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Fickle Sun Changed Europe's Climate for 1,000 Years : DNews

Fickle Sun Changed Europe's Climate for 1,000 Years : DNews | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
As the sun's energy levels dipped so did temperatures in the North Atlantic, which then may have cooled the climate in Europe.
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An Eye-Tracking Study of Website Complexity from Cognitive Load Perspective

New Article: An Eye-Tracking Study of Website Complexity from Cognitive Load Perspective http://t.co/xhmTE0ObuP
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Economics Daily Digest: What is the GDP of the internet? - Daily Kos

Economics Daily Digest: What is the GDP of the internet? - Daily Kos | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
Economics Daily Digest: What is the GDP of the internet?
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Dynamics and spatial distribution of global nighttime lights

Dynamics and spatial distribution of global nighttime lights | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it

Using open source data, we observe the fascinating dynamics of nighttime light. Following a global economic regime shift, the planetary center of light can be seen moving eastwards at a pace of about 60 km per year. Introducing spatial light Gini coefficients, we find a universal pattern of human settlements across different countries and see a global centralization of light. Observing 160 different countries we document the expansion of developing countries, the growth of new agglomerations, the regression in countries suffering from demographic decline and the success of light pollution abatement programs in western countries.


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How a New Science of Cities Is Emerging from Mobile Phone Data Analysis

How a New Science of Cities Is Emerging from Mobile Phone Data Analysis | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
Study the way people make mobile phone calls in metropolitan areas and you can see a city breathe, say computer scientists.

The results reveal some fascinating patterns in city structure. For a start, every city undergoes a kind of respiration in which people converge into the center and then withdraw on a daily basis, almost like breathing. And this happens in all cities. This “suggests the existence of a single ‘urban rhythm’ common to all cities,” say Louail and co.


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Anne Fleischman's curator insight, January 29, 6:25 AM

Fascinant ou/et complètement inquiétant #bigbrother 

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Can Twitter Predict Major Events Such As Mass Protests?

Can Twitter Predict Major Events Such As Mass Protests? | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it

The idea that social media sites such as Twitter can predict the future has a controversial history. In the last few years, various groups have claimed to be able to predict everything from the outcome of elections to the box office takings for new movies.

It’s fair to say that these claims have generated their fair share of criticism. So it’s interesting to see a new claim come to light.

Today, Nathan Kallus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge says he has developed a way to predict crowd behaviour using statements made on Twitter. In particular, he has analysed the tweets associated with the 2013 coup d’état in Egypt and says that the civil unrest associated with this event was clearly predictable days in advance.


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How evolution shapes the geometries of life: Scientists solve a longstanding biological puzzle

How evolution shapes the geometries of life: Scientists solve a longstanding biological puzzle | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it

Why does a mouse's heart beat about the same number of times in its lifetime as an elephant's, although the mouse lives about a year, while an elephant sees 70 winters come and go? Why do small plants and animals mature faster than large ones? Why has nature chosen such radically different forms as the loose-limbed beauty of a flowering tree and the fearful symmetry of a tiger?

These questions have puzzled life scientists since ancient times. Now an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Maryland and the University of Padua in Italy propose a thought-provoking answer based on a famous mathematical formula that has been accepted as true for generations, but never fully understood. In a paper published the week of Feb. 17, 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team offers a re-thinking of the formula known as Kleiber's Law. Seeing this formula as a mathematical expression of an evolutionary fact, the team suggests that plants' and animals' widely different forms evolved in parallel, as ideal ways to solve the problem of how to use energy efficiently.


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Eli Levine's curator insight, February 18, 8:45 PM

Way cool.

 

It's incredible to think in terms of the economy of thermodynamics, energy consumption, physics and the production of life both on a physical and psychological level.

 

Perhaps this more organic system of economics would be preferable to the linear, equilibrium based economics that has no bearing in the empirical world that actually is around us all (and we are all apart of).

 

Think about it.

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Autonomous drones flock like birds

Autonomous drones flock like birds | Complex Systems and X-Events | 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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Initiative, compromise force SEIU's agenda - Statesman Journal

Initiative, compromise force SEIU's agenda - Statesman Journal | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
Initiative, compromise force SEIU's agenda
Statesman Journal
“Health care is already quite complex, so negotiating and deliberating are really a superior way to do policy, even if you back away a little bit from your ideal position.” (Page 2 of 2).
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Nobel Laureate In Economics Professor Joseph Stiglitz : The Innovation Enigma - Jewish Business News

Nobel Laureate In Economics Professor Joseph Stiglitz : The Innovation Enigma - Jewish Business News | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
Nobel Laureate In Economics Professor Joseph Stiglitz : The Innovation Enigma Jewish Business News In 1987, economist Robert Solow – awarded the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on growth – lamented that “You can see the computer age everywhere...
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Apps thrill toddlers as Swedish schools go digital - The Japan Times

Apps thrill toddlers as Swedish schools go digital - The Japan Times | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
Apps thrill toddlers as Swedish schools go digital
The Japan Times
Do you really need to add more complexity with apps?,” he said, adding that it takes time away from other activities. ...
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The View Of Digital Health From An 'Engaged Patient' - Forbes

The View Of Digital Health From An 'Engaged Patient' - Forbes | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
The View Of Digital Health From An 'Engaged Patient'
Forbes
I have Type 1 diabetes [which is] very complex, very difficult to control – what they used to call “brittle” in the old days. So what does that mean?
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Computer system simulates the behavior of tax evaders - Phys.Org

Computer system simulates the behavior of tax evaders - Phys.Org | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
Computer system simulates the behavior of tax evaders Phys.Org The simulator, described in the journal Advances in Complex Systems, analyzes the factors motivating tax evasion and allows to determine which measures are effective in reducing it,...
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Researchers identify decision-making center of brain

Researchers identify decision-making center of brain | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress)—Although choosing to do something because the perceived benefit outweighs the financial cost is something people do daily, little is known about what happens in the brain when a person makes these kinds of decisions.
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How Africa's New Urban Centers Are Shifting Its Old Colonial Boundaries

How Africa's New Urban Centers Are Shifting Its Old Colonial Boundaries | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
The continent's booming new economic zones are outstripping the ability of weak central governments to retain their hold on them.
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Is Economic Exchange Emergent Behavior? - US Message Board ...

Is Economic Exchange Emergent Behavior? - US Message Board ... | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
So far as I know no one has demonstrated any neural circuitry not adapted from pre-economic behavior used in the market place. This would imply that most economic postulates are wrong. Rationality is out the window as ...
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Fighting for Attention

Fighting for Attention | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
Competition for attention among users can bring social networks close to the critical point of a phase transition.

A “meme” is an idea, style, or behavior that spreads within society; examples include songs, catch phrases, Internet videos, and fashions. The name was coined by British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins to suggest the analogy with a gene: a meme can replicate, mutate, and evolve, competing for success. But what mechanisms determine the popularity of a meme? Reporting in Physical Review Letters, James Gleeson at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and co-workers present a model that describes how memes spread and compete in a social network.

The key result of their analysis is that the competition between memes turns the social network into a so-called critical system, i.e., a system close to the critical point of a phase transition. In such a state, minor disturbances lead to avalanches of events that drive the system to a new phase, e.g., one in which certain memes go viral. As expected for a critical state, the authors show that many statistical properties exhibit certain regularities. In particular, they are able to predict distributions of popularity following power laws whose exponents are close to empirical values.


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The genius of swarm thinking

The genius of swarm thinking | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it

When animals swarm they exhibit a complex collective intelligence that could help us build robots, heal wounds and understand the brain.

We tend to think of swarms as mindless moving masses, not the kind of thoughtful groups that humans form. But humans often behave like a swarm, particularly when it comes to collective decision-making.

During election campaigns, people often believe that sufficiently outspoken minority groups have the power to sway the results. That's unlikely, say Iain Couzin and his team at Princeton University. Their models of voter swarms show that the minority influence, however strong, gets diluted to the point where the group goes with the majority decision – provided the electorate contains enough uninformed and undecided voters who simply copy their neighbours. For better or worse, ignorance plays a significant role in the way democracies operate.

 

 


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The Pre-History of Urban Scaling

The Pre-History of Urban Scaling | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it

Cities are increasingly the fundamental socio-economic units of human societies worldwide, but we still lack a unified characterization of urbanization that captures the social processes realized by cities across time and space. This is especially important for understanding the role of cities in the history of human civilization and for determining whether studies of ancient cities are relevant for contemporary science and policy. As a step in this direction, we develop a theory of settlement scaling in archaeology, deriving the relationship between population and settled area from a consideration of the interplay between social and infrastructural networks. We then test these models on settlement data from the Pre-Hispanic Basin of Mexico to show that this ancient settlement system displays spatial scaling properties analogous to those observed in modern cities. Our data derive from over 1,500 settlements occupied over two millennia and spanning four major cultural periods characterized by different levels of agricultural productivity, political centralization and market development. We show that, in agreement with theory, total settlement area increases with population size, on average, according to a scale invariant relation with an exponent in the range . As a consequence, we are able to infer aggregate socio-economic properties of ancient societies from archaeological measures of settlement organization. Our findings, from an urban settlement system that evolved independently from its old-world counterparts, suggest that principles of settlement organization are very general and may apply to the entire range of human history.


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Eli Levine's curator insight, February 14, 12:10 PM

Indeed, the natural laws, as discovered and interpreted through empirical testing was in the past, is here in the present and will be around long after we are all individuall and collectively gone.

 

Once you understand how the city works, you can begin to make hypotheses about how nations work, as networks of cities, which can then be expanded out to networks of nations and, indeed, the sum total of all of human existence in the universe, as it relates to the environment in which it is found and of which it is apart of.

 

Enjoy!

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Reliance on social groups for answers pre-empts motivation for independent analytical thinking

If advancing civilization relies on social networks, the world is in trouble. According to newly published research by University of Oregon psychologist Azim Shariff, individuals relying on their social groups can find solutions but also pre-empt the motivation for independent analytical thinking.

Social networks encompass many scenarios, from divisions within organizations, to fraternities and sororities, to connections on Facebook and Twitter. The four-member research team is not proclaiming a doomsday scenario; it is studying the impacts of social learning in networks from a broad cultural perspective.

While social learning "is a key cultural mechanism that improves the performance of individuals and groups," writes Shariff and international colleagues in the introduction of their paper placed online by the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, watching and copying others while seeking solutions has some limitations on analytical development that drives innovation.


Via Claudia Mihai
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Eli Levine's curator insight, February 20, 1:37 PM

An old tug of war, for sure, between individualism and collectivism.

 

Trouble is, the individual is never separated out from the collective that is our universe (even if they do go naked from our society and leave behind all aspects of human society and company) and the collective, while individually stupider, seems to take on a different light of its own, especially if there are a small number of more positive dominant forces in the (human) society.

 

A wolf pack needs an alpha, after all; a band of chimps have leaders of various levels and sorts.

 

Therefore, it's a question of balancing between the positives of both worlds while avoiding the negatives of either one individually.

 

The best is with both, I think.

 

Think about it.

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The Simple Rules of Social Contagion

The Simple Rules of Social Contagion | Complex Systems and X-Events | 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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Sociology and Complexity Science blog: BIG DATA, little questions!

Sociology and Complexity Science blog: BIG DATA, little questions! | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
Check out the following article by Emma Uprichard on Big Data! BIG DATA, LITTLE QUESTIONS? It is a great essay, as it points to the important and critical questions that folks, as of late, are not asking in real, sociologically ...
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Virtual students offer crash course for teachers-in-training - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Virtual students offer crash course for teachers-in-training - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
Virtual students offer crash course for teachers-in-training Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Many young teachers struggle with discipline and drop out of teaching because they become discouraged by classroom management issues, said Craig Berg, a UWM...
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How will the surveillance state influence interpersonal dynamics and social ... - allvoices

How will the surveillance state influence interpersonal dynamics and social ... - allvoices | Complex Systems and X-Events | Scoop.it
How will the surveillance state influence interpersonal dynamics and social ...
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[1306.6198] Emergent Behavior in Multipartite Large Networks: Multi-virus Epidemics

Emergent Behavior in Multipartite Large Networks: Multi-virus Epidemics http://t.co/fGxzvriOaN
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