Free Will: Now You Have It, Now You Don't, NY Times
Excerpts: Other philosophers disagree on the degree and nature of such ¡§freedom.¡¨ Their arguments partly turn on the extent to which collections of things, whether electrons or people, can transcend their origins and produce novel phenomena.(...)
These so-called emergent phenomena, like brains and stock markets, or the idea of democracy, grow naturally in accordance with the laws of physics, so the story goes. But once they are here, they play by new rules, and can even act on their constituents, (...). A knowledge of quarks is no help in predicting hurricanes (...).
Google's Answer to Filling Jobs: New Algorithm, NY Times
Excerpts: Google is starting to look for well-rounded candidates, like those who have published books or started their own clubs. (...)
Google's hiring approach is backed by academic research showing that quantitative information on a person's background ¡X called ¡§biodata¡¨ among testing experts ¡X is indeed a valid way to look for good workers.(...)
But even before the results are in on the new survey, Mr. Bock says he is already seeing success in easing the company past its obsession with grades.
Enron's Last Victim: American Markets, NY Times
Excerpts: The act [Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Ed.], which was passed hastily in the wake of the Enron scandal, was surely well intentioned. But it has proven counterproductive in the extreme (...).
Sarbanes-Oxley has seriously harmed American corporations and financial markets without increasing investor confidence. The section of the law requiring companies to perform internal audits has turned out to be far more costly than proponents projected, especially for smaller firms. These costs have led some small companies to go private, (...), and some foreign firms to withdraw their stocks from American exchanges.
The Impact Of Asia On World Politics: China And India Options For The United States, Int. Studies Rev.
Excerpt: The United States, by concentrating its intellectual, diplomatic, and military energy on the Middle East, is neglecting the far more substantial long-range challenges that will arise in Asia by mid-century. This strategic myopia is magnified by the lack of a clear national strategy, one that should be focused on recognizing the full implications of the rise of China and India into the ranks of great powers. (...) this essay examines the coming Asian challenge against the backdrop of a world with three great powers potentially competing for resources, allies, and leadership within Asia and, more broadly, the international system.
This Is Your Brain on Drugs, Dad, NY Times
Excerpts: Few experts would have suspected that the biggest contributors to California's drug abuse, death and injury toll are educated, middle-aged women living in the Central Valley and rural areas, while the fastest-declining, lowest-risk populations are urban black and Latino teenagers. (...) These are the sorts of trends we need to understand if we are to design effective policies.
The United States' drug abuse crisis has exploded out of control. Scientifically designed strategies are urgently needed to target the manifest drug-caused damage that current policies are failing miserably to address.
Scan Shows How Brains Plot Future, BBC News
The resulting images showed clear differences between a birthday already experienced, and a birthday yet to come.
Certain brain areas are active when we think about the future
In particular, when looking ahead, three particular areas of the brain were activated - the left lateral premotor cortex, the left precuneus and the right posterior cerebellum.
These brain areas are already known to be involved in the imagining of body movements, suggesting that when the human brain is thinking about the future, it does so in terms of distinct movements and actions that will happen at that point.
Single Gene Could Lead to Long Life, Better Mental Function, Scientific American
Excerpts: A variation of a gene that controls the size of cholesterol molecules in the bloodstream is common among elderly Ashkenazim who remain mentally sharp (...)
Those centenarians who passed were two to three times more likely to have a common variant of a particular gene, called the CETP gene, than those who did not. When the researchers studied another 124 Ashkenazi Jews between 75 and 85 years of age, those subjects who passed the test of mental function were five times more likely to have this gene variant than their counterparts.
Researchers Uncover New Way Nature Turns Genes On And Off, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Peering deep within the cells of fruit flies, developmental biologists (...) may have discovered a new way that genes are turned on and off during development. If they're right, and the same processes are at work in higher organisms, including mammals, the findings could eventually have implications for improving the understanding of a range of diseases, including childhood cancer. (...) focused on pieces of genetic material called non-coding (nc)RNAs. About two-thirds of the human genome is converted into such RNAs (the better known messenger RNAs are translated into proteins), though the function of the majority is unknown. (...)
How Many Genes Does It Take To Learn? Lessons From Sea Slugs, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Scientists analyzing the genomics of a marine snail have gotten an unprecedented look at brain mechanisms, discovering that the neural processes in even a simple sea creature are far from sluggish. (...) At any given time within just a single brain cell of sea slug known as Aplysia, more than 10,000 genes are active, according to scientists (...). The findings suggest that acts of learning or the progression of brain disorders do not take place in isolation - large clusters of genes within an untold amount of cells contribute to major neural events. (...)
How Zebra Finches Learn Songs: Cellular Killer Also Important To Memory, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: A protein known primarily for its role in killing cells also plays a part in memory formation, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report. Their work exploring how zebra finches learn songs could have implications for treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. (...) When activated, the enzyme caspase-3 triggers a synaptic process essential for memory storage, according to (...) describes their findings, which provide "the first direct evidence of a change in the availability of activated caspase-3 protein in the brain during the process of memory formation." (...)
Word Length Effects In Long-Term Memory, J. Mem. & Lang.
Excerpt: The word length effect has been a central feature of theorising about immediate memory. The notion that short-term memory traces rapidly decay unless refreshed by rehearsal is based primarily upon the finding that serial recall for short words is better than that for long words. The decay account of the word length effect has come under pressure in recent times. The current research tests alternative explanations of the word length effect, ones that suggest first, that word length effects should be found in long-term memory tasks. (...)
- Source: Word Length Effects In Long-Term Memory, G. Tehan - tehanusq.edu.au, G. A. Tolan, DOI: 10.1016/j.jml.2006.08.015, Journal of Memory and Language, Jan. 2007, online 2006/11/14
- Contributed by Pritha Das - prithadas01yahoo.com
Complexity Constrains Evolution Of Human Brain Genes, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Despite the explosive growth in size and complexity of the human brain, the pace of evolutionary change among the thousands of genes expressed in brain tissue has actually slowed since the split, millions of years ago, between human and chimpanzee, an international research team reports (...). The rapid advance of the human brain, the authors maintain, has not been driven by evolution of protein sequences. The higher complexity of the biochemical network in the brain, they suspect, with multiple gene-gene interactions, places strong constraints on the ability of most brain-related genes to change. (...)
How Does A Zebrafish Grow A New Tail? The Answer May Help Treat Human Injuries, Innovations-report
Excerpts: If a zebrafish loses a chunk of its tail fin, it'll grow back within a week. Like lizards, newts, and frogs, a zebrafish can replace surprisingly complex body parts. A tail fin, for example, has many different types of cells and is a very intricate structure. It is the fish version of an arm or leg. The question of how cold-blooded animals re-grow missing tails and other appendages has fascinated veterinary and medical scientists. (...) Scientists have discovered some of the genes and cell-to-cell communication pathways that enable zebrafish to restore their tail fins. (...)
Kyoto For Commuters, Nature
Excerpts: Offset schemes are a small but potentially useful addition to the carbon balance sheet.
One increasingly popular response to it is carbon offsetting, a practice that allows people to compensate for the impact of their activities by supporting climate-friendly projects in distant corners of the world. (...)
Some of the more popular carbon offsetting schemes allow consumers to buy credits on an emerging, but unregulated, voluntary emissions market, to compensate for carbon-emitting behaviour such as air travel, commuting or home heating.
Gene-Engineered Cows Resist Mad Cow Disease -Study, Reuters
Excerpts: U.S. and Japanese scientists reported on Sunday that they had used genetic engineering to produce cattle that resist mad cow disease.
They hope the cattle can be the source of herds that can provide dairy products, gelatin and other products free of the brain-destroying disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE.
Writing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the researchers said their cattle were healthy at the age of 20 months, and sperm from the males made normal embryos that were used to impregnate cows, although it is not certain yet that they could breed normally.
Evolution: The Origin of Insects, Science
Excerpts: The recent phylogenetic analyses of molecular sequence data suggest a paradigm shift concerning the phylogenetic position of hexapods--that crustaceans successfully invaded land as insects. It is possible that when insects entered terrestrial habitats, their crustacean ancestors had already diversified in marine environments and occupied all potential niches, which could explain why insects were prevented from colonizing the sea subsequently. Most important, however, the new molecular results offer a solution to the enigma concerning the absence of marine hexapod remains in the fossil records prior to the Devonian.
- Source: Evolution: The Origin of Insects, Henrik Glenner, Philip Francis Thomsen, Martin Bay Hebsgaard, Martin Vinther Sorensen, Eske Willerslev, Science : 1883-1884., 06/12/22
Stochastic Amplification In Epidemics, Interface
Excerpts: The role of stochasticity and its interplay with nonlinearity are central current issues in studies of the complex population patterns observed in nature, including the pronounced oscillations of wildlife and infectious diseases. The dynamics of childhood diseases have provided influential case studies to develop and test mathematical models with practical application to epidemiology, but are also of general relevance to the central question of whether simple nonlinear systems can explain and predict the complex temporal and spatial patterns observed in nature outside laboratory conditions. Here, we present a stochastic theory for the major dynamical transitions in epidemics from regular to irregular cycles, (...).
- Source: Stochastic Amplification In Epidemics, D. Alonso, A. J. McKane, M. Pascual, DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2006.0192, Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 2006/12/21
- Contributed by Atin Das - dasatinyahoo.co.in
My Friend the Microbe, Time
Excerpts: Bacteria seem to be turning up everywhere. But why do we have to treat them as the enemy?(...)
But it's human nature to anthropomorphize other life forms, even though they are only 200 nanometers wide. That is the width of newly discovered microbes that may be the smallest form of cellular life, (...). In "drainage water as caustic as battery acid," these hard-ass teeny-weenies have the flair to form "a pink scum on green pools."
Can we learn their secrets, so that we, too, may flourish in toxic pools?
Inquiry Learning: Teaching Scientific Inquiry, Science
Excerpts: Science teachers in kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) classrooms face a curious paradox. On one hand, according to the generally accepted theory, scientific inquiry in the classroom is "at the heart of the science and science learning" (1). In essence, the teaching of science should mirror the processes used by professional scientific researchers. On the other hand, a school classroom is not a research laboratory. Scientific research typically involves complex methods and problem-solving approaches (2), resulting in conclusions that are subjected to worldwide evaluation (3-6). Capturing these characteristics of professional science within the K-12 school classroom is daunting (7).
Nondestructive Optical Measurements of a Single Electron Spin in a Quantum Dot, Science
Excerpts: Kerr rotation measurements on a single electron spin confined in a charge-tunable semiconductor quantum dot demonstrate a means to directly probe the spin off-resonance, thus minimally disturbing the system. Energy-resolved magneto-optical spectra reveal information about the optically oriented spin polarization and the transverse spin lifetime of the electron as a function of the charging of the dot. These results represent progress toward the manipulation and coupling of single spins and photons for quantum information processing.
Center for Spintronics and Quantum Computation, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.
Physics: Gaps and Our Understanding, Science
Excerpts: Superconductivity arises in metals when electrons bind into pairs and the phases of the quantum wave functions that describe the pairs become coherent throughout the solid. The onset of this phase coherence produces the spectacular properties of superconductivity (such as vanishing electrical resistivity) that define the superconducting phase, while pair binding gives rise to an energy gap observable in many spectroscopies. Several recent papers, (...), reveal new aspects of the energy gap structure of high-temperature superconductors and may provide long-sought insights into the mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity.
Inside Seagate's R&D Labs, Wired News
On current disks, each bit is represented by an island of about 50 magnetic grains, but these patches are irregularly shaped, (...). By chemically encoding an organized molecular pattern onto the platter's substrate at the moment of creation, however, HAMR [Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording, Ed.] can put a single bit on every grain. (...)
Clean Room //
Disk sectors will become a thing of the past, replaced by self-organized magnetic arrays, lithographically patterned along a platter's circumferential tracks.
"An iron platinum particle is stable down to 2.5 nanometers," Re said. "And to write on it, you'll need HAMR."
Mars Rovers Are Taught New Tricks, BBC News
With the new software boost, the rovers can recognize dust devils or clouds and select only the relevant parts of those images to send back to Earth.
The software might allow to rover to pick out dust devils by itself
Another novel skill, called "visual target tracking", enables a rover to keep recognising a particular landscape feature as the rover moves.(...)
Visual target tracking can be combined with a third feature of the software - autonomy in calculating where it is safe to reach out and analyse soil or rock with the science tools on the rover's robotic arm.
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
Localities Operate Intelligence Centers To Pool Terror Data, Washington Post
Excerpts: The new "fusion centers" are now operating in 37 states, (...) analyze information from local, state and federal law enforcement officials.
The emerging "network of networks" marks a new era of opportunity for law enforcement, according to U.S. officials and homeland security experts. Police are hungry for federal intelligence in an age of homegrown terrorism and more sophisticated crime. For their part, federal law enforcement officials could benefit from a potential army of tipsters -- the 700,000 local and state police officers across the country, as well as private security guards and others being courted by the centers.
Links & Snippets
- $100 Laptop Marches On The Developing World: Education Project Plans To Start Shipping First Low-Cost Notebooks In 2007, T. Sanders, 2006/12/21, vnunet.com
- Christmas Keeps Migrants Linked To Family And Culture, 2006/12/21, Innovations-report
- Future Directions In Behavioural Syndromes Research, A. M. Bell, 2006/12/21, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.0199
- Will 2006 Go Down As The Year That IT Went Mainstream? Technology At The Heart Of Change - Computing's Review Of 2006, B. Glick, 2006/12/22, vnunet.com & Computing
- A Reason Why Video Games Are Hard To Give Up, 2006/12/27, Innovations-report
- Immune System Cells Linked To Heart Failure, 2006/12/28, ScienceDaily & Baylor College of Medicine
- Looking At The Complexity Of Two Young Children's Understanding Of Number, J. S. Thom - jethomuvic.ca, S. E. B. Pirie - susan.pirieubc.ca, 25:3; 2006, online 2006/11/15, The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmathb.2006.09.004
- China's Oil Diplomacy In Africa, I. Taylor, Sep. 2006, online 2006/10/04, International Affairs, DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2346.2006.00579.x
TED Talks, TED Conferences LLC , since 2006
Talking Robots: The PodCast on Robotics and AI, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, 06/11/03
Potentials of Complexity Science for Business, Governments, and the Media 2006, Budapest, Hungary, 06/08/03-05
- 6th Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS), Boston, MA, 06/06/25-30
Artificial Life X,
10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, Bloomington, IN, USA. 2006/06/03-07
6th Understanding Complex Systems Symposium, Urbana-Champaign, Il, 06/05/15-18
Ralph Abraham on Complexity Digest, , Calcutta, India, 05/12/27
- An Afternoon with Michael Crichton, Washington, 05/11/06
Illuminating the Shadow of the Future, Ann Arbor, Mi 05/09/23-25
Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems - Brainstorming Meeting, Paris, France 05/09/19-23
Complexity, Science & Society Conference 2005, U. Liverpool, UK 2005/09/11-14
ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life,
Canterbury, Kent, UK 2005/09/5-9
T. Irene Sanders, Executive Director and Founder, The Washington Center for Complexity & Public Policy, 05/08/27, QuickTime video (10:38 min), Podcast
- North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2005 Conference, Virtual Conference Network, St. Pete's Beach, Florida, 05/06/09-11
- Understanding Complex Systems - Computational Complexity and Bioinformatics, Virtual Conference Network, Urbana-Champaign, Il, UIUC, 05/05/16-19
- Nonlinearity, Fluctuations, and Complexity, with a celebration of the 65th birthday of Gregoire Nicolis. , Complexity Session, Universite' Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, 05/03/16
- World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 05/01/26-30
1st European Conference on Complex Systems, Torino, Italy, 04/12/5-7
From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H., Internet-First University Press, 1994
- CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
- Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998
- Edge Videos
- Logic, Computability and Randomness 2007 , Buenos Aires, Argentina, 07/01/10-13
Symposium on Biological Complexity Diseases of Transcription, La Jolla, CA, 07/01/11-14
The Atlas of Ideas, London,
United Kingdom, 07/01/17-18
Managing Complex Organizations in a Complex World, Cambridge, MA, 07/01/25-26
Intl Wkshp Complex Dynamics Of Physiological Systems: From Heart To Brain, Kolkata, India, 07/02/12-14
2007 Complexity and Educational Research Conference, Vancouver, BC, 07/02/18-20
Coordination Dynamics 2007: Coordination: Neural, Behavioral and Social Dynamics, Boca Raton, Florida, 07/02/22-25
2nd Transdisciplinary Workshop on the Complexity Approach
Complejidad Camagüey-2007, Camagüey, Cuba, 07/02/20-22
3rd International Workshop on Complexity and Philisophy, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 07/02/22-23
Intl Conf on Morphological Computation, Venice, Italy, 07/03/26-28
Unconventional Computation: Quo Vadis?, Santa Fe, NM, 07/03/20-23
Complex Social Systems Course
at the London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom, 07/03/20-28
NEXUS for Change, Bowling Green, Ohio, 07/03/22-23
4th Lake Arrowhead Conference on Human Complex Systems,
Lake Arrowhead, CA, 07/04/25-29
Intl Conf on Morphological Computation, Venice Italy, 07/03/26-28
Capturing Business Complexity with Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation
Useful, Usable, and Used Techniques - A Course on Business Applications, Argonne Natl Lab, Woodridge, IL, 07/04/16-20
- Complexity and Organizational Resilience
The Village, Pohnpei, Micronesia, 07/05
- 2nd Intl Conf on Built Environment Complexity - Embracing complexity thinking in built environments, Cape Town South Africa, 07/05/21-25
ECO 2007 Summit: Ecological Complexity and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for 21st-Century Ecology, Beijing, China, 07/05/22-27
2007 IEEE/ICME Intl Conf on Complex Medical Engineering-CME2007, Beijing, China, 07/05/23-27
The 7th Intl Workshop on Meta-Synthesis and Complex Systems, Beijing, 07/05/27-30
2nd Intl Wkshp on Engineering Emergence in Decentralised Autonomic Systems EEDAS 2007, Jacksonville, Fl, 07/06/11-15
SYMMETRY IN NONLINEAR MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS, Kiev, Ukraine, 07/06/24-30
Summer School In Complexity Science, London, UK, 07/07/08-17
2007 Genetic And Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2007), London, UK, 07/07/07-11
Natural Complexity: Data and Theory in Dialogue, Cambridge, UK, 07/08/13-17
ECAL 2oo7 - 9th European Conference on Artificial Life
, Lisbon, Portugal, 07/09/10-14
European Conference on Complex Systems 2007 (ECCS'07) , Dresden, Germany, 07/10/01-05
Call for Papers - Course/Book Announcements
- The international journal
Emergence: Complexity & Organization (E:CO) is now available. The issue contains:
Volume 8 Number 4, 2006
Special Issue: Complexity & Leadership
Editors: Jeffrey A. Goldstein & James K. Hazy
EVOLUTIONARY COMPUTATION IN PRACTICE
Series in Studies in Computational Intelligence, Springer Verlag,
Chapter proposal due 07/02/04
- Call for Submissions:
The Journal of Developmental Processes will publish its first issue in fall 2006. , The JDP recognizes that complex developmental processes characterize the growth of living organisms. In humans, this complexity is highly elaborated, so that developmental change is affected by many interrelated factors of the body, the mind, family, society and the environment. New discoveries continually add to our understanding of these processes and demonstrate the inadequacy of reductionist approaches.
- Call for Papers:
Special Issue of the Artificial Life journal on the Evolution of Complexity,
Digital Graphics for Quantitative Finance,
Lineplot Productions, 2006
Why create movies of financial models? Because key stakeholders often don't understand them. The mathematical, data-intensive sphere of quantitative financial analysis can be a black box even for many in the industry. It is vital for users of this analysis to appreciate, understand and buy into, often literally, these difficult and important concepts.
Life: An Introduction to Complex Systems Biology, Kunihiko Kaneko, Springer Series: Understanding Complex Systems, 2006
What is life? Has molecular biology given us a satisfactory answer to this question? And if not, why, and how to carry on from there? This book examines life not from the reductionist point of view, but rather asks the question: what are the universal properties of living systems and how can one construct from there a phenomenological theory of life that leads naturally to complex processes such as reproductive cellular systems, evolution and differentiation? The presentation has been deliberately kept fairly non-technical so as to address a broad spectrum of students and researchers from the natural sciences and informatics.
- Chaos and Complexity
Resources for Students and Teachers, 06/03/01