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▶ Noam Chomsky (2014) "How to Ruin an Economy; Some Simple Ways"

Filmed and edited by Leigha Cohen Noam Chomsky spoke at Third Boston Symposium on Economics on February 10th 2014, sponsored...

Via Jean-Philippe BOCQUENET
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Will science ever stop?

Will science ever stop? | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |

Are we nearing the end of science? That is, are we running out of answerable questions, leaving us with only some mop-up duty, working around the edges of the great scientific achievements of Darwin, Einstein, Copernicus, et al.?

This was the provocative thesis nearly two decades ago of John Horgan, the Scientific American writer who had spent years interviewing luminaries in a variety of fields and had come away with a decidedly jaundiced view. His book The End of Science introduced the reader to superstars and geniuses, most of whom seemed slightly smaller in stature by the time Horgan left the room.

Via Paulo Furtado
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Epidemiological modeling of online social network dynamics

Via António F Fonseca
António F Fonseca's curator insight, February 11, 2014 5:36 AM

Very good idea: validating epidemic models with Google Trends. It seems Facebook is declining. But Facebook replied:

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The Future Is Cities

The Future Is Cities | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |

Cities around the world are growing faster than you can say megalopolis. More than half the world lives in cities, and by 2050, it will be two-thirds. In China alone, 300 million people will move to the city within the next 15 years, and to serve them, China must build the equivalent of the entire built infrastructure of the United States by 2028.
At the same time, 250 million new urban dwellers are expected in India and 380 million in Africa. Even though cities will soon account for 90 percent of population growth, 80 percent of global CO2, and 75 percent of energy consumption, more and more, it’s where people want to live.
Why? Because it’s where 80 percent of the wealth is created, and it’s where people find opportunities, especially women in the developing world. But beyond basic needs from housing to jobs, how do we enjoy the benefits of the city—like cafes, art galleries, restaurants, cultural facilities—without the traffic, crowding, crime, pollution, and disease? ;

Via Complexity Digest
Eli Levine's curator insight, February 8, 2014 2:47 PM

Personally, I'd rather get us off the notion in our highest levels of policy making that money-making and monetary gain is the pinnacle of achievement for the individual in a given society.


But this appears to be a new front that's forming for our governments (not just the Federal, in the US) to tackle.


And it's going to, unfortunately, take us a relatively long time to figure this stuff out in our usual incomplete and sub-optimal manner.


I've got no evidence to suggest that we're going to do it otherwise.


Wish it wasn't the case.  But there you go.


Think about it.

António F Fonseca's curator insight, February 9, 2014 6:21 AM

Living in cities is efficient and less costly to the natural environment.

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Generating Social Practices

Generating Social Practices | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |

Changing consumer behaviour is key to reducing the environmental effects of industrialised societies. Social practice theories provide an integrated approach to understanding consumer behaviour. The mechanisms underlying the emergence and diffusion of social practices are however until now poorly understood. This paper presents a conceptual framework and an abstract agent-based simulation model for generating social practices which use and extend approaches from social practice theories. The main results are twofold. First, the simulation model is able to generate social practices, what confirms that the conceptual framework captures relevant elements and processes. Second, a new mechanism for behavioural lock-in is identified that provides additional insights into the widely acknowledged challenge of changing social practices and respective consumption.

by Georg Holtz 

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (1) 17

Published: 31-Jan-2014

Eli Levine's curator insight, February 7, 2014 9:50 AM

The human world seems to be becoming more aware of ourselves.  Hopefully, we'll finally be able to pull away from the philosophical and embrace the scientifically groundable reality that is, actually, working around us and within us.


Hopefully, humans will be able to keep to this course passionately and true.


However, humans are en masse a fickle species.


One generation's Classicism becomes the next generation's Romanticism.


Ah well....


Most you can do is try!


Think about it.

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Opening up open data: An interview with Tim O’Reilly

Opening up open data: An interview with Tim O’Reilly | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |

We’re increasingly living in a world of black boxes. We don’t understand the way things work. And open-source software, open data are critical tools. We see this in the field of computer security. People say, “Well, we have to keep this secret.” Well, it turns out that the strongest security protocols are those that are secure even when people know how they work.
Secrecy is actually, it turns out, a fairly weak way of being secure. And I think in a similar way, we have to understand who owns the rules, how are they driven, how are they guiding our behavior. And there may be cases where you say, “Well, actually it’s a reasonable trade-off to have some degree of secrecy.”
We have this with trade secrets all the time in the commercial world. But there are other areas where we should say, “No, we really need to know how this works.”

Via Complexity Digest
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Measuring the Complexity of Self-organizing Traffic Lights

We apply measures of complexity, emergence and self-organization to an abstract city traffic model for comparing a traditional traffic coordination method with a self-organizing method in two scenarios: cyclic boundaries and non-orientable boundaries. We show that the measures are useful to identify and characterize different dynamical phases. It becomes clear that different operation regimes are required for different traffic demands. Thus, not only traffic is a non-stationary problem, which requires controllers to adapt constantly. Controllers must also change drastically the complexity of their behavior depending on the demand. Based on our measures, we can say that the self-organizing method achieves an adaptability level comparable to a living system.


Measuring the Complexity of Self-organizing Traffic Lights
Dario Zubillaga, Geovany Cruz, Luis Daniel Aguilar, Jorge Zapotecatl, Nelson Fernandez, Jose Aguilar, David A. Rosenblueth, Carlos Gershenson

Via Complexity Digest, Complejidady Economía
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SFI: notes for the history of Complex Systems Science

This is the first in a series of articles recounting the history of the Santa Fe Institute drawn from primary and, in a few cases, secondary sources. 

By John German


In George Cowan's telling, the notion for a Santa Fe Institute began to form in the summer of 1956. He had been invited to the Aspen Institute, where prominent intellectuals from the arts, science, and culture gathered for free-form philosophical exchanges. He had just participated as the lone scientist in a discussion of literature. (...)

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Puppies! Now that I’ve got your attention, complexity theory

Animal behavior isn't complicated, but it is complex. Nicolas Perony studies how individual animals -- be they Scottish Terriers, bats or meerkats -- follow simple rules that, collectively, create larger patterns of behavior. And how this complexity born of simplicity can help them adapt to new circumstances, as they arise.

Via Complexity Digest, Jorge Louçã
António F Fonseca's curator insight, February 4, 2014 9:40 AM

The guy seems to be confessing some obscure personal sin but the talk is very interesting.

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Introduction to Complex Systems: Patterns in Nature

This video provides a basic introduction to the science of complex systems, focusing on patterns in nature. (For more information on agent-based modeling, vi...

Via Lorien Pratt, António F Fonseca
António F Fonseca's curator insight, February 1, 2014 4:50 AM

Agent based modeling still is the best tool to understand complex systems when mathematical modeling gets very complicated.

Liz Rykert's curator insight, February 10, 2014 7:25 PM

Always looking for good resources to introduce complexity science to others. This looks great. 

Ian Biggs, MAIPM, CPPE's curator insight, April 16, 2014 8:08 PM

I recently conducted a series of workshops on the subject of 'Complex Project Management - Navigating through the unknown'. This clip provides a great introduction to complex systems and for those interested in Complexity Science, this clip is worth 7:52 of your time.

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Joseph E. Stiglitz pours cold water on rosy projections of faster recovery in Europe and the US

Joseph E. Stiglitz pours cold water on rosy projections of faster recovery in Europe and the US | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |
Economics is often called the dismal science, and for the last half-decade it has come by its reputation honestly in the advanced economies. Unfortunately, the year ahead will bring little relief.
Eli Levine's curator insight, February 5, 2014 11:00 AM

To me, this seems very intuitive.


Even Adam Smith bemoaned the extraction of wealth into the hands of private companies from the general public.


How is it that we continue to support these methods which, actually, do more harm to the individual than good?  Just because you're turning a financial profit, after all, doesn't mean that you're actually enabling your health, in the grandest of schemes of things.


Think about it.

Rescooped by NESS from Economia y sistemas complejos!


Hedonometer | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | is an instrument that measures the happiness of large populations in real time.

Via Claudia Mihai, Complejidady Economía
luiy's curator insight, February 5, 2014 6:16 AM

It’s what most people say they want. So how do we know how happy people are? You can’t improve or understand what you can’t measure. In a blow to happiness, we’re very good at measuring economic indices and this means we tend to focus on them. With we’ve created an instrument that measures the happiness of large populations in real time.


Our hedonometer is based on people’s online expressions, capitalizing on data-rich social media, and we’re measuring how people present themselves to the outside world. For our first version of, we’re using Twitter as a source but in principle we can expand to any data source in any language (more below). We’ll also be adding an API soon.


So this is just a start — we invite you to explore the Twitter time series and let us know what you think.

Eli Levine's curator insight, February 5, 2014 11:03 AM

Isn't this what we're all looking for?

Happiness, health and well being?


There's a very good reason how Thomas Jefferson said "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", rather than property.


Yet we've confused the two to such an extent that we end up having neither on the general, collective sense (which basically boils down to being the majority of the individuals living in a society).


Think about it.

Jean-Michel Livowsky's curator insight, February 6, 2014 6:42 AM

La mesure électronique du bonheur et du bien-être... Le Bhoutan et le «bonheur national brut»  n'ont qu'a bien se tenir, il est vrai que le concept a été enterré depuis peu...

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What Social Networks Should You Use in 2014? [INFOGRAPHIC]

What Social Networks Should You Use in 2014? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |
We’re now into a whole new year – but which social networks should have your full attention this year?

Via Lauren Moss, António F Fonseca
Amy Williamson's curator insight, February 5, 2014 5:43 AM

A must read for anyone working in social media!

Marianne Naughton's curator insight, February 20, 2014 1:54 PM


Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, March 30, 2014 9:16 AM

Do you wonder where to put most of your online time for the best reach to viewers? Here is helpful info to help you decide.

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Zipf's Law for All the Natural Cities around the World

Zipf's Law for All the Natural Cities around the World | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |

Two fundamental issues surrounding research on Zipf's law regarding city sizes are whether and why Zipf's law holds. This paper does not deal with the latter issue with respect to why, and instead investigates whether Zipf's law holds in a global setting, thus involving all cities around the world. Unlike previous studies, which have mainly relied on conventional census data, and census- bureau-imposed definitions of cities, we adopt naturally and objectively delineated cities, or natural cities, to be more precise, in order to examine Zipf's law. We find that Zipf's law holds remarkably well for all natural cities at the global level, and remains almost valid at the continental level except for Africa at certain time instants. We further examine the law at the country level, and note that Zipf's law is violated from country to country or from time to time. This violation is mainly due to our limitations; we are limited to individual countries, and to a static view on city-size distributions. The central argument of this paper is that Zipf's law is universal, and we therefore must use the correct scope in order to observe it. We further find that this law is reflected in the distribution of cities: the number of cities in individual countries follows an inverse power relationship; the number of cities in the first largest country is twice as many as that in the second largest country, three times as many as that in the third largest country, and so on. 


Zipf's Law for All the Natural Cities around the World
Bin Jiang, Junjun Yin, Qingling Liu

Via Complexity Digest, António F Fonseca
António F Fonseca's curator insight, February 14, 2014 5:32 AM

This is a problem almost a century old, Zip's law was formulated in the 40's with English words.

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Connecting Dream Networks Across Cultures

Many species dream, yet there remain many open research questions in the study of dreams. The symbolism of dreams and their interpretation is present in cultures throughout history. Analysis of online data sources for dream interpretation using network science leads to understanding symbolism in dreams and their associated meaning. In this study, we introduce dream interpretation networks for English, Chinese and Arabic that represent different cultures from various parts of the world. We analyze communities in these networks, finding that symbols within a community are semantically related. The central nodes in communities give insight about cultures and symbols in dreams. The community structure of different networks highlights cultural similarities and differences. Interconnections between different networks are also identified by translating symbols from different languages into English. Structural correlations across networks point out relationships between cultures. Similarities between network communities are also investigated by analysis of sentiment in symbol interpretations. We find that interpretations within a community tend to have similar sentiment. Furthermore, we cluster communities based on their sentiment, yielding three main categories of positive, negative, and neutral dream symbols.

Via António F Fonseca
António F Fonseca's curator insight, February 12, 2014 3:16 AM

Very interesting research work based on web content.

Eli Levine's curator insight, February 12, 2014 1:22 PM

Indeed, this does appear to, once again, support the notion that we are of one species with the same basic cultural roots at the core of each of our socieites.


Just look at the similarities of religious schools of thought.  Everything from Pagan beliefs in Europe, to the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and the Chinese schools of thought: Confucism and Daoism.  They all center around, once again, to the notion that we ought to be treating everybody well and with a basic level of respect. 


This appears to be an almost universal phenomenon within our species, across cultures and within them.


However, it's a shame that there are so many who are caught in the conservative way of thinking that is more like our chimp ancestors than as actual human beings.


What is the purpose of being so tribal and petty about your interactions with other human beings, when it costs you so much on the material and non-material levels?  And, why do they persist in these ways of thinking which cause damage to them, in light of the constant evidence that they are wrong, both on a perceptive level and on a behavioral level?


Think about it.



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From Schelling to Schools

We address theoretically whether and under what conditions Schelling's celebrated result of 'self-organized' unintended residential segregation may also apply to school segregation. We propose here a computational model of school segregation that is aligned with a corresponding Schelling-type model of residential segregation. To adapt the model for application to school segregation, we move beyond previous work by combining two preference arguments in modeling parents' school choice, preferences for the ethnic composition of a school and preferences for minimizing the travelling distance to the school. In a set of computational experiments we assessed the effects of population composition and distance preferences in the school model. We found that a preference for nearby schools can suppress the trend towards self-organized segregation obtained in a baseline condition where parents were indifferent towards distance. We then investigated the joint effects of the variation of agents' 'tolerance' for out-group members and distance preference. We found that integrated distributions were preserved under a much broader range of conditions than in the absence of a preference for nearby schools. We conclude that parents' preferences for nearby schools may be an important factor in tempering for school choice the segregation dynamics known from models of residential segregation.


From Schelling to Schools: A Comparison of a Model of Residential Segregation with a Model of School Segregation

Victor Ionut Stoica and Andreas Flache

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (1) 5 ;

Via Complexity Digest, Complejidady Economía
Eli Levine's curator insight, February 11, 2014 1:37 PM

It appears as if racial segregation begins with where you live and are able to live.  This then helps to perpetuate misunderstandings, bigotry and biases against people from other racial, ethnic and social backgrounds than yourself in many individual cases across the human spectrum.


It's a shame that, even now, we're still so tribal, just like our chimp ancestors.


Think about it.

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Power, Privacy, and the Internet

Power, Privacy, and the Internet | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |
On October 30–31, 2013, The New York Review of Books held a conference at Scandinavia House in New York City on the internet's transformative effect on our lives.

Via António F Fonseca
António F Fonseca's curator insight, February 9, 2014 12:07 PM

Is The Cloud a 'Black Cloud' or will there be some silver linings?

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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 |
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
Artur Alves's curator insight, February 6, 2014 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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Joseph E. Stiglitz argues that bad policies in rich countries, not economic inevitability, have caused most people's standard of living to decline

Joseph E. Stiglitz argues that bad policies in rich countries, not economic inevitability, have caused most people's standard of living to decline | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |
The difficulties that many rich countries now face are not the result of the inexorable laws of economics, to which people simply must adjust, as they would to a natural disaster. On the contrary, the decline in most households' income over the past three decades, particularly in the US, is the result of flawed policies.
Eli Levine's curator insight, February 6, 2014 9:55 AM

The economy is just a system.  If we figure out how it actually works, we could, theoretically, figure out how to produce optimal results for people through policies, programs and legal structures.  This may invovle having the government step back and allowing the market agents to work things out on their own.  But the principle that the government does not have an active role in shaping economic outcomes for one way or another is preposterous and shouldn't be considered "based in reality" anymore or as acceptable solutions to our problems.



Jeremy Wernik's curator insight, February 6, 2014 12:41 PM

Even the most powerful and wealthy countries are being uncovered for flawed policies. This should be a wake up call for all wealthy countries should not have this happen. With such massive amounts of wealth, they should invest in keeping close watches on what there laws are creating.

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The Connected Past

The Connected Past | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |

A community led by a multi-disciplinary international steering committee dedicated to the study of network science and theory in archaeology and history.

The 2014 conference will take place alongside CAA2014 Paris


Held Saturday April 26th 2014 in Sciences Po, rooms Albert Sorel and Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris

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Simulating the past to understand human history: satellite in 10th conference of the European Social Simulation Association (ESSA)


The conference is organized with the contribution of the SimulPast project(, a 5-year exploratory research project funded by the SpanishGovernment (MICINN CSD2010-00034) that aims at developing an innovative andinterdisciplinary methodological framework to model and simulate ancient societies andtheir relationship with environmental transformations. To achieve these aims, SimulPastintegrates knowledge from diverse fields covering humanities, social, computationaland ecological sciences within a national and international network.

The conference intention is to showcase the result of the SimulPast project together withcurrent international research on the methodological and theoretical aspects of computersimulation in archaeological and historical contexts. The conference will bring togetherscholars from different disciplinary backgrounds (history, ecology, archaeology,anthropology, sociology, computer science and complex systems) in order to promotedeeper understanding and collaboration in the study of past human behavior and history

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SocInfo 2014 | 6th international conference on Social Informatics

We are delighted to welcome the 6th International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2014) to Barcelona, Spain, from November 10th to November 13th.SocInfo is an interdisciplinary venue for researchers from Computer Science, Informatics, Social Sciences and Management Sciences to share ideas and opinions, and present original research work on studying the interplay between socially-centric platforms and social phenomena. The ultimate goal of Social Informatics is to create better understanding of socially-centric platforms not just as a technology, but also as a set of social phenomena. To that end, we are inviting interdisciplinary papers, on applying information technology in the study of social phenomena, on applying social concepts in the design of information systems, on applying methods from the social sciences in the study of social computing and information systems, on applying computational algorithms to facilitate the study of social systems and human social dynamics, and on designing information and communication technologies that consider social context.

Via Complexity Digest
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Interdisciplinary Symposium on Complex Systems

2014 Interdisciplinary Symposium  on  Complex Systems (ISCS'14)

Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSDC)
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Florence, Florence, Italy
September 15 - 18, 2014

The main aim of the 2014 Interdisciplinary Symposium on Complex Systems is to bring together researchers working on complex systems. We invite scientists, philosophers, researchers, engineers, and young students to submit their works, attend, or register for tutorials.The main theme of this year is "How Nature Works".

António F Fonseca's curator insight, January 31, 2014 4:50 AM

Just before ECCS2014 in September and also in Italy.

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Ricardo Hausmann proposes an alternative approach to economic development based on how the human brain functions

Ricardo Hausmann proposes an alternative approach to economic development based on how the human brain functions | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |
The human brain makes predictions by finding similarities between the patterns in recent sensory inputs and previous experiences stored in its vast memory. The same process is now perfectly feasible for those engaged in promoting economic development.
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How a New Science of Cities Is Emerging from Mobile Phone Data Analysis | MIT Technology Review

How a New Science of Cities Is Emerging from Mobile Phone Data Analysis | MIT Technology Review | Non-Equilibrium Social Science |
Study the way people make mobile phone calls in metropolitan areas and you can see a city breathe, say computer scientists.
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