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COMPLEXITY

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COMPLEXITY

Santa Fe Institute, Michael Garfield

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Far-reaching conversations with a worldwide network of scientists and mathematicians, philosophers and artists developing new frameworks to explain our universe's deepest mysteries. Join host Michael Garfield at the Santa Fe Institute each week to learn about your world and the people who have dedicated their lives to exploring its emergent order: their stories, research, and insights…
 
A new InterPlanetary interview series from the Santa Fe Institute takes a page from the Strugatsky brothers' classic Soviet sci-fi novel, Roadside Picnic, to discuss a variety of transformative alien artifacts. Thirteen years ago, an alien civilization visited our planet, and left behind myriad, mysterious materials in their crash sites. These areas, Zones, behave very strangely, but the interplanetary items they contain could change the trajectory of our technological advancement. What appe ...
 
Broadband Conversations is dedicated to highlighting women who are making an impact on our digital lives. Each episode, Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will talk to women who are breaking new ground and forging new paths in technology, media, and innovation about what they're working on, what's on their minds, what they think is the next for the future. Because there are just too few, it's time to amplify these women's voices.
 
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Melanie Mitchell is a professor of complexity at Santa Fe Institute. Her research focuses on conceptual abstraction, analogy-making and visual recognition in artificial systems. In this episode, she will be discussing books that influenced her career path and talking about what could be a unique kind of intelligence that humans have that make us di…
 
Can you write a novel using only nouns? Well, maybe…but it won’t be very good, nor easy, nor will it tell a story. Verbs link events, allow for narrative, communicate becoming. So why, in telling stories of our economic lives, have people settled into using algebraic theory ill-suited to the task of capturing the fundamentally uncertain, open and e…
 
Generalized Stoichiometry and Biogeochemistry for Astrobiological Applications Multiple Paths to Multiple Life Watch Chris Kempes and David Krakauer discuss multiple life in episode 2 of "Andromeda Strain and the Meaning of Life" Watch Sara Walker's critique of Multiple Life in episode 4 of "Andromeda Strain and the Meaning of Life" Allometric scal…
 
Karl Friston is a professor of Neuroscience at University College of London. He discusses the creation of models of the world and reading as part of creating that world to develop a sense of self. Friston shares his early interests in physics and psychology and interprets them through his childhood reading list.…
 
What is the economy? People used to tell stories about the exchange of goods and services in terms of flows and processes — but over the last few hundred years, economic theory veered toward measuring discrete amounts of objects. Why? The change has less to do with the objective nature of economies and more to do with what tools theorists had avail…
 
Forrest Landry is a philosopher, writer, researcher, scientist, engineer, craftsman, and teacher who has been studying and practicing the varied High Arts since the mid 70’s. He is someone from the height of metaphysics to working with his hands to create thing. His journey is a connection between diverse domains, psychology, philosophy, computer s…
 
Whether in an ecosystem, an economy, a jazz ensemble, or a lone scholar thinking through a problem, critical transitions — breakdowns and breakthroughs — appear to follow universal patterns. Creative leaps that take place in how mathematicians “think out loud” with body, chalk, and board look much like changes in the movement through “music-space” …
 
Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below: Identifying Molecules as Biosignatures with Assembly Theory and Mass Spectrometry. Generalized Stoichiometry and Biogeochemistry for Astrobiological Applications. Time Team Elemental Cycles DNA has Four Bases. Some Viruses Swap in a Fifth Bennu Hayabusa Mission Alie…
 
Shadi Bartsch, a world renowned scholar and translator of Greek and Roman literature. Professor Bartsch is someone who has an incredible worldview from the perspective of multiple languages and cultures. She has embarked on a lifetime mission to prevent us from ignoring our past. Shadi believes that the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans are…
 
Learn more about things discussed in this episode, by clicking on the links below: Timiebi Aganaba's home page And LinkedIn And Twitter Global Space Treaty Artemis Accords Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University's InterPlanetary Project And the Psyche Mission The Court Case: Viasat, Inc (Appellant) Vs. Federal Co…
 
George Church is known for his professional contributions in the sequencing of genomes and interpreting such data in synthetic biology and genome engineering. He is also a pioneer of the specialized fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He is fascinated by a character who is an outsider and has his inner voice and inner compulsion to n…
 
We are all investors: we all make choices, all the time, about our allocation of time, calories, attention… Even our bodies, our behavior and anatomy, represent investment in specific strategies for navigating an evolving world. And yet most people treat the world of finance as if it is somehow separate from the rest of life — including people who …
 
To learn more about the items discussed in this interview, click through the links below. Ryan’s website Ryan on Twitter The Carrington Event Parker Solar Probe Mars MAVEN Ushering in a New Frontier in Geospace through Data Science Dictionary of Obscure sorrows What is an Individual? Jorge Luis Borges “Talk on Indolence” by the Avett Brothers "Mach…
 
John Paulos is a respected international communicator of mathematics. His books and essays display a broad fluency in language and mathematical talent and skills. He's been intrigued by the idea of skepticism since he was very young. He wrote a letter to Bertrand Russell asking about Hegel’s argument and got a reply back. The following year, to his…
 
The popular conception of ants is that “anatomy is destiny”: an ant’s body type determines its role in the colony, for once and ever. But this is not the case; rather than forming rigid castes, ants act like a distributed computer in which tasks are re-allocated as the situation changes. “Division of labor” implies a constant “assembly line” enviro…
 
Seventy thousand years ago, humans migrated on foot across the ancient continent of Sahul — the landmass that has since split up into Australia and New Guinea. Mapping the journeys of these ancient voyagers is no small task: previous efforts to understand prehistoric migrations relied on coarse estimates based on genomic studies or on spotty record…
 
For more information on items mentioned in this interview, click through the links below. Vanessa’s Website InterPlanetary 2018 Festival panel "Intelligent Systems and Cognitive Assistance" featuring Vanessa, David Krakauer, Jonah Nolan, Graham Spencer & Kurt Squire. Dan Sperber Norman Rockwell's painting "The Gossips" Giant dragonfly - Meganeura A…
 
This week we conclude our two-part discussion with ecologist Mark Ritchie of Syracuse University on how he and his SFI collaborators are starting to rethink the intersections of thermodynamics and biology to better fit our scientific models to the patterns we observe in nature. Most of what we know about the enzymatic processes of plant and animal …
 
Learn more about the items discussed in this conversation by clicking on the links below. The paper discussed: "Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry" "Scientists develop new molecular tool to detect alien life" - news article "Chemists design alien life detector" - news article The essay discussed: ($$ p…
 
Deep inside your cells, the chemistry of life is hard at work to make the raw materials and channel the energy required for growth, maintenance, and reproduction. Few systems are as intricate or as mysterious. For this reason, how a cell does what it does remains a frontier for research — and, consequently, theory often grows unchecked by solid dat…
 
Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below:Herschel Moon History Natalie Elliot’s Homepage Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of Lock” Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Hamlet Romeo and Juliet Claudius Ptolemy Nicolaus Copernicus Tycho Brahe Aristophanes’s Clouds Birds Fermilab Bison Antikythera Mechanism “Origin Story” fo…
 
The 19th Century saw many transformations: the origins of ecology and modern climatology, new unifying theories of the living world, the first Big Science projects, revolutions in the Spanish colonies, new information systems for the storage and representation of data… Many of these can be traced back to the influence of one singular explorer, Alex…
 
Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below: InterPlanetary 2018 - Planetary Policy, Law & Regulation Panel Earth Juijitsu Environment Now Ecuador’s recognition of Pachamama Slavoj Zizek Santa Monica’s sustainability ordinance, protecting the aquifers Brown v. Board of Education US Space Act (1958) Outer Space…
 
When you hear the word “nature,” what comes to mind? Chances are, if you are listening to this in the 21st Century, the image is one of a vast, interconnected, living network — one in which you and your fellow human beings play a complicated part. And yet, this is a relatively recent way of thinking for the modern West. It takes a special kind of t…
 
Learn more about the things we discuss in this episode by clicking through the links below: Honeybee Capital Ever-Widening Circles, by Rilke Zero sum game Tom Seeley's work on honeybees Suzanne Simard's work about tree communication networks Geoffrey West's lecture on Scaling I Dream a Highway - Gillian Welch Ode to Joy - Beethoven Final scene of S…
 
Complexity is all around us: in the paths we walk through pathless woods, the strategies we use to park our cars, the dynamics of an elevator as it cycles up and down a building. Zoom out far enough and the phenomena of everyday existence start revealing hidden links, suggesting underlying universal patterns. At great theoretic heights, it all yiel…
 
Learn more about everything referenced in this episode by clicking the links below: Van’s homepage UCLA-led team of scientists discovers why we need sleep Watch Van on the “Time Design” Panel from #IPFest2018 Ted Chiang’s Seventy-Two Letters Liu Cixin’s Three Body Problem “You’re So Cool” by Hans Zimmer “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis “Welcome …
 
“More than the sum of its parts” is practically the slogan of systems thinking. One canonical example is a beehive: individually, a honeybee is not that clever, but together they can function like shapeshifting metamaterials or mesh networks — some of humankind’s most sophisticated innovations. Emergent collective behavior is common in the insect w…
 
Human relationships are often described in the language of “chemistry” — does that make the beliefs and attitudes of individuals a kind of “physics”? It is, at least, a fascinating avenue of inquiry. In particular, the field of statistical mechanics offers potent tools for understanding how exactly people form their views and change their minds. Fr…
 
Once upon a time at UC Santa Cruz, a group of renegade grad students started mixing physics with math and computers, determined to discover underlying patterns in the seeming-randomness of systems like the weather and roulette. Their research led to major insights in the emerging field of chaos theory, and eventually to the new discipline of comple…
 
In the 21st Century, science is a team sport played by humans and computers, both. Social science in particular is in the midst of a transition from the qualitative study of small groups of people to the quantitative and computer-aided study of enormous data sets created by the interactions of machines and people. In this new ecology, wanting AI to…
 
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