66 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2019
    1. There's a grassy vacant lot near her apartment where Franklin often takes a break from her job as a landscaping crew supervisor at Bon Secours Community Works, a nearby community organization owned by Bon Secours Health System. It's one of the few places in the neighborhood with a lot of shade — mainly from a large tree Franklin calls the mother shade. She helped come up with the idea to build a free splash park in the lot for residents to cool down in the heat. Now Bon Secours is taking on the project. "This was me taking my stand," Franklin says. "I didn't sit around and wait for everybody to say, 'Well, who's going to redo the park?' "

      Reminiscent of the story in Judith Rodin's The Resilience Dividend about the Kambi Moto neighborhood in the Huruma slum of Nairobi. The area and some of the responsibility became a part of ownership of the space from the government. Meanwhile NPR's story here is doing some of the counting which parallels the Kambi Moto story.

  2. Aug 2019
    1. That leaves economist Martin Shubik, surely the second most powerful mind among economists to have tackled the complexity problem (John von Neumann was first). Shubik pursued an overarching theory of money all his life, one in which money and financial institutions emerge naturally, instead of being given. In The Guidance of an Enterprise Economy (MIT, 2016), he considered that he and physicist Etic Smith had achieved it. Shubik died last year, at 92.  His ideas about strict definitions of “minimal complexity” will take years to resurface in others’ hands.
    2. Two of the most successful expositors of economic complexity were research partners, as least for a time:  Ricardo Hausmann, of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and physicist César Hidalgo, of MIT’s Media Lab. They, too, worked with a gifted mathematician, Albert-László Barabási, of Northeastern University, to produce a highly technical paper; then,  with colleagues, assembled an Atlas of Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity (MIT, 2011), a data-visualization tool that continues to function online. Meanwhile, Hidalgo’s Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies (Basic, 2015) remains an especially lucid account of humankind’s escape (so far) from the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but there is precious little economics in it. For the economics of international trade, see Gene Grossman and Elhanan Helpman.
    3. Among the barons who came across my screen were John Holland, Scott Page, Robert Axelrod, Leigh Tesfatsion, Seth Lloyd, Alan Kirman, Blake LeBaron, J. Barkley Rosser Jr., and Eric Beinhocker, as well as three men who became good friends: Joel Moses, Yannis Ionnides, and David Colander.  All extraordinary thinkers. 
    1. we have never had to fundamentally rethink the energy basis of our way of life

      The collapse of west roman empire had an energy component. See Joseph Tainter's research on collapse and complexity.

  3. Jul 2019
    1. His data also suggest that who you know growing up can have lasting effects. A paper on patents he co-authored found that young women were more likely to become inventors if they’d moved as children to places where many female inventors lived. (The number of male inventors had little effect.) Even which fields inventors worked in was heavily influenced by what was being invented around them as children.

      Combine this with Cesar Hidalgo's work and draw the connections!

    1. The Lisp Machine (which could just as easily have been, say, a Smalltalk machine) was a computing environment with a coherent, logical design, where the “turtles go all the way down.” An environment which enabled stopping, examining the state of, editing, and resuming a running program, including the kernel. An environment which could actually be fully understood by an experienced developer.  One where nearly all source code was not only available but usefully so, at all times, in real time.  An environment to which we owe so many of the innovations we take for granted. It is easy for us now to say that such power could not have existed, or is unnecessary. Yet our favorite digital toys (and who knows what other artifacts of civilization) only exist because it was once possible to buy a computer designed specifically for exploring complex ideas.  Certainly no such beast exists today – but that is not what saddens me most.  Rather, it is the fact that so few are aware that anything has been lost.
    1. might markets just not work?

      Same thing in publishing, too. Lots of people say journal costs are inflated & they can run one cheaper. They're right, but there are two considerations: a) in a market economy prices reflect more than just costs. They reflect the economic value, which includes things like brand value, prestige and also, as this & the other posts argue, an inflation due to productivity rising in adjacent market sectors. So the market failures seem to come from a) the difficulty knowing how much something should cost (having comparables and not having too much complexity to understand) and b) too high value ascribed to the status or prestige (which, if understood as a social consensus proxy that reduces the complexity of actually understanding the business & what it's value to the consumer should be, collapses b into a).

    1. Other examples of complex adaptive systems are:stock markets: Many traders make decisions on the information known to them and their individual expectations about future movements of the market. They may start selling when they see the prices are going down (because other traders are selling). Such herding behavior can lead to high volatility on stock markets. immune systems: Immune systems consist of various mechanisms, including a large population of lymphocytes that detect and destroy pathogens and other intruders in the body. The immune systems needs to be able to detect new pathogens for the host to survive and therefore needs to be able to adapt.brains: The neural system in the brain consists of many neurons that are exchanging information. The interactions of many neurons make it possible for me to write this sentence and ponder the meaning of life. ecosystems: Ecosystems consist of many species that interact by eating other species, distributing nutrients, and pollinating plants. Ecosystems can be seen as complex food webs that are able to cope with changes in the number of certain species, and adapt – to a certain extent – to changes in climate. human societies: When you buy this new iPhone that is manufactured in China, with materials derived from African soils, and with software developed by programmers from India, you need to realize that those actions are made by autonomous organizations, firms and individuals. These many individual actions are guided by rules and agreements we have developed, but there is no ruler who can control these interactions.
  4. May 2019
  5. Apr 2019
  6. Mar 2019
    1. Special Complexity Zoo Exhibit: Classes of Quantum States and Probability Distributions 24 classes and counting! A whole new phylum of the Complexity kingdom has recently been identified. This phylum consists of classes, not of problems or languages, but of quantum states and probability distributions. Well, actually, infinite families of states and distributions, one for each number of bits n. Admittedly, computer scientists have been talking about the complexity of sampling from probability distributions for years, but they haven't tended to organize those distributions into classes designated by inscrutable sequences of capital letters. This needs to change.
    1. I hope that non-theorists, even if they don't understand everything, will at least find some amusement in the many exotic beasts that complexity theory has uncovered.
  7. Jan 2019
    1. “Why are some people more able to manage complexity?”

      Agreed. This is a much better question to ask, as it is an open-ended and discussion enabling question..

  8. Sep 2018
  9. Aug 2018
    1. "Protestant" life of wealth and risk over the "Catholic" path of poverty and security.[8]

      Is this simply a restatement of the idea that most of "the interesting things" happen at the border or edge of chaos? The Catholic ethic is firmly inside the stable arena while that of the Protestant ethic is pushing the boundaries.

    2. In general, while I've been reading Stuart Kauffmann's At Home in the Universe, I can't help but thinking about the cascading extinctions he describes and wonder if political extinctions of ideas like Communism or other forms of government or even economies might follow the same types of outcomes described there?

    3. What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

      What if, in fact, we've only just found a local maximum? What if in the changing landscape there are other places we could potentially get to competitively that supply greater maxima? And possibly worse, what if we need to lose value to get from here to unlock even more value there?

    1. For instance, in the study of mobile phone networks, the frequency and length of interactions has often been used as measures of link weight (Onnela et al. 2007), (Hidalgo and Rodriguez-Sickert 1008), (Miritello et al. 2011).

      And they probably shouldn't because typically different levels of people are making these decisions. Studio brass and producers typically have more to say about the lead roles and don't care as much about the smaller ones which are overseen by casting directors or sometimes the producers. The only person who has oversight of all of them is the director, and even then they may quit caring at some point.

    2. Problems of disorganized complexity are problems that can be described using averages and distributions, and that do not depend on the identity of the elements involved in a system, or their precise patterns of interactions. A classic example of a problem of disorganized complexity is the statistical mechanics of Ludwig Boltzmann, James-Clerk Maxwell, and Willard Gibbs, which focuses on the properties of gases.
    3. Science and Complexity (Weaver 1948); explained the three eras that according to him defined the history of science. These were the era of simplicity, disorganized complexity, and organized complexity. In the eyes of Weaver what separated these three eras was the development of mathematical tools allowing scholars to describe systems of increasing complexity.
  10. Jul 2018
    1. Unlike the movement of the body, in scholarship we can—and often do—look at one piece of a system of communication without seeing its relationship to others.

      But is that a good thing, to decontextualize?

    2. US

      Is that problematic?

  11. Mar 2018
    1. "This kind of analysis is characterized, first, by anti-atomism, by the idea tht we should not analyze single or individual elements in isolation but that one must look at the systematic relations amongst elements; second, it is characterized by the idea that the relations between elements are coherent and transformable, that is, that the elements form a structure." (Mason, 2008: 105)

    2. "It is complexity theory more broadly, however, that has drawn off poststructural methods, and establishes them as a form of critical realism" (Mason, 2008: 102)

    3. "Whereas Marxists like Althusser adopted a totalistic programme of seeking to explain the whole by understanding the interrelations between its component parts, for Foucault the totality always eluded analysis or understanding in terms of structure, but rather was characterised by incompleteness, indeterminacy, complexity and change. This was the core of his pluralism. As Foucault says, 'though it is true that these discontinuous discursive series each have, within certain limits, their regularity, it is undoubtedly no longer possible to establish links of mechanical causality, or of ideal necessity between the elements which constitute them. We must accept the introduction of alea (chance) as a category in the production of events' (1981: 69)" (Mason, 2008: 95)

    4. "Nietzsche's importance to Foucault can be seen as 'correcting Marx', especially in relation to the linkage between power-knowledge-truth, and the functioning of knowledge as an instrument of power. As Alan Schrift (1993, p.40) notes, Nietzsche's influence drew attention away from 'substances, subjects and things, and focussed attention instead on the relations between these substantives'. In a related way, Foucault 'draws our attention away from the substantive notino of power and directs our attention instead to the multifarious ways that power operates through the social order'. For Nietzsche, such relations were relations of forces. Foucault thus focussed on new relations as the relations of forces that existed and interacted within social systems as social practices. These were forces of repression and production that characterised the disciplinary society: forces that enable and block, subjugate and realise, and normalise and resist. In this model, power is not a thing, but a process, a relation of forces." (Mason, 2008: 92)

    5. "It was in terms of the philosophy of difference and Nietzsche's conception of multiplicities through a rejection of Platonic hierarchies that Foucault enunciates a theory of discursive formations, rejects Marxist and Hegelian conceptions of history and establishes an approach which broadly parallels contemporary complexity theories. The utilisation of Nietzsche signalled a rupture from Marxism in relation to a series of interrelated conceptual, theoretical and methodological precepts, including power, knowledge and truth, the subject, and the nature of historical change and determination." (Mason, 2008: 91)

    6. Foucault as Complexity Theorist in Education in the book Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education

      See also Research Methods in Education, which first introduced me to Complexity Theory as a method for research

    7. Mason perceives Foucault as a complexity theorist, and he believes he is relevant today in this capacity.

    1. Complexity Theory - Dynamical Systems Theory

      If we want to make change we should come at a problem from as many different areas as possible.

      We should be wary of the magic bullet. Complexity theory may be seen as post-structuralist or even further?

      This is part of an agency structure debate.

      There are varied factors that contribute to change.

      The connections of neurons are more important than the number of cells are more important for consciousness or the mind. This is a good analogy for why complexity theory is so essential.

      Consciousness emerges when critical mass is reached in a system.

      It's hard to know how much of a factor something can be in a causal system. For example, how much do we cause do we attribute to butterfly wings causing a storm in India.

      What causes change in the education system?

      We need to use words like compounding effects to explain change.

      We need to conceive of change in terms of speed and direction, like a mathematical function.

      We need to be wary of one dimensional change or one kind of initiative. You need to think of multiple factors.

      Effective intervention means intervention from every possible angle.

      We need to pump resources until we have autocatalysis.

      International Journal of Education Development Mark Mason

    1. Complexity Theory replaces simple causality with an emphasis on networks, linkages, holism, feedback, relationships and interactivity in context, emergence, dynamical systems, self-organization and an open system, rather than the closed world of the experimental laboratory. Even if we could conduct an experiment, its applicability to ongiong, emerging, interactive, relational, changing, open situations, in practice, may be limited. It is misconceived to hold variables constant in a dynamical, evolving, fluid, open situation.

    1. CLAVIER is more difficult to define than the acronym may appear, as I recall Simon and I discussed the choice of letters as I traveled back from a trip to London for a UCML meeting

      CLAVIER Difficulty to define.

    2. The paths we take as we travel through life are sometimes the result of conscious decision making, sometimes the inevitable result of our behaviours, sometimes directed by others, often a complex weaving of all of these and more.

      Paths Conscious decision making. Inevitable result of behaviours Sometimes directed by others.

      Complex weaving of all of these and more.

  12. Dec 2017
    1. The transition from one species to another – like the variation between individuals – is gradual in both time and space; but those transitions that evolutionary theorists have singled out as the most important appear to present relatively sudden increases in complexity. With higher complexity come new possibilities. But new possibilities often come at some cost to the organisms concerned.

      What language does is to enable speakers to differ about propositions. Propositions ground inferences, which can be persuasive without being logically compelling, and on which two people can differ. Thus the invention of language, like other major transitions of evolution, generated an explosion of possibilities. When we can talk about what we want, we can also discuss, generalise, refine, extrapolate, analogise, creating fresh propositions to endorse. Wants can be grounded in basic needs and desires but, from those raw materials, talking quickly leads us to a potentially unlimited variety of new propositions about artificial things to care about: cultural conventions, institutions, art, money. These constitute the values by which we govern our lives. Each variant of human desire is ‘natural’, not in the sense of being required, but only of being made possible by nature. And it is in what nature makes possible, not in what it necessitates, that we should look for the answer to the question about what we should be or do.

  13. Aug 2017
    1. struggle upstream against the discursive power of the term, or playfully subvert it

      How to deal with the problem of conceptualization, as the process of finding terms and applying meaning to things always means reduction of complexity? A solution might be to subvert connotations and implicit meanings by highlighting certain presuppositions. This might be the task of social science, in a broader sense of philosophy (cf. Adorno, who defines philosophy's major task, simply put, in interpreting the world).

    1. Ehrenfeld (2008) concurs with McDonough and Braungart, in his plea for a holistic approach towards sustainability: “Our society is addicted to reductionist ways of solving virtually all our problems. ... Over time, as we engage more and more in this practice, society’s (as well as individual’s) competence to address the complicated, messy problems we confront has diminished. Unsustainability is just such a messy problem. Reductionism will not make it go away.” (Ehrenfeld, 2008, p. 11-12)

      This reminds of the constant attempt of Complexity Theory to push for Systems analysis and Synthesis in contrast to Newtonian, reductionist analysis.

  14. Jun 2017
    1. Complex personhood means that the stories people tell about themselves, about their troubles, about their social worlds, and about their society’s problems are entangled and weave between what is immediately available as a story and what their imaginations are reaching toward….Complex personhood means that even those who haunt our dominant institutions and their systems of value are haunted too by things they sometimes have names for and sometimes do not. At the very least, complex personhood is about conferring the respect on others that comes from presuming that life and people’s lives are simultaneously straightforward and full of enormously subtle meaning (4-5).
  15. May 2017
    1. loopholes proliferated, and the tax code grew more complex

      correlated? causative?

      complexity in law, leads to more logic to parse and process - therefore more potential ambiguity in human-processing.

      does software engineering practices about code complexity (or lack thereof) have fruitful applications here?

  16. Apr 2017
    1. This is why people can play the piano with their fingers but not with their toes.

      That does not really explain why there are very talented musicians that have limb defects, but I suppose that similar to a blind person being able to hear better, their brains adjust (like complex-adaptive systems do) and reassign a new input-element (e.g. the feet) to a left-over motoric system(e.g. the hands).

    1. Complexitytheorists

      Based on my extremely in-depth Wikipedia-ing, complexity theory not only proposes that systems are unpredictable but also that these systems are still constrained by rules. That seems like an interesting tension.

  17. Mar 2017
    1. He continues to fight against the architectural forces that value the modular over the adaptive, the global over the local. His project, the Eishin School, continues to be under fire by the powers-that-be in Japan. He continues to fight back. He is still the consummate outside. He believes in design from the folk up. I will use that yardstick to measure everything I will be trying from this course and in my courses. Is everything I do designed from the folk up? Is everything you do designed from the folk up? Is it humane and regenerative and sustaining, and alive? Or does it just serve the status quo ante bellum?

      This is a pretty good yard-stick.

      This is a pretty good starting point for research and production.

      Very good question concerning Sensemaker.

      Start with lenses which are local and sustainable immediately.

    2. Is it even possible to have a System A that arises from our own or other’s codings? How will we know that we have not deluded ourselves, that we are so invested in the time and energy and pride of creation that we fall into the sinkhole of bias and blindspot?

      Yer pays yer money and you takes yer choice.

      There is no certainty. Even a well meant action can turn into horror - NB Robespierre.

      http://tachesdesens.blogspot.fr/2016/04/loveterror-and-forgiving.html

    3. System A and System B. System B is all about efficiency and hierarchy. It is about power and control and productivity. All of which is well and good within its proper context. I want the centralized control systems built into the flying and landing and taking off of airplanes. I don’t want it nearly so much in the ‘ergonomic’ fascism of bathroom design or of learning management systems.

      Cynefin framework

      Complexity, Complicated, Simple,

    4. Yet I have to ask: are they (including Mike Wesch, Cathy Davidson, and Randy Bass) enough outside to pull the center to the margin?

      Are these individuals enough to pull the centre to the margin?

      Alone clearly not - there has to be a movement in which suddenly leaders appear - one could say the same about Gandhi, Churchill, Hitler, Trump, Beyoncé, et al

      At a key moment they become iconic

    5. I freely admit that this is a mess of post

      learning

    1. It was all that I could do to put the pieces together on the carpet. I have no memory of whether I finished the puzzle.

      complexity

      life

    1. Basically, an organism experiences too much or too little of something either within them or around them in the environment (i.e. something deviates from neutrality or optimum balance), which is then detected by our brains (i.e. via neural maps of the body).

      That reminds me of a complex-adaptive system and an external condition or intervention that makes the resilience of the system kick in to cope with the threat to have its system functions remain intact. So emotions could be the body-mind-soul complex's defense mechanism.

  18. Jan 2017
    1. White and sweet, yellow and bitter, carry a very obvious meaning with them, which every one precisely comprehends, or easily perceives he is ignorant of, and seeks to be informed. But what precise collection of simple ideas modesty or frugality stand for, in another's use, is not so certainly known

      An interesting progression here: to where might it ultimately lead?

  19. Sep 2016
    1. hat use-value the curriculum may ultimately have for them in their particular contexts

      I see how this is problematic.

    2. As a result, students will begin to see rhetoric as an adaptive process that requires a proliferation of methods at every instant. Instead of pre-ordained processes or methods, students would “start with experience, generalize a pattern or schema from that experience, turn that pattern on future experience, and then adapt the pattern to devise a new schema

      Yes!

    3. Hawk’s emphasis on ecology and immersion promises to counter-act such hyper-disciplinarity and ossification.

      Yes: this is so key.

    4. s. It is no surprise then that institutionalized writing is steadily moving away from the essay as the universal proving ground for student writers, and towards teaching to write effectively in a variety of genres students can expect to work in as they leave college for the workforce. This shift from writing as a single, universal skill to writing as multiple and genre-based is both potentially liberating and potentially disenfranchising.

      Yes.

    5. as the ability to think of different ways of locating themselves within complex human-technological networks, the emergence of students’ own purposes for using rhetoric, and along with that, their own methods of rhetorical invention.

      The real purpose of Hawk's pedagogy.

    6. Instead of a pedagogy of heuristics, which presupposes interiority, Hawk argues for the importance of “ecology and immersion,” in which students gain a greater understanding of their rhetorical presence as multivalent, existing from moment to moment, in connection with other bodies and technologies

      As opposed to "synchronic."

  20. Aug 2016
    1. If we look at complexity theory, for example, we discover that knowledge is the result of inquiry, experimentation, feedback, and emergence.

      This this is great. It's getting learners to believe in themselves

  21. Jun 2016
    1. Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1606.03433 : Calculating the Middle Ages? The Project “Complexities and Networks in the Medieval Mediterranean and the Near East”
    2. While the complexity that arises from network theory in many areas of science has been studied for decades, there has been almost no such research in the field of history.
    3. “On average across all five polities, a change of ruler in one year increased the probability for another change in the following year threefold,” says Preiser-Kapeller. So the closer you are to an upheaval, the more likely there is to be another one soon. Or in other words, upheavals tend to cluster together.
    1. This basic process has implications for rhetorical heuristics: (1) students need to develop their own schemata to fit their particular topics/situations, and (2) if we give them schemata first, their goal should be to revise those schemata as a part of the invention process rather than follow them prescriptively

      Repurposing Taylor's Complexity Theory to Comp.

  22. Oct 2014
    1. IT'S ABOUT THE THINGS YOU SAY AND DO AND HOW THAT PROPAGATES A POSITIVE SOCIAL EFFECT OR A NEGATIVE SOCIAL EFFECT. BUT JUST AS HULK HAS ARGUED MANY TIMES, WE HAVE SUCH A DIFFICULT TIME SEEING OURSELVES AS ANYTHING BUT A PERSON IN A MOMENTARY INTERACTION. AND SO WE ONLY LIKE TO DEBATE THE FAIRNESS OF THAT MYOPIC INTERACTION ITSELF. WE ARE SO DAMN BAD AT SEEING OURSELVES AS PART OF A LARGER TREND / SYSTEM. WE ARE SO BAD AT SEEING WHAT WE ARE ACTUALLY ADVOCATING ON THE WHOLE.
  23. Jan 2014
    1. Git is revolutionary because it gives you the best of both worlds. You can regularly check in changes while prototyping a solution but deliver a clean history when you’re finished. When this is your goal, Git’s defaults make a lot more sense.

      Git gets this basic division of worlds right and is a fundamental departure from other version control systems like SVN. The feature that enables all this is nearly cost-free, instantaneous branching.

      What makes this new world complex is not due to git, but instead because the world is, quite simply, complex! Good tools like git help us manage (some of) the complexity.