Because That's The Way It's Always Been Done, Optimize
Excerpts: ˇ§People always talk about the learning curve. The hardest thing is the forgetting curve. You have to discard what you think you know. And the higher you go in management, the more difficult it is...There's a psychological term called inattentional blindness. It comes from an experiment where people were asked to watch a video of a basketball game and count the number of passes. Halfway through the video, a gorilla walked in one door of the arena and out the other, but half of the people didn't see it. When you tell people to focus on one thing, they frequently don't see something that wasn't in the original plan. When people have acquired a certain amount of knowledge, the same thing happens. Everything is filtered through their expertise. They don't see what's happening. They don't see the signs of change. It's called educated incapacityˇXthe more you know, the harder it is to see anything new. You have to get people to become more objective.ˇ¨
Excerpts: Passive-aggressive organizations are friendly places to work: People are congenial, conflict is rare, and consensus is easy to reach. But, at the end of the day, even the best proposals fail to gain traction, and a company can go nowhere so imperturbably that it's easy to pretend everything is fine. Such companies are not necessarily saddled with mulishly passive-aggressive employees. Rather, they are filled with mostly well-intentioned people who are the victims of flawed processes and policies. (...) In such organizations, information does not circulate freely, and that makes it difficult for workers to understand the impact of their actions on company performance and for managers to appraise employees' value to the organization correctly. A failure to match incentives to performance accurately stifles initiative, and people do just enough to get by. (full article available for purchase online)
Excerpts: Does the importance of the Creative Class in driving innovation fly in face of the notion that technology makes geography insignificant? Are we becoming a world where free-agents work entrepreneurially, as 'nowhereians' with a global soul, in Pico Iyer's term -- or a world where geography becomes even more important than it has been? Both phenomena are at work, but in the end geography will remain as important as it's ever been. I wrote an article on this very subject ...taking on Tom Friedman's assertions that 'The World is Flat' and 'you don't have to emigrate to innovate.' In fact, the world is 'spikier' than it's ever been, with economic growth and especially cutting-edge science and innovation concentrating in its major urbanized regions. Between these regions are the valleys of this Spiky World, struggling to keep pace in the global economy. Now, obviously free-agents are free to hop from peak to peak in this world, but it's a dangerous misconception that just because the world is 'flat' for the privileged few (admittedly, an increasing number), it's flat for everyone.ˇ¨
The Road Ahead, Time
Excerpts: I'm generally optimistic because I feel that with the pace of development in China and India and other parts of the developing world, we're just adding to the available brainpower and unlocking these large populations of people and their ingenuity and giving them an education. How much easier will it be to solve the problems of the world when we've got 10 times as many brains working on them.¨
Excerpts: More is going to happen over the next ten years than it did in the past ten. By 2015, the world will again experience the kind of dramatic shift that the internet brought, which is a pretty exciting notion. A lot of this change is going to happen through software...Workers and organisations are already nearing the point of so-called information overload, where the sheer volume of data and the complexity of the applications necessary to work with it threaten to overwhelm the powers of human cognition. These distractions have a demonstrable effect on the productivity and health of workers. Along with the proliferation of channels and features that IT offers, we are looking to offer simplification and insight with our products. That means we are trying to address things like prioritisation, context, attention management, and also to bring in better and smarter ways to visualise and control volumes of complex data.¨
Pushing Past Post-Its, Business
Excerpts: So what's 3M's secret to monetizing the research? Some credit goes to its Six Sigma sophistication and streamlined commercialization processes -- not to mention a $1 billion R&D budget -- but Wendling [of 3M] thinks it has much more to do with shifting people and priorities around than with rearranging molecules. 'The best way to transfer ideas,' he says, 'is to transfer people.'
Out-of-Equilibrium Economics and Agent-Based Modeling, SFI Working Papers
Excerpt: Standard neoclassical economics asks what agents' actions, strategies, or expectations are in equilibrium with (consistent with) the outcome or pattern these behaviors aggregatively create. Agent-based computational economics enables us to ask a wider question: how agents' actions, strategies, or expectations might react to "might endogenously change with" the patterns they create. In other words, it enables us to examine how the economy behaves out of equilibrium (...)
An Empirical Behavioral Model of Price Formation, SFI Working Papers
Excerpt: Although behavioral economics has demonstrated that there are many situations where rational choice is a poor empirical model, it has so far failed to provide quantitative models of economic problems such as price formation. We make a step in this direction by developing empirical models that capture behavioral regularities in trading order placement and cancellation using data from the London Stock Exchange. (...)
Chimps Indifferent To Needs Of Others
Excerpts: Behavior in experiment raises questions about origins of human benevolence.
The experiment gave the animals the opportunity to pull a lever and provide treats for chimps in adjacent cages - without receiving anything in return and at no cost to themselves. (...)
Samuel Bowles, an economist who directs the behavioral sciences program at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, said this is not the end of the debate, "but it's a very persuasive indication that humans are absolutely unique in their ability to care about others, even others they do not know.¨
Genomics: New Haplotype Map May Overhaul Gene Hunting, Science
Excerpts: The map allows gene hunters to get away with less (and thus cheaper) DNA sequencing while still, it's hoped, homing in on disease genes. The current HapMap--a finer-resolution version will come out next year--includes more than 1 million SNPs drawn from the DNA of 269 individuals from four different populations, because haplotype frequencies vary based on evolutionary history. (...)
(...), as hoped, a select set of SNPs reliably defines the DNA surrounding them, making it possible to locate relevant genes by comparing haplotype patterns in different groups.
SNPs Ahoy! Scientists Complete Map Of Genetic Differences, Science News
Excerpts: Researchers have long known that complex diseases such as cancer and heart disease have genetic components that heavily affect their onset, progression, and response to treatment. But because these conditions involve many different genes interacting with each other as well as with factors in a person's environment, teasing out these elements has been difficult.
A newly completed map that plots where small genetic differences can exist among people may be a powerful tool for figuring out why some individuals get certain diseases and even for custom designing treatments.
Geneticists Hail Variety Show, Nature News
Excerpts: Map of DNA differences will help experts tailor drugs. An international team has tracked a million DNA variations in volunteers around the world, as part of an effort to map the diversity of human genes. Experts say the growing catalogue, called the HapMap, will help to pinpoint genetic causes of disease and develop more effective treatments.
"It's a major leap for genetic research," says Tom Hudson of McGill University in Montreal, who led the Canadian contribution to the HapMap.
UC Santa Barbara Researchers Light Up 'Dark' Spins in Diamond, UC Santa Barbara News
Excerpts: Discovery Could Lead to Room Temperature Quantum Computing. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have potentially opened up a new avenue toward room temperature quantum information processing. By demonstrating the ability to image and control single isolated electron spins in diamond, they unexpectedly discovered a new channel for transferring information to other surrounding spins ... an initial step towards spin-based information processing.
Future Nanotech Tools Made From Clay, CNET News.com
The next big nanotech product, according to start-up NaturalNano, will be dug out of the ground.
Credit: NaturalNano, Dragon Mine deposits in Utah are significantly rich in nanotube content. The tubes could even have agricultural uses.
The Rochester, N.Y.-based company has found a way to use Halloysite, a naturally occurring tubular clay, as an unobtrusive carrier in metals, perfumes and other substances.
NaturalNano says that by filling Halloysite tubes with copper and then mixing the tubes into a polymer, a manufacturer could make an electrically conductive plastic. If filled with fungicides, the Halloysite particles--which consist of aluminum, oxygen, silicon and hydrogen--could be swirled into paint to make it more resistant to mildew and mold. Time-released coatings could also be added to make all-day deodorant.
Nanotech Pushes Out Medical, Energy Frontiers, Scientist Says, USInfo
Excerpts: 10,000 years ago, humans began to domesticate plants and animals. Now it's time to domesticate molecules. (...)
Biotechnology, which is known primarily by its medical and agricultural applications, is increasingly being focused on the building of new biological materials and machines in an astonishing diversity of structures, functions, and uses. The advent of nanotechnology has accelerated this trend. Learning from nature, which over billions of years has honed and fashioned molecular architectural motifs to perform a myriad of specific tasks, nanobiotechnologists are now designing completely new molecular patterns -- bit by bit, from the bottom up -- to build novel materials and sophisticated molecular machines. Over the next generation, advances such as new materials to repair damaged tissues and molecular machines to harness solar energy from the smallest molecular amino acids and lipids will likely have an enormous impact on our society and the world's economy.
Robot Surgeons Scrub Up, Nature News
Excerpts: Meet the robots that can perform surgery from within your own body. Their creators hope that the remote-controlled surgeons are a step towards a time when traditional open surgery is a thing of the past.
Just 8 centimetres long, the devices are designed to be slipped inside a patient's abdomen through a tiny incision. Once inside the body, the robots can be controlled by surgeons either on-site or hundreds of kilometres away.
Defend Yourself Against The Coming Robot Rebellion, Post-Gazette
"Any robot could rebel, from a toaster to a Terminator, and so it is crucial to learn the strengths and weaknesses of every robot enemy," author Daniel H. Wilson warns in "How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion."
"Any machine could rebel, from a toaster to a Terminator," says CMU roboticist Daniel H. Wilson, in his satirical new book.
What makes the book cool -- and unlike some other survival books -- is that Wilson is an actual roboticist, who got his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon last month. While his scenarios are outlandish -- describing attacks by humanoid robots, some of them with creepy tails, some that can climb walls or swim -- the research on how to build and attack the robot creatures is quite real.
Atmospheric Science: Tipping Points in the Tundra, Science
Excerpts: The recent news from the Arctic is troubling. A new report (1) from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) indicates that the extent of sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is now at its lowest level in more than a century. The NASA-NSIDC team has observed four straight years of substantially below-average sea ice, with earlier spring melting and sharp declines in winter ice cover. This comes on the heels of another report by Overpeck et al. (2), supported by the NSF Arctic System Science program, which suggests that the Arctic is heading toward a new, seasonally ice-free state--a condition not seen for at least a million years.
Virology: What Links Bats to Emerging Infectious Diseases?, Science
Excerpts: Three species of horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus spp.) have now been officially recorded as the natural reservoir host of the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) [see the report by Li et al. on page 676 of this issue (1) and the report by Lau et al. (2)]. The emergence of this pathogen (SARS-CoV) in southern China in 2002-2003 almost brought the burgeoning economy of Southeast Asia to its knees (3,). Bats are now known to be natural reservoir hosts to several other new emergent disease pathogens: Nipah and Hendra viruses (5) and potentially Ebola and Marburg viruses.
Changes In Brain, Not Age, Determine One's Ability To Focus On Task, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: When it comes to focusing on a task amid distractions, some folks more than 60 years old are as mentally sharp as 22-year-olds. Others struggle. (...) the scientists say there is less white matter in the frontal lobes of those who struggle with focusing. The differences became apparent through the use of functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging of the brains of 40 individuals ranging in age from 19 to 87. (...) Participants took part in a "flanker" experiment in which they viewed a line of five keyboard arrows on a computer screen and reacted (...).
In Western Bluebird As Well As Human Families, Accumulated Wealth Encourages Stability, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Parents whose grown children have not yet flown the nest can only sympathize with the Western bluebird. While female fledglings fly off on their own in late summer, their brothers typically hang around through the winter and into the next breeding season, living off the bounty of their parents' larder. As with humans, though, as the money runs low, the kids split, according to a new study (...) discovered parallels between human and bird families while studying the evolution of delayed dispersal, or natal philopatry - the tendency for offspring to stay at or near home (...).
Excerpts: This book provides a challenging and stimulating introduction to the contemporary topics of complexity and criticality, and explores their common basis of scale invariance, a central unifying theme of the book. Criticality refers to the behaviour of extended systems at a phase transition where scale invariance prevails. The many constituent microscopic parts bringing about macroscopic phenomena that cannot be understood by considering a single part alone. The phenomenology of phase transitions is introduced by considering percolation, a simple model with a purely geometrical phase transition, thus enabling the reader to become intuitively familiar with concepts such as scale invariance (...).
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Network
America Tightens Up Its Digital Security: Fortress US Gets Tighter, vnunet.com
Excerpts: In a bid to improve security, the United States State Department has received approval to begin issuing electronic passports to American citizens, according to the Washington Post. Starting in October 2006, new and renewed US passports will contain micro-chips containing as yet unspecified digital information about their holders. (...) Although the new passport technology is believed to heighten security, technology and security experts fear that the micro-chips could easily be miss-scanned, potentially providing false information, and even increasing the risk of identity theft.
CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons, Washington Post
Excerpts: Debate Is Growing Within Agency About Legality and Morality of Overseas System Set Up After 9/11
The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.
The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.
Terror Television:Al-Qaida Launches A Weekly News Show, Asian Tribune
Excerpts: "Voice of the Caliphate" the propaganda-show is called and it's been available for a number of days as a downloadable file on a number of Islamist Web sites. Two productions have been made available, each in Arabic and each 15 minutes long. Their content? World news from the perspective of al-Qaida and co.
Events from Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan are reported upon, as is, with a heavy dose of schadenfreude, the destructive fall-out from Hurricane "Katrina" in the United States. According to the show, the hurricane was a "soldier of God" that found its way to New Orleans, "the city of homosexuals."
Links & Snippets
- Statistical Mechanics of Scale-Free Networks at a Critical Point: Complexity without Irreversibility?, Christoly Biely and Stefan Thurner, SFI Working Papers, DOI: SFI-WP 05-10-038
- Numerical Indications of a q-Generalized Central Limit Theorem, Luis G. Moyano, Constantino Tsallis, Murray Gell-Mann, SFI Working Papers, DOI: SFI-WP 05-09-036
- Modifications Render Carbon Nanotubes Nontoxic, 05/10/26, Rice Univ, News. Rice team mitigates toxicity of tiny cylinders with chemical changes
- Quantum Coherence in an Optical Modulator, S. G. Carter, V. Birkedal, C. S. Wang, L. A. Coldren, A. V. Maslov, D. S. Citrin, M. S. Sherwin, 05/10/28, Science : 651-653
- Physics: The Observation of Matter Wave Fluctuations, Peter L. Knight, 05/10/28, Science : 631-63
- Astronomy: Science Takes Back Seat as Hubble Shoots the Moon, Andrew Lawler, 05/10/28, Science: 599
- Neuroscience: Does Brain Cell Growth Drive Weight Loss?, Gretchen Vogel, 05/10/28, Science : 602
- Antarctic Drilling: The Plan to Unlock Lake Vostok, Mason Inman, 05/10/28, Science : 611-612
- Muck Tech: Natural Enzyme Displaces Precious Metal In Fuel Cell, 05/10/29, Science News, A prototype fuel cell uses an enzyme from a soil microbe to generate electricity from hydrogen rather than from rare and expensive metal catalysts such as platinum.
- Read My Gestures: Body Language Can Trump Facial Expressions, 05/10/29, Science News, Body language can influence the perception of emotion on a person's face.
- African Elephants Show High Levels Of Interest In The Skulls And Ivory Of Their Own Species, K. McComb, L. Baker, C. Moss, 2005/10/18, Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2005.0400
- An Investigation into Trust & Reputation for Agent-Based Virtual Organisations, Teacy, W. T. L., 2005/10/20, Technical Report 11496, ECS, University of Southampton,
- Multi-Agent Modelling Of Climate Outlooks And Food Security On A Community Garden Scheme In Limpopo, South Africa, S. Bharwani, M. Bithell, T. E. Downing, M. New, R. Washington, G. Ziervogel, 2005/10/24, Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2005.1742
- Climate Change And Food Security, P. J. Gregory, J. S. I. Ingram, M. Brklacich, 2005/10/24, Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2005.1745
- Biotech Cotton 8: Bugs 0, 2005/10/24, ScienceDaily & University of Arizona
- BBC Switches Off Blackberry Service: Obscure Email Bug Sending Fragments Of Other Mail, K. Young, 2005/10/26, vnunet.com
- 'Know Thyself' -- Easier Said Than Done, 2005/10/28, ScienceDaily & American Psychological Society
- Honey Bee Workers As Mobile Insulating Units, A. J. Siegel, J. Hui, R. N. Johnson, P. T. Starks - philip.starkstufts.edu, Aug. 2005, Insectes Sociaux, DOI: 10.1007/s00040-005-0805-1
- Queen Developmental Time And Fitness Consequences For Queens Of Clonal Social Parasitic Honeybees (A. M. Capensis) And Its Host A. M. Scutellata, H. M. G. Lattorff - lattorffzoologie.uni-halle.de, P. Kryger, R. F. A. Moritz, Aug. 2005, Insectes Sociaux, DOI: 10.1007/s00040-005-0799-8
- Challenges And Changes In Spirituality Among Doctors Who Become Patients, R. L. Klitzman - rlk2columbia.edu, S. Daya - smdayahotmail.com, Dec. 2005, online 2005/06/06, Social Science & Medicine, DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.04.031
- Neural Correlates Of Knowledge: Stable Representation Of Stimulus Associations Across Variations In Behavioral Performance, A. Messinger, L. R. Squire, S. M. Zola, T. D. Albright, Oct. 2005, online 2005/10/19, Neuron, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.08.035
- The Impacts Of Network Topology On Disease Spread, M. D.F. Shirley - m.d.f.shirleynewcastle.ac.uk, S. P. Rushton, Sep. 2005, online 2005/06/04, Ecological Complexity, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2005.04.005
- Power For Complex Trait Genetic Association, D. Gordon - gordonlinkage.rockefeller.edu, F. M. De La Veg, S. J. Finch, K. Q. Yed, Sep. 2005, online 2005/08/19, Clinical Neuroscience Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.cnr.2005.07.004
- Urban Consumer Culture, D. Davis, Sep. 2005, Online 2005/09/26, The China Quarterly, DOI: 10.1017/S0305741005000421
Illuminating the Shadow of the Future, Ann Arbor, Mi 05/09/23-25
Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems - Brainstorming Meeting, Paris, France 05/09/19-23
Complexity, Science & Society Conference 2005, U. Liverpool, UK 2005/09/11-14
ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life,
Canterbury, Kent, UK 2005/09/5-9
T. Irene Sanders, Executive Director and Founder, The Washington Center for Complexity & Public Policy, 05/08/27, QuickTime video (10:38 min), Podcast
- North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2005 Conference, Virtual Conference Network, St. Pete's Beach, Florida, 05/06/09-11
- Understanding Complex Systems - Computational Complexity and Bioinformatics, Virtual Conference Network, Urbana-Champaign, Il, UIUC, 05/05/16-19
- Nonlinearity, Fluctuations, and Complexity, with a celebration of the 65th birthday of Gregoire Nicolis. , Complexity Session, Universite' Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, 05/03/16
- World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 05/01/26-30
1st European Conference on Complex Systems, Torino, Italy, 04/12/5-7
From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H., Internet-First University Press, 1994
- CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
- Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998
- Edge Videos
Online Course in Evolutionary Computation, U Hawaii Outreach College, 05/09/12-11/19
- Intl Congress of Nanotechnology 2005, San Francisco, USA, 05/10/31-11/04
An Afternoon with Michael Crichton At The Smithsonian Institution In Collaboration with The Washington Center for Complexity and Public Policy,
Washington, DC, 05/11/06
5th Intl Workshop on Meta-synthesis and Complex System,
(MCS'05 is also as a symposium of
the 1st World Congress of International Federation for Systems Research)
- European Conference on Complex Systems, Paris, France, 05/11/14-18
Econophysics Colloquium, Canberra (ANU), 05/11/14-18
3rd International Complexity Science and Educational Research Conference, Robert, Louisiana, 05/11/20-22, see also: Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, Inaugural issue - Free Online Access
Systems Thinking and Complexity Science: Insights for Action, , 11th Ann ANZSYS Conf/Managing the Complex V
Christchurch, New Zealand, 05/12/05-07
- 2005 International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Security (CIS'2005), Hong Kong, China, 05/12/15-19
3rd Biennial Seminar on the Philosophical, Methodological, and Epistemological Implications of Complexity Theory, Havana, Cuba, 06/01/09-12
The Second International Workshop on Biologically Inspired
Approaches to Advanced Information Technology , Senri Life Science Center, Osaka, Japan, 06/01/26-27
Intl Wkshp and Sem, Dynamics on Complex Networks and Applications, Dresden, Germany, 06/02/06-03/03
- FRACTAL 2006 Complexity and Fractals in Nature, 9th Intl Multidisciplinary Conf, Vienna, Austria, 06/02/12-15
2nd Intl Nonlinear Science Conf, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 06/03/10-12
- 18th European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research (EMCSR), Vienna, Austria, 06/04/18-21
5th Intl Joint Conf on Autonomous Agents And Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2006)
Future University, Hakodate, Japan, )6/05/08-12
- Alife X - The 10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems,Bloomington, Indiana, 06/06/03-07
Intl. Conference on Complex Systems Boston, MA, 06/06/25-30
NKS 2006: The Wolfram Science Conference, Washington, D.C., 06/06/15-18
Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS)
Boston, Ma, 06/06/25-30
2006 Genetic And Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2006),
Seattle, Washington, USA, 06/07/08-12
50th Anniversary Summit of AI, Monte Verita, Switzerland, 06/07/09-14
World Conference on Social Simulation (WCSS-06) , Kyoto, Japan, 06/08/21-25
Call for Papers - Book Announcements
- The Editorial Board of
Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences
is pleased to announce the first of two special issues on nonlinear methodology. Part 1, Broad Issues, will appear in October, 2005
Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, © 2004 Robert A. Freitas Jr. and Ralph C. Merkle. All Rights Reserved. This book is now available for free on the Internet, 05/10
- Special Issue of
E:CO (Emergence, Complexity and Organization): Complexity and Narrative,
Submit an abstract (< 1000 words) to Ken Baskin (firstname.lastname@example.org), David Boje (email@example.com) and Kurt Richardson (firstname.lastname@example.org), 05/09/21