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. (...)
Every Thing Must Go - Metaphysics Naturalised: James Ladyman PhysPhil conference 2012, The University of St Andrews http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~qoi/physphil...
John Symons's insight:
Ladyman gives a fantastic presentation of a sensible way to think about ontology, interaction, and individuation. Respecting physics in the right way without the usual fundamentalist/reductionist missteps. I'd quarrel with the details, esp. with respect to emergent causation and what we mean by "downward" causal powers, but overall, this is the right way to go.
Big Bang cosmology, chemical and biological evolutionary theory, and associated sciences have been extraordinarily successful in revealing and enabling us to understand the development of the universe from the Planck era to the present, as well as...
Scientists have traditionally limited the mechanisms of social cognition to one brain, but recent approaches claim that interaction also realizes cognitive work. Experiments under constrained virtual settings revealed that interaction dynamics implicitly guide social cognition. Here we show that embodied social interaction can be constitutive of agency detection and of experiencing another's presence. Pairs of participants moved their “avatars” along an invisible virtual line and could make haptic contact with three identical objects, two of which embodied the other's motions, but only one, the other's avatar, also embodied the other's contact sensor and thereby enabled responsive interaction. Co-regulated interactions were significantly correlated with identifications of the other's avatar and reports of the clearest awareness of the other's presence. These results challenge folk psychological notions about the boundaries of mind, but make sense from evolutionary and developmental perspectives: an extendible mind can offload cognitive work into its environment.
Embodied social interaction constitutes social cognition in pairs of humans: A minimalist virtual reality experiment Tom Froese, Hiroyuki Iizuka & Takashi Ikegami
Science fiction has always asked what comes after Homo sapiens. A superhuman version of our species, or a dying planet devoid of intelligent life? This list of 35 essential posthuman novels will get you started answering the big questions too.
R & D Magazine Scientists successfully test code that models neutrons in reactor core R & D Magazine “CASL has been using modern high-performance computing platforms such as ORNL's Titan, working in concert with the INL Fission computer system, for...
If you want to model atoms and molecules exactly you need to solve the Schrodinger equation, which is so computationally intractable for systems with more than a few electrons that no one bothers. Molecular ...
John Symons's insight:
I love Stross' fiction. Really happy to find his blog. This is a guest post by Ramez Naam
Review of Deffuant, Guillaume and Gilbert, Nigel (eds.): Viability and Resilience of Complex Systems: Concepts, Methods and Case Studies from Ecology and Society (Understanding Complex Systems) on Complex Systems and X-Events curated by Roger D.
Research sheds light on how patterns form in bird feathers Enlarge. Feathers exhibit complex pigment patterns and can be a great model to learn how morphogenesis patterns stem cells into organized tissues.
Color patterns of bird plumage affect animal behavior and speciation. Diverse patterns are present in different species and within the individual. Here, we study the cellular and molecular basis of feather pigment pattern formation. Melanocyte progenitors are distributed as a horizontal ring in the proximal follicle, sending melanocytes vertically up into the epithelial cylinder which gradually emerges as feathers grow. Different pigment patterns form by modulating the presence, arrangement, or differentiation of melanocytes .