Contemporary complexity theory has been instrumental in providing novel rigorous definitions for some classic philosophical concepts, including emergence. In an attempt to provide an account of emergence that is consistent with complexity and dynamical systems theory, several authors have turned to the notion of constraints on state transitions. Drawing on complexity theory directly, this paper builds on those accounts, further developing the constraint-based interpretation of emergence and arguing that such accounts recover many of the features of more traditional accounts. We show that the constraint-based account of emergence also leads naturally into a meaningful definition of self-organization, another concept that has received increasing attention recently. Along the way, we distinguish between order and organization, two concepts which are frequently conflated. Finally, we consider possibilities for future research in the philosophy of complex systems, as well as applications of the distinctions made in this paper.
Self-Organization, Emergence, and Constraint in Complex Natural Systems Jonathan Lawhead
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.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web 25 years ago. So it’s worth a listen when he warns us: There’s a battle ahead. Eroding net neutrality, filter bubbles and centralizing corporate control all threaten the web’s wide-open spaces. It’s up to users to fight for the right to access and openness. The question is, What kind of Internet do we want?
“Vienna, 28 July 1914 — The Royal Serbian Government not having answered in a satisfactory manner the note of July 23, 1914, presented by the Austro-Hungarian Minister at Belgrade, the Imperial and Royal Government are themselves compelled to see to the safeguarding of their rights and interests, and, with this object, to have recourse to force of
The éToile Platform supports students aiming to participate in the ECCS14 - European Conference in Complex Systems, Lucca, Sept 22-26, 2014 ( http://eccs14.eu ). 10 registrations will be offered to students according to their contributions to the platform.
Master and PhD students, from any university, are invited to register in the platform and improve their reputation within the new éToile community.
Both ants and brains actually rely on two types of feedback, held in a delicate balance: negative (or inhibitory) feedback, and positive (or excitatory) feedback. “Negative feedback tends to cause stability. Positive feedback tends to cause runaway behavior,” said Tomer Czaczkes, an ant biologist at the University of Regensburg in Germany. “These two simple rules make something very powerful.”
The question What is Complexity? has occupied a great deal of time and paper over the last 20 or so years. There are a myriad different perspectives and definitions but still no consensus. In this paper I take a phenomenological approach, identifying several factors that discriminate well between systems that would be consensually agreed to be simple versus others that would be consensually agreed to be complex - biological systems and human languages. I argue that a crucial component is that of structural building block hierarchies that, in the case of complex systems, correspond also to a functional hierarchy. I argue that complexity is an emergent property of this structural/functional hierarchy, induced by a property - fitness in the case of biological systems and meaning in the case of languages - that links the elements of this hierarchy across multiple scales. Additionally, I argue that non-complex systems "are" while complex systems "do" so that the latter, in distinction to physical systems, must be described not only in a space of states but also in a space of update rules (strategies) which we do not know how to specify. Further, the existence of structural/functional building block hierarchies allows for the functional specialisation of structural modules as amply observed in nature. Finally, we argue that there is at least one measuring apparatus capable of measuring complexity as characterised in the paper - the human brain itself.
This video explains our research on autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The research team at the Alpen-Adria University and Lakeside Labs developing a multi-UAV system by four key components: - the multiple UAV platforms,
Mathematical model shows how hundreds of starlings coordinate their movements in flight.
A flock of starlings flies as one, a spectacular display in which each bird flits about as if in a well-choreographed dance. Everyone seems to know exactly when and where to turn. Now, for the first time, researchers have measured how that knowledge moves through the flock—a behavior that mirrors certain quantum phenomena of liquid helium.
Nella vetrificazione, il processo nel quale il vetro allo stato liquido, raffreddandosi, diventa solido, l'insieme delle configurazioni possibili per le molecole ha una struttura frattale. Lo ha dimostrato un nuovo studio di fisica matematica i cui risultati sono stati confermati da una simulazione numerica
Complexity Institute's insight:
"In termini matematici, un frattale è uno oggetto geometrico dotato di una invarianza di scala: in pratica, esso sembra avere la stessa struttura a qualunque scala dimensionale lo si consideri. Le strutture frattali si ritrovano spesso in natura, e accomunano oggetti incredibilmente diversi tra loro, quali possono essere per esempio un broccolo romanesco, un tratto di costa e il bordo di una foglia."
Qualsiasi sistema vivente o sociale, se isolato dall’ambiente esterno, degrada, si decompone e scompare: dalle teorie dei sistemi complessi adattativi emerge un’analisi scientifica allarmante della crisi economica attuale.
The best way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. But as a strategy to combat obesity at the population level, this common-sense prescription is proving ineffective over the long term. Tailored treatment programmes that factor in the stresses and temptations of the real world, using insights from behavioural research, are showing some success. Drugs may also form part of the solution. Or perhaps the pharmaceutical option should be a last resort, and society should instead use the power of government regulation to encourage healthier lifestyle options.
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