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dcomerf: Complex Systems

dcomerf: Complex Systems | Emergence | Scoop.it
I've just noticed that Prof Yaneer Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Systems Institute replied to my letter (full version here) on the New Scientist's Limits To Growth article. I'm quite chuffed about this - Prof Bar-Yam is a big ...
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Emergence
Attractors in the chaos are the start of everything
Curated by Tony Smith
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Giant galaxies die from the inside when they stop making stars

Giant galaxies die from the inside when they stop making stars | Emergence | Scoop.it
What happens to a galaxy when it runs out of the stuff needed to forge new stars?
Tony Smith's insight:

One of a pair of articles in The Conversation today which show the complex emergence underpinning condensed matter structure at opposite ends of the spatial scale. This further narrows the window of Goldilocks conditions that makes it increasingly likely that our particular history gives us opportunity and responsibility to do something commensurate with being the only moment and place where it is possible to know the universe, while amplifying the import of the weak anthropic principle to that knowing.

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Biology Direct | Full text | The Last Universal Common Ancestor: emergence, constitution and genetic legacy of an elusive forerunner

Since the reclassification of all life forms in three Domains (Archaea, Bacteria, Eukarya), the identity of their alleged forerunner (Last Universal Common Ancestor or LUCA) has been the subject of extensive controversies: progenote or already complex organism, prokaryote or protoeukaryote, thermophile or mesophile, product of a protracted progression from simple replicators to complex cells or born in the cradle of "catalytically closed" entities? We present a critical survey of the topic and suggest a scenario.
Tony Smith's insight:

I've long contended that Darwinian selection in relative isolation tends to increase efficiency at what a species is already doing, not innovate.* Gianedorff et al's invocation of "reductive evolution" is consistent and paints a scenario for accelerating research identifying viable paths through the definitive problem for Emergence: the origin of life itself. *See my 20 year old: http://www.meme.com.au/theoria/metaselection.html

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Limits on fundamental limits to computation - Nature.com

Limits on fundamental limits to computation
Nature.com
A speedup from runtime polynomial in n to approximately logn can be achieved in an abstract model of computation for matrix multiplication and fast Fourier transforms.

Via John Symons
Tony Smith's insight:

While such limits to computation in our emergent substrate (aka matter) do not deny the hypothesis that the most fundamental processes can be seen as computation (c.f. Wolfram) the existence of hard limits as reported here places a potent limit on the possibility of modelling candidate (Planck scale) processes which underpin our finest grain observables (always mediated by photons).

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Why Mayors Should Rule the World

Why Mayors Should Rule the World | Emergence | Scoop.it
Benjamin R. Barber believes that cities will triumph over nations. He explains to Lars Mensel why we need to take our mayors more seriously.
Tony Smith's insight:

Great starting point for a discussion we must face and quickly. Cities are self organising systems. This makes them inherently superior to politically (and militarily) consolidated agglomerations.

 

Representative democracy has scaling limits which leave it more prone to cancerous and parasitic debilitation over time unless it is confined to scales where transparency can dominate.

 

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Ancient settlements and modern cities follow same rules of development

Ancient settlements and modern cities follow same rules of development | Emergence | Scoop.it
Recently derived equations that describe development patterns in modern urban areas appear to work equally well to describe ancient cities settled thousands of years ago, according to a new study.
Tony Smith's insight:

Nice to see some Santa Fe Institute–flavoured research showing theoretical principles from Emergence/Systems/Complexity interplaying with the practice of urban design?/development.

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The Embarrassment of Complexity - blogs.hbr.org (blog)

The Embarrassment of Complexity - blogs.hbr.org (blog) | Emergence | Scoop.it

'The Embarrassment of Complexity' is what unavoidably happens as silos which have externalised more than they sustainably can try to reconnect to tackle real world issues through oversimplified interfaces which ignore non-linearity and worse.


Via John Symons
Tony Smith's insight:

Just when I was starting to enjoy my notional retirement: "This is why what I call competent rebels are needed everywhere: individuals who are able to combine professional capabilities with the fresh, challenging outlook required for progress."

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Information Measures of Complexity, Emergence, Self-organization, Homeostasis, and Autopoiesis

Information Measures of Complexity, Emergence, Self-organization, Homeostasis, and Autopoiesis | Emergence | Scoop.it

This chapter reviews measures of emergence, self-organization, complexity,homeostasis, and autopoiesis based on information theory. These measures arederived from proposed axioms and tested in two case studies: random Booleannetworks and an Arctic lake ecosystem.
Emergence is defined as the information a system or process produces.Self-organization is defined as the opposite of emergence, while complexity isdefined as the balance between emergence and self-organization. Homeostasisreflects the stability of a system. Autopoiesis is defined as the ratio betweenthe complexity of a system and the complexity of its environment. The proposedmeasures can be applied at different scales, which can be studied withmulti-scale profiles.

 

 


Via Bernard Ryefield
Tony Smith's insight:

Regardless of any questions as to the degree information-theoretic metrics are useful and useable at the core of Emergence/Systems/Complexity theory, Fernandez, Maldonado & Gershenson's paper provides a valuable discussion of fundamental concepts across the field. The paper's key claim is that complexity is high not just when there is a balance between order and chaos, an old oversimplification, but also between emergence (in the whole of information not defined in the parts) and self-organisation, each of which is seen more widely as symptomatic of complexity. It is not an entirely unfamilar argument but one easily hidden in the field's Babel-like language.

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THINK ABOUT NATURE | Edge.org

THINK ABOUT NATURE | Edge.org | Emergence | Scoop.it
Tony Smith's insight:

Lee Smolin is closer to being right about cosmology, i.e. asking the right questions, than anyone else half as prominent. As usual, Edge provides a good platform for expounding ideas and eliciting informed responses, albeit some that are a bit too welded on.

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Will the Future of Urban Planning Be Crowdfunded?

Will the Future of Urban Planning Be Crowdfunded? | Emergence | Scoop.it
Bogota, Colombia is growing "like a pancake," as Rodrigo Nino, real-estate pioneer, says in the video below. Like other cities around the world, as the population quickly expands, Bogota is expanding outward.
Tony Smith's insight:

This is how people of good will colaboratively escape unintentional strangulation by resurgent government authoritarianism aka administrivial empire building. (Not the only optimistic story to come out of Latin America this morning.)

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The Chaordic Stepping Stones as a tool for designing large-scale interventions | The Holos Group

The Chaordic Stepping Stones as a tool for designing large-scale interventions | The Holos Group | Emergence | Scoop.it
Tony Smith's insight:

This might be the best top level guide for turning Emergence/Systems/Complexity theory into productive social practice that I've yet seen.

 

Can imagine a few creative tensions fleshing out the next level of detail, in particular refining the granularity implicit in "large-scale".

 

(This in the context of a waking thought that we might be closer than we may want to admit to needing a self-renewing UnConference collective to take over planning and other decision making demands that are stalling under the parasite-laden body of our aged Westminster system.)

 

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christine koehler's curator insight, June 27, 2013 9:49 AM

A few more steps than those I know. Intereting frame to design large groups interventions

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On Early Warning Signs § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM

On Early Warning Signs § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM | Emergence | Scoop.it

@DavidBrin1 tweeted this today and have to agree that it is worth revisiting from a couple of years ago:

"Rapid shifts are the hallmark of climate change, epileptic seizures, financial crises, and fishery collapses. Deep mathematical principles tie these events together."

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Artificial Intelligence, Powered by Many Humans - Technology Review

Artificial Intelligence, Powered by Many Humans - Technology Review | Emergence | Scoop.it

Crowdsourcing is usually mindless -- parcelling out microtasks to many people, each of whom contribute a bit of work or perception (often for a few cents). What about combining crowdsourcing and collective intelligence (where each contributor adds a piece of the puzzle, with contributions aggregated and perhaps filtered)? -- Howard

 

"Personal assistants such as Apple's Siri may be useful, but they are still far from matching the smarts and conversational skills of a real person. Researchers at the University of Rochester have demonstrated a new, potentially better approach that creates a smart artificial chat partner from fleeting contributions from many crowdsourced workers."

 

Another step on the path to the Plurality where the best of both/all worlds co-operate for better ends than can be envisaged from any Singular perspective. -- TS


Via Howard Rheingold
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New economic thinking and the potential to transform politics | | Independent Econoblog Blogs

New economic thinking and the potential to transform politics | | Independent Econoblog Blogs | Emergence | Scoop.it

A glow worm shines on the dismal (non-)science. "(A) detailed bottom-up model of the housing market shows the bubble in a new light. Unlike conventional top-down models, which show gentle self-correction, (this) ‘agent-based model’ showed the bubble bursting and markets crashing. (It) modelled various policy responses to the housing bubble using real data.  Conventional wisdom has been that sustained low interest rates following the 2000 dot-com crash were the primary cause of the housing bubble.  But in the model raising the interest rates did not prevent a bubble forming, but tighter regulation of banks almost completely eradicated it.

This suggests better ways to frame economic policy in relation to the housing market. But, in coming years, similar work will undoubtedly highlight ways to improve policy in other areas."

 

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Brainy bones: the hidden complexity inside your skeleton

Brainy bones: the hidden complexity inside your skeleton | Emergence | Scoop.it
The network of bone cells inside your skeleton rivals your brain in terms of complexity.
Tony Smith's insight:

One of a pair of articles in The Conversation today which show the complex emergence underpinning condensed matter structure at opposite ends of the spatial scale. This one in particular only adds to my concern about the degree to which we defer to crude verbal (and numerical) mapping* when dabbling with the fate of our incomparably more complex and likely unparalleled biosphere. *lawyers (and accountants/economists)

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Emergence: A unifying theme for 21st century science

Emergence: A unifying theme for 21st century science | Emergence | Scoop.it
By David Pines, Co-Founder in Residence, Santa Fe Institute

Via John Symons
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Strong, correct position from someone who has lived the journey.

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Stigmergy as a Universal Coordination Mechanism - P2P Foundation

Stigmergy as a Universal Coordination Mechanism - P2P Foundation | Emergence | Scoop.it

"The concept of stigmergy has been used to analyze self-organizing activities in an ever-widening range of domains, from social insects via robotics and social media to human society. Yet, it is still poorly understood, and as such its full power remains underappreciated. The present paper clarifies the issue by defining stigmergy as a mechanism of indirect coordination in which the trace left by an action in a medium stimulates a subsequent action. It then analyses the fundamental components of the definition: action, agent, medium, trace and coordination. Stigmergy enables complex, coordinated activity without any need for planning, control, communication, simultaneous presence, or even mutual awareness. This makes the concept applicable to a very broad variety of cases, from chemical reactions to individual cognition and Internet-supported collaboration in Wikipedia.


Via jean lievens
Tony Smith's insight:

Mark Elliot of Collabforge wrote his thesis on Stigmergic Collaboration: http://mark-elliott.net/blog/?page_id=24 

 

Maybe the issues cities like Melbourne have providing infrastructure to serve developer-led growth suggests a limit to what can be achieved without more widely grounded strategic planning taken out of the hands of politically volatile interests.

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Common scaling laws for city highway systems and the mammalian neocortex

Tony Smith's insight:

Urban planning gets another complexity theory mention in Mark A. Changizi and Marc Destefano's 2009 paper, this version found by following lead from http://www.scoop.it/t/complexity-by-bernard-ryefield

 

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Maximizing Collective Intelligence Means Giving Up Control

Maximizing Collective Intelligence Means Giving Up Control | Emergence | Scoop.it
Tony Smith's insight:

Great short summary appropriately looking forward on 45th anniversary of Doug Engelbart's Mother of All Demos rather than backwards. Getting this into more heads remains my motivating challenge more than a quarter century after I found the first clues.

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Physicists get to grips with complex systems - physicsworld.com

Results show that putting too much effort into controlling such systems may actually make them uncontrollable
Tony Smith's insight:

While this article is largely yet another angle of "discovery" of principles some of us already know all too well, the comment by "postfuture" exposes the way our "business as usual" habits (competitive growth imperatives) produce systems that are particularly prone to runaway effects.

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Math targets cities' essence | Science & Society | Science News

Math targets cities' essence | Science & Society | Science News | Emergence | Scoop.it
Tony Smith's insight:

Multiway whammy. Santa Fe research confirms non-linear characteristics of cities due to network effects from increasing social interactions, citing much earlier work of Jane Jacobs who successfully opposed the Lower Manhattan Expressway, originally proposed in 1941 and cancelled in 1962 in the face of community opposition.

 

Anyone questioning our positioning of Napthine, Mulder and their Dividing Melbourne brief as 1950s throwbacks needs to swallow the obvious close parallels.

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Culture, genes and the human revolution - Matt Ridley

Culture, genes and the human revolution - Matt Ridley | Emergence | Scoop.it
Science magazine article on culture and genes
Tony Smith's insight:

To me this is a "Duh!" article—so obvious it shouldn't need to be written. But reality is that it is kicking against the cultural heritage which almost disables evolutionary theory and so has to be argued in narrow passages. Even Galapagos finches make it painfully clear that behavioural change precedes genetic adaptation. Variation is never random, it is exploring possibilities and latching onto those that work. This should not even be news, but it still is. Damn Descartes et al. And double damn primatological chauvanism.

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Association of Professional Futurists - ProFutures Blog

Association of Professional Futurists - ProFutures Blog | Emergence | Scoop.it
Tony Smith's insight:

Seeing more and more interconnections between Emergence/Systems/Complexity theory, the old ally knowledge management, and a seemingly newer one: the foresight approach to futures studies. Of course they all have strong histories back to the 1980s and earlier hints, but they seem to now be attractive to the same members of a less elderly generation. Also see connections to Transhumanism and Postmodernism but these may not be as welcome in overly polite/conservative circles.

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The Power of Swarms Can Help Us Fight Cancer, Understand the Brain, and Predict the Future | Wired Science | Wired.com

The Power of Swarms Can Help Us Fight Cancer, Understand the Brain, and Predict the Future | Wired Science | Wired.com | Emergence | Scoop.it
A flock of red-winged blackbirds forms and re-forms over California's Sacramento Valley. Photo: Lukas Felzmann The first thing to hit Iain Couzin when
Tony Smith's insight:

"Science, in general, is a lot better at breaking complex things into tiny parts than it is at figuring out how tiny parts turn into complex things."

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Tim O'Reilly: Birth of the Global Mind

Recently released video of Long Now Foundation session introduced and moderated by Stuart Brandt and presented by Tim O'Reilly who discusses how evolving technology has disrupted society, and has given birth to the global mind. Aside from some minor colouration by our too common white collar triumphalist perspective which continues to overrate map rather than territory, @timoreilly really hits the important points and adds deeper historic context as to why the purported Singularity will be much more a Plurality, save from the enhanced hazard of eggs all in one basket. Definitely worth the 1 hour 35 minute viewing time, plus a good chunk of reflection beyond that.

 

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Now "hiring": Systems Diplomats

Now "hiring": Systems Diplomats | Emergence | Scoop.it

 

"Communities, nations, sectors, industries and more are dealing with greater levels of complexity and diversity of participation. This complexity and diversity, and current collective lack of ability to deal with it, is in many cases around the world creating conflict, dis-ease and holding ‘systems’ back from reaching their potential.

"These systems require support in being able to come together, find mutual understanding, and move forward in a graceful and effective way. Systems diplomacy helps address these challenges and move systems forward."

For once, this is not an attempt to expand the tyranny of paid jobs (for the boys) into territory that requires real life experience and is thus better served by the ageing in voluntary capacities where we can remain answerable only to our own best intentions. In reality, just another blog post, but one which strikes more than one chord.

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