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Living Cells Show How to Fix the Financial System

Living Cells Show How to Fix the Financial System | Think and Wonder; Wonder and Think | Scoop.it

Over the past three decades, the global financial system has become more dynamic and interconnected, more concentrated and complicated than ever before. Financial engineering seems to know no limits to creating new instruments that link institutions in new ways. Is that a good thing? Or could the resulting financial network be too complex? Or, perhaps, complex in the wrong way?

 

A look at biology -- which has been tinkering with network designs for billions of years -- suggests that the answer to the last question is most likely yes.

 

In “The Architecture of Complexity,” an extraordinarily original paper published 50 years ago, the economist, psychologist and artificial-intelligence pioneer Herbert Simon asked the question, Why does nature so consistently organize itself into hierarchies? Why, that is, are so many of its creations designed as systems of systems?

In biology, for example, cells organize into tissues, tissues into organs, organs into larger systems.

 

The cell itself contains a nucleus and a cell membrane, ribosomes and mitochondria. Our human organizations obviously also follow hierarchies, as do our buildings, technological devices, even our writing -- words make sentences, which build paragraphs, which then make up essays or chapters.


Via Ashish Umre
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CultureLab: Artificially alive artwork tantalises and surprises

CultureLab: Artificially alive artwork tantalises and surprises | Think and Wonder; Wonder and Think | Scoop.it

What if the buildings around you were alive, and responded to your touch? Hylozoism - the theory that everything is alive - is the philosophy behind Philip Beesley’s Hylozoic Series: Sibyl, an exhibit at the border of architecture and science fiction that is now on display in Australia at the 18th Biennale of Sydney.

 

Equal parts robotics, chemistry and prototypical architecture, the exhibit is a distributed network of interactive, moving and almost living elements. “I would say this is a work of sculpture and a work of architecture,” says Beesley, a Canadian artist and architect.

 

At first glance, the installation appears to be a rainforest winter wonderland suspended from the ceiling. But it is anything but whimsical: the technology behind this responsive environment can be found in touchscreens, and the science could inform the future of architecture.


Via Ashish Umre
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