Category: Books

Physics Is Pointing Inexorably to Mind

As I elaborate extensively in my new book, The Idea of the World, none of this implies solipsism. The mental universe exists in mind but not in your personal mind alone. Instead, it is a transpersonal field of mentation that presents itself to us as physicality—with its concreteness, solidity and definiteness—once our personal mental processes interact with it through observation. This mental universe is what physics is leading us to, not the hand-waving word games of information realism.


Complexity Applications in Language and Communication Sciences

This book offers insights on the study of natural language as a complex adaptive system. It discusses a new way to tackle the problem of language modeling, and provides clues on how the close relation between natural language and some biological structures can be very fruitful for science. The book examines the theoretical framework and then applies its main principles to various areas of linguistics. It discusses applications in language contact, language change, diachronic linguistics, and the potential enhancement of classical approaches to historical linguistics by means of new methodologies used in physics, biology, and agent systems theory. It shows how studying language evolution and change using computational simulations enables to integrate social structures in the evolution of language, and how this can give rise to a new way to approach sociolinguistics. Finally, it explores applications for discourse analysis, semantics and cognition.


Complexity Applications in Language and Communication Sciences

Editors: Massip Bonet, Àngels, Bel-Enguix, Gemma, Bastardas-Boada, Albert


See Also: Introduction 

The Human Network

It discusses how a handful of simple and quantifiable features of human networks yield enormous insight into why we behave the way we do.   Two threads are interwoven: why human networks have special features, and how those features determine our power, opinions, opportunities, behaviors, and accomplishments.  Some of the topics included are:  the different ways in which a person’s position in a network determines their influence;  which systematic errors we make when forming opinions based on what we learn from our friends; how financial contagions work and why are they different from the spread of a flu; how splits in our social networks feed inequality, immobility, and polarization; and how network patterns of trade and globalization are changing international conflict and wars.
The book is non-technical, with no equations but many pictures, and is full of rich examples and cases that illustrate the points.  It is not only useful for explaining network science to a lay audience, but also as a supplement for a course on networks.


Neurosexism: the myth that men and women have different brains

[…] as The Gendered Brain reveals, conclusive findings about sex-linked brain differences have failed to materialize. Beyond the “missing five ounces” of female brain — gloated about since the nineteenth century — modern neuroscientists have identified no decisive, category-defining differences between the brains of men and women. In women’s brains, language-processing is not spread any more evenly across the hemispheres than it is in men’s, as a small 1995 Nature study proclaimed but a large 2008 meta-analysis disproved (B. A. Shaywitz et al. Nature 373, 607–609 (1995) and I. E. Sommer et al. Brain Res. 1206, 76–88; 2008). Brain size increases with body size, and certain features, such as the ratio of grey to white matter or the cross-sectional area of a nerve tract called the corpus callosum, scale slightly non-linearly with brain size. But these are differences in degree, not kind. As Rippon notes, they are also seen when we compare small-headed men to large-headed women, and have no relationship to differences in hobbies or take-home pay.


The Gendered Brain: The New Neuroscience That Shatters The Myth Of The Female Brain. Gina Rippon The Bodley Head (2019)