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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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Emergence
Attractors in the chaos are the start of everything
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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

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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
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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
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"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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Extinction patterns, δ18 O trends, and magnetostratigraphy from a southern high-latitude Cretaceous–Paleogene section (ScienceDirect.com - Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology)

Extinction patterns, δ18 O trends, and magnetostratigraphy from a southern high-latitude Cretaceous–Paleogene section (ScienceDirect.com - Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology) | Emergence | Scoop.it

Been saying for quite a while that the KT extinctions were a double whammy. The linked (and paywalled) article provides supporting technical data from a long sought site spanning the Deccan Traps volcanism and the Yucatan impact, a target eventually found on an island off the Antarctic Peninsula. A simplified interpretation is provided by New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22137-two-separate-extinctions-brought-end-to-dinosaur-era.html

 

This underlines the message from broader study of emergence/systems/complecity that the level of resillience of the likes of the late Cretateous planetary ecosystem is only seriously vulnerable to an unlikely coincidence of challenges. But this should also serve a warning that the current and prospective level of human impact on natural systems, despite our efforts to retain token populations and habitats that are obviously endangered, might not stand something else going wrong. It may have even stronger lessons for the fragile global economy trapped in its delusory winner-take-all tide of neoliberal commentariat domination that fantasises its own permanence based on 20-30 years of intermittent triumphalism.

 

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End the Prison-Industrial Complex, Now! - CounterPunch

End the Prison-Industrial Complex, Now!CounterPunchThe prison industrial complex is a moral and political crime. It is a class crime. It is also a microcosm of the broader systems of capitalist domination, exploitation and control.
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Collective Intelligence: Ants colony solving TSP – CodeProject

Collective Intelligence: Ants colony solving TSP – CodeProject | Emergence | Scoop.it

Some nice examples of stigmergic collaboration in eusocial organisms. Humans are not cells in a superorganism, but we can apply stigmergic collaboration to collective intelligence involving populations of intelligent humans (Wikipedia, for example) -- Howard

 

"The algorithms based on collective intelligence have some “interesting” properties:

decentralization
parallelism
flexibility, adaptability
“robustness” (failures)
auto-organization
These algorithms are inspired by the nature. Here are some examples of collective intelligence which can be observed in the nature:"


Via Howard Rheingold
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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 6:49 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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2011 CULTURE@LARGE SESSION - THE HUMAN IS MORE THAN HUMAN | Cultural Anthropology

2011 CULTURE@LARGE SESSION - THE HUMAN IS MORE THAN HUMAN | Cultural Anthropology | Emergence | Scoop.it

The 2011 Culture@Large session grappled with the pressing importance of the nonhuman for the work of anthropologists. The featured speaker, Dorion Sagan, is an independent scholar and a fascinating thinker, who has written and co-authored a range of books, two of which were written with his mother, biologist Lynn Margulis, a professor at the University of Massachusetts. Sagan’s talk, “The Human is More Than Human: Interspecies Communities and the New ‘Facts of Life’,” was then followed by discussant commentary from Myra Hird, Stefan Helmreich, Kim TallBear, and Agustin Fuentes.

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Chaos Versus Complexity | Synthesis

Chaos Versus Complexity | Synthesis | Emergence | Scoop.it

Chaos Theory is the study of fascinating yet deterministic systems, whereas complex systems are not deterministic. [Not necessarily. -Ed.] At first blush, if we were to contrast the words chaotic and complex as used in every day language, we might ...

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