Non-Equilibrium Social Science
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Non-Equilibrium Social Science
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Flags of inconvenience

Flags of inconvenience | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

The British East India Company’s ships flew an ensign incorporating the Union Jack. Today corporate nationality is harder to determine. Take Coca-Cola, the epitome of Americana. Less than half its sales and staff hail from its homeland, though its boss and most shareholders do. According to The Economist’s “domestic density” index, it is 62% American. The measure (which combines the shares of sales, staff and owners that are domestic, and the boss’s nationality) casts new light on recent merger debates.

On May 15th the French government, vexed by an offer by America’s General Electric for parts of Alstom, extended its powers to block foreign takeovers in “strategic” industries—although by our measure Alstom is only a third French. Some Britons are worried by a bid from Pfizer, a notionally American drugmaker, for AstraZeneca: they would like to protect what they see as a national champion. But AstraZeneca’s domestic-density score is a mere 12%. It paid no British corporation tax last year, just a quarter of the company is domestically owned and the boss is French. Flying the right corporate flag has never been harder.

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What ants teach us about the brain, cancer and the Internet

What ants teach us about the brain, cancer and the Internet | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Ecologist Deborah Gordon studies ants wherever she can find them -- in the desert, in the tropics, in her kitchen ... In this fascinating talk, she explains her obsession with insects most of us would happily swat away without a second thought. She argues that ant life provides a useful model for learning about many other topics, including disease, technology and the human brain.

 

http://on.ted.com/h0Emb ;


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Digital vs. human: the new debate

Digital vs. human: the new debate | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

A couple of years ago Brian Arthur, an academic affiliated with the Palo Alto Research Center, made a startling prediction. In the next two to three decades, western digital networks would end up performing functions equal to the size of the “real” US economy. Or, to put it another way, if you looked at all the work being done by electronic supply chains, robots, communications systems – and the humble bar code – then the digital economy would “surpass the physical economy in size”, Arthur wrote, on the basis of productivity and output calculations.

It sounds impressive. But it also raises a crucial question: as those digital networks swell in size, what are flesh-and-blood workers going to do in this future world? Last month Simon Head, an academic who teaches at Oxford University and New York University, plunged into this debate with a book entitled Mindless: Why Smarter Machines are Making Dumber Humans.

 
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Rebellious Economics Students Have a Point

Rebellious Economics Students Have a Point | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
University students are rejecting the textbook methodology that all too often reduces economics to a set of mathematical exercises.
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A bigger rice bowl

A bigger rice bowl | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
A SEED of rice that could transform the developing world saved Asha Ram Pal’s farm in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in the summer of 2008. Mr Pal had planted...
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An exploration of social identity: The structure of the BBC news-sharing community on Twitter

Online social media influence the flow of news and other information, potentially altering collective social action while generating a large volume of data useful to researchers. Mapping these networks may make it possible to predict the course of social and political movements, technology adoption, and economic behavior. Here, we map the network formed by Twitter users sharing British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) articles. The global audience of the BBC is primarily organized by language with the largest linguistic groups receiving news in English, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic. Members of the network primarily “follow” members sharing articles in the same language, and these audiences are primarily located in geographical regions where the languages are native. The one exception to this rule is a cluster interested in Middle East news which includes both Arabic and English speakers. We further analyze English-speaking users, which differentiate themselves into four clusters: one interested in sports, two interested in United Kingdom (UK) news—with word usage suggesting this reflects political polarization into Conservative and Labour party leanings—and a fourth group that is the English speaking part of the group interested in Middle East news. Unlike the previously studied New York Times news sharing network the largest scale structure of the BBC network does not include a densely connected group of globally interested and globally distributed users. The political polarization is similar to what was found for liberal and conservative groups in the New York Times study. The observation of a primary organization of the BBC audience around languages is consistent with the BBC's unique role in history as an alternative source of local news in regions outside the UK where high quality uncensored news was not available.

 

An exploration of social identity: The structure of the BBC news-sharing community on Twitter
Julius Adebayo, Tiziana Musso, Kawandeep Virdee, Casey Friedman and Yaneer Bar-Yam

Complexity
Volume 19, Issue 5, pages 55–63, May/June 2014

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cplx.21490


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Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame

Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
Our understanding of fame is critical to how we see each other and our society. But it is also badly wrong. Let me tell you why. We…

Via Jorge Louçã
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António F Fonseca's curator insight, May 11, 2014 5:25 AM

A very interesting article confirming my own PhD thesis - fame is more dependent on information propagation than on individual qualities.

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Global scientific output doubling every nine years

Global scientific output doubling every nine years | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Researchers say global scientific output is doubling every nine years. Is this more science than humanity can handle?

For years, some researchers have been suggesting that there are too many scientific papers out there.

Improving technology has led to studies being published at lightning speed, making it difficult for some to stay up-to-date in their chosen fields. 

Now, (yet another) new paper by Lutz Bornmann of the Max Planck Society in Munich, Germany and Ruediger Mutz of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology may have confirmed that there may, in fact, be more science out there than we can handle.

Upon analyzing 755 million scientific references in nearly 40 million publications between 1980 and 2012, the researchers concluded that the world's scientific output is doubling roughly every nine years.

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International Student Initiative For Pluralism in Economics

International Student Initiative For Pluralism  in Economics | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

It is not only the world economy that is in crisis. The teaching of economics is in crisis too, and this crisis has consequences far beyond the university walls. What is taught shapes the minds of the next generation of policymakers, and therefore shapes the societies we live in. We, 42 associations of economics students from 19 different countries, believe it is time to reconsider the way economics is taught. We are dissatisfied with the dramatic narrowing of the curriculum that has taken place over the last couple of decades. This lack of intellectual diversity does not only restrain education and research. It limits our ability to contend with the multidimensional challenges of the 21st century - from financial stability, to food security and climate change. The real world should be brought back into the classroom, as well as debate and a pluralism of theories and methods. This will help renew the discipline and ultimately create a space in which solutions to society’s problems can be generated.(...)

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The Microeconomics of Complex Economies - Evolutionary, Institutional, and Complexity Perspectives

The Microeconomics of Complex Economies - Evolutionary, Institutional, and Complexity Perspectives | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

by Wolfram Elsner, Torsten Heinrich, Henning Schwardt


The Microeconomics of Complex Economies uses game theory, modeling approaches, formal techniques, and computer simulations to teach useful, accessible approaches to real modern economies. It covers topics of information and innovation, including national and regional systems of innovation; clustered and networked firms; and open-source/open-innovation production and use. Its final chapter on policy perspectives and decisions confirms the value of the toolset.

Written so chapters can be used independently, the book includes simulation packages and pedagogical supplements. Its formal, accessible treatment of complexity goes beyond the scopes of neoclassical and mainstream economics. The highly interdependent economy of the 21st century demands a reconsideration of orthodox economic theories.

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FET consultation on Global Systems Science

FET consultation on Global Systems Science | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

The FET Unit has launched an online consultation http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-328_en.htm to understand what the game-changing technologies of the next decades will be. The consultation targets scientists, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and members of civil society in general.

 

The consultation is here http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/content/consultation-new-fet-proactive-topics

 

GSS consultation is under https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/content/global-systems-science-%E2%80%93-how-can-science-support-policy-making-global-challenges

 

A large feedback of the GSS community will be of the essence to ensure a possible follow-up call in 2017. Everybody is invited to contribute.

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Your Morals Depend on Language

Your Morals Depend on Language | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Should you sacrifice one man to save five? Whatever your answer, it should not depend on whether you were asked the question in your native language or a foreign tongue so long as you understood the problem. And yet here we report evidence that people using a foreign language make substantially more utilitarian decisions when faced with such moral dilemmas. We argue that this stems from the reduced emotional response elicited by the foreign language, consequently reducing the impact of intuitive emotional concerns. In general, we suggest that the increased psychological distance of using a foreign language induces utilitarianism. This shows that moral judgments can be heavily affected by an orthogonal property to moral principles, and importantly, one that is relevant to hundreds of millions of individuals on a daily basis.

by Albert Costa, Alice Foucart, Sayuri Hayakawa, Melina Aparici, Jose Apesteguia, Joy Heafner, Boaz Keysar

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Checking in with Portugal's big projects to support technology use in education

Checking in with Portugal's big projects to support technology use in education | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

As part of my job at the World Bank helping to advise governments on what works, and what doesn't, related to the use of new technologies in education around the world, especially in middle- and low-income countries, I spend a fair amount of time trying to track down information about projects -- sometimes quite large in scale and invariably described as 'innovative' in some way -- that were announced with much fanfare which received a great deal of press attention, but about which very little information is subsequently made widely available. (...)

by MICHAEL TRUCANO


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The intimacy of crowds: crowds aren’t really crazed – they are made of highly co-operative individuals driven to shared interests and goals

The intimacy of crowds: crowds aren’t really crazed – they are made of highly co-operative individuals driven to shared interests and goals | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Crowds aren’t really crazed – they are made of highly co-operative individuals driven to shared interests and goals

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Eli Levine's curator insight, May 17, 2014 10:14 AM

Interesting.

 

We're still only a sub-rational species, in my view of it.  Yet perhaps our emotional side can be more together than I had previously thought.

 

The non-confrontational policing tactics makes perfect sense, for example, since people get angry when police get angry.  I'm shocked that places like NYPD has not taken these laws to heart, or that we haven't decided at top levels to effectively integrate minorities into American society rather than reject them.

 

The story of human rationality seems to be more complicated than I had thought.  Yet we are still far from perfect for the sake of being able to survive and operate effectively in the long term of evolution, as evidenced by our inability to even accept and work with the fact that the climate is changing against our favor and that we need to slow it down and prepare to adapt to it (as one example).

 

Think about it.

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Can a crowd keep a secret?

Can a crowd keep a secret? | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Last week I watched something striking unfold in New York’s Beacon Theatre. The British band Coldplay performed a gig to a small(ish), exuberant crowd. As midnight approached, Chris Martin, the lead singer, stepped forward and declared that they would play an encore – but with a caveat.

“If you don’t mind, could you possibly turn off your phones, your cameras?” he said, with his trademark charm and winning smile, as he looked into the audience, a waving sea of smartphones. “Please don’t put this on YouTube – not everything has to be on YouTube. Sometimes you have got to keep things to yourselves, so let this just be between us.”

 
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Democracy at Risk: How Voters in the 2014 Elections in India were Manipulated by Biased Search Rankings

Democracy at Risk: How Voters in the 2014 Elections in India were Manipulated by Biased Search Rankings | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Below are data collected between April 2nd and May 12th, 2014, in an experiment conducted by a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute in Vista, California, USA (see http://AIBRT.org). In the experiment, researchers deliberately manipulated the voting preferences of undecided voters in the national Lok Sabha election in India, the largest democratic election in history, with over 800 million eligible voters.

They did this by randomly assigning undecided voters who had not yet voted (recruited through print advertisements, online advertisements, and online subject pools) to one of three groups in which search rankings favoured either Mr Gandhi, Mr Kejriwal, or Mr Modi. About 2,000 eligible voters from 26 of India's 28 states (age range 18 to 70, mean age 29.5) participated in the study - not enough to affect the election's outcome. People’s preferences were also pushed equally toward all three candidates, so there was no overall bias in the study.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, May 14, 2014 9:39 AM

We don't really live in democracies, per se, but simply in oligarchies that may or may not be more or less accountable to the general will of the people.  This goes from dictatorial Russia to liberty "loving" America.

 

Yes, voting patterns can easily be manipulated towards negative ends.  That's not going to change within our species, nor is it likely to alter courses of action that politicians take to get elected to positions of power, consequence and authority.

 

This being said, a government's members cannot hide when they're doing a poorly intended and poorly executed job of governing.  It leaks out and, when there isn't change brought about through democratic (little "d") methods, the population is more likely to turn to violence to get what they need and want.  This is the repeated case thoroughout history, feel free to dbouble check.  Therefore, it is in the government members' interests to either abide by the laws and natural social sentiments o the general public and to forget or eliminate all private entities which may be medling or interfering with thaose democratic processes.  In the long run, it doesn't pay to be a parasitic politician (which means it doesn't pay in the short run as well).  The idea for them is to meld with the public and to learn about them and be actually working for their behalf (which means knowing when to step back and let the "noise" take over, so that you actually get more of the behavior and results that you want, rather then stymying development, growth and well being.)

 

Society, the economy and the environment are  all highly complex systems which we're just beginning to understand and work with.  Better to be humble relative to the other, listen for what's happening amongst all aspects of it and go for your (limited) goals as hard as you can for your own sake as an administrator or as a lowly Federal, State or local emplyee.

 

Think about it.

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Big Data is Revolutionizing How You Think -- And That’s a Good Thing

Big Data is Revolutionizing How You Think -- And That’s a Good Thing | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Our grandchildren will know of the sins we committed — and they won't learn of them through our fabled stories or in a history book that shines positive light on what were invariably bad acts. Our grandchildren will know truth, not by a fact checkers' findings, but via their own. The digital world will be for our grandchildren what the Internet was supposed to be for us: the world’s biggest reference library. 

The only difference? They will have the capabilities of sorting through, analyzing and taking away the most crucial evidence, information and guidance in a way we could never imagine. How? Our grandchildren will use big data queries to determine the truths of the world, and they’ll do it before their morning coffee.

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FET-ART Final Event - ICT & Art Connect so far

FET-ART Final Event - ICT & Art Connect so far | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

ICT & Art Connect sets out to bring together artists and technologists to explore new ways of working. Collaborative acts of co-creation, together with an open and multidisciplinary discussion will foster the blending of Art and Technology. The coordination action FET-ART has played a crucial role in helping advance this initiative by a set of activities that allowed practitioners in technology and the Arts to meet, collaborate and discuss the future of such collaborations.

May 11 @ 5:00 pm - May 12 @ 6:00 pm

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A theoretical formalism for analyzing agent-based models

Following Holland, complex adaptive systems (CASs) are collections of interacting, autonomous, learning decision makers embedded in an interactive environment. Modeling CASs is challenging for a variety of reasons including the presence of heterogeneity, spatial relationships, nonlinearity, and, of course, adaptation. The challenges of modeling CASs can largely be overcome by using the individual-level focus of agent-based modeling. Agent-based modeling has been used successfully to model CASs in many disciplines. Many of these models were implemented using agent-based modeling software such as Swarm, Repast 3, Repast Simphony, Repast for High-Performance Computing, MASON, NetLogo, or StarLogo. All of these options use modular imperative architectures with factored agents, spaces, a scheduler, logs, and an interface. Many custom agent-based models also use this kind of architecture. This paper’s contribution is to introduce and apply a theoretical formalism for analyzing modular imperative agent-based models of CASs. This paper includes an analysis of three example models to show how the formalism is useful for predicting the execution time and space requirements for representations of common CASs.

(...)

This paper’s contribution is to introduce, analyze, and apply a theoretical formalism for proving findings about agent-based models with modular agent scheduler architectures. Given that this kind of modeling is both computationally optimal and a natural structural match for many modeling problems, it follows that it is the best modeling method for such problems.

 

A theoretical formalism for analyzing agent-based models
Michael J North

Complex Adaptive Systems Modeling 2014, 2:3  http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2194-3206-2-3


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How Community Feedback Shapes User Behavior

Social media systems rely on user feedback and rating mechanisms for personalization, ranking, and content filtering. However, when users evaluate content contributed by fellow users (e.g., by liking a post or voting on a comment), these evaluations create complex social feedback effects. This paper investigates how ratings on a piece of content affect its author's future behavior. By studying four large comment-based news communities, we find that negative feedback leads to significant behavioral changes that are detrimental to the community. Not only do authors of negatively-evaluated content contribute more, but also their future posts are of lower quality, and are perceived by the community as such. Moreover, these authors are more likely to subsequently evaluate their fellow users negatively, percolating these effects through the community. In contrast, positive feedback does not carry similar effects, and neither encourages rewarded authors to write more, nor improves the quality of their posts. Interestingly, the authors that receive no feedback are most likely to leave a community. Furthermore, a structural analysis of the voter network reveals that evaluations polarize the community the most when positive and negative votes are equally split.

 

How Community Feedback Shapes User Behavior
Justin Cheng, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Jure Leskovec

http://arxiv.org/abs/1405.1429


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Percolation on sparse networks

We study percolation on networks, which is widely used as a model of the resilience of networked systems such as the Internet to attack or failure and as a simple model of the spread of disease over human contact networks. We reformulate percolation as a message passing process and use the resulting equations to show, among other things, that for sparse networks, which includes most networks observed in the real world, the percolation threshold is given by the inverse of the leading eigenvalue of the so-called non-backtracking matrix. Like most message passing calculations, our results are exact on networks that have few small loops but, as we show, they also provide bounds on the percolation behavior of networks that do contain loops.

 

Percolation on sparse networks
Brian Karrer, M. E. J. Newman, Lenka Zdeborová

http://arxiv.org/abs/1405.0483


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Measuring Large-Scale Social Networks with High Resolution

Measuring Large-Scale Social Networks with High Resolution | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

This paper describes the deployment of a large-scale study designed to measure human interactions across a variety of communication channels, with high temporal resolution and spanning multiple years—the Copenhagen Networks Study. Specifically, we collect data on face-to-face interactions, telecommunication, social networks, location, and background information (personality, demographics, health, politics) for a densely connected population of 1 000 individuals, using state-of-the-art smartphones as social sensors. Here we provide an overview of the related work and describe the motivation and research agenda driving the study. Additionally, the paper details the data-types measured, and the technical infrastructure in terms of both backend and phone software, as well as an outline of the deployment procedures. We document the participant privacy procedures and their underlying principles. The paper is concluded with early results from data analysis, illustrating the importance of multi-channel high-resolution approach to data collection.

 

Measuring Large-Scale Social Networks with High Resolution

Stopczynski A, Sekara V, Sapiezynski P, et al.

PLoS ONE 9(4): e95978 (2014)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095978


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Anatomy of Scientific Evolution

The quest for historically impactful science and technology provides invaluable insight into the innovation dynamics of human society, yet many studies are limited to qualitative and small-scale approaches. Here, we investigate scientific evolution through systematic analysis of a massive corpus of digitized English texts between 1800 and 2008. Our analysis reveals remarkable predictability for long-prevailing scientific concepts based on the levels of their prior usage. Interestingly, once a threshold of early adoption rates is passed even slightly, scientific concepts can exhibit sudden leaps in their eventual lifetimes. We developed a mechanistic model to account for such results, indicating that slowly-but-commonly adopted science and technology surprisingly tend to have higher innate strength than fast-and-commonly adopted ones. The model prediction for disciplines other than science was also well verified. Our approach sheds light on unbiased and quantitative analysis of scientific evolution in society, and may provide a useful basis for policy-making.

by Jinhyuk Yun, Pan-Jun Kim, Hawoong Jeong

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The éToile Platform offers registration to 10 students at ECCS'14, Lucca 22-26 Sept

The éToile Platform offers registration to 10 students at ECCS'14, Lucca 22-26 Sept | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

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.

 

Reputation is related to each one contribution to the "Curriculum in Complex Systems Sciences". See the éToile help on "How to increase your reputation" at http://www.etoileplatform.net/helpincreasereputation

 

The 10 students with more reputation on the 20th May at 11:00am CET will be awarded a registration to ECCS'14 (value of one student registration: € 265).

 

Grab this opportunity and participate !


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Inequality Has Been Going On Forever ... but That Doesn’t Mean It’s Inevitable

Inequality Has Been Going On Forever ... but That Doesn’t Mean It’s Inevitable | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
We have been living with rising income inequality for so long that it has come to seem inevitable. It doesn’t have to be.
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