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The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints,Spies,and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success (by Kevin Dutton)

The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success

~ Kevin Dutton (author) More about this product
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In this engrossing journey into the lives of psychopaths and their infamously crafty behaviors, the renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton reveals that there is a scale of “madness” along which we all sit. Incorporating the latest advances in brain scanning and neuroscience, Dutton demonstrates that the brilliant neurosurgeon who lacks empathy has more in common with a Ted Bundy who kills for pleasure than we may wish to admit, and that a mugger in a dimly lit parking lot may well, in fact, have the same nerveless poise as a titan of industry.

 

Dutton argues that there are indeed “functional psychopaths” among us—different from their murderous counterparts—who use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society, and that shockingly, in some fields, the more “psychopathic” people are, the more likely they are to succeed. Dutton deconstructs this often misunderstood diagnosis through bold on-the-ground reporting and original scientific research as he mingles with the criminally insane in a high-security ward, shares a drink with one of the world’s most successful con artists, and undergoes transcranial magnetic stimulation to discover firsthand exactly how it feels to see through the eyes of a psychopath.

 

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Selected Papers Of John H. Holland: A Pioneer In Complexity Science

Selected Papers Of John H. Holland: A Pioneer In Complexity Science | CxBooks | Scoop.it

With his work on computer logic, John H Holland became one of the most important founders of modern computer science. People who knew John H Holland were all amazed and deeply influenced by his incredibly imaginative and creative mind. He produced many more ideas than he could follow up in his life time. This selection of his papers in the field of computer logic entails many of his explored and unexplored ideas. Revisiting the explored ideas and exploring the unexplored ones should be of great interest to scientists of all ages, and of great value to the current research not only in computer science but in many other fields as well.

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The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures (by Antonio Damasio)

The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures (by Antonio Damasio) | CxBooks | Scoop.it

From one of our preeminent neuroscientists: a landmark reflection that spans the biological and social sciences, offering a new way of understanding the origins of life, feeling, and culture.
 
The Strange Order of Things is a pathbreaking investigation into homeostasis, the condition of that regulates human physiology within the range that makes possible not only the survival but also the flourishing of life. Antonio Damasio makes clear that we descend biologically, psychologically, and even socially from a long lineage that begins with single living cells; that our minds and cultures are linked by an invisible thread to the ways and means of ancient unicellular life and other primitive life-forms; and that inherent in our very chemistry is a powerful force, a striving toward life maintenance that governs life in all its guises, including the development of genes that help regulate and transmit life. In The Strange Order of Things, Damasio gives us a new way of comprehending the world and our place in it.

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Bursty Human Dynamics

Bursty Human Dynamics | CxBooks | Scoop.it

This book provides a comprehensive overview on emergent bursty patterns in the dynamics of human behaviour. It presents common and alternative understanding of the investigated phenomena, and points out open questions worthy of further investigations.
The book is structured as follows. In the introduction the authors discuss the motivation of the field, describe bursty phenomena in case of human behaviour, and relate it to other disciplines. The second chapter addresses the measures commonly used to characterise heterogeneous signals, bursty human dynamics, temporal paths, and correlated behaviour. These definitions are first introduced to set the basis for the discussion of the third chapter about the observations of bursty human patterns in the dynamics of individuals, dyadic interactions, and collective behaviour. The subsequent fourth chapter discusses the models of bursty human dynamics. Various mechanisms have been proposed about the source of the heterogeneities in human dynamics, which leads to the introduction of conceptually different modelling approaches. The authors address all of these perspectives objectively, highlight their strengths and shortcomings, and mention possible extensions to them. The fifth chapter addresses the effect of individual heterogeneous behaviour on collective dynamics. This question in particular has been investigated in various systems including spreading phenomena, random walks, and opinion formation dynamics. Here the main issues are whether burstiness speeds up or slows down the co-evolving processes, and how burstiness modifies time-dependent paths in the system that determine the spreading patterns of any kind of information or influence. Finally in the sixth chapter the authors end the review with a discussion and future perspectives.
It is an ideal book for researchers and students who wish to enter the field of bursty human dynamics or want to expand their knowledge on such phenomena.

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A (partially) interactive introduction to Systems Sciences

This eTextbook contains the system-scientific contents taught at the Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research (SIS) at the University of Graz

 

Organically farmed by Manfred Füllsack

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William Smith's curator insight, December 16, 2017 11:05 AM
Interesting content and an intriguing interface. Check it out.
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Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (Max Tegmark)

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (Max Tegmark) | CxBooks | Scoop.it

How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology—and there’s nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who’s helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.
 
How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today’s kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle?
 
What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn’t shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues—from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.

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Chemical Complexity: Self-Organization Processes in Molecular Systems (A.S. Mikhailov & G. Ertl)

Chemical Complexity: Self-Organization Processes in Molecular Systems (A.S. Mikhailov & G. Ertl) | CxBooks | Scoop.it

This book provides an outline of theoretical concepts and their experimental verification in studies of self-organization phenomena in chemical systems, as they emerged in the mid-20th century and have evolved since. Presenting essays on selected topics, it was prepared by authors who have made profound contributions to the field.

 

Traditionally, physical chemistry has been concerned with interactions between atoms and molecules that produce a variety of equilibrium structures - or the 'dead' order - in a stationary state. But biological cells exhibit a different 'living' kind of order, prompting E. Schrödinger to pose his famous question “What is life?” in 1943. Through an unprecedented theoretical and experimental development, it was later revealed that biological self-organization phenomena are in complete agreement with the laws of physics, once they are applied to a special class of thermodynamically open systems and non-equilibrium states. This knowledge has in turn led to the design and synthesis of simple inorganic systems capable of self-organization effects. These artificial 'living organisms' are able to operate on macroscopic to microscopic scales, even down to single-molecule machines.

 

In the future, such research could provide a basis for a technological breakthrough, comparable in its impact with the invention of lasers and semiconductors. Its results can be used to control natural chemical processes, and to design artificial complex chemical processes with various functionalities. The book offers an extensive discussion of the history of research on complex chemical systems and its future prospects.

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Waste Is Information

Waste Is Information | CxBooks | Scoop.it
Waste is material information. Landfills are detailed records of everyday consumption and behavior; much of what we know about the distant past we know from discarded objects unearthed by archaeologists and interpreted by historians. And yet the systems and infrastructures that process our waste often remain opaque. In this book, Dietmar Offenhuber examines waste from the perspective of information, considering emerging practices and technologies for making waste systems legible and how the resulting datasets and visualizations shape infrastructure governance. He does so by looking at three waste tracking and participatory sensing projects in Seattle, São Paulo, and Boston.

Offenhuber expands the notion of urban legibility—the idea that the city can be read like a text—to introduce the concept of infrastructure legibility. He argues that infrastructure governance is enacted through representations of the infrastructural system, and that these representations stem from the different stakeholders’ interests, which drive their efforts to make the system legible. The Trash Track project in Seattle used sensor technology to map discarded items through the waste and recycling systems; the Forager project looked at the informal organization processes of waste pickers working for Brazilian recycling cooperatives; and mobile systems designed by the city of Boston allowed residents to report such infrastructure failures as potholes and garbage spills. Through these case studies, Offenhuber outlines an emerging paradigm of infrastructure governance based on a
complex negotiation among users, technology, and the city.

 

 

Waste Is Information
Infrastructure Legibility and Governance
By Dietmar Offenhuber

MIT Press

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The origins of intelligent life

In his ambitious book Life Through Time and Space, Wallace Arthur tack­les an extraordinarily difficult set of topics. What is the origin and fate of the universe? How did life, and eventually intelligent life, come into existence on Earth? How does a fertilized human egg trans­form into a complex person with only DNA to guide development?

 

The origins of intelligent life
Marcos Huerta
Life Through Time and Space Wallace Arthur Harvard University Press, 2017. 289 pp.
Science  11 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 556
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao0931

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The elegant law that governs us all

 

A dog owner weighs twice as much as her German shepherd. Does she eat twice as much? Does a big city need twice as many gas stations as one that is half its size? Our first instinct is to say yes. But, alas, we are wrong. On a per-gram basis, a human requires about 25% less food than her dog, and the larger city needs only 85% more gas stations. As Geoffrey West explains in Scale, the reason behind these intriguing phenomena is a universal law known as allometry—the finding that as organisms, cities, and com­panies grow, many of their characteristics scale nonlinearly.

 

The elegant law that governs us all

Albert-László Barabási
Scale. Geoffrey West. Penguin Press, 2017. 490 pp.

Science  14 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6347, pp. 138
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4040

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Why we live in hierarchies: a quantitative treatise

This book is concerned with the various aspects of hierarchical collective behaviour which is manifested by most complex systems in nature. From the many of the possible topics, we plan to present a selection of those that we think are useful from the point of shedding light from very different directions onto our quite general subject. Our intention is to both present the essential contributions by the existing approaches as well as go significantly beyond the results obtained by traditional methods by applying a more quantitative approach then the common ones (there are many books on qualitative interpretations). In addition to considering hierarchy in systems made of similar kinds of units, we shall concentrate on problems involving either dominance relations or the process of collective decision-making from various viewpoints.

 

Why we live in hierarchies: a quantitative treatise
Anna Zafeiris, Tamás Vicsek

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Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World

Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World | CxBooks | Scoop.it

No matter how old you are, there’s a good chance that the word “popular” immediately transports you back to your teenage years. Most of us can easily recall the adolescent social cliques, the high school pecking order, and which of our peers stood out as the most or the least popular teens we knew. Even as adults we all still remember exactly where we stood in the high school social hierarchy, and the powerful emotions associated with our status persist decades later. This may be for good reason.

Popular examines why popularity plays such a key role in our development and, ultimately, how it still influences our happiness and success today. In many ways—some even beyond our conscious awareness—those old dynamics of our youth continue to play out in every business meeting, every social gathering, in our personal relationships, and even how we raise our children. Our popularity even affects our DNA, our health, and our mortality in fascinating ways we never previously realized. More than childhood intelligence, family background, or prior psychological issues, research indicates that it’s how popular we were in our early years that predicts how successful and how happy we grow up to be.

But it’s not always the conventionally popular people who fare the best, for the simple reason that there is more than one type of popularity—and many of us still long for the wrong one. As children, we strive to be likable, which can offer real benefits not only on the playground but throughout our lives. In adolescence, though, a new form of popularity emerges, and we suddenly begin to care about status, power, influence, and notoriety—research indicates that this type of popularity hurts us more than we realize.
Popular relies on the latest research in psychology and neuroscience to help us make the wisest choices for ourselves and for our children, so we may all pursue more meaningful, satisfying, and rewarding relationships.

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The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge (by Manuel Lima)

The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge (by Manuel Lima) | CxBooks | Scoop.it

In this follow-up to his hugely popular The Book of Trees and Visual Complexity, Manuel Lima takes us on a lively tour through millennia of circular information design. Three hundred detailed and colorful illustrations from around the world cover an encyclopedic array of subjects--architecture, urban planning, fine art, design, fashion, technology, religion, cartography, biology, astronomy, and physics, all based on the circle, the universal symbol of unity, perfection, movement, and infinity. 


 
The Book of Circles juxtaposes clay trading tokens used by the ancient Sumerians with the iconic logos of twentieth-century corporations, a chart organizing seven hundred Nintendo offerings with a Victorian board game based on the travels of Nellie Bly, and a visual analysis of Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining with early celestial charts that placed the earth at the center of the universe, among a wealth of other elegant and intriguing methods for displaying information.

Lima provides an authoritative history of the circle as well as a unique taxonomy of twenty-one varieties of circle diagrams, rounding out this visual feast for infographics enthusiasts.
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The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us

The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us | CxBooks | Scoop.it

A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world.

In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature?
     Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change.
    Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time.
     The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

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Hierarchy: Perspectives for Ecological Complexity (by T. F. H. Allen & Thomas B. Starr)

Hierarchy: Perspectives for Ecological Complexity (by T. F. H. Allen & Thomas B. Starr) | CxBooks | Scoop.it

Although complexity surrounds us, its inherent uncertainty, ambiguity, and contradiction can at first make complex systems appear inscrutable. Ecosystems, for instance, are nonlinear, self-organizing, seemingly chaotic structures in which individuals interact both with each other and with the myriad biotic and abiotic components of their surroundings across geographies as well as spatial and temporal scales. In the face of such complexity, ecologists have long sought tools to streamline and aggregate information. Among them, in the 1980s, T. F. H. Allen and Thomas B. Starr implemented a burgeoning concept from business administration: hierarchy theory. Cutting-edge when Hierarchy was first published, their approach to unraveling complexity is now integrated into mainstream ecological thought.

This thoroughly revised and expanded second edition of Hierarchy reflects the assimilation of hierarchy theory into ecological research, its successful application to the understanding of complex systems, and the many developments in thought since. Because hierarchies and levels are habitual parts of human thinking, hierarchy theory has proven to be the most intuitive and tractable vehicle for addressing complexity. By allowing researchers to look explicitly at only the entities and interconnections that are relevant to a specific research question, hierarchically informed data analysis has enabled a revolution in ecological understanding. With this new edition of Hierarchy, that revolution continues.

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The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World (by Pedro Domingos)

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World (by Pedro Domingos) | CxBooks | Scoop.it

In the world's top research labs and universities, the race is on to invent the ultimate learning algorithm: one capable of discovering any knowledge from data, and doing anything we want, before we even ask. In The Master Algorithm, Pedro Domingos lifts the veil to give us a peek inside the learning machines that power Google, Amazon, and your smartphone. He assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner-the Master Algorithm-and discusses what it will mean for business, science, and society.

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Energy, Information, Feedback, Adaptation, and Self-organization

Energy, Information, Feedback, Adaptation, and Self-organization | CxBooks | Scoop.it

This unique book offers a comprehensive and integrated introduction to the five fundamental elements of life and society: energy, information, feedback, adaptation, and self-organization. It is divided into two parts. Part I is concerned with energy (definition, history, energy types, energy sources, environmental impact); thermodynamics (laws, entropy definitions, energy, branches of thermodynamics, entropy interpretations, arrow of time); information (communication and transmission, modulation–demodulation, coding–decoding, information theory, information technology, information science, information systems); feedback control (history, classical methodologies, modern methodologies); adaptation (definition, mechanisms, measurement, complex adaptive systems, complexity, emergence); and self-organization (definitions/opinions, self-organized criticality, cybernetics, self-organization in complex adaptive systems, examples in nature).

 

In turn, Part II studies the roles, impacts, and applications of the five above-mentioned elements in life and society, namely energy (biochemical energy pathways, energy flows through food chains, evolution of energy resources, energy and economy); information (information in biology, biocomputation, information technology in office automation, power generation/distribution, manufacturing, business, transportation), feedback (temperature, water, sugar and hydrogen ion regulation, autocatalysis, biological modeling, control of hard/technological and soft/managerial systems), adaptation and self-organization (ecosystems, climate change, stock market, knowledge management, man-made self-organized controllers, traffic lights control).

 

Energy, Information, Feedback, Adaptation, and Self-organization
The Fundamental Elements of Life and Society
Spyros G Tzafestas

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Mathematical Structures of Natural Intelligence | Yair Neuman

Mathematical Structures of Natural Intelligence | Yair Neuman | CxBooks | Scoop.it

This book uncovers mathematical structures underlying natural intelligence and applies category theory as a modeling language for understanding human cognition, giving readers new insights into the nature of human thought. In this context, the book explores various topics and questions, such as the human representation of the number system, why our counting ability is different from that which is evident among non-human organisms, and why the idea of zero is so difficult to grasp.
The book is organized into three parts: the first introduces the general reason for studying general structures underlying the human mind; the second part introduces category theory as a modeling language and use it for exposing the deep and fascinating structures underlying human cognition; and the third applies the general principles and ideas of the first two parts to reaching a better understanding of challenging aspects of the human mind such as our understanding of the number system, the metaphorical nature of our thinking and the logic of our unconscious dynamics.

 

Mathematical Structures of Natural Intelligence
Neuman, Yair

Springer

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A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age (Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman)

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age (Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman) | CxBooks | Scoop.it

In their second collaboration, biographers Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman present the story of Claude Shannon—one of the foremost intellects of the twentieth century and the architect of the Information Age, whose insights stand behind every computer built, email sent, video streamed, and webpage loaded. Claude Shannon was a groundbreaking polymath, a brilliant tinkerer, and a digital pioneer. He constructed the first wearable computer, outfoxed Vegas casinos, and built juggling robots. He also wrote the seminal text of the digital revolution, which has been called “the Magna Carta of the Information Age.” In this elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography, Soni and Goodman reveal Claude Shannon’s full story for the first time. With unique access to Shannon’s family and friends, A Mind at Play brings this singular innovator and always playful genius to life.

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The Seneca Effect: Why Growth is Slow but Collapse is Rapid (Ugo Bardi)

The Seneca Effect: Why Growth is Slow but Collapse is Rapid (Ugo Bardi) | CxBooks | Scoop.it

The essence of this book can be found in a line written by the ancient Roman Stoic Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca: "Fortune is of sluggish growth, but ruin is rapid". This sentence summarizes the features of the phenomenon that we call "collapse," which is typically sudden and often unexpected, like the proverbial "house of cards." But why are such collapses so common, and what generates them? Several books have been published on the subject, including the well known "Collapse" by Jared Diamond (2005), "The collapse of complex societies" by Joseph Tainter (1998) and "The Tipping Point," by Malcom Gladwell (2000). Why The Seneca Effect? This book is an ambitious attempt to pull these various strands together by describing collapse from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. The reader will discover how collapse is a collective phenomenon that occurs in what we call today "complex systems," with a special emphasis on system dynamics and the concept of "feedback." From this foundation, Bardi applies the theory to real-world systems, from the mechanics of fracture and the collapse of large structures to financial collapses, famines and population collapses, the fall of entire civilzations, and the most dreadful collapse we can imagine: that of the planetary ecosystem generated by overexploitation and climate change. The final objective of the book is to describe a conclusion that the ancient stoic philosophers had already discovered long ago, but that modern system science has rediscovered today. If you want to avoid collapse you need to embrace change, not fight it. Neither a book about doom and gloom nor a cornucopianist's dream, The Seneca Effect goes to the heart of the challenges that we are facing today, helping us to manage our future rather than be managed by it.

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Temporal Network Epidemiology

This book covers recent developments in epidemic process models and related data on temporally varying networks. It is widely recognized that contact networks are indispensable for describing, understanding, and intervening to stop the spread of infectious diseases in human and animal populations; “network epidemiology” is an umbrella term to describe this research field.

More recently, contact networks have been recognized as being highly dynamic. This observation, also supported by an increasing amount of new data, has led to research on temporal networks, a rapidly growing area. Changes in network structure are often informed by epidemic (or other) dynamics, in which case they are referred to as adaptive networks.

This volume gathers contributions by prominent authors working in temporal and adaptive network epidemiology, a field essential to understanding infectious diseases in real society.

 

Temporal Network Epidemiology
Naoki Masuda, Petter Holme (Eds.)

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Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Artificial Life 2017

Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Artificial Life 2017 | CxBooks | Scoop.it

This volume is the proceedings of ECAL 2017, the Fourteenth European Conference on Artificial Life, held September 4–8th 2017, in Lyon, France (https://project.inria.fr/ecal2017/). Since the first ECAL in 1991, the conference is the main international event of the International Society for Artificial Life in odd-numbered years, alternating with ALife, the International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems. The theme of this edition of ECAL was "Create, play, experiment, discover: The experimental power of virtual worlds". The volume contains the abstracts of the seven invited presentations, as well as 87 contributed articles selected by the programme committee based on at least three independent reviews. Contributions are either long (up to 8 pages) or short (up to 2 pages) articles. Long articles present original results, while short articles are extended abstracts presenting either original work or recently published work. These contributions cover all the topics of artificial life, including: artificial chemistry; origins of life; self-replication, self-repair and morphogenesis; evolutionary dynamics; ecological dynamics; social dynamics; computational cellular biology; computational physiology; bio-inspired robotics; evolutionary robotics; perception, cognition and behavior; evolution of language and computational linguistics; embodied and interactive systems; collective dynamics of swarms; complex dynamical systems and networks; cellular automata and discrete dynamical systems; economic and social systems as living systems; computational humanities; methodologies and tools for artificial life; interactions between in silico/in vitro/in vivo experiments; philosophical, epistemological and ethical issues; artificial life and education; artificial life-based art; applications of artificial life; living technologies.

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Explaining Top-Down Minds from the Bottom Up. Review of From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. Dennett, 2017

The main topic of Dennett’s book is intelligent design and the design of intelligence, trying to make intuitive the processes of both, be it the top-down process of comprehension that designs with foresight and reasons or the bottom-up process of evolution that has, through blind trial and error, captured free-floating rationales and ultimately, through co-evolution (between memes and genes), achieved top-down intelligence, flipping its original design process upside down.

 

Delarivière S. (2017) Explaining top-down minds from the bottom up. Review of from bacteria to bach and back: The evolution of minds by daniel c. Dennett, 2017.. Constructivist Foundations 12(3): 369–372. http://constructivist.info/12/3/369

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The Money Formula: Dodgy Finance, Pseudo Science, and How Mathematicians Took Over the Markets

The Money Formula: Dodgy Finance, Pseudo Science, and How Mathematicians Took Over the Markets | CxBooks | Scoop.it

The Money Formula takes you inside the engine room of the global economy to explore the little-understood world of quantitative finance, and show how the future of our economy rests on the backs of this all-but-impenetrable industry. Written not from a post-crisis perspective – but from a preventative point of view – this book traces the development of financial derivatives from bonds to credit default swaps, and shows how mathematical formulas went beyond pricing to expand their use to the point where they dwarfed the real economy. You'll learn how the deadly allure of their ice-cold beauty has misled generations of economists and investors, and how continued reliance on these formulas can either assist future economic development, or send the global economy into the financial equivalent of a cardiac arrest.

Rather than rehash tales of post-crisis fallout, this book focuses on preventing the next one. Even amidst global recovery, the financial system still has the potential to seize up at any moment. The Money Formula explores the how and why of financial disaster, what must happen to prevent the next one.

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What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins | CxBooks | Scoop.it

There are more than thirty thousand species of fish―more than mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined. But for all their breathtaking diversity and beauty, we rarely consider how fish think, feel, and behave. In What a Fish Knows, the ethologist Jonathan Balcombe takes us under the sea and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal what fishes can do, how they do it, and why. Introducing the latest revelations in animal behavior and biology, Balcombe upends our assumptions about fish, exposing them not as unfeeling, dead-eyed creatures but as sentient, aware, social―even Machiavellian. They conduct elaborate courtship rituals and develop lifelong bonds with shoal-mates. They also plan, hunt cooperatively, use tools, punish wrongdoers, curry favor, and deceive one another. Fish possess sophisticated senses that rival our own. The reef-dwelling damselfish identifies its brethren by face patterns visible only in ultraviolet light, and some species communicate among themselves in murky waters using electric signals. Highlighting these breakthrough discoveries and others from his own encounters with fish, Balcombe inspires a more enlightened appraisal of marine life.

An illuminating journey into the world of underwater science, What a Fish Knows will forever change your view of our aquatic cousins.

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ComplexInsight's curator insight, July 7, 2017 5:21 AM
One for the reading list - looks fascinating.
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The enlightened empiricist

For Isaac Newton, laying the foundation of modern physics and astronomy was a bit of a sideshow. He believed that his truly important work was deciphering ancient scriptures and uncovering the nature of the Christian religion. True, his skill in calculation was helpful for describing celestial mechanics, but far more critical was applying it to Hebrew prophecies.

How do we think about his career when we consider that Newton wrote vastly more on religious subjects than he did on what we would consider scientific ones? Rob Iliffe's new book Priest of Nature pulls back the curtain on what Newton thought of as his life's work, rather than that for which we remember him.

 

The enlightened empiricist
Matthew Stanley
Priest of Nature: The Religious Worlds of Isaac Newton Rob Iliffe Oxford University Press, 2017. 536 pp.

Science  30 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6345, pp. 1341
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4659

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