Excerpts: This essay explores the process by which radically novel technologies—ones such as radar, the turbojet, or the polymerase chain reaction—come into being. It shows that this process of “invention” (or origination, as I prefer to call it) has a certain logical structure common to all cases. Origination is a process of linking some purpose or need with an effect that can be exploited to satisfy it. (...) Origination is a process of recursive problem solving. (...)
Excerpts: This year's Grand Challenge competition sputted advances in laser sensing, computer vision and autonomous navigation-not to mention a thrilling race for the $2-million prize
The most valuable and complex component in a modern vehicle typically is also the most unreliable part of the system. Driving accidents usually have both a human cause and a human victim. To certain engineers--especially those who build robots--that is a problem with an obvious solution: replace the easily distracted, readily fatigued driver with an ever attentive, never tiring machine.
Emergence, Diaspora, The 'Imperial Consumer': Which Ideas Will Shape The Coming Year?, The Guardian
Excerpts: The debate about happiness - the science of wellbeing - is set to become more interesting and subtle in 2006, which in May also marks the bicentenary of the birth of John Stuart Mill. The economist Richard Layard, who has been lobbying to put happiness at the centre of public policy, has in some respects been pushing at an open door: what is the modern ideology if not individual self-actualisation, and what do modern governments do if not try to make as many voters as possible as happy as possible?
Thermostatistically Approaching Living Systems: Boltzmann–Gibbs or Nonextensive Statistical Mechanics?, Physics of Life Reviews
Excerpts: Boltzmann–Gibbs (BG) statistical mechanics is, since well over one century, successfully used for many nonlinear dynamical systems which, in one way or another, exhibit strong chaos. (...) Life appears to emerge and evolve in a kind of delicate situation, at the frontier between large order (...) and large disorder (...). Along this frontier, the maximal relevant Lyapunov exponents are either zero or close to that, characterizing what is currently referred to as weak chaos. This type of situation is shared by a great variety of similar complex phenomena in economics, linguistics, to cite but a few. [Nonextensive statistical mechanics] appears to be particularly adapted for nonlinear dynamical systems exhibiting, precisely, weak chaos. Here, we briefly review the theory, its dynamical foundation, its applications in a variety of disciplines (with special emphasis to living systems), and its connections with the ubiquitous scale-free networks.
Religion Heaps Complexity Onto Science's Hard Work, Science and Theology
Most consider that the domain of science is restricted to dealing with the physical world, but religion deals with the spiritual. In other words, while religion deals with the big questions of meaning, science deals with the little ones.
Complexity in simplicity: Science wants to unweave rainbows. (Photo: Anita Patterson/Morguefile)
Scientists should argue that science's domain is the physical world, but also that there are no other varieties of worlds. The spiritual world is merely an illusion promoted by the physical brain.
Scientists should also hold the view that religion has manifestly failed to answer the big questions.
Why I'm Happy I Evolved, NY Times
Excerpts: If chimpanzees observed New Year's Day, they would have much to reflect on. In 2005, they joined humans, chickens and mosquitoes, as well as less famous occupants of the planet, on an exclusive but growing list: organisms whose complete genomes have been sequenced.
What would they make of this news, I wonder? Perhaps they would resent the genetic evidence that they are related to us. Or perhaps they would, (...)
The Importance of Selection Rate in the Evolution of Cooperation, arXiv
Excerpt: How cooperation emerges in human societies is still a puzzle. Evolutionary game theory has been the standard framework to address this issue. In most models, every individual plays with all others, and then reproduce and die according to what they earn. This amounts to assuming that selection takes place at a slow pace with respect to the interaction time scale. We show that, quite generally, if selection speeds up, the evolution outcome changes dramatically. (...)
Commentary: Living Forever, UPI
Excerpts: There is a growing abyss between the economic, scientific and technological knowledge of the masses and their representatives on the one hand, and, on the other, the knowledge that is required to make logical, rational and moral decisions.
Kurzweil writes that "as we reverse engineer our bodies and brains, we will be in a position to create comparable systems that are far more durable and that operate thousands to millions of times faster than our naturally evolved systems." The computational capacity needed to emulate human intelligence, he says, "will be available in less than two decades."
Gene Discoveries Highlight Dangers Facing Society, The Guardian
Excerpts: Mankind's increasing understanding of the way genes influence behaviour and the issue's potential to cause ethical and moral dilemmas is one of the biggest dangers facing society, according to leading scientists. The concerns were voiced as part of an exercise by the web magazine Edge, which asked more than 100 scientists and philosophers: "What is your dangerous idea?". The responses were published online yesterday.
Craig Venter, founder of the J Craig Venter Science Foundation, said the genetic basis of personality and behaviour would cause conflicts in society.
Origins Of Genome Complexity Studied, Science Daily
Excerpts: Georgia Tech biologists are supporting a controversial theory that has divided the fields of evolutionary genomics and developmental biology for two years.
Researchers say the size and complexity of a species' genome is not an evolutionary adaptation, but can result from a reduction in a species' effective population size.
"As a general rule, more complex organisms, like humans, have larger genomes than less complex ones," said Professor J. Todd Streelman, co-author of the study, but he says that's not always true.
Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century, MichaelCrichton,com
Excerpts: I am going to challenge you today to revise your thinking, and to reconsider some fundamental assumptions. Assumptions so deeply embedded in our consciousness that we don't even realize they are there. Here is a map by the artist Tom Friedman, that challenges certain assumptions.
But the assumptions I am talking about today represent another kind of map°Xa map that tells us the way the world works.
Excerpts: Everybody's an altruist, according to economist Herbert Gintis. Is it socialization or genetics?
Economist Herbert Gintis studies why people do the things they do using game theory and mathematical models. An emeritus professor at the University of Massachusetts, Gintis has also taught at the Santa Fe Institute and Barnard College. The author of Game Theory Evolving and co-author of the forthcoming title, The Cooperative Species: Human Sociality and its Evolution, Gintis believes that most people are predisposed to cooperate and be altruistic, and they aren't even aware of it. Altruistic tendencies have a nastier flip side as well, but that's all part of what makes society work, (...).
Proposed Mechanism For Learning And Memory Erasure In A White-Noise-Driven Sleeping Cortex, Phys. Rev. E
Excerpts: Understanding the structure and purpose of sleep remains one of the grand challenges of neurobiology. Here we use a mean-field linearized theory of the sleeping cortex to derive statistics for synaptic learning and memory erasure. The growth in correlated low-frequency high-amplitude voltage fluctuations during slow-wave sleep (SWS) is characterized by a probability density function that becomes broader and shallower as the transition into rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep is approached.
Stomach Bug Mutates Into Medical Mystery, The Washington Post
Excerpts: First came stomach cramps, which left Christina Shultz doubled over and weeping in pain. Then came nausea and fatigue -- so overwhelming she couldn't get out of bed for days. Just when she thought things couldn't get worse, the nastiest diarrhea of her life hit -- repeatedly forcing her into the hospital.
Doctors finally discovered that the 35-year-old Hilliard, Ohio, woman had an intestinal bug that used to be found almost exclusively among older, sicker patients in hospitals and was usually easily cured with a dose of antibiotics.
Abstract: Most people working in cybersecurity recognize that the interconnections and complexities of our economy can have a huge effect on the destructiveness of cyberattacks. They refer casually to "network effects," "spillover effects," or "knock-on effects." Yet there is little understanding of how such effects actually work, what conditions are necessary to create them, or how to quantify their consequences.
- Source: Economically Complex Cyberattacks, Borg, S., DOI: 10.1109/MSP.2005.146, Security & Privacy Magazine, IEEE, Nov.-Dec. 2005, Online 2005/12/12
- Contributed by Atin Das - dasatinyahoo.co.in
Excerpts: A previously unknown flaw in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system is leaving computer users vulnerable to spyware, viruses and other programs that could overtake their machines and has sent the company scrambling to come up with a fix.
Microsoft said in a statement yesterday that it is investigating the vulnerability and plans to issue a software patch to fix the problem. The company could not say how soon that patch would be available.
Quantum Trickery: Testing Einstein's Strangest Theory, NY Times
Excerpts: "The discovery that individual events are irreducibly random is probably one of the most significant findings of the 20th century," Dr. Zeilinger wrote. Dr. Zeilinger suggested that reality and information are, in a deep sense, indistinguishable, a concept that Dr. Wheeler, the Princeton physicist, called "it from bit." In information, the basic unit is the bit, but one bit, he says, is not enough to specify both the spin and the trajectory of a particle. So one quality remains unknown, irreducibly random. As a result of the finiteness of information, he explained, the universe is fundamentally unpredictable.
Navigating Future for Road Charges, BBC News
Excerpt: The final global network of 30 Galileo satellites is crucial to providing the high volumes of time- and location-based data needed for new services such as advanced sat-nav, mobile location data, natural disaster surveillance and air traffic control.
Powerful applications are expected on the roads; the Galileo network would allow a vehicle's exact movements to be tracked, presenting new possibilities for road-user charging and tolling.
Best and Worst Punditry of 2005, Wired News
Excerpts: Accurate predictions are not unprecedented in the world of technology punditry. In years past, a broad cross-section of industry insiders correctly forecast such occurrences as the collapse of the dot-com bubble and the court-ordered closure of Napster. Other futuristic insights (including ones made by this author about such topics as why the 2000 AOL-Time Warner merger made sense) look laughable in retrospect.
A review of 2005 forecasts laid out by well-known technology pundits reveals a familiar mix of right and wrong guesses, along with extremely obvious ones. Below, we'll look at prognostications in each category, along with overall performances of individual forecasters.
Depression Device Said to Gain Acceptance, ABC News
Excerpts: A tiny implantable device that aims to treat depression patients has started gaining some acceptance months after the federal government approved its use, the manufacturer said.
The Vagus Nerve Stimulator delivers mild electrical pulses every 5 minutes to the vagus nerve, which carries information to parts of the brain that control mood, sleep and other functions.
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Network
New Rules Set for Giving Out Anti-Terror Aid, NY Times
Excerpts: The Department of Homeland Security will evaluate new requests for city grants based less on politics and more on assessments of where terrorists are likely to strike. (...)
Facing cuts in antiterrorism financing, the Department of Homeland Security plans to announce today that it will evaluate new requests for money from an $800 million aid program for cities based less on politics and more on assessments of where terrorists are likely to strike and potentially cause the greatest damage, department officials say.
Virtual Jihad - The Internet As The Ideal Terrorism Recruiting Tool, Scientific American
Excerpts: If you read Arabic and want a degree in jihad, click on www.al-farouq.com/vb/. If you're lucky--the site disappears and reappears--you will see a post that belongs to the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF). It announces the "Al Qaeda University of Jihad Studies." According to Ahmad al-Wathiq Billah, the GIMF "Deputy General Emir," students "pass through faculties devoted to the cause of the caliphate through morale boosting and bombings," and the site offers specialization in "electronic, media, spiritual and financial jihad."
Links & Snippets
- Rugged Fitness Landscapes Of Kauffman Models With A Scale-Free Network, Kazumoto Iguchi, Shuichi Kinoshita, Hiroaki Yamada, Phys. Rev. E 72, 061901
- Autonomous Quantum Thermodynamic Machines, Friedemann Tonner, Guenter Mahler, Phys. Rev. E 72, 066118
- Nonequilibrium Transition Induced By Mass Media In A Model For Social Influence, J. C. Gonz?lez-Avella, M. G. Cosenza, K. Tucci, 05/12/01, Phys. Rev. E 72, 065102(R)
- Dynamic Rewiring In Small World Networks, J. P. L. Hatchett, N. S. Skantzos, T. Nikoletopoulos, 05/12/05, Phys. Rev. E 72, 066105
- Membrane-Bound Turing Patterns, Herbert Levine, Wouter-Jan Rappel, 05/12/19, Phys. Rev. E 72, 061912
- Self-Propelled Nonlinearly Diffusing Particles: Aggregation And Continuum Description, Cristobal Lopez, 05/12/22, Phys. Rev. E 72, 061109
- Theory Of Oscillatory Firing Induced By Spatially Correlated Noise And Delayed Inhibitory Feedback, Benjamin Lindner, Brent Doiron, Andr? Longtin, 05/12/29, Phys. Rev. E 72, 061919
- Complex Light: Dynamic Phase Transitions Of A Light Beam In A Nonlinear Nonlocal Disordered Medium, Claudio Conti, 05/12/30
- Bigger Brain Size Matters For Intellectual Ability, 2005/12/26, ScienceDaily & McMaster University
- New Procedure Reveals The Secrets Of The Brain, 2005/12/26, ScienceDaily & Max Planck Society
- Fish Evolve A Longer Lifespan By Evolving A Longer Reproductive Period, Researchers Find, 2005/12/27, ScienceDaily & University of California - Riverside
- Hackers Target Zero Day Windows Vulnerability: Users Could Get Infected Just By Visiting A Website, T. Sanders, 2005/12/29, vnunet.com
- New Years Eve Party Tip, 2005/12/30, Innovations-report & Brand Lab
- Unified Physics Theory Explains Animals' Running, Flying And Swimming, 2005/12/30, Innovations-report & Duke University
- Algal Protein In Worm Neurons Allows Remote Control Of Behavior By Light, 2005/12/31, ScienceDaily & Cell Press
- Entrepreneurship Selection And Performance: A Meta-Analysis Of The Impact Of Education In Developing Economies, J. van der Sluis - j.vandersluisuva.nl, M. van Praag - c.m.vanpraaguva.nl, W. Vijverberg - vijverutdallas.edu, 2005: 19(2), online 2005/08/28, The World Bank Economic Review, DOI: 10.1093/wber/lhi013
- Japan's Emerging Role As A 'Global Ordinary Power', T. Inoguchi - inoguchiioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp, P. Bacon - pbaconwaseda.jp, 2006: 6(1), online 2005/11/29, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, DOI: 10.1093/irap/lci133
- One Administration, Two Voices: US China Policy During Bush's First Term, J. Qingguo - jiaqgpku.edu.cn, 2006: 6(1), online 2005/11/29, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, DOI: 10.1093/irap/lci132
- Thinking And Doing-The Regulation Of Workers' Human Capital In The United States, K. V. W. Stone - stonelaw.ucla.edu, Jan. 2006, online 2005/10/26, Socio-Economic Review, DOI: 10.1093/SER/mwj035
- Aging Of Complex Heart Rate Dynamics, Struzik, Z. R., Hayano, J., Soma, R., Kwak, S., Yamamoto, Y., Jan. 2006, online 2005/12/19, Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, DOI: 10.1109/TBME.2005.859801
- Clock Synchronization Using A Linear Process Model, J. Aweya - aweyajnortel.com, D. Y. Montuno, M. Ouellette, K. Felske, Jan.-Feb. 2006, Online 2005/12/29, International Journal of Network Management, DOI: 10.1002/nem.583
- The Denial-of-Service Dance, Campbell, P. L., Nov.-Dec. 2005, Online 2005/12/12, Security & Privacy Magazine, IEEE, DOI: 10.1109/MSP.2005.162
- Security, Wiretapping, And The Internet, Landau, S., Nov.-Dec. 2005, Online 2005/12/12, Security & Privacy Magazine, IEEE, DOI: 10.1109/MSP.2005.158
Ralph Abraham on Complexity Digest, , Calcutta, India, 05/12/27
- An Afternoon with Michael Crichton, Washington, 05/11/06
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
3rd Biennial Seminar on the Philosophical, Methodological, and Epistemological Implications of Complexity Theory, Havana, Cuba, 06/01/09-12
- One-Week Intensive Course: Complex Physical, Biological and Social Systems, Cambridge, MA, 06/01/09-13
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
'The Application of Complexity Science to Human Affairs , Milton Keynes, UK, 06/02/28
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
- Nonlinearities: from Turbulent to Magic,
Copenhagen, Denmark. 06/05/17-20
- 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., 06/06/16-18
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
Symmetry Festival 2006, Symmetry in Art and Science Education, Budapest, Hungary, 06/08/12-18
World Conference on Social Simulation (WCSS-06) , Kyoto, Japan, 06/08/21-25
FROM ANIMALS TO ANIMATS 9, The Ninth Intl Conf on the SIMULATION OF ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR (SAB'06), 06/09/25-30
Call for Papers - Book Announcements
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
- New Issue of
E:CO (Emergence, Complexity and Organization) was published online.