How does knowledge grow? Sometimes it begins with one insight and grows into many branches; other times it grows as a complex and interconnected network. Infographics expert Manuel Lima explores the thousand-year history of mapping data -- from languages to dynasties -- using trees and networks of information. It's a fascinating history of visualizations, and a look into humanity's urge to map what we know.
Liz Rykert's insight:
Great story told by Manuel Lima of how we have instinctively mapped knowledge over time and the shift we see today from hierarchies to networks.
Human societies use complexity -- within their institutions and technologies -- to address their various problems, and they need high-quality energy to create and sustain this complexity. But now greater complexity is producing diminishing returns in wellbeing, while the energetic cost of key sources of energy is rising fast. Simultaneously, humankind's problems are becoming vastly harder, which requires societies to deliver yet more complexity and thus consume yet more energy. Resolving this paradox is the central challenge of the 21st century. Thomas Homer-Dixon holds the CIGI Chair of Global Systems at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada, and is a Professor at the University of Waterloo.
The Scene. It was a case of art imitating life. Literally.After a Friday morning full of client appointments, I drove to the airport and boarded a flight to Orlando. I had booked myself into a “creative expression” workshop on a whim several days ago and was now headed to a weekend full of painting.Which is all very well and good – who wouldn’t savor two days in Orlando when leaving behind 5 degrees-below-zero weather at home? Just one problem.I don’t paint.At all.Haven’t picked up a paintbrush
To investigate the dynamics of social networks and the formation and evolution of online communities in response to extreme events, we collected three datasets from Twitter shortly before and after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We find that while almost all users increased their online activity after the earthquake, Japanese speakers, who are assumed to be more directly affected by the event, expanded the network of people they interact with to a much higher degree than English speakers or the global average. By investigating the evolution of communities, we find that the behavior of joining or quitting a community is far from random: users tend to stay in their current status and are less likely to join new communities from solitary or shift to other communities from their current community. While non-Japanese speakers did not change their conversation topics significantly after the earthquake, nearly all Japanese users changed their conversations to earthquake-related content. This study builds a systematic framework for investigating human behaviors under extreme events with online social network data and our findings on the dynamics of networks and communities may provide useful insight for understanding how patterns of social interaction are influenced by extreme events.
Network Structure and Community Evolution on Twitter: Human Behavior Change in Response to the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami • Xin Lu & Christa Brelsford
What allows a creative enterprise—a film studio, a design firm, a start-up—to flourish? It's an old question, but one that has become increasingly relevant in the transition to an information economy. In the new book Collective…
Intersting exampl eof Vox is a general interest news site for the 21st century. Its mission is simple: Explain the news. Politics, public policy, world affairs, pop culture, science, business, food, sports, and everything else that matters are part of our editorial ambit. Our goal is to move people from curiosity to understanding.
Liz Rykert's insight:
Interesting example of how to present content online in ways that support browsing and exploring and help people go deep when they need or want to.
The identification of nodes occupying important positions in a network structure is crucial for the understanding of the associated real-world system. Usually, betweenness centrality is used to evaluate a node capacity to connect different graph regions. However, we argue here that this measure is not adapted for that task, as it gives equal weight to "local" centers (i.e. nodes of high degree central to a single region) and to "global" bridges, which connect different communities. This distinction is important as the roles of such nodes are different in terms of the local and global organisation of the network structure. In this paper we propose a decomposition of betweenness centrality into two terms, one highlighting the local contributions and the other the global ones. We call the latter bridgeness centrality and show that it is capable to specifically spot out global bridges. In addition, we introduce an effective algorithmic implementation of this measure and demonstrate its capability to identify global bridges in air transportation and scientific collaboration networks.
Detecting global bridges in networks Pablo Jensen, Matteo Morini, Marton Karsai, Tommaso Venturini, Alessandro Vespignani, Mathieu Jacomy, Jean-Philippe Cointet, Pierre Merckle, Eric Fleury
Liver cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to detect, but synthetic biologist Tal Danino had a left-field thought: What if we could create a probiotic, edible bacteria that was "programmed" to find liver tumors? His insight exploits something we're just beginning to understand about bacteria: their power of quorum sensing, or doing something together once they reach critical mass. Danino, a TED Fellow, explains how quorum sensing works — and how clever bacteria working together could someday change cancer treatment.
In an age of information overload, the ability to make sense of vast amounts of data and to render insightful visualizations is as important as the ability to read and write. The Atlas of Knowledge explains and exemplifies the power of visualizations not only to help locate us in physical space but also to help us understand the extent and structure of our collective knowledge, to identify bursts of activity, pathways of ideas, and borders that beg to be crossed.
When Susan had breast cancer , we heard a lot of lame remarks, but our favorite came from one of Susan's colleagues. She wanted, she needed, to visit Susan after the surgery, but Susan didn't feel like having visitors, and she said so. Her colleague's response? "This isn't just about you."
Liz Rykert's insight:
Great article to share with people who get awkward when confronted with challenging situations. Great read.
In his newest and best book, the surgeon Atul Gawande lets us have it right between the eyes: no matter how careful we are or healthful our habits, like everyone else, we will die, and probably after a long period of decline and debility.
Liz Rykert's insight:
Review and description of the new book by Atul Gawande. Looks very interesting. I feel like these issues of care for the elderly and how we manage our deaths is one that needs so much more thought and attention and action. I am picking up this book based on this review.
I am in an improvisational theater performing group. We improvise full-length plays with nothing planned in advance. No structure. No outline. No character or plot development. Nothing, except for 2 locations we get from the audience at the beginning of...
Liz Rykert's insight:
Love the seven simple rules identified for improv and complex adaptive systems. Thanks to Lisa Kimball for tweeting this story!
Artificial, neurobiological, and social networks are three distinct complex adaptive systems (CASs), each containing discrete processing units (nodes, neurons, and humans, respectively). Despite the apparent differences, these three networks are bound by common underlying principles which describe the behavior of the system in terms of the connections of its components, and its emergent properties. The longevity (long-term retention and functionality) of the components of each of these systems is also defined by common principles. Here, I will examine some properties of the longevity and function of the components of artificial and neurobiological systems, and generalize these to the longevity and function of the components of social CAS. In other words, I will show that principles governing the long-term functionality of computer nodes and of neurons, may be extrapolated to the study of the long-term functionality of humans (or more precisely, of the noemes, an abstract combination of “existence” and “digital fame”). The study of these phenomena can provide useful insights regarding practical ways that can be used to maximize human longevity. The basic law governing these behaviors is the “Law of Requisite Usefulness,” which states that the length of retention of an agent within a CAS is proportional to the agent's contribution to the overall adaptability of the system.
Technological integration and hyperconnectivity: Tools for promoting extreme human lifespans Marios Kyriazis
As long as there have been people watching birds, there have been theories as to how and why they do what they do. In the modern era, theories about why birds flock and why they migrate in v-formations have abounded, yet answers have been few. But new research using creative technology on both starling murmurations and bald ibis’ migration reveals that complex flight dynamics and rapid-fire adjustments based on sensory feedback previously believed impossible for birds are indeed occurring.
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