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Tim Berners-Lee: We need to re-decentralize the Web

Tim Berners-Lee: We need to re-decentralize the Web | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
Chris Woods Twenty-five years after the Web's inception, its creator has urged the public to reengage with its original design: a decentralized Internet that remains open to all.

Via Artur Alves
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Artur Alves's curator insight, February 6, 2:29 PM

"Speaking with Wired editor David Rowan at an event launching the magazine's March issue, Tim Berners-Lee said that although part of this is about keeping an eye on for-profit Internet monopolies such as search engines and social networks, the greatest danger is the emergence of a balkanized Web.

(...)

It's the role of governments, startups, and journalists to keep that conversation at the fore, he added, because the pace of change is not slowing—it's going faster than ever before. For his part, Berners-Lee drives the issue through his work at the Open Data Institute, World Wide Web Consortium, and World Wide Web Foundation, but also as an MIT professor whose students are "building new architectures for the Web where it's decentralized." On the issue of monopolies, Berners-Lee did say that it's concerning to be "reliant on big companies and one big server," something that stalls innovation, but that competition has historically resolved these issues and will continue to do so."

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Non-Equilibrium Social Science Policy Conference: Feedbacks, Fragility and Failure

Non-Equilibrium Social Science Policy Conference: Feedbacks, Fragility and Failure | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

NESS is holding a one day policy-oriented conference in London on 28 October, where we will be drawing out practical implications in key areas such as:

 

Financial marketsCities, transport and infrastructureDecision making

 

The event is hosting a number of speakers, including:

 

Sir Charles Bean, Former Deputy Governor, Bank of EnglandDavid Tuckett, Director of the Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty Psychoanalysis, University College LondonProfessor Mike Batty, Chairman, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College LondonPaul Ormerod, Volterra Partners LLP, London

 

Date

Tuesday 28th October 2014

 

Time

10.30am-5pm

 

Drinks reception

From 5.30pm

 

Venue

One Great George Street Westminster SW1P 3AA

 

Contact details

Adele Cassidy, acassidy@volterra.co.uk  020 8878 6333

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Can Government Be Self-Organized? A Mathematical Model of the Collective Social Organization of Ancient Teotihuacan, Central Mexico

Can Government Be Self-Organized? A Mathematical Model of the Collective Social Organization of Ancient Teotihuacan, Central Mexico | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Teotihuacan was the first urban civilization of Mesoamerica and one of the largest of the ancient world. Following a tradition in archaeology to equate social complexity with centralized hierarchy, it is widely believed that the city’s origin and growth was controlled by a lineage of powerful individuals. However, much data is indicative of a government of co-rulers, and artistic traditions expressed an egalitarian ideology. Yet this alternative keeps being marginalized because the problems of collective action make it difficult to conceive how such a coalition could have functioned in principle. We therefore devised a mathematical model of the city’s hypothetical network of representatives as a formal proof of concept that widespread cooperation was realizable in a fully distributed manner. In the model, decisions become self-organized into globally optimal configurations even though local representatives behave and modify their relations in a rational and selfish manner. This self-optimization crucially depends on occasional communal interruptions of normal activity, and it is impeded when sections of the network are too independent. We relate these insights to theories about community-wide rituals at Teotihuacan and the city’s eventual disintegration.

 

Froese, T., Gershenson, C., and Manzanilla, L. R. (2014). Can government be self-organized? a mathematical model of the collective social organization of ancient teotihuacan, central mexico.PLoS ONE 9 (10) (10): e109966.

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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How Infographics Are Made

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How Infographics Are Made | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
It’s been said that we’re living in the golden age of data visualization. And why shouldn’t we be? Every move we make is potential fodder for a bar chart or line graph. Regardless of how you feel about our constant quantification, its been a boon for designers who have made some exceptional infographics—and some not…
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​There Are Only Four Types of City in the World, Says Math

​There Are Only Four Types of City in the World, Says Math | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
Physicists discover that Brooklyn has a touch of Brussels and that Buenos Aires is in a class all its own.
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Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?

Does evolutionary theory need a rethink? | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
Researchers are divided over what processes should be considered fundamental.

Via Jorge Louçã
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Top Ten Internet Languages

Top Ten Internet Languages | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
The top ten language groups of Internet users are currently English, Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, German, French, and Malay.

Via Jorge Louçã
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Europe’s Austerity Zombies, by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Europe’s Austerity Zombies, by Joseph E. Stiglitz | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory,” goes the old adage. But too often it is easier to keep the theory and change the facts – or so German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other pro-austerity European leaders appear to believe. Though facts keep staring them in the face, they continue to deny reality. Austerity has failed. But its defenders are willing to claim victory on the basis of the weakest possible evidence: the economy is no longer collapsing, so austerity must be working! But if that is the benchmark, we could say that jumping off a cliff is the best way to get down from a mountain; after all, the descent has been stopped.
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The Past, Present, and Future of Artificial Life | Computational Intelligence

Wendy Aguilar, Guillermo Santamaría Bonfil1, Tom Froese1 and Carlos Gershenson

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico 

 

For millennia people have wondered what makes the living different from the non-living. Beginning in the mid-1980s, artificial life has studied living systems using a synthetic approach: build life in order to understand it better, be it by means of software, hardware, or wetware. This review provides a summary of the advances that led to the development of artificial life, its current research topics, and open problems and opportunities. We classify artificial life research into fourteen themes: origins of life, autonomy, self-organization, adaptation (including evolution, development, and learning), ecology, artificial societies, behavior, computational biology, artificial chemistries, information, living technology, art, and philosophy. Being interdisciplinary, artificial life seems to be losing its boundaries and merging with other fields.

 

 


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International Conference on Computational Social Science

June 8-11, 2015 Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland

Opening of abstract submission September the 15th, 2014
Deadline for abstract submission November the 15th, 2014
Registration opens on January the 15th, 2015
Conference dates June 8-11, 2015

http://iccss2015.eu


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​The Future of the Web Is as Much About Psychology as Technology

​The Future of the Web Is as Much About Psychology as Technology | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Even the most forward-thinking futurist would find it near-impossible to imagine with any great confidence what the World Wide Web will look like in 2050. Thirty-five years into the future seems like an unfathomably long view when technology is advancing at various exponential rates. Only 25 years ago, the web didn’t exist at all.

That’s the task a group of delegates from various tech companies (plus a token futurist in the form of Book of the Future’s Tom Cheesewright) set themselves to at a roundtable discussion in London this morning. The event was a precursor to the IP Expo Europe next month, at which web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee will share some of his own thoughts on the matter.

(...)

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NESS (Non-Equilibrium Social Science) Group meets in Rochdale

NESS (Non-Equilibrium Social Science) Group meets in Rochdale | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

 In July, the NESS group met in Rochdale town Hall to discuss the key policy themes arising from the NESS group and its application in the region. A tour of the town was followed with a presentation by Andrzej Nowak on how art has been used to revive a depressed area of Warsaw which is now one of the most desirable districts in the city. A presentation of the NESS report on the findings by Councillor John Blundell, Assistant Portfolio Holder for Regeneration.

 

At its height, in the 18th century and the boom of the industrial revolution Rochdale was amongst some of the richest places in the world. Now with a population of 200,000 it is now relatively poor in UK terms. The workshop was to understand the policy theme arising from the NESS work and therefore, how NESS could benefit.

 

Some themes arising from the research include:

 

Agglomeration: The benefits of denser employment have demonstrated higher productivity in an area, meaning that higher density produces greater wealth.

Employment density and economic resilience: The research has found that in addition to higher density generating greater wealth, it also impacts positively the ability of a local area recover more quickly from economic shocks

 

Currently Rochdale is performing poorly in both areas and therefore, the workshop raised specific policy questions:

 

* Should policy be aimed at increasing employment in central Manchester in order to benefit further from the agglomeration effect, bearing in mind the need for improved transport links to enable this?

 

* Should policy within a borough such as Rochdale be aimed at increasing the employment density of its existing densest area?

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Modelling Society's Evolutionary Forces

Modelling Society's Evolutionary Forces | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

If local circumstances can generate local social trends, it follows that global circumstances can generate global trends. Furthermore, modern global circumstances match the conditions used to create artificial evolutionary systems. If it is possible for evolutionary forces to arise in global society, then it is possible that key forces shaping global society are evolutionary in nature. We can experimentally test for the possibility of evolutionary forces in global society by using a multi-agent simulation. This paper presents a simulation programmed to capture the evolutionary prerequisites observed in global society. Trends arising from this simulation are tested against three known trends and three assumed trends arising from global society. The results from this experiment support the hypothesis that a wealth aggregation evolutionary imperative is shaping key trends in global society.


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Evaluating sentiment in financial news articles

Evaluating sentiment in financial news articles | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Can the choice of words and tone used by the authors of financial news articles correlate to measurable stock price movements? If so, can the magnitude of price movement be predicted using these same variables? We investigate these questions using the Arizona Financial Text (AZFinText) system, a financial news article prediction system, and pair it with a sentiment analysis tool. Through our analysis, we found that subjective news articles were easier to predict in price direction (59.0% versus 50.0% of chance alone) and using a simple trading engine, subjective articles garnered a 3.30% return. Looking further into the role of author tone in financial news articles, we found that articles with a negative sentiment were easiest to predict in price direction (50.9% versus 50.0% of chance alone) and a 3.04% trading return. Investigating negative sentiment further, we found that our system was able to predict price decreases in articles of a positive sentiment 53.5% of the time, and price increases in articles of a negative sentiment 52.4% of the time. We believe that perhaps this result can be attributable to market traders behaving in a contrarian manner, e.g., see good news, sell; see bad news, buy.

 


Via Ashish Umre, Jorge Louçã
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The Age of Vulnerability

The Age of Vulnerability | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
While many countries succeeded in moving people out of poverty, the welfare of a growing number is precarious. An economic system that fails to deliver gains for most of its citizens, and in which a rising share of the population faces increasing insecurity, is, in a fundamental sense, a failed economic system.
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Jean Tirole Wins Nobel Prize in Economics

Jean Tirole Wins Nobel Prize in Economics | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
Mr. Tirole, 61, is an economist who has provided insight into how governments can best tame powerful firms, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
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Subway Maps for Cities without Subways...

Subway Maps for Cities without Subways... | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Metro Austin | Click to enlarge Ivan Specht is an 8th grader whose fascination with cities, public transit, and maps has led him to embark on a creative cartography project that belies his age...

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Entropy Methods in Guided Self-Organisation

Self-organisation occurs in natural phenomena when a spontaneous increase inorder is produced by the interactions of elements of a complex system. Thermodynamically,this increase must be offset by production of entropy which, broadly speaking, can beunderstood as a decrease in order. Ideally, self-organisation can be used to guide the systemtowards a desired regime or state, while “exporting” the entropy to the system’s exterior. Thus, Guided Self-Organisation (GSO) attempts to harness the order-inducing potentialof self-organisation for specific purposes. Not surprisingly, general methods developed tostudy entropy can also be applied to guided self-organisation. This special issue covers a broad diversity of GSO approaches which can be classified in three categories: informationtheory, intelligent agents, and collective behavior. The proposals make another step towardsa unifying theory of GSO which promises to impact numerous research fields.

 

Entropy Methods in Guided Self-Organisation
Mikhail Prokopenko and Carlos Gershenson

Entropy 2014, 16(10), 5232-5241; doi:10.3390/e16105232

http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/16/10/5232

 

http://www.mdpi.com/journal/entropy/special_issues/self-organization ;


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In Noisy Equations, One Who Heard Music

In Noisy Equations, One Who Heard Music | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
Martin Hairer was named a 2014 Fields medalist for an epic masterpiece in stochastic analysis that colleagues say “created a whole world.”
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Introduction to Computational Social Science, by Claudio Cioffi-Revilla

Introduction to Computational Social Science, by Claudio Cioffi-Revilla | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

The emerging field of computational social science (CSS) is devoted to the pursuit of interdisciplinary social science research from an information processing perspective, through the medium of advanced computing and information technologies.

This reader-friendly textbook/reference is the first work of its kind to provide a comprehensive and unified Introduction to Computational Social Science. Four distinct methodological approaches are examined in particular detail, namely automated social information extraction, social network analysis, social complexity theory, and social simulation modeling. The coverage of each of these approaches is supported by a discussion of the historical context and motivations, as well as by a list of recommended texts for further reading.

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Our economies are messed up. And the cause is the Internet.

Our economies are messed up. And the cause is the Internet. | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Imagine that someone told you that three of the biggest stories of the past few years — the financial crisis, exploding economic inequality, and the National Security Agency spy scandal — weren’t actually different stories at all. Different in detail, yes, but essentially identical in their deeper cause. The cause, they go on to say, wasn’t greed or fear or the age of terrorism or anything else linked to human fallibility, but technology — specifically, computation and its networked manifestation, the Internet. Sound crazy?

 

Mark Buchanan in The Physics of Finance

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War: Origins and Effects

The International System is a self-organized system and shows emergent behavior. During the timeframe (1495 - 1945), a finite-time singularity and four accompanying accelerating log-periodic cycles shaped the dynamics of the International System. The accelerated growth of the connectivity of the regulatory network of the International System, in combination with its anarchistic structure, produce and shape the war dynamics of the system. Accelerated growth of the connectivity of the International system is fed by population growth and the need for social systems to fulfill basic requirements. The finite-time singularity and accompanying log-periodic oscillations were instrumental in the periodic reorganization of the regulatory network of the International System, and contributed to a long-term process of social expansion and integration in Europa. The singularity dynamic produced a series of organizational innovations. At the critical time of the singularity (1939) the connectivity of the system reached a critical threshold, resulting in a critical transition. This critical transition caused a fundamental reorganization of the International System: Europe transformed from an anarchistic system to cooperative security community. This critical transition also marks the actual globalization of the International System. During the life span of cycles, the war dynamics show chaotic characteristics. Various early-warning signals can be identified, and can probably be used in the current International System. These findings have implications for the social sciences and historical research.

 

War: Origins and Effects
Ingo Piepers

http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.6163


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Eli Levine's curator insight, September 26, 11:31 AM

Thus we delve closer into the hidden language of our social world.

 

Way cool science!

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Link Prediction in Complex Networks: A Mutual Information Perspective

Link Prediction in Complex Networks: A Mutual Information Perspective | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Topological properties of networks are widely applied to study the link-prediction problem recently. Common Neighbors, for example, is a natural yet efficient framework. Many variants of Common Neighbors have been thus proposed to further boost the discriminative resolution of candidate links. In this paper, we reexamine the role of network topology in predicting missing links from the perspective of information theory, and present a practical approach based on the mutual information of network structures. It not only can improve the prediction accuracy substantially, but also experiences reasonable computing complexity.

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Complex Systems Digital Campus @ ECCS'14 Panel : Science, Policy and Applications

Complex Systems Digital Campus @ ECCS'14 Panel : Science, Policy and Applications | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

At ECCS'14 ( www.eccs14.eu ), Lucca, 25th Sept, 17h, panel with Mike Batty (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London), and Paul Ormerod (Volterra Partners LLP, London)


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The Time Scale of Evolutionary Innovation

Evolutionary adaptation can be described as a biased, stochastic walk of a population of sequences in a high dimensional sequence space. The population explores a fitness landscape. The mutation-selection process biases the population towards regions of higher fitness. In this paper we estimate the time scale that is needed for evolutionary innovation. Our key parameter is the length of the genetic sequence that needs to be adapted. We show that a variety of evolutionary processes take exponential time in sequence length. We propose a specific process, which we call ‘regeneration processes’, and show that it allows evolution to work on polynomial time scales. In this view, evolution can solve a problem efficiently if it has solved a similar problem already.

 

Chatterjee K, Pavlogiannis A, Adlam B, Nowak MA (2014) The Time Scale of Evolutionary Innovation. PLoS Comput Biol 10(9): e1003818. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003818


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How structurally stable are global socioeconomic systems?

The stability analysis of socioeconomic systems has been centred on answering whether small perturbations when a system is in a given quantitative state will push the system permanently to a different quantitative state. However, typically the quantitative state of socioeconomic systems is subject to constant change. Therefore, a key stability question that has been under-investigated is how strongly the conditions of a system itself can change before the system moves to a qualitatively different behaviour, i.e. how structurally stable the systems is. Here, we introduce a framework to investigate the structural stability of socioeconomic systems formed by a network of interactions among agents competing for resources. We measure the structural stability of the system as the range of conditions in the distribution and availability of resources compatible with the qualitative behaviour in which all the constituent agents can be self-sustained across time. To illustrate our framework, we study an empirical representation of the global socioeconomic system formed by countries sharing and competing for multinational companies used as proxy for resources. We demonstrate that the structural stability of the system is inversely associated with the level of competition and the level of heterogeneity in the distribution of resources. Importantly, we show that the qualitative behaviour of the observed global socioeconomic system is highly sensitive to changes in the distribution of resources. We believe that this work provides a methodological basis to develop sustainable strategies for socioeconomic systems subject to constantly changing conditions.

 

How structurally stable are global socioeconomic systems?
Serguei Saavedra, Rudolf P. Rohr, Luis J. Gilarranz, Jordi Bascompte

http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/ rsif.2014.0693
J. R. Soc. Interface 6 November 2014 vol. 11 no. 100 20140693


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Eli Levine's curator insight, September 14, 5:18 PM

There are most likely a plurality of stable socio-economic systems with different dynamics and levels of short term system stability.  It's likely that, even if there are periods of short term instability, that long term stability will hold, even if instability is a stable feature. 

 

Very interesting points here. 

 

Enjoy!