanase was greatly loved and greatly respected in Romania,'' says violinist Alexander Balanescu. ''And her funeral was like a state funeral. People from that generation who were there … still remember that day.''

Balanescu was only nine at the time, and left Romania permanently a few years later, but he remembers hearing Tanase's music as a child, and listening to his parents' rapturous accounts of her live performances. It took many decades though, for those memories to resurface as the inspiration for one of his most personal projects.


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Autonomous drones flock like birds

Autonomous drones flock like birds | Complex World | Scoop.it

A Hungarian team has created the first drones that can fly as a coordinated flock. The researchers watched as the ten autonomous robots took to the air in a field outside Budapest, zipping through the open sky, flying in formation or even following a leader, all without any central control.

 

Autonomous drones flock like birds
Ed Yong

Nature doi:10.1038/nature.2014.14776

http://www.nature.com/news/autonomous-drones-flock-like-birds-1.14776


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Keith Hamon's curator insight, February 28, 9:49 AM

I think flocking as an educational strategy deserves more study. Can a flock of birds find their way home better than a single bird? I'll bet they can, but how do they do it? How do they coordinate their knowledge and behavior?

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3D printing could offer developing world savings on replica lab kit

3D printing could offer developing world savings on replica lab kit | Complex World | Scoop.it
Researchers say technology advances could help global south to design and make affordable equipment to meet local needs
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Decoding Dacia

Decoding Dacia | Complex World | Scoop.it

The documentary revisits the unresolved question of “Who were the Dacians?” It focuses on the Roman Emperor Trajan’s six-year long two military campaigns against Dacia and its King Decebal between 101 and 106 AD. The documentary is not a literal history but an attempt to link past (who were the Dacians) to the present (what is the legacy) visible in the core regions of the Dacian Kingdom surrounding Sarmizgetusa, its center of power and sanctuary. Dacian Carpathian Mountain fortresses are a UNESCO Heritage Site. The film uses Trajan’s column in Rome, also a UNESCO Heritage Site, and its extensive bas-relief depictions combined with illustrations by artist Radu Oltean and contemporary on-location videography to create an artistic interpretation of the events and to cover on-going archaeological research.


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Eli Levine's curator insight, February 21, 5:02 PM

It echoes.

 

The past echoes in the present.

 

And, the core principles will, technically, always remain in one form or another in our present.

 

That much, seems to be something more or less permanent in our present.

 

Eventually, the very old gets dug up, and brought to light.

 

And empires all collapse, regardless of strength or power relative to others in good time.

 

Especially, when they have neither the consent or the willful following of the people whom they are attempting to subjugate.

 

Think about it.

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The Curious Nature of Sharing Cascades on Facebook

The Curious Nature of Sharing Cascades on Facebook | Complex World | Scoop.it
Most content on Facebook is shared a few times but some can be shared millions of times. Now computer scientists are beginning to understand the difference.
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Ancient food webs developed modern structure soon after mass extinction

Ancient food webs developed modern structure soon after mass extinction | Complex World | Scoop.it
Researchers from the Santa Fe Institute and the Smithsonian Institution have pieced together a highly detailed picture of feeding relationships among 700 mammal, bird, reptile, fish, insect, and plant species from a 48 million year old lake and forest ecosystem.

Their analysis of fossilized remains from the Messel deposit near Frankfurt, Germany, provides the most compelling evidence to date that ancient food webs were organized much like modern food webs. Their paper describing the research appears online and open access this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 20, 3:37 PM

There is, indeed, not much that is new in this world.

 

One would think that humans would learn to live in relative harmony with nature.


However, I do not think that the brain types of those with real political power (everyone from public to private elites), as well as the brain types of the people in the general pool of society are capable of doing this at this time.

 

Therefore, we are going to kill ourselves off in mass droves.

 

And we probably won't learn our lessons, in spite of the damage that we're going to inflict on ourselves.

 

Think about it.

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Hidden ants reveal gold better than top-dwelling termites

Hidden ants reveal gold better than top-dwelling termites | Complex World | Scoop.it
Subterranean ants and termites are leading researchers and prospectors alike, to gold and other minerals in the northern Yilgarn district.

"There's been anecdotal evidence of it in the Kalgoorlie area since the 1920s," entomologist Aaron Stewart says.

Following an earlier study of a termite that builds nests mostly above ground (Tumulitermes tumuli), they have extended their research to a subterranean termite species (Schedorhinotermes actuosus) and an ant (Rhtidoponera mayri).

"Termite mounds, subterranean termites and ants have the ability to vertically transport indicators [like gold] from 1.4m depth," their paper says.

"The ant species studied brings larger concentrations of gold to the surface than the termites studied."

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The Science of ‘Paying It Forward’

The Science of ‘Paying It Forward’ | Complex World | Scoop.it
How generosity among strangers becomes socially contagious.

In recent years, social scientists have conducted experiments demonstrating that the effect of a single act of kindness can in fact ripple through a social network, setting off chains of generosity that reach far beyond the original act. But whether it is enough to merely witness a generous act, rather than actually benefit from one, has been an open question.

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Are Big, Rich Cities Greener Than Poor Ones?

Are Big, Rich Cities Greener Than Poor Ones? | Complex World | Scoop.it
When it comes to cities, being big and rich is better for the planet than being big and poor, according to a new study of carbon dioxide emissions from cities around the world. But is this correct?
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Creativity, like evolution, is merely a series of thefts

Creativity, like evolution, is merely a series of thefts | Complex World | Scoop.it
We can blame evolution for making us little more than the glorified karaoke singers we are. Or as Voltaire put it: "originality is nothing but judicious imitation"
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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 15, 10:02 AM

It's all one built upon the other.


What I've been proposing for government is not going to alter the base goals of the political leaders.  In fact, I think it's going to improve their chances of being elected until death, if they follow it correctly, and ultimately preserve our social institutions until the eventual end of the species and, if our descendents are still around, beyond that.

 

What I'm observing, as a political and social scientist, is that through benevolently motivated, effectively sensed and executed policy for the sake of the other in the society, that governments tend to be able to last longer, be more legitimate in the eyes of the public and, ultimately, get carried on, with its members, throughout the generations.

 

Some people simply do not and will not have what it takes to act as these effective, benevolent and empirically grounded leaders, regardless of party affiliation and label.  That is how, I think, our current institutions are failing, because we've populated these political systems with people who don't care, won't care and/or don't have the sense to act for the effective sake of the other for their own sakes.  It's in our legislative systems as well as our administrative systems.  It's killing themselves as much as it's killing our people.  And it's just a brain type who doesn't get the concept of working with others, rather than over or against them.

 

Think about it.

Arjen ten Have's curator insight, March 18, 6:08 AM

Basic but nice essay on how objects of use, creativity and biological evolution are all hung up on the same principles: Hey this works better, what if I combine it with that?

Costas Bouyioukos's curator insight, March 18, 10:40 AM

Mark Pagel writes about our "ability" to innovate.

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The $1 Origami Microscope

The $1 Origami Microscope | Complex World | Scoop.it

Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, has evolved considerably since it appeared in the western world over a century ago. Folding is simple, easy and cheap. So it’s no wonder that scientists and engineers have begun to exploit it in all kinds of innovative ways. They now use origami to construct everything from molecular machines to space telescopes.

Today, Manu Prakash and pals at Stanford University in California, reveal how they’ve designed and built an origami microscope that is constructed largely out of folded paper and costs less than a dollar to make. And they say their device could revolutionize the way billions of people see the world around them.

Prakash and co call their device the Foldscope and say it can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper in under 10 minutes.


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Shock waves on complex networks

Shock waves on complex networks | Complex World | Scoop.it

Power grids, road maps, and river streams are examples of infrastructural networks which are highly vulnerable to external perturbations. An abrupt local change of load (voltage, traffic density, or water level) might propagate in a cascading way and affect a significant fraction of the network. Almost discontinuous perturbations can be modeled by shock waves which can eventually interfere constructively and endanger the normal functionality of the infrastructure. We study their dynamics by solving the Burgers equation under random perturbations on several real and artificial directed graphs. Even for graphs with a narrow distribution of node properties (e.g., degree or betweenness), a steady state is reached exhibiting a heterogeneous load distribution, having a difference of one order of magnitude between the highest and average loads. Unexpectedly we find for the European power grid and for finite Watts-Strogatz networks a broad pronounced bimodal distribution for the loads. To identify the most vulnerable nodes, we introduce the concept of node-basin size, a purely topological property which we show to be strongly correlated to the average load of a node.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 10, 3:46 PM

Very intuitive and vital to our strategy of defense and preparedness.

 

Start with the homeland.

 

THEN cover the world.

 

If you can do that, honestly.  You'll need popular support of people in order to carry out that kind of feat.

 

Not guns or bombs.

 

Silly generals.

 

Think about it.

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Does Wikipedia editing activity forecast Oscar wins?

Does Wikipedia editing activity forecast Oscar wins? | Complex World | Scoop.it
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Water Filtration Using Plant Xylem

Water Filtration Using Plant Xylem | Complex World | Scoop.it

Effective point-of-use devices for providing safe drinking water are urgently needed to reduce the global burden of waterborne disease. Here we show that plant xylem from the sapwood of coniferous trees – a readily available, inexpensive, biodegradable, and disposable material – can remove bacteria from water by simple pressure-driven filtration. Approximately 3 cm3 of sapwood can filter water at the rate of several liters per day, sufficient to meet the clean drinking water needs of one person. The results demonstrate the potential of plant xylem to address the need for pathogen-free drinking water in developing countries and resource-limited settings.

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Lévy flights do not always optimize random blind search for sparse targets

Lévy flights do not always optimize random blind search for sparse targets | Complex World | Scoop.it

Has natural selection led to adaptations of Lévy flight foraging, as stated on the respective Wikipedia page? Random walks with scale-free jump length distributions were indeed shown to optimize the search for sparse targets as supported by extensive movement data of many animal species and humans. Here we demonstrate that small variations of the search conditions strongly modify these claims: In the presence of a bias, underwater currents for sea predators or winds for airborne searchers, a Lévy searcher easily overshoots the target, and Brownian strategies become advantageous. Even in the absence of a bias, there exist conditions for which a Brownian strategy may effect faster target localization. Our results show clear limitations for the universality of Lévy flight foraging.

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The Math That Predicted the Revolutions Sweeping the Globe Right Now

The Math That Predicted the Revolutions Sweeping the Globe Right Now | Complex World | Scoop.it
The complex systems theorists who predicted the Arab Spring built a model that predicted the unrest in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Thailand too.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, February 23, 10:02 AM

I wonder if they're saying anything about the United States or Western Europe.

 

Something wicked this way comes.

 

And, when people are going to literally start to starve, it'll be very interesting to see what happens next.

 

Think about it.