Month: July 2017

Why teach modeling & simulation in schools?

Advancements in science and technology take place on a global scale without much consideration of the exact implications that they may essentially have on the species or our planet. Over the last few decades, things are moving very fast and not always in a good way. The climate of the planet is changing drastically. Ice caps are melting faster than ever. Known animal species around the world are declining at rates faster than ever previously known in recorded history. We humans, might have intelligent individuals amidst us. However, collectively, to any external observer, we would perhaps seem to act more like mindless scavengers stripping the planet of its resources faster than she can ever replenish them. And this all seems to be intrinsically linked with our seemingly insatiable “collective” urge to satisfy immediate needs. So, while the technological revolution has greatly benefited humankind, our continual reliance on technology also has considerable collateral effects on the planet.


Why teach modeling & simulation in schools?
Muaz A. Niazi and Anatoly Temkin
Complex Adaptive Systems Modeling20175:7


Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality

Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience — and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we’re all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it “reality.” Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.


The thermodynamic roots of synergy and its impact on society

Synergy, emerges from synchronized reciprocal positive feedback loops between a network of diverse actors. For this process to proceed, compatible information from different sources synchronically coordinates the actions of the actors resulting in a nonlinear increase in the useful work or potential energy the system can manage. In contrast noise is produced when incompatible information is mixed. This synergy produced from the coordination of different agents achieves non-linear gains in energy and/or information that are greater than the sum of the parts. The final product of new synergies is an increase in individual autonomy of an organism that achieves increased emancipation from the environment with increases in productivity, efficiency, capacity for flexibility, self-regulation and self-control of behavior through a synchronized division of ever more specialized labor. Synergistic is the interdisciplinary science explaining the formation and self-organization of patterns and structures in partially open systems far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Understanding the mechanisms that produce synergy helps to increase success rates in everyday life, in business, in science, in economics and in increasing, yet to named areas. A mechanism discovered by biological evolution favoring the achievement of synergy in addition to division of labor is assortation: the combination of similar or compatible agents or information, to reduce the chances of noisy mismatches. Empirical evidence in many domains show that assortative information matching increases the probability of achieving synergy.The roots of synergy are the features of that promote an increase the information content or negentropy of the system, and its power to produce useful work.


The thermodynamic roots of synergy and its impact on society

Klaus Jaffe


Human Sexual Cycles are Driven by Culture and Match Collective Moods

It is a long-standing question whether human sexual and reproductive cycles are affected predominantly by biology or culture. The literature is mixed with respect to whether biological or cultural factors best explain the reproduction cycle phenomenon, with biological explanations dominating the argument. The biological hypothesis proposes that human reproductive cycles are an adaptation to the seasonal cycles caused by hemisphere positioning, while the cultural hypothesis proposes that conception dates vary mostly due to cultural factors, such as vacation schedule or religious holidays. However, for many countries, common records used to investigate these hypotheses are incomplete or unavailable, biasing existing analysis towards primarily Christian countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Here we show that interest in sex peaks sharply online during major cultural and religious celebrations, regardless of hemisphere location. This online interest, when shifted by nine months, corresponds to documented human birth cycles, even after adjusting for numerous factors such as language, season, and amount of free time due to holidays. We further show that mood, measured independently on Twitter, contains distinct collective emotions associated with those cultural celebrations, and these collective moods correlate with sex search volume outside of these holidays as well. Our results provide converging evidence that the cyclic sexual and reproductive behavior of human populations is mostly driven by culture and that this interest in sex is associated with specific emotions, characteristic of, but not limited to, major cultural and religious celebrations.


Human Sexual Cycles are Driven by Culture and Match Collective Moods
Ian B. Wood, Pedro Leal Varela, Johan Bollen, Luis M. Rocha, Joana Gonçalves-Sá


CompleNet 2018 – 9th Conference on Complex Networks

CompleNet is an international conference that brings together researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines—from sociology, biology, physics, and computer science—who share a passion to better understand the interdependencies within and across systems. CompleNet is a venue to discuss ideas and findings about all types networks, from biological, to technological, to informational and social. It is this interdisciplinary nature of complex networks that CompleNet aims to explore and celebrate.


CompleNet 2018 – 9th Conference on Complex Networks

Boston (MA, US)

March 5-8, 2018