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Peter Turchin Home - Peter Turchin
"Peter Turchin is a scientist and an author who wants to understand how human societies evolve, and why we see such a staggering degree of inequality in economic performance and effectiveness of governance among nations (see Research Interests). Peter’s approach to answering these questions blends theory building with the analysis of data. He is the founder of a new transdisciplinary field of Cliodynamics, which uses the tools of complexity science and cultural evolution to study the dynamics of historical empires and modern nation-states."
people  research  complexity  ecology  population  modeling 
january 2017 by tsuomela PyCX Project
"The PyCX Project aims to develop an online repository of simple, crude, yet easy-to-understand Python sample codes for dynamic complex systems simulations, including iterative maps, cellular automata, dynamical networks and agent-based models."
python  agent-based-model  complexity  programming  library  simulation 
july 2016 by tsuomela
Complexity and the Arrow of Time // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame
"Charles H. Lineweaver, Paul C. W. Davies, and Michael Ruse (eds.), Complexity and the Arrow of Time, Cambridge University Press, 2013, 357pp., $30.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781107027251."
book  review  complexity  emergence  time 
november 2014 by tsuomela
Introduction to Peter Morville book - Interwingled.
book  excerpt  complexity  ecology  information  metaphor 
october 2014 by tsuomela
[1305.6700] Early warning signals: The charted and uncharted territories
"The realization that complex systems such as ecological communities can collapse or shift regimes suddenly and without rapid external forcing poses a serious challenge to our understanding and management of the natural world. The potential to identify early warning signals that would allow researchers and managers to predict such events before they happen has therefore been an invaluable discovery that offers a way forward in spite of such seemingly unpredictable behavior. Research into early warning signals has demonstrated that it is possible to define and detect such early warning signals in advance of a transition in certain contexts. Here we describe the pattern emerging as research continues to explore just how far we can generalize these results."
complexity  ecology  environment  systems 
june 2013 by tsuomela
Sentience Everywhere: Complexity Theory, Panpsychism & the Role of Sentience in Self-Organization of the Universe | Theise | Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research
"Philosophical understandings of consciousness divide into emergentist positions (when the universe is sufficiently organized and complex it gives rise to consciousness) vs. panpsychism (consciousness pervades the universe). A leading emergentist position derives from autopoietic theory of Maturana and Varela: to be alive is to have cognition, one component of which is sentience.  Here, reflecting autopoietic theory, we define sentience as: sensing of the surrounding environment, complex processing of information that has been sensed, (i.e. processing mechanisms defined by characteristics of a complex system), and generation of a response.  Further, complexity theory, points to all aspects of the universe comprising “systems of systems.” Bringing these themes together, we find that sentience is not limited to the living, but present throughout existence. Thus, a complexity approach shifts autopoietic theory from an emergentist to a panpsychist position and shows that sentience must be inherent in all structures of existence across all levels of scale."
philosophy  metaphysics  ontology  consciousness  emergence  complexity 
april 2013 by tsuomela
[1212.0018] Evidence for Non-Finite-State Computation in a Human Social System
"Finite-State Machines are a basic model of computation, forming one of the simplest classes in the computational hierarchy. When given a probabilistic transition structure, they are one of the most common methods for description and prediction of symbolic time-series in the biological and social sciences. Here we show how a generalization of a central result for finite-state machines, the pumping lemma, to the probabilistic case, leads to a crucial constraint: sufficiently long sequences will be exponentially suppressed for finite-state processes. We apply the probabilistic pumping lemma to an analysis of behavioral patterns in the distributed, open-source Wikipedia community to demonstrate strong evidence for the emergence of functional powers over and above the regular grammars, and provide evidence to associate these with fundamentally interpersonal and social phenomena."
wikipedia  collaboration  modeling  computer-science  formal  complexity  self-organized 
april 2013 by tsuomela
The Leviathan Model
"We propose an opinion dynamics model that combines processes of vanity and opinion propagation. The interactions take place between randomly chosen pairs. During an interaction, the agents propagate their opinions about themselves and about other people they know. Moreover, each individual is subject to vanity: if her interlocutor seems to value her highly, then she increases her opinion about this interlocutor. On the contrary she tends to decrease her opinion about those who seem to undervalue her. The combination of these dynamics with the hypothesis that the opinion propagation is more efficient when coming from highly valued individuals, leads to different patterns when varying the parameters. For instance, for some parameters the positive opinion links between individuals generate a small world network. In one of the patterns, absolute dominance of one agent alternates with a state of generalised distrust, where all agents have a very low opinion of all the others (including themselves). We provide some explanations of the mechanisms behind these emergent behaviors and finally propose a discussion about their interest. "
agent-based-model  complexity  model  social  opinion  self-perception  networks 
february 2013 by tsuomela
If systems were fishes we’d all something something | Notional Slurry
"But the inter­est­ing thing, to me, is that in stir­ring the pot of soci­ol­ogy, Mar­tin has wielded the same spoon I’ve been wav­ing for years in… well, what­ever the hell my “field” is. “Genetic pro­gram­ming” maybe (have I told you how much I dis­like the phrase yet today?), or machine learn­ing, or arti­fi­cial intelligence.

That is: the Spoon of Re-​​drawing Sys­tem Bound­aries to Include the User as an Inte­gral Part of the Sys­tem. [Or, as I like to call it, SpoRSyBoIUIPotS]"
systems  complexity  user  center  periphery  explanation  social-science 
june 2012 by tsuomela
[1201.2069] No entailing laws, but enablement in the evolution of the biosphere
Biological evolution is a complex blend of ever changing structural stability, variability and emergence of new phenotypes, niches, ecosystems. We wish to argue that the evolution of life marks the end of a physics world view of law entailed dynamics.
science  law  philosophy  explanation  evolution  complexity 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Are Emotions Prophetic? | Wired Science |
While there is an extensive literature on the potential wisdom of human emotion – David Hume was a prescient guy – it’s only in the last few years that researchers have demonstrated that the emotional system (aka Type 1 thinking) might excel at complex decisions, or those involving lots of variables. If true, this would suggest that the unconscious is better suited for difficult cognitive tasks than the conscious brain, that the very thought process we’ve long disregarded as irrational and impulsive might actually be more intelligent, at least in some conditions.
emotion  psychology  cognition  thinking  decision-making  complexity 
march 2012 by tsuomela
Stumbling and Mumbling: The "scarce talent" con
"Bank bosses have played a trick which countless ordinary workers do. The IT support guy who introduces lots of “security features” to his firm’s IT systems, or the secretary who has an incomprehensible filing system, make themselves indispensable by inconveniencing others."
banking  business  management  managerial  complexity  income  economics  rewards  incentives  talent 
february 2012 by tsuomela
Ultrafast Trades Trigger Black Swan Events Every Day, Say Econophysicists - Technology Review
The US financial markets have suffered over 18,000 extreme price changes caused by ultrafast trading, according to a new study of market data between 2006 and 2011
technology  finance  markets  algorithms  technology-effects  economics  econophysics  complexity 
february 2012 by tsuomela
PLoS Computational Biology: Early Warning Signals for Critical Transitions: A Generalized Modeling Approach
Critical transitions are sudden, often irreversible, changes that can occur in a large variety of complex systems
complexity  transition  crisis  warnings  risk  modeling  signals 
february 2012 by tsuomela
Cartels Are an Emergent Phenomenon, Say Complexity Theorists - Technology Review
Under certain market conditions, cartels arise naturally without collusion. This raises important questions over how the behavior should be controlled.
economics  monopoly  emergence  complexity  markets 
january 2012 by tsuomela
Human Complexity 2012
" The initial 2012 conference will be based on an Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities (IATDH) sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the UNC Charlotte Complex Systems Institute this past year that was dedicated to computer modeling in the humanities and social sciences. In keeping with the theme of the IATDH, the topic for our first conference will be: Modeling Complexity in the Humanities and Social Sciences."
complexity  humanities  cfp  conference  2012 
january 2012 by tsuomela
interfluidity » Why is finance so complex?
"Finance has always been complex. More precisely it has always been opaque, and complexity is a means of rationalizing opacity in societies that pretend to transparency. Opacity is absolutely essential to modern finance. It is a feature not a bug until we radically change the way we mobilize economic risk-bearing. The core purpose of status quo finance is to coax people into accepting risks that they would not, if fully informed, consent to bear."
banking  complexity  opacity  transparency  game-theory  risk  money  economics 
january 2012 by tsuomela
How Airplanes Fly
Good example for the "illusion of explanatory depth"
science  explanation  flying  physics  complexity  illusion  psychology  expertise 
december 2011 by tsuomela
Structure Strangeness: What is the probability of a 9/11-size terrorist attack?
Sunday is the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As a commemoration of the day, I'm going to investigate answers to a very simple question: what is the probability of a 9/11-size or larger terrorist attack?
terrorism  probability  complexity  prediction  model  social 
september 2011 by tsuomela
A Point Everyone Has Already Made | Easily Distracted
"Any given episode of riot is brimming over with contingency. One is as near and present as one person throwing a brick through a window and as far away as an old lady shaking a shaming finger at a neighbor poised with a brick in his hand. Given the dire combination of circumstances in most 21st Century societies, it’s as safe to predict that there will be a riot next week, next year, next decade as it is to predict that the weather is going to change and the seasons will come. So yes, change that combination of circumstances and you’ll change the weather, but damn if there aren’t a lot of interacting elements to consider."
riots  city(London)  complexity  sociology  explanation  punishment  law 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Nothing is obvious to everyone « Scott Berkun
"If you study any trivial thing with persistence you will find complexity. Atoms yields quarks. Blood yields DNA. The more carefully you look, the more questions you find.

Everything is simple and complex at the same time."
complexity  expertise  learning 
august 2011 by tsuomela
The human paradox that is common sense - life - 20 July 2011 - New Scientist
"But this is exactly the point Lazarsfeld was making. When every answer and its opposite appears equally obvious then, as he put it, "something is wrong with the entire argument of 'obviousness'".

Lazarsfeld was talking about social science, but as I argue in my new book, his point is just as relevant to any activity that involves understanding, predicting, changing or responding to human behaviour, from marketing to politics to policy-making."
social-science  common-sense  psychology  sociology  complexity 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Flock, Herds, and Stories
Mark Bernstein presentation for Web Science 11.
presentation  web  complexity  long-tail  slideshow 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Which technologies get better faster?
"Some forms of technology — think, for example, of computer chips — are on a fast track to constant improvements, while others evolve much more slowly. Now, a new study by researchers at MIT and other institutions shows that it may be possible to predict which technologies are likeliest to advance rapidly, and therefore may be worth more investment in research and resources."
technology  technology-cycles  evolution  complexity  growth  efficiency 
june 2011 by tsuomela
Efficiency vs. Robustness: On Scott’s Seeing Like a State « A (Budding) Sociologist’s Commonplace Book
"To rehash briefly, complex systems biologist Jack Cohen argued that many failures in complex systems can be attributed to the hyper-emphasis on efficiency at the expense of robustness. Apparently inefficient systems are often useful under specific, but uncommon circumstances. Thus, removing these systems will increase efficiency in normal times, but promote dramatic failures under other conditions.

I was thinking about this distinction while reading James Scott’s fantastic 1998 book, Seeing Like a State."
efficiency  robust  systems  complexity  power  sociology  politics 
march 2011 by tsuomela
PLoS ONE: Urban Scaling and Its Deviations: Revealing the Structure of Wealth, Innovation and Crime across Cities
" Typically, linear per capita indicators are used to characterize and rank cities. However, these implicitly ignore the fundamental role of nonlinear agglomeration integral to the life history of cities. As such, per capita indicators conflate general nonlinear effects, common to all cities, with local dynamics, specific to each city, failing to provide direct measures of the impact of local events and policy. Agglomeration nonlinearities are explicitly manifested by the superlinear power law scaling of most urban socioeconomic indicators with population size, all with similar exponents (1.15). As a result larger cities are disproportionally the centers of innovation, wealth and crime, all to approximately the same degree. We use these general urban laws to develop new urban metrics that disentangle dynamics at different scales and provide true measures of local urban performance. "
cities  urban  economics  statistics  powerlaw  growth  model  mathematics  econometrics  research  complexity 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Science Is Not Irreducibly Complex : Uncertain Principles
Science, at least the online corner of it, seems to me to be unique in the insistence that the subject can't possibly be condensed, and that it's unreasonable to even suggest that it might. There's this persistent image of science as a noble and pure pursuit that can't be sullied with trivial concerns like keeping stories about it to a reasonable length, or compressing the key points down to elevator pitch length. Whenever the subject comes up-- pretty much any time Chris Mooney says anything-- the discussion runs smack into a stubborn insistence that science is irreducibly complex, that it can't possibly be broken down into a format that fits the journalistic style.

This is, of course, nonsense,
science  communication  public  media  journalism  story-telling  complexity 
december 2010 by tsuomela
CASOS brings together computer science, dynamic network analysis and the empirical study of complex socio-technical systems. Computational and social network techniques are combined to develop a better understanding of the fundamental principles of organizing, coordinating, managing and destabilizing systems of intelligent adaptive agents (human and artificial) engaged in real tasks at the team, organizational or social level. Whether the research involves the development of metrics, theories, computer simulations, toolkits, or new data analysis techniques advances in computer science are combined with a deep understanding of the underlying cognitive, social, political, business and policy issues.
complexity  modeling  research  networks  social  analysis  network-analysis  simulation  sociology  agent-based-model  school(CarnegieMellon) 
september 2010 by tsuomela
Lost in Transcription
Jon Wilkins
Jon is a Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, where he studies theoretical evolutionary biology. He is also a poet, and his book, Transistor Rodeo, was recently published by the University of Utah Press
weblog-individual  evolution  biology  complexity  via:cshalizi 
september 2010 by tsuomela
Econometric Measures of Systemic Risk in the Finance and Insurance Sectors
We propose several econometric measures of systemic risk to capture the interconnectedness among the monthly returns of hedge funds, banks, brokers, and insurance companies based on principal components analysis and Granger-causality tests. We find that all four sectors have become highly interrelated over the past decade, increasing the level of systemic risk in the finance and insurance industries. These measures can also identify and quantify financial crisis periods, and seem to contain predictive power for the current financial crisis. Our results suggest that hedge funds can provide early indications of market dislocation, and systemic risk arises from a complex and dynamic network of relationships among hedge funds, banks, insurance companies, and brokers.
economics  complexity  systems  risk  measurement  modeling  interconnection  social-networks  network-analysis  finance 
august 2010 by tsuomela
The Uses and Abuses of Economic Ideology - Project Syndicate
Here, I suspect, is where the greatest challenge for the future lies. For, while the simplified pre-crisis conventional wisdom appeared to provide a complete set of answers resting on a unified intellectual system and methodology, really good economic thinking must provide multiple partial insights, based on varied analytical approaches.
economics  ideology  finance  financial-services  regulation  complexity 
july 2010 by tsuomela
In Finance We Distrust - Project Syndicate
But in a complex system in which expertise, insight, and real-time information are not concentrated in one place, and certainly not in government and regulatory circles, reliance on such a framework seems deficient and unwise. Moreover, it ignores the importance of trust. A better starting point, I believe, is the notion of shared responsibility for the stability of the system and its social benefits – shared, that is, by participants and regulators.

It is striking that no senior executive of whom I am aware has laid out in any detail how his or her institution’s expertise could be deployed in pursuit of the collective goal of stability. The suspicion that underlies much of today’s public anger is that these institutions, having influenced the formulation of the legal and ethical rules, could do more to contribute to stability than just obey them.
finance  financial-services  economics  regulation  trust  complexity  systems 
july 2010 by tsuomela
The world is subtle… and that’s why it’s beautiful | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
The world I see is gloriously complex. It’s layered, with subtleties interacting with other subtleties, forcing decisions to be more difficult for me to make but more important once made, making the path more treacherous for me to walk but more satisfying to me once the journey is underway, making the view more of a struggle for me to understand but more awe-inspiring and world-changing once I do understand it
subtlety  wonder  philosophy  complexity 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Welcome | cbcs
The Consortium for Biosocial Complex Systems at ASU falls under the umbrella of the university's Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative. Overseen by Sander van der Leeuw – a pioneer in the application of the complex adaptive systems approach to socio-environmental challenges – the consortium brings together three research units of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Through the integrated efforts of the researchers at the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity, the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity and the Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center, the consortium is tasked with generating fresh insight into global challenges and transforming their findings into real-life applications that improve the human condition.
school(ArizonaU)  complexity  academic-center  agent-based-model  social  social-science 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Open Agent Based Modeling Consortium | ... a node in the CoMSES network
The OpenABM Consortium is a group of researchers, educators, and professionals with a common goal - improving the way we develop, share, and utilize agent based models. We are currently developing a model archive to preserve and maintain the digital artifacts and source code comprising an agent based model.
agent-based-model  research  simulation  complexity  modeling  collaboration  model  professional-association  data 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Decision-making: Risk school : Nature News
Can the general public learn to evaluate risks accurately, or do authorities need to steer it towards correct decisions? Michael Bond talks to the two opposing camps.
perception  risk  rationality  learning  psychology  numeracy  statistics  education  complexity 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Syntegration is a suite of powerful, science-based processes that optimize large group interaction.

These processes are an unprecedented breakthrough for addressing complex business and social challenges. They greatly accelerate and radically improve planning, decision making and alignment-building, and they elicit changes in behaviour that are necessary for real impact.
collaboration  open-space  group  process  cybernetics  complexity 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Home -
A potentially useful educational site about emergence that is currently drowning in a sea of Flash-based animation.
emergence  education  flash  science  complexity  chaos 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Open Left:: Understanding the Financial Crisis: Hyman Minsky's "Financial Instability Hypothesis"
If you want to understand the financial crisis, there are a number of different levels you can approach it on. But if you want to understand why capitalist financial systems repeatedly tend to crisis, you basically have two choices: Karl Marx and Hyman Minsky.
economics  instability  capitalism  crisis  theory  finance  chaos  complexity  recession 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Interfluidity :: Vanilla is a commodity
Extracting the vanilla from the CFPA is not, as Felix Salmon put it "the beginning of the end of meaningful regulatory reform". It is the end of the end. Vanilla products were the only part of the CFPA proposal that was likely to stay effective for more than a brief period, that would be resistant to the games banks play. All the rest will be subject to off-news-cycle negotiation and evasion, the usual lion-and-mouse game where regulators are the rodents but it's the rest of us that get swallowed.
regulation  finance  economics  investing  consumer-protection  simple  complexity  information-overload 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » The Pedagogy of Collapse
And therein comes Greer’s eminently useful construction - he argues on his blog and in _The Long Descent_ that our crisis of depletion is in fact, not, as it is commonly presented, a problem, with potential solutions. It is rather, he argues, a predicament, a situation we simply face, which cannot be solved. The obvious model predicament is death - something that can be addressed and handled in a whole host of ways, some productive, some not, but that can never be solved - we all die. How we approach our deaths, how we view them, the contexts in which they occur - these details matter enormously, but none of them approach the status of solution, eliminating the basic problem.
environment  philosophy  problems  predicament  complexity  future  climate  global-warming 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Access : Early-warning signals for critical transitions : Nature
Complex dynamical systems, ranging from ecosystems to financial markets and the climate, can have tipping points at which a sudden shift to a contrasting dynamical regime may occur. Although predicting such critical points before they are reached is extremely difficult, work in different scientific fields is now suggesting the existence of generic early-warning signals that may indicate for a wide class of systems if a critical threshold is approaching.
complexity  science  dynamics  systems  prediction  early-warning  change 
september 2009 by tsuomela
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