163 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2021
    1. “Although a seemingly mundane and simple innovation, Linnaeus' use of index cards marks a major shift in how eighteenth-century naturalists thought about the order of nature,” says Mueller-Wille. The natural world was no longer ordered on a fixed, linear scale, but came to be seen as a map-like natural system of multiple affinities.

      Ha!

      Roughly the idea I'd just written!

      The idea of reordering nature this way would have been fantastic, particularly in light of the general prior order of the cosmos based on the scala naturae or Great Chain of Being.

      Compare this with Ernst Haeckel's Tree of Man. What year was this in relation? Was the idea of broader biological networks and network-like structure thought of prior to this?

    1. These criteria – surprise serendipity, information and inner complexity

      These criteria – surprise serendipity, information and inner complexity – are the criteria any communication has to meet.

      An interesting thesis about communication. Note that Luhmann worked in general systems theory. I'm curious if he was working in cybernetics as well?

    2. Complexity: your partner needs to be sufficiently autonomous. Autonomy is promoted by growing inner complexity of the system. Its inner complexity depends on both the number of notes and their relationships with each other.

      The complexity of a system promotes autonomy.

      How do we define autonomy here? Is this statement really true? Useful? How might this related to the origin of life?

  2. Jun 2021
    1. This leads us to Markovits’s second critique of the aspirational view: The cycle that produces meritocratic inequality severely harms not only the middle class but the very elite who seem to benefit most from it.

      What if we look at meritocracy from a game theoretic viewpoint?

      Certainly there's an issue that there isn't a cap on meritocratic outputs, so if one wants more wealth, then one needs to "simply" work harder. As a result, in a "keeping up with the Jones'" society that (incorrectly) measures happiness in wealth, everyone is driven to work harder and faster for their piece of the pie.

      (How might we create a sort of "set point" to limit the unbounded meritocratic cap? Might this create a happier set point/saddle point on the larger universal graph?)

      This effect in combination with the general drive to have "power over" people instead of "power with", etc. in combination with racist policies can create some really horrific effects.

      What other compounding effects might there be? This is definitely a larger complexity-based issue.

  3. May 2021
    1. Why did a figure such as Leibniz fail to use his own tools? Perhaps messiness was the source of his creativity. This is a fact of intellectual originality with which Google must still grapple—libraries, after all, allow for the type of manageable disorder which is often the spark of creativity.

      Manageable disorder, messiness, and even chaos can be the source of boundless creativity.

      There's an idea in complexity theory that the most interesting things happen at the edge of chaos.

    1. Standard economic theory uses mathematics as its main means of understanding, and this brings clarity of reasoning and logical power. But there is a drawback: algebraic mathematics restricts economic modeling to what can be expressed only in quantitative nouns, and this forces theory to leave out matters to do with process, formation, adjustment, creation and nonequilibrium. For these we need a different means of understanding, one that allows verbs as well as nouns. Algorithmic expression is such a means. It allows verbs (processes) as well as nouns (objects and quantities). It allows fuller description in economics, and can include heterogeneity of agents, actions as well as objects, and realistic models of behavior in ill-defined situations. The world that algorithms reveal is action-based as well as object-based, organic, possibly ever-changing, and not fully knowable. But it is strangely and wonderfully alive.

      Read abstract.

      The analogy of adding a "verb" to mathematics is intriguing here.

  4. Mar 2021
    1. Here are my thoughts: making vim startup time shorter is GOOD added complexity - BAD my main concern is with the complexity that gets added to get startup time improvements. User has to tag scripts, and then manually BundleBind to get scripts loaded. This seems like too much hassle(manual involvement) to me. Fixing 1 time thing (startup) we're adding many more (like BundleBinding required scripts once they're used) For instance in my case i don't start Vim often because i'm using --remote-tab-silent option. So i'll get no benefit along with complexity (
  5. Feb 2021
  6. www.metacritic.com www.metacritic.com
    1. Difficult enough to prove a worthy challenge, with an over-complexity that might have benefitted from a little self-restraint.

      overly complex = unnecessarily complicated

  7. Jan 2021
    1. the commonplace book has been particularly beloved by poets, whose business is the revelation of wholeness through the fragmentary

      Gestalt: the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. See also, emergence in chaos theory and complexity.

  8. Dec 2020
    1. Much like civil engineering and chemical engineering in decades past, this new discipline aims to corral the power of a few key ideas, bringing new resources and capabilities to people, and doing so safely. Whereas civil engineering and chemical engineering were built on physics and chemistry, this new engineering discipline will be built on ideas that the preceding century gave substance to — ideas such as “information,” “algorithm,” “data,” “uncertainty,” “computing,” “inference,” and “optimization.” Moreover, since much of the focus of the new discipline will be on data from and about humans, its development will require perspectives from the social sciences and humanities.

      Michael Jordan draws the analogy with the emergence of civil and chemical engineering, building with the building blocks of the century prior: physics and chemistry. In this case the building blocks are ideas such as: information, algorithm, data, uncertainty, computing, inference and optimization.

    1. The compiler architecture moves complexity from the runtime and source code to buildtime and tools. Behind Svelte’s simple APIs sits a beefy compiler. Frontend web development has become very tool heavy in the webapp era, so in practice this adds little cost beyond what developers like myself already pay, but increased build complexity is important to acknowledge.

      tool-heavy dependence on build tools / heavy/complex build-time

    2. Compilers may appear to magically eliminate complexity, but that’s an illusion — they shift it.
    1. Less developer maintenance burden: The existing (Kuma) platform is complex and hard to maintain. Adding new features is very difficult. The update will vastly simplify the platform code — we estimate that we can remove a significant chunk of the existing codebase, meaning easier maintenance and contributions.
    1. For example, norms that overwhelmingly prioritize the publication and dissemination of philosophical research as articles in pay-to-read academic journals, although serving an evaluative purpose within the discipline, also reinforce a strong separation between professional philosophers and the public.

      True for advanced study of any kind. [[complexity]]

  9. Nov 2020
    1. Finally, you gain the ability to reuse previously built packets for new projects. Maybe some research you did for an online marketing campaign becomes useful for a new campaign. Or some sketches that didn’t quite make it into an old design give you inspiration for a new one. Or some book notes you wrote down casually turn out to be very useful for an unforeseen challenge a year later.

      The Intermediate Packet approach allows you to reuse previously built packets for new projects

      By incorporating existing packets in new projects, you gain the ability to deliver new projects much faster.

    1. Refactoring at scale is challenging and a significant investment, so communicating the progress is important both from a business perspective but also as a motivational effect to developers. In this case we used a combination of complexity trend visualizations and Code Health Metric as shown in the preceding example.

      [[refactoring at scale]]

    1. I also like that the folksonomic approach (as in, there are no “pre-established groups”) allows for a great deal of expression, of negotiation (I imagine that #barcamp will be a common tag between events, but that’s fine, since if there is a collision, say between two separate BarCamps on the same day, they’ll just have to socially engineer a solution and probably pick a new tag, like #barcampblock) and of decay (that is, over time, as tags are used less frequently, other people can reuse them — no domain squatting!).

      The folksonomic approach (user-generated tagging) is beneficial because it allows complexity to emerge bottom-up.

  10. Oct 2020
    1. Of course you can start implementing your own thing, but you will waste a lot of precious time reinventing the wheel. Why not take advantage of a validation library that takes care of all this complexity for you?
    2. Form validation can get complex (synchronous validations, asynchronous validations, record validations, field validations, internationalization, schemas definitions...). To cope with these challenges we will leverage this into Fonk and Fonk Final Form adaptor for a React Final Form seamless integration.
    1. One of the primary tasks of engineers is to minimize complexity. JSX changes such a fundamental part (syntax and semantics of the language) that the complexity bubbles up to everything it touches. Pretty much every pipeline tool I've had to work with has become far more complex than necessary because of JSX. It affects AST parsers, it affects linters, it affects code coverage, it affects build systems. That tons and tons of additional code that I now need to wade through and mentally parse and ignore whenever I need to debug or want to contribute to a library that adds JSX support.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.

    3. 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.
    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. Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1606.03433 : Calculating the Middle Ages? The Project “Complexities and Networks in the Medieval Mediterranean and the Near East”
    2. “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.
    3. 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.
    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. 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. Similar to my recent musings (link coming soon) on the dualism of matter vs information, I find that the real beauty may lie precisely in the complexity of their combination.

      There's a kernel of an idea hiding in here that I want to come back and revisit at a future date.

    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.

  11. Sep 2020
    1. But we face our own hostile environment: underpowered devices, poor network connections, and the complexity inherent in front-end engineering.
  12. Aug 2020
    1. Anything that is added to a system to improve it (or make it more reliable!) increases complexity, thus uncertainty and risk. We have a bad habit of trying to add “more” to fix a problem, increase the layers of safety, band-aid over a system vulnerability, etc. We don’t often evaluate this, but this added complexity can (and does) make things worse. Wherever possible — and I know it isn’t always possible — remove something isntead of adding it. This is not usually politically favorable, something that Sr. Software Engineers who reduce the codebase size have often heard, but has far fewer side effects.
  13. Jul 2020
    1. A simplified pricing and packaging (PnP) strategy serves customers in the optimal way per the industry best practice. More SKUs lead to a more complex PnP model as a company scales, which eventually causes huge confusion to customers.
  14. Jun 2020
  15. May 2020
    1. The issue of the different layers is similar. If you chose software that doesn’t deal with those layers in a sophisticated way, you will not reap the benefits in the long term. Your archive will note work as a whole. I think that this is one of the reasons why many retreat to project-centered solutions, curating one set of notes for each book, for example. The problems that come with big and organic (= dynamic and living) systems is avoided. But so is the opportunity to create something that is greater than you.

      Interesting point where the author compares the barrier that is created between the editing and the writing mode in a wiki (which makes it more cumbersome to continue lines of thought) to the barriers that appear when you're not using the right software or conventions to structure your knowledge items, as well as to structure your knowledge items' structure.

  16. Apr 2020
    1. where the dragon is an enchanted prince, where the handsome prince is a nasty thief, and where the thief saves the day

      Keep our eyes open to discovery. Inquiry approaches help set the conditions for this kind of openness.

    2. We find Alper et al.'s (2000) concept of "conflict efficacy" useful: it says that conflict should be measured not by its nature or origin, but by its contribution to the perception among group members that conflicts can and are dealt with productively.

      How do we establish hyper local conflict efficacy while engaged in participatory action research?

    3. Ravn (1998) poses the interesting possibility that Thomas' definition of conflict includes in it both productive and unproductive conflict, because productive conflict stops before it gets to the third phase of non-acceptance, instead using the energy of conflict as a positive force.

      Productive conflict surfaces pain points and theories of causality from different stakeholder perspective, but does so without getting the point of non-acceptance.

    4. Skule (1999) describes how an inter-organisational group of workers from five food-and-drink companies were taken through a training program that included "practice in other companies". Says Skule, "Most of the skilled operators described [the experience] in terms like "see things differently", “opened my eyes”, “think more about what I am doing”, “more alert” and “think more about the consequences”. These new perspectives or ways of seeing in turn made operators attend to features in their work situation in a new way. From a former habitual way of working according to minimum standards, many skilled operators developed a more reflectively skilled way of performing their job, within the limits of existing job structures and routines." We believe this kind of benefit may not be as often used as is possible.

      Having teachers participate in laboratory classroom residencies has had this impact, but communicating the importance to experts is a challenge, and the tyranny of experts is to deny the importance of practitioners gaining insight or seeing new possibilities.

    5. The strength of unwritten rules is that they are habitual within the group and thus both adaptive and resilient. Good management practice creates habits rather than rules. Coming

      I like creating and testing protocols with peers to develop productive, generative routines. We set aside protocols when the routine suggests new possibilities, and develop new protocols when the routine fails to be productive or generative.

    6. Inter-organisational networks help organisations sustain productive rule networks

      The development of rule networks is critical right now in education. We've needed to establish rule networks to help practitioners understand the unreliability of standardized test data and develop agentive identities that aren't bound to those data sets. Now, in the absence of standardized tests in the US (they've been cancelled this year), charged with helping students learn while schools are closed, we need to establish rule networks that foster empathy and responsiveness to the needs of the community. At the same time we need rule networks that allow for experimentation and discovery.

    7. In rejecting managerialism, we can equally discover the tyranny of the expert, as in Orwell’s nightmare the animals look through the window of the farm to see the pigs dressed as men.

      The tyranny of the expert seems in part to deny the validity of the experience of the practitioners.

    8. What inter-organisational networks provide is the opportunity for employees to discover this paradox for themselves through learning about the experiences of people at other organisations, and in the process to change how they manage their own constellation of identities in relation to their organisation.

      Practitioners gain valuable perspective when they are engaged with a community of practice. Inter-organizational networks seem vital to the development of meaningful participatory action research.

    9. The most effective systems leave a sufficient level of inefficiency in order that they can be resilient in changing contexts.

      This reminds me of the inefficiency of educational technology staff and professional learning in schools. Trainers and coaches can be seen as inefficient because change is slow and implementation of digital tools is uneven and seemingly detached from performance metrics. Still, having people who are knowledgeable and capable of providing job-embedded coaching and support is vital at a time like this, when schools are called upon to be resilient.

    10. Idealistic approaches tend to privilege expert knowledge, analysis and interpretation. Naturalistic approaches emphasise the inherent un-knowability of current and future complexities, and thus they de-privilege expert interpretation in favor of enabling emergent meaning at the ground level.

      This concept was discussed in yesterday's webinar. As we look to the scientific community, we instinctively expect them to be able to present a complete picture of COVID-19, and we expect problem solving to be top down and efficient.

    1. we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity. 

      Both of these feel like false choices.

    2. Entire countries serve as guinea-pigs in large-scale social experiments. What happens when everybody works from home and communicates only at a distance? What happens when entire schools and universities go online? In normal times, governments, businesses and educational boards would never agree to conduct such experiments. But these aren’t normal times. 

      These questions suggest the importance of hyperlocal communities of practice that are engaged in safe-to-fail experiments under these larger areas of shift and potential inquiry.

    3. Instead of every country trying to do it locally and hoarding whatever equipment it can get, a co-ordinated global effort could greatly accelerate production and make sure life-saving equipment is distributed more fairly.

      The governor of New York just proposed sharing ventilators nationally to help states meet their needs. He's also redistributing ventilators around the state.

    4. When people are told the scientific facts, and when people trust public authorities to tell them these facts, citizens can do the right thing even without a Big Brother watching over their shoulders. A self-motivated and well-informed population is usually far more powerful and effective than a policed, ignorant population.

      These conditions seem like a very high bar nationally but perhaps not locally or hyperlocally.

    5. But temporary measures have a nasty habit of outlasting emergencies, especially as there is always a new emergency lurking on the horizon.

      In education we've taken temporary measures related to technology use and access. Students without devices are provided devices by schools, and also provided free access to the Internet.

      Teachers, many of whom have had little training, are suddenly charged with teaching online.

    6. One of the problems we face in working out where we stand on surveillance is that none of us know exactly how we are being surveilled, and what the coming years might bring. Surveillance technology is developing at breakneck speed, and what seemed science-fiction 10 years ago is today old news.

      This is particularly true because of the use of AI. "Dressing for the Surveillance Age," by John Seabrook explains how researchers have to interact with the surveillance systems in order to develop ways to trick them.

      Goldstein’s research is ultimately aimed at understanding these vulnerabilities, and making A.I. systems more secure. He explained that he and his student Zuxuan Wu were able to create a pattern that confuses the network using the same trial-and-error methods employed in training the neural network itself. “If you just try random patterns, you will never find an adversarial example,” he said. “But if you have access to the system you can find a pattern to exploit it.” To make the sweatshirt, they started with a pattern that looked like random static.

      https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/16/dressing-for-the-surveillance-age

    7. But with coronavirus, the focus of interest shifts. Now the government wants to know the temperature of your finger and the blood-pressure under its skin. 

      In the development of a medical defense against a pandemic, it is vital that we remember that the horrible kinds of triage decisions hospitals are making right now would be less likely if these kinds of digitally mediated emergency measures were developed and ready to deploy.

    8. This kind of technology is not limited to east Asia.

      This kind of technology is ubiquitous here in the US, too. Our infrastructure is just more commercial by nature. This NY Times piece details just how trackable we all are using data gathered from mobile apps. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/19/opinion/tracking-phone-data.html

  17. Feb 2020
    1. Use the simplest and most boring solution for a problem, and remember that “boring” should not be conflated with “bad” or “technical debt.” The speed of innovation for our organization and product is constrained by the total complexity we have added so far, so every little reduction in complexity helps. Don’t pick an interesting technology just to make your work more fun; using established, popular tech will ensure a more stable and more familiar experience for you and other contributors.
    1. The :shallow_prefix option adds the specified parameter to the named route helpers:
    2. You can also specify the :shallow option in the parent resource, in which case all of the nested resources will be shallow:
    3. The shallow method of the DSL creates a scope inside of which every nesting is shallow. This generates the same routes as the previous example:
  18. Jan 2020
  19. Dec 2019
    1. Unfortunately, it also gets the other properties, including bringing down the whole system when it crashes. This matters because systemd is complex
  20. Nov 2019
    1. The chosen approach pushes a lot of complexity out of the core. As a result it might take more code to achieve certain functionalities. This is the price of flexibility. And that's the primary design goal of Reactabular.
    1. These user classes are not mutually exclusive. There-fore, if a user has earnings and/or holdings that fall intomultiple classes, their vote can be counted in multipleclasses.
  21. Sep 2019
  22. Aug 2019
    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.

  23. Jul 2019
    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.
  24. May 2019
  25. Apr 2019
  26. 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.
  27. 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..

  28. Sep 2018
  29. 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?