Show cover of COMPLEXITY

COMPLEXITY

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…

Tracks

Kate Adamala on Synthetic Biology, Origins of Life, and Bioethics
What does it mean to be alive? Our origins are the horizon of our understanding, and as with the physical horizon, our approach brings us no closer. The more we learn, the more mysterious it all becomes. What if we’re asking the wrong questions? Maybe life did not begin at all, but rather coalesced piecemeal, a set of properties contingent and convergent, plural, more than once? Maybe the origin of life is happening right now, just over the horizon, forming something new anew. Let’s get into the weeds and see if we can find a continuity between biology and physics.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week we speak with Kate Adamala, synthetic biologist and professor at the University of Minnesota, about her research to produce synthetic minimal cells that are not technically alive but can perform myriad biological processes. Along the way the distant past and future meet. Can we build life? Or can we grow machines?Be sure to check out our extensive show notes with links to all our references at complexity.simplecast.com. Note that applications are now open for our Complexity Postdoctoral Fellowships! If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInReferenced in this episode:Nonenzymatic Template-Directed RNA Synthesis Inside Model ProtocellsEngineering genetic circuit interactions within and between synthetic minimal cellsCompetition between model protocells driven by an encapsulated catalystSynthetic cells in biomedical applicationsParasites, infections and inoculation in synthetic minimal cellsBuild-a-Cell: Engineering a Synthetic Cell CommunityThe Andromeda Strain and the Meaning of Life: Monolith MonologuesSara Walker on The Physics of Life and Planet-Scale IntelligenceWhat Technology Wants by Kevin KellyMatthew Jackson on Social & Economic NetworksScott PageMind Children by Hans MoravecThe Multiple Paths to Multiple LifeMichael LachmannTerraforming the Biosphere by Ricard SoléScaling Laws & Social Networks in The Time of COVID-19 with Geoffrey West (Part 1)Red Queen
69:45 10/01/2022
Miguel Fuentes & Marco Buongiorno Nardelli on Music, Emergence, and Society
One way to frame the science of complexity is as a revelation of the hidden order under seemingly separate phenomena — a teasing-out of music from the noise of history and nature. This effort follows centuries of work to find the rules that structure language, music, and society. How strictly analogous are the patterns governing a symphony and those that describe a social transformation? Math and music are old friends, but new statistical and computational techniques afford the possibility of going even deeper. What fundamental insights — and what sounds — emerge by bringing physicists, composers, social scientists, data artists, and biologists together?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we sit with two of SFI’s External Professors — Miguel Fuentes at the Argentine Society for Philosophical Analysis and the Institute of Complex Systems of Valparaiso, and Marco Buongiorno Nardelli at the University of North Texas — for a discussion that roams from their working group on the complexity of music, to fundamental questions about the nature of emergence, to how we might bring all of these ideas together to think about  social transformation as a kind of music in its own right.A show that spend so much time exploring sense and nonsense would hardly be complete without technical errors, so please accept our apologies for losing some of Miguel’s backstory to a recording glitch. For this reason, be extra sure to check out our extensive show notes with links to all our references at complexity.simplecast.com.Note that applications are now open for our Complexity Postdoctoral Fellowships! If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInReferenced in this episode:An ‘integrated mess of music lovers in science’on the 2020 Music & Complexity SFI Working Group(with YouTube playlist of talks)Expanding our understanding of musical complexityon the 2022 Music & Complexity SFI Working GroupTopology of Networks in Generalized Musical Spacesby Marco Buongiorno NardelliTonal harmony and the topology of dynamical score networksby Marco Buongiorno Nardellia computer-aided data-driven composition environment for the sonification and dramatization of scientific data streamsby Marco Buongiorno NardelliMachines that listen: towards a machine listening model based on perceptual descriptorsby Marco Buongiorno Nardelli, Mitsuko Aramaki, Sølvi Ystad, and Richard Kronland-MartinetDoes network complexity help organize Babel’s library?by Juan Pablo Cárdenas Iván González, Gerardo Vidal, and Miguel FuentesComplexity and the Emergence of Physical Propertiesby Miguel FuentesThe Structure of Online Information Behind Social Crisesby Juan Pablo Cárdenas, Gastón Olivares, Gerardo Vidal, Carolina Urbina and Miguel Fuentes88 - Aviv Bergman on The Evolution of Robustness and Integrating The DisciplinesComplexity Podcast86 - Dmitri Tymoczko on The Shape of Music: Mathematical Order in Western TonalityComplexity Podcast81 - C. Brandon Ogbunu on Epistasis & The Primacy of Context in Complex SystemsComplexity Podcast67 - Tyler Marghetis on Breakdowns & Breakthroughs: Critical Transitions in Jazz & MathematicsComplexity Podcast36 - Geoffrey West on Scaling, Open-Ended Growth, and Accelerating Crisis/Innovation Cycles: Transcendence or Collapse? (Part 2)Complexity Podcast27 - COVID-19 & Complex Time in Biology & Economics with David Krakauer (Transmission Series Ep. 2)Complexity PodcastIgnorance, Failure, Uncertainty, and the Optimism of Scienceby Stuart Firestein (SFI Community Lecture)SFI’s Operating Principlesby Cormac McCarthy
57:24 09/21/2022
Steven Teles & Rajiv Sethi on Jailbreaking The Captured Economy (EPE 04)
As the old nut goes, “To the victor goes the spoils.” But if each round of play consolidates the spoils into fewer hands, eventually it comes to pass that wealthy special interests twist the rules so much it undermines the game itself. When economic power overtakes the processes of democratic governance, growth stagnates, and the rift between the rich and poor becomes abyssal. Desperate times and desperate measures jeopardize the fabric of society. How might nonpartisan approaches to this wicked problem help us walk the system back into a healthy balance?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity we speak with Steven Teles, political scientist at Johns Hopkins University and SFI External Professor Rajiv Sethi, Professor of Economics at Barnard College, Columbia University about how self-serving economic actors intervene in regulation to stifle innovation, increase inequality, and contribute to the conditions in which violence can flourish. Referencing Teles’ aisle-crossing book The Captured Economy with co-author Brink Lindsey, we link the problem of regulatory capture in its myriad forms to Sethi’s work on race, inequality, and crime, which we discussed in Episode 7 (Rajiv Sethi on Crime, Stereotypes, and The Pursuit of Justice). At the interface between the left and right, public and private, our guests shed light on the forces that divide — and may help reunite — the USA and other modern nations.Be sure to check out our extensive show notes with links to all our references at complexity.simplecast.com. Note that applications are now open for our Complexity Postdoctoral Fellowships! Tell a friend. And if you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMore on the Emergent Political Economies SFI Research Theme:SFI launches new research theme on emergent political economiesComplexity 82 - David Krakauer on Emergent Political Economies and A Science of Possibility (EPE 01)Complexity 83 - Eric Beinhocker & Diane Coyle on Rethinking Economics for A Sustainable & Prosperous World (EPE 02)Complexity 84 - Ricardo Hausmann & J. Doyne Farmer on Evolving Technologies & Market Ecologies (EPE 03)Referenced in (or related to) this episode:The Captured Economy: How The Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequalityby Brink Lindsey and Steven TelesShadows of Doubt: Stereotypes, Crime, and the Pursuit of Justiceby Brendan O’Flaherty and Rajiv SethiComplexity 19 - David B. Kinney on the Philosophy of ScienceCommon as Airby Lewis HydeSignalling architectures can prevent cancer evolutionby Leonardo Oña & Michael LachmannScaling of urban income inequality in the USAby Elisa Heinrich Mora, Cate Heine, Jacob J. Jackson, Geoffrey B. West, Vicky Chuqiao Yang and Christopher P. KempesCrime and Punishment in a Divided Societyby Rajiv SethiRajiv Sethi discusses gun violence, critical race theory, and bezzleson The Glenn Loury Show (video)(audio-only podcast link)The Gun Deal by Rajiv Sethi (Substack)Rajiv Sethi reviews Boldrin/Levine’s Against Intellectual MonopolySteven Teles and Brink Lindsey on EconTalk with Russ RobertsIs Nothing Sacred? Rajiv Sethi on Salman Rushdie (Substack)Rajiv Sethi with Bari Weiss and David French on gun violenceRajiv Sethi on James Tobin’s Hirsch Lecture on Functional Inefficiency in Finance (Substack)
71:13 09/02/2022
Caleb Scharf on The Ascent of Information: Life in The Human Dataome
Chances are you’re listening to this on an advanced computer that fits in your pocket, but is really just one tentacle tip of a giant, planet-spanning architecture for the gathering and processing of data. A common sentiment among the smartphone-enabled human population is that we not only don’t own our data, but our data owns us — or, at least, the pressure of responsibility to keep providing data to the Internet and its devices (and the wider project of human knowledge construction) implicates us in the evolution of a vast, mysterious, largely ineffable self-organizing system that has grabbed the reins of our economies and cultures. This is, in some sense, hardly new: since humankind first started writing down our memories to pass them down through time, we have participated in the “dataome” — a structure and a process that transcends, and transforms, our individuality. Fast-forward to the modern era, when the rapidly-evolving aggregation of all human knowledge tips the scales in favor of the dataome’s emergent agency and its demands on us…Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we talk to Caleb Scharf, Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University, about his book, The Ascent of Information: Books, Bits, Genes, and LIfe’s Unending Algorithm. In this episode, we talk about the interplay of information, energy, and matter; the nature of the dataome and its relationship to humans and our artifacts; the past and future evolution of the biosphere and technosphere; the role of lies in the emergent informational metabolisms of the Internet; and what this psychoactive frame suggests about the search for hypothetical intelligences we may yet find in outer space.Be sure to check out our extensive show notes with links to all our references at complexity.simplecast.com. Note that applications are now open for our Complexity Postdoctoral Fellowships! Tell a friend. And if you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMentioned and related resources:Caleb’s Personal Website, Research Publications, and Popular WritingsCaleb’s TwitterWe Are The Aliensby Caleb Scharf at Scientific AmericanWe Are Our Data, Our Data Are Usby Caleb Scharf at The Los Angeles TimesIs Physical Law an Alien Intelligence?by Caleb Scharf at NautilusWhere Do Minds Belong?by Caleb Scharf at AeonAutopoiesis (Wikipedia)The physical limits of communicationby Michael Lachmann, M. E. J. Newman, Cristopher MooreThe Extended Phenotypeby Richard Dawkins“Time Binding” (c/o Alfred Korzybski’s General Semantics) (Wikipedia)The Singularity in Our Past Light-Coneby Cosma ShaliziArgument-making in the wildSFI Seminar by Simon DeDeoCoarse-graining as a downward causation mechanismby Jessica FlackIf Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?by Kathleen McAuliffe at Discover MagazineWhen and Why Did Human Brains Decrease in Size? A New Change-Point Analysis and Insights From Brain Evolution in Antsby Jeremy DeSilva, James Traniello, Alexander Claxton, & Luke FanninComplexity 35 - Scaling Laws & Social Networks in The Time of COVID-19 with Geoffrey West (Part 1)The Collapse of NetworksSFI Symposium Presentation by Raissa D'SouzaJevons Paradox (Wikipedia)What Technology Wantsby Kevin KellyThe Glass Cageby Nicholas CarrThe evolution of languageby Martin Nowak and David KrakauerComplexity 70 - Lauren F. Klein on Data Feminism (Part 1)Complexity 87 - Sara Walker on The Physics of Life and Planet-Scale IntelligenceSimulation hypothesis (Wikipedia)Complexity 88 - Aviv Bergman on The Evolution of Robustness and Integrating The DisciplinesBuilding a dinosaur from a chickenby Jack Horner at TEDComplexity 80 - Mingzhen Lu on The Evolution of Root Systems & Biogeochemical CyclingWhy Animals Lie: How Dishonesty and Belief Can Coexist in a Signaling Systemby Jonathan T. Rowell, Stephen P. Ellner, & H. Kern ReeveThe evolution of lying in well-mixed populationsby Valerio Capraro, Matjaž Perc & Daniele ViloneComplexity 42 - Carl Bergstrom & Jevin West on Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World
82:35 08/19/2022
Daniel Lieberman on Evolution and Exercise: The Science of Human Endurace
Human beings are distinctly weird. We live for a very long time after we stop reproducing, move completely differently than all of our closest relatives, lack the power of chimpanzees and other primates but completely outdo most other terrestrial mammals in a contest of endurance. If we think about bodies as hypotheses about the stable features of their ancestral environments, what do the features of our unusual physiology say about what humans ARE, where we come from, the details of our origin story as a profoundly successful species? And what can we learn by telescoping that story forward to explain some of the most persistent puzzles and paradoxes about our health, the way we age, our need for physical exercise, and our nearly ubiquitous aversion to habits that are good for us?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week, we sprint into the paleoanthropology, biomechanics, and physiology of exercise with Harvard evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman, author of several books including Exercised, The Story of the Human Body, and The Evolution of the Human Head. In our rapid-fire discussion we explore how millions of years as hunter-gatherers equipped hominids with a unique package of adaptations for endurance running, why exercise is so good for us but so generally undesirable, and how physical activity in old age helped shape us into the strongly intergenerational social apes we are today.Be sure to check out our extensive show notes with links to all our references at complexity.simplecast.com. Note that applications are now open for our 2023 Complexity Postdoctoral Fellowships! Tell a friend. And if you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMentioned papers and other resources:SFI Colloquium & Twitter thread on Daniel Lieberman’s “Active Grandparent Hypothesis”The evolution of human fatigue resistanceby Frank E. Marino, Benjamin E. Sibson, Daniel E. Lieberman "What beer and running taught me about the scientific process"Seminar by SFI Journalism Fellow Christie AschwandenEndurance running and the evolution of Homoby Dennis Bramble & Daniel Lieberman in NatureSFI Professor David Wolpert & the thermodynamics of computationComplexity 64 - Reconstructing Ancient Superhighways with Stefani Crabtree and Devin White3100: Run and Become (Documentary Film)Why run unless something is chasing you?by Daniel Lieberman at The Harvard GazetteHate Working Out? Blame Evolutionby Daniel LIeberman at The New York TimesThe Aging of Wolff’s “Law”: Ontogeny and Responses to Mechanical Loading in Cortical Boneby Osbjorn Pearson & DanielL LiebermanEffects of footwear cushioning on leg and longitudinal arch stiffness during runningby Nicholas B.Holowkaab, Stephen M.Gillinovac, EmmanuelVirot, Daniel E.Lieberman
52:50 08/03/2022
Aviv Bergman on The Evolution of Robustness and Integrating The Disciplines
Ask any martial artist: It’s not just where a person strikes you but your stance that matters. The amplitude and angle of a blow is one thing but how you can absorb and/or deflect it makes the difference. The same is true in any evolutionary system. Most people seem to know “the butterfly effect” where tiny changes lead to large results, but the inverse also works: complex organisms buffer their development against adverse mutations so that tiny changes cannot redirect the growth of limbs and other organs. It takes a lot to shake the pattern of five fingers on a hand, or five toes on a paw. This is robustness: how much change can something soak up before it transforms? The question leads us into a secret garden of cryptic variation: mutations waiting for their moment, pieces sitting in place that might suddenly and radically metamorphose in changing circumstances. It’s why evolution stutters, halts and leaps, and maybe it can help us think about society and mind in ways that deepen comprehension of the tangled and surprising forces playing out at all scales, in society and in ecology. For quests as deep as these, we need to wear new lenses and train inquiries stereoscopically. How can and do the sciences and the humanities inform each other as we keep evolving — not just biologically, but culturally? Can we triangulate the truth by holding theories side by side and looking through them all together?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week, we speak with Aviv Bergman (Google Scholar), External Professor of the Santa Fe Institute and Director of the new Albert Einstein Institute for Advanced Study in the Life Sciences.Be sure to check out our extensive show notes with links to all our references at complexity.simplecast.com. Note that our applications for SFI postdoctoral fellowships open on August 1st! Tell a friend.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMentioned Papers:Waddington’s canalization revisited: Developmental stability and evolutionMark L. Siegal & Aviv BergmanEvolutionary capacitance as a general feature of complex gene networksAviv Bergman & Mark L. SiegalPhenotypic Pliancy and the Breakdown of Epigenetic Polycomb MechanismsMaryl Lambros, Yehonatan Sella, Aviv BergmanMammalian Endothermy Optimally Restricts Fungi and Metabolic CostsAviv Bergman & Arturo CasadevallHow on Earth can Aliens Survive? Concept and Case StudyAviv Bergman’s 2022 SFI SeminarAdditional Mentioned Podcasts, Videos, & Writing:Melanie Mitchell on Artificial Intelligence: What We Still Don't KnowOn Coronavirus, Crisis, and Creative Opportunity with David Krakauer (Transmission Series Ep. 3)Ricardo Hausmann & J. Doyne Farmer on Evolving Technologies & Market Ecologies (EPE 03)Olivia Judson on Major Energy Transitions in Evolutionary HistoryJames Evans on Social Computing and Diversity by DesignMirta Galesic on Social Learning & Decision-makingWhat Determines The Complexity of Writing Systems?on the work of SFI Fellow Helena MitonDoes the Ecology of Somatic Tissue Normally Constrain the Evolution of Cancer?SFI Seminar by External Professor John PepperExplosive Proofs of Mathematical TruthsSFI Seminar by External Professor Simon DeDeoArmchair Scienceby 2022 SFI Journalism Fellow Dan Falk at Aeon MagazineThe coming battle for the COVID-19 narrativeSamuel Bowles, Wendy Carlin 10 April 2020Ignorance, Failure, Uncertainty, and the Optimism of ScienceStuart Firestein’s 2022 SFI Community LectureSmarter Parts Make Collective Systems Too StubbornJordana Cepelewicz at Aeon Magazine"Ancestral forms are very different, but as you increase regulatory interactions is decreasing the space of the possible. You can think of bureaucracy..."- SFI President David Krakauer on #DevoBias2018
74:58 07/18/2022
Sara Walker on The Physics of Life and Planet-Scale Intelligence
What is life, and where does it come from? These are two of the deepest, most vexing, and persistent questions in science, and their enduring mystery and allure is complicated by the fact that scientists approach them from a myriad of different angles, hard to reconcile. Whatever else one might identify as universal features of all living systems, most scholars would agree life is a physical phenomenon unfolding in time. And yet current physics is notorious for its inadequacy with respect to time. Life appears to hinge on information transfer — but, again, what do we mean by “information,” and what it is relationship to energy and matter? If humankind can’t settle fundamental issues with these theoretical investigations, we might be missing other kinds of life (and mind) — not just in outer space, but here on Earth, right beneath our noses. But new models that suggest a vastly wider definition of life offer hope that we might — soon! — not only learn to recognize the biospheres and technospheres of other living worlds, but notice other “aliens” at home, and even find our place amidst a living cosmos.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on the show, we speak with SFI External Professor Sara Walker (Twitter, Google Scholar), Deputy Director of The Beyond Center at ASU, where she acts as Associate Professor in half a dozen different programs. In this conversation, we discuss her pioneering research in the origins of life and the profound and diverse implications of Assembly Theory — a new kind of physics she’s developing with chemist Leroy Cronin and a team of SFI and NASA scholars.  Sara likes to speculate out loud in public conversation, so strap in for an unusually enthusiastic, animated, and free-roaming conversation at the very bleeding edge of science. And be sure to check out our extensive show notes with links to all our references at complexity.simplecast.com.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMentioned Papers:Intelligence as a planetary scale processby Adam Frank, David Grinspoon & Sara WalkerThe Algorithmic Origins of Lifeby Sara Imari Walker & Paul C. W. DaviesBeyond prebiotic chemistry: What dynamic network properties allow the emergence of life?by Leroy Cronin & Sara WalkerIdentifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometryby Stuart Marshall, Cole Mathis, Emma Carrick, Graham Keenan, Geoffrey Cooper, Heather Graham, Matthew Craven, Piotr Gromski, Douglas Moore, Sara Walker & Leroy CroninAssembly Theory Explains and Quantifies the Emergence of Selection and Evolutionby Abhishek Sharma, Dániel Czégel, Michael Lachmann, Christopher Kempes, Sara Walker, Leroy CroninQuantum Non-Barking Dogsby Sara Imari Walker, Paul C. W. Davies, Prasant Samantray, Yakir AharonovThe Multiple Paths to Multiple Lifeby Christopher P. Kempes & David C. Krakauer Other Related Videos & Writing:SFI Seminar - Why Black Holes Eat Informationby Vijay BalasubramanianMajor Transitions in Planetary Evolutionby Hikaru Furukawa and Sara Imari Walker2022 Community Lecture: “Recognizing The Alien in Us”by Sara WalkerSara Walker and Lee Cronin: The Alien Debateon The Lex Fridman ShowIf Cancer Were Easy, Every Cell Would Do ItSFI Press Release on work by Michael LachmannThe Ministry for The Futureby Kim Stanley RobinsonRe: Wheeler’s delayed choice experimentWikipediaOn the SFI “Exploring Life’s Origins” Research ProjectComplexity Explorer’s Origins of Life Free Open Online CourseChiara Marletto on Constructor TheorySimon Saunders, Philosopher of Physics at OxfordRelated SFI Podcast Episodes:Complexity 2 - The Origins of Life: David Krakauer, Sarah Maurer, and Chris Kempes at InterPlanetary Festival 2019Complexity 8 - Olivia Judson on Major Energy Transitions in Evolutionary HistoryComplexity 17 - Chris Kempes on The Physical Constraints on Life & EvolutionComplexity 40 - The Information Theory of Biology & Origins of Life with Sara Imari Walker (Big Biology Podcast Crossover)Complexity 41 - Natalie Grefenstette on Agnostic Biosignature DetectionComplexity 68 - W. Brian Arthur on Economics in Nouns & Verbs (Part 1)Complexity 80 - Mingzhen Lu on The Evolution of Root Systems & Biogeochemical CyclingAlien Crash Site 015 - Cole MathisAlien Crash Site 019 - Heather GrahamAlien Crash Site 020 - Chris KempesAlien Crash Site 021 - Natalie Grefenstette
82:23 07/02/2022
Dmitri Tymoczko on The Shape of Music: Mathematical Order in Western Tonality
Math and music share their mystery and magic. Three notes, played together, make a chord whose properties could not be predicted from those of the separate notes. In the West, music theory and mathematics have common origins and a rich history of shaping and informing one another’s field of inquiry. And, curiously, Western composition has evolved over several hundred years in much the same way economies and agents in long-running simulations have: becoming measurably more complex; encoding more and more environmental structure. (But then, sometimes collapses happen, and everything gets simpler.) Music theorists, like the alchemists that came before them, are engaged in a centuries-long project of deciphering the invisible geometry of these relationships. What is the hidden grammar that connects The Beatles to Johann Sebastian Bach — and how similar is it to the hidden order disclosed by complex systems science? In other words, what makes for “good” music, and what does it have to do with the coherence of the natural world?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on the show, we speak with mathematician and composer Dmitri Tymozcko at Princeton University, whose work provides a new rigor to the study of the Western canon and illuminates “the shape of music” — a hyperspatial object from which all works of baroque, classical, romantic, modern, jazz, and pop are all low-dimensional projections. In the first conversation for this podcast with MIDI keyboard accompaniment, we follow upon Gottfried Leibniz’s assertion that music is “the unconscious exercise of our mathematical powers.” We explore how melodies and harmonies move through mathematical space in ways quite like the metamorphoses of living systems as they traverse evolutionary fitness landscapes. We examine the application of information theory to chord categorization and functional harmony. And we ask about the nature of randomness, the roles of parsimony and consilience in both art and life.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage. You can find the complete show notes for every episode, with transcripts and links to cited works, at complexity.simplecast.com.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMentions and additional resources:All of Tymoczko’s writings mentioned in this conversation can be found on his Princeton.edu websiteYou can explore his interactive music software at MadMusicalScience.comThe Geometry of Musical Chordsby Dmitri TymoczkoAn Information Theoretic Approach to Chord Categorization and Functional Harmonyby Nori Jacoby, Naftali Tishby and Dmitri TymoczkoThis Mathematical Song of the Emotionsby Dmitri TymoczkoThe Sound of Philosophyby Dmitri TymoczkoSelect Tymoczko Video Lectures:Spacious Spatiality (SEMF) 2022The Quadruple HierarchyThe Shape of Music (2014)On the 2020 SFI Music & Complexity Working Group (with a link to the entire video playlist of public presentations).On the 2022 SFI Music & Complexity Working GroupFoundations and Applications of Humanities Analytics Institute at SFIShort explainer animation on SFI Professor Sidney Redner’s work on “Sleeping Beauties of Science”The evolution of syntactic communicationby Martin Nowak, Joshua Plotkin, Vincent JansenThe Majesty of Music and Math (PBS special with SFI’s Cris Moore)The physical limits of communicationby Michael Lachmann, Mark Newman, Cristopher MooreSupertheories and Consilience from Alchemy to ElectromagnetismSFI Seminar by Simon DeDeoWill brains or algorithms rule the kingdom of science?by David Krakauer at Aeon MagazineScaling, Mirror Symmetries and Musical Consonances Among the Distances of the Planets of the Solar Systemby Michael Bank and Nicola Scafetta“The reward system for people who do a really wonderful job of extracting knowledge and understanding and wisdom…is skewed in the wrong way. If left to the so-called free market, it’s mainly skewed toward entertainment or something that’s narrowly utilitarian for some business firm or set of business firms.”– Murray Gell-Mann, A Crude Look at The Whole Part 180/200 (1997)Related Episodes:Complexity 81 - C. Brandon Ogbunu on Epistasis & The Primacy of Context in Complex SystemsComplexity 72 - Simon DeDeo on Good Explanations & Diseases of EpistemologyComplexity 70 - Lauren F. Klein on Data Feminism: Surfacing Invisible LaborComplexity 67 - Tyler Marghetis on Breakdowns & Breakthroughs: Critical Transitions in Jazz & MathematicsComplexity 46 - Helena Miton on Cultural Evolution in Music and Writing SystemsComplexity 29 - On Coronavirus, Crisis, and Creative Opportunity with David Krakauer
85:16 06/18/2022
Seth Blumsack on Power Grids: Network Topology & Governance
We lead our lives largely unaware of the immense effort required to support them. All of us grew up inside the so-called “Grid” — actually one of many interconnected regional power grids that electrify our modern world. The physical infrastructure and the regulatory intricacies required to keep the lights on: both have grown organically, piecemeal, in complex networks that nobody seems to fully understand. And yet, we must. Compared to life 150 years ago, we are all utterly dependent on the power grid, and learning how it operates — how tiny failures cause cascading crises, and how tense webs of collaborators make decisions on the way that electricity is priced and served — matters now more than ever.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we speak with SFI External Professor Seth Blumsack (Google Scholar page), Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics and International Affairs in EME and Director of the Center for Energy Law and Policy at Penn State. In this conversation we explore the arcane yet urgent systems that comprise the power grid and how it’s operated, reminding us that the mundane is ever a deep reservoir of questions.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage. You can find the complete show notes for every episode, with transcripts and links to cited works, at complexity.simplecast.com.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMentions and additional resources:Topological Models and Critical Slowing down: Two Approaches to Power System Blackout Risk Analysisby Paul Hines, Eduardo Cotilla-Sanchez, & Seth BlumsackDo topological models provide good information about electricity infrastructure vulnerability?by Paul Hines, Eduardo Cotilla-Sanchez, & Seth BlumsackCan capacity markets be designed by democracy?by Kyungjin Yoo & Seth BlumsackThe Political Complexity of Regional Electricity Policy Formationby Kyungjin Yoo & Seth BlumsackThe Energy Transition in New Mexico: Insights from a Santa Fe Institute Workshopby Seth Blumsack, Paul Hines, Cristopher Moore, and Jessika E. TrancikEBF 483: Introduction to Electricity Marketsby Seth BlumsackWhat’s behind $15,000 electricity bills in Texas?by Seth BlumsackRTOGov: Exploring Links Between Market Decision-Making Processes and Outcomesby Kate KonschnikEnsuring Consideration of the Public Interest in the Governance and Accountability of Regional Transmission Organizationsby Michael H. Dworkin & Rachel Aslin GoldwasserElectricity governance and the Western energy imbalance market in the United States: The necessity of interorganizational collaborationby Stephanie Lenhart, Natalie Nelson-Marsh, Elizabeth J. Wilson, & David SolanUntangling the Wires in Electricity Market Planning, with Kate Konschnikby Resources RadioMatthew Jackson on Social & Economic NetworksComplexity Podcast 12Elizabeth Hobson on Animal Dominance HierarchiesComplexity Podcast 78The Collective Computation of Reality in Nature and SocietyJessica Flack’s 2019 SFI Community LectureTyler Marghetis on Breakdowns & Breakthroughs: Critical Transitions in Jazz & MathematicsComplexity Podcast 67Early-warning signals for critical transitionsby Marten Scheffer, Jordi Bascompte, William A. Brock, Victor Brovkin, Stephen R. Carpenter, Vasilis Dakos, Hermann Held, Egbert H. van Nes, Max Rietkerk & George SugiharaRicardo Hausmann & J. Doyne Farmer on Evolving Technologies & Market Ecologies (EPE 03)Complexity Podcast 84Anjali BhattTina Eliassi-Rad on Democracies as Complex SystemsComplexity Podcast 73Mirta Galesic on Social Learning & Decision-makingComplexity Podcast 9Jessika TrancikSignalling architectures can prevent cancer evolutionby Leonardo Oña & Michael LachmannThe Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles with Bryant Walker SmithComplexity Podcast 79Image Credit: Paul Hines
67:48 06/04/2022
Ricardo Hausmann & J. Doyne Farmer on Evolving Technologies & Market Ecologies (EPE 03)
As our world knits together, economic interdependencies change in both shape and nature. Supply chains, finance, labor, technological innovation, and geography interact in puzzling nonlinear ways. Can we step back far enough and see clearly enough to make sense of these interactions? Can we map the landscape of capability across scales? And what insights emerge by layering networks of people, firms, states, markets, regions? We’re all riding a bucking horse; what questions can we ask to make sure that we can stay in the saddle?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we speak with two SFI External Professors helping to rethink political economy: newly-appointed Science Board Co-Chair Ricardo Hausmann (Website, Wikipedia, Twitter) is the Director of the Harvard Growth Lab and J. Doyne Farmer (Website, Wikipedia) is Director of the Complexity Economics program at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School. In this episode we zoom wide to try and find a way to garden all together, learning limits that can help inform discussion and decisions on the shape of things to come…If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage. You can find the complete show notes for every episode, with transcripts and links to cited works, at complexity.simplecast.com. Heads up that our online education platform Complexity Explorer’s Origins of Life Course is still open for enrollment until June 1st! We hope to see you in there…Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMentions and additional resources:The new paradigm of economic complexityPierre-Alexandre Balland, Tom Broekel, Dario Diodato, Elisa Giuliani, Ricardo Hausmann, Neave O’Clery, and David Rigbyin Research PolicyHow production networks amplify economic growthJames McNerney, Charles Savoie, Francesco Caravelli, Vasco M. Carvalho, and J. Doyne Farmer in PNASProductive Ecosystems and the arrow of developmentby Neave O’Clery, Muhammed Ali Yıldırım, and Ricardo Hausmann Horrible trade-offs in a pandemic: Poverty, fiscal space, policy, and welfareRicardo Hausmann and Ulrich Schetterin ScienceDirectHistorical effects of shocks on inequality: the great leveler revisitedBas van Bavel and Marten Schefferin Nature Humanities & Social Sciences Communications(Twitter thread)Complexity 56 - J. Doyne Farmer on The Complexity Economics RevolutionThe Multiple Paths to Multiple LifeChristopher P. Kempes and David C. Krakauer in Journal of Molecular EvolutionScaling of urban income inequality in the USAElisa Heinrich Mora, Cate Heine, Jacob J. Jackson, Geoffrey B. West, Vicky Chuqiao Yang and Christopher P. Kempesin Journal of The Royal Society InterfaceComplexity 12 - Matthew Jackson on Social & Economic NetworksComplexity 81 - C. Brandon Ogbunu on Epistasis & The Primacy of Context in Complex SystemsPitchfork Economicsby Nick Hanauer (podcast)Complexity 15 - R. Maria del-Rio Chanona on Modeling Labor Markets & Tech UnemploymentWill a Large Complex System be Stable?by Robert Mayin NatureInvestigationsby Stuart KauffmanThe Collapse of Networksby Raissa D’Souza (SFI Symposium Talk)
80:49 05/21/2022
Eric Beinhocker & Diane Coyle on Rethinking Economics for A Sustainable & Prosperous World (EPE 02)
In the digital era, data is practically the air we breathe. So why does everybody treat it like a product to be hoarded and sold at profit? How would our world change if Big Tech operated on assumptions and incentives more aligned with the needs of a healthy society? Are more data — or are bigger models — really better? As human beings scamper around like prehistoric mammals under the proverbial feet of the new enormous digital monopolies that have emerged due to the Web’s economies of scale, how might we tip the scales back to a world governed wisely by human judgment and networks of trust? Would Facebook and Twitter be more beneficial for society if they were public services like the BBC? And how do we settle on the social norms that help ensure the ethical deployment of A.I.? These and many other questions grow from the boundary-challenging developments of rapid innovation that define our century — a world in which the familiar dyads of state and market, public and private, individual and institutional are all called into question.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we speak with two researchers helping to rethink political economy:SFI External Professor Eric Beinhocker is the Professor of Public Policy Practice at the University of Oxford, and founder and Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the University’s Oxford Martin School. He is also the author of The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society.Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, and co-director of the Bennett Institute, whose latest book — Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be— was published by Princeton University Press last fall.In the first episode of this subseries, we spoke with SFI President David Krakauer about how the study of political economy has changed over the last two hundred years due to the innovation of new mathematical and computational methods.  In this episode, we examine how the technological milieu that empowered these changes has also transformed the subject of study itself:  digital surveillance architecture, social media networks, big data, and (largely inadequate) attempts to formalize econometrics have all had a profound impact on modern life. In what ways do new institutions beget even newer institutions to address their unintended consequences? How should we think about the complex relationships between private and public agencies, and what status should we give the data they produce and consume? What is it going to take to restore the trust in one another necessary for society to remain coherent, and what are the most important measures to help economists and policymakers navigate the turbulence of our times into a more inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable world?Subscribe to Complexity Podcast for upcoming episodes with an acclaimed line-up of scholars including Ricardo Hausmann, Doyne Farmer, Steven Teles, Rajiv Sethi, Jenna Bednar, Tom Ginsburg, Niall Ferguson, Neal Stephenson, Paul Smaldino, C. Thi Nguyen, John Kay, John Geneakoplos, and many more to be announced…If you value our research and communication efforts, please rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage. You can find the complete show notes for every episode, with transcripts and links to cited works, at complexity.simplecast.com.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMentions and additional resources:Toward a New Ontological Framework for the Economic Goodby Eric D. BeinhockerComplexity Economics: Proceedings of the Santa Fe Institute's 2019 Fall Symposiumedited by W. Brian Arthur, Eric Beinhocker, Allison StangerSocializing Databy Diane CoyleThe Public Optionby Diane CoyleCommon as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownershipby Lewis HydePitchfork Economicsby Nick HanauerThe Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolvesby W. Brian ArthurGeoffrey West on Complexity 35Will A Large Complex System Be Stable?by Robert MayBlockchain: Trust Companies: Every Company Is at Risk of Being Disrupted by A Trusted Version of Itselfby Richie EtwaruHelena Miton on Complexity 46The coming battle for the COVID-19 narrativeby Sam Bowles, Wendy CarlinRecoupling Economic and Social Prosperityby Katharina Lima de Miranda, Dennis J. SnowerSignalling architectures can prevent cancer evolutionby Leonardo Oña & Michael LachmannWhy we should have a public option version of Google and Facebook (response to Diane Coyle)by James PethokoukisBryant Walker Smith on Complexity 79“Premature optimization is the root of all evil."— Donald Knuth
50:42 05/06/2022
David Krakauer on Emergent Political Economies and A Science of Possibility (EPE 01)
The world is unfair — but how much of that unfairness is inevitable, and how much is just contingency? After centuries of efforts to arrive at formal theories of history, society, and economics, most of us still believe and act on what amounts to myth. Our predecessors can’t be faulted for their lack of data, but in 2022 we have superior resources we’re only starting to appreciate and use. In honor of the Santa Fe Institute’s new role as the hub of an international research network exploring Emergent Political Economies, we dedicate this new sub-series of Complexity Podcast to conversations on money, power, governance, and justice. Subscribe for a new stream of dialogues and trialogues between SFI’s own diverse scholastic community and other acclaimed political economists, historians, and authors of speculative fiction.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.In this episode, we talk with SFI President David Krakauer about the goals of this research theme and what SFI brings to the table. We discuss the legacy of long-standing challenges to quantitative history and mathematical economics, how SFI thinks differently about these topics, and a brief outline of the major angles we’ll explore in this sub-series over the next year-plus — including the roles of dimension, causality, algorithms, scaling, innovation, emergence, and more.Subscribe to Complexity Podcast for upcoming episodes with an acclaimed line-up of scholars including Diane Coyle, Eric Beinhocker, Ricardo Hausmann, Doyne Farmer, Steven Teles, Rajiv Sethi, Jenna Bednar, Tom Ginsburg, Niall Ferguson, Neal Stephenson, Paul Smaldino, C. Thi Nguyen, John Kay, John Geneakoplos, and many more to be announced…If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and consider making a donation — or finding other ways to engage with us — at santafe.edu/engage. You can find the complete show notes for every episode, with transcripts and links to cited works, at complexity.simplecast.com.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInMentions and additional resources:Emergent Political Economies and A Science of Possibilityby David Krakauer for SFI Parallax Newsletter, Spring 2022 EditionPolicing stabilizes construction of social niches in primatesby Jessica Flack, Michelle Girvan, Frans de Waal, and David Krakauer in NatureConflicts of interest improve collective computation of adaptive social structuresby Eleanor Brush, David Krakauer, and Jessica Flack in Science AdvancesThe Star Gazer and the Flesh Eater: Elements of a Theory of Metahistoryby David C. Krakauer in History, Big History, and Metahistory at SFI PressThe Cultural Evolution of National Constitutionsby Daniel Rockmore, Chen Fang, Nick Foti, Tom Ginsburg, & David Krakauer in SSRNScaling of Hunter-Gatherer Camp Size and Human Socialityby José Lobo, Todd Whitelaw, Luís M. A. Bettencourt, Polly Wiessner, Michael E. Smith, & Scott Ortman in Current AnthropologyW. Brian Arthur on Complexity Podcast (eps. 13, 14, 68, 69)Reflections on COVID-19 with David Krakauer & Geoffrey West (Complexity Podcast)The Dawn of Everythingby David Graeber and David Wengrow at Macmillan PublishersMitch Waldrop speaks on the history of SFI (Twitter excerpts)The Hedgehog and the Foxby Isaiah BerlinWar and Peaceby Leo TolstoyOn the Application of Mathematics to Political Economyby F. Y. Edgeworth in Journal of the Royal Statistical SocietyHow Economics Became A Mathematical Scienceby E. Roy Weintraub at Duke University PressMachine Dreamsby Philip Mirowski at Cambridge University PressAll Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (TV series)by Adam Curtis for BBCCan’t Get You Out of My Head (TV series)by Adam Curtis for BBCThe Collective Computation Group at SFISeeing Like A Stateby James. C Scott at Yale BooksUncertain timesby Jessica Flack and Melanie Mitchell at AeonAt the limits of thoughtby David Krakauer at AeonPreventative Citizen-Based Medicineby David Krakauer for the SFI Transmissions: Reflections seriesThe uncertainty paradox. Can science make uncertainty optimistic?by Stuart Firestein (SFI Seminar)Editorial note: At one point DK mentions "John" Steuart but meant James Steuart, author ofAn Inquiry Into the Principles of Political Economy(a more thoroughly-indexed and searchable version can be found here)
52:57 04/21/2022
C. Brandon Ogbunu on Epistasis & The Primacy of Context in Complex Systems
Context is king: whether in language, ecology, culture, history, economics, or chemistry. One of the core teachings of complexity science is that nothing exists in isolation — especially when it comes to systems in which learning, memory, or emergent behaviors play a part. Even though this (paradoxically) limits the universality of scientific claims, it also lets us draw analogies between the context-dependency of one phenomenon and others: how protein folding shapes HIV evolution is meaningfully like the way that growing up in a specific neighborhood shapes educational and economic opportunity; the paths through a space of all possible four-letter words are constrained in ways very similar to how interactions between microbes impact gut health; how we make sense both depends on how we’ve learned and places bounds on what we’re capable of seeing.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we talk to Yale evolutionary biologist C. Brandon Ogbunu (Twitter, Google Scholar, GitHub) about the importance of environment to the activity and outcomes of complex systems — the value of surprise, the constraints of history, the virtue and challenge of great communication, and much more. Our conversation touches on everything from using word games to teach core concepts in evolutionary theory, to the ways that protein quality control co-determines the ability of pathogens to evade eradication, to the relationship between human artists, algorithms, and regulation in the 21st Century. Brandon works not just in multiple scientific domains but as the author of a number of high-profile blogs exploring the intersection of science and culture — and his boundaryless fluency shines through in a discussion that will not be contained, about some of the biggest questions and discoveries of our time.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give. You'll find plenty of other ways to engage with us at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInDiscussed in this episode:“I do my science biographically…I find a personal connection to the essence of the question.”– C. Brandon Ogbunugafor on RadioLab"Environment x everything interactions: From evolution to epidemics and beyond"Brandon’s February 2022 SFI Seminar (YouTube Video + Live Twitter Coverage)“A Reflection on 50 Years of John Maynard Smith’s ‘Protein Space’”C. Brandon Ogbunugafor in GENETICS“Collective Computing: Learning from Nature”David Krakauer presenting at the Foresight Institute in 2021 (with reference to Rubik’s Cube research)“Optimal Policies Tend to Seek Power”Alexander Matt Turner, Logan Smith, Rohin Shah, Andrew Critch, Prasad Tadepalli in arXiv“A New Take on John Maynard Smith's Concept of Protein Space for Understanding Molecular Evolution”C. Brandon Ogbunugafor, Daniel Hartl in PLOS Computational Biology“The 300 Most Common Words”by Bruce Sterling“The Host Cell’s Endoplasmic Reticulum Proteostasis Network Profoundly Shapes the Protein Sequence Space Accessible to HIV Envelope”Jimin Yoon, Emmanuel E. Nekongo, Jessica E. Patrick, Angela M. Phillips, Anna I. Ponomarenko, Samuel J. Hendel, Vincent L. Butty, C. Brandon Ogbunugafor, Yu-Shan Lin, Matthew D. Shoulders in bioRxiv“Competition along trajectories governs adaptation rates towards antimicrobial resistance”C. Brandon Ogbunugafor, Margaret J. Eppstein in Nature Ecology & Evolution“Scientists Need to Admit What They Got Wrong About COVID”C. Brandon Ogbunugafor in WIRED“Deconstructing higher-order interactions in the microbiota: A theoretical examination”Yitbarek Senay, Guittar John, Sarah A. Knutie, C. Brandon Ogbunugafor in bioRxiv“What Makes an Artist in the Age of Algorithms?”C. Brandon Ogbunugafor in WIREDNot mentioned in this episode but still worth exploring:“Part of what I was getting after with Blackness had to do with authoring ideas that are edgy or potentially threatening. That as a scientist, you can generate ideas in the name of research, in the name of breaking new ground, that may stigmatize you. That may kick you out of the club, so to speak, because you’re not necessarily following the herd.”– Physicist Stephon Alexander in an interview with Brandon at Andscape“How Afrofuturism Can Help The World Mend”C. Brandon Ogbunugafor in WIRED“The COVID-19 pandemic amplified long-standing racial disparities in the United States criminal justice system”Brennan Klein, C. Brandon Ogbunugafor, Benjamin J. Schafer, Zarana Bhadricha, Preeti Kori, Jim Sheldon, Nitish Kaza, Emily A. Wang, Tina Eliassi-Rad, Samuel V. Scarpino, Elizabeth Hinton in medRxivAlso mentioned:Simon Conway Morris, Geoffrey West, Samuel Scarpino, Rick & Morty, Stuart Kauffman, Frank Salisbury, Stephen Jay Gould, Frances Arnold, John Vervaeke, Andreas Wagner, Jennifer Dunne, James Evans, Carl Bergstrom, Jevin West, Henry Gee, Eugene Shakhnovich, Rafael Guerrero, Gregory Bateson, Simon DeDeo, James Clerk Maxwell, Melanie Moses, Kathy Powers, Sara Walker, Michael Lachmann, and many others...
74:17 04/08/2022
Mingzhen Lu on The Evolution of Root Systems & Biogeochemical Cycling
As fictional Santa Fe Institute chaos mathematician Ian Malcolm famously put it, “Life finds a way” — and this is perhaps nowhere better demonstrated than by roots: seeking out every opportunity, improving in their ability to access and harness nutrients as they’ve evolved over the last 400 million years. Roots also exemplify another maxim for living systems: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” As the Earth’s climate has transformed, the plants and fungi have transformed along with it, reaching into harsh and unstable environments and proving themselves in a crucible of evolutionary innovation that has reshaped the biosphere. Dig deep enough and you’ll find that life, like roots, trends toward the ever-finer, more adaptable, more intertwined…we all live in and on Charles Darwin’s “tangled bank”, whether we recognize it in our farms, our markets, or our minds.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we talk to SFI Postdoctoral Fellow Mingzhen Lu (Google Scholar, Twitter) about the lessons of the invisible webwork beneath our feet, the hidden world upon which all of us walk and rely — largely unnoticed, and until recently scarcely understood. We discuss the intersection of geography, ecology, and economics; the relationship between the so-called “Wood-Wide Web” and urban systems; how plants domesticated mycorrhizal fungi much as humans domesticated animals and plants; the evolutionary trends revealed by a paleoecological study of roots and what they suggest for the future of technology and civilization… This episode is an especially intertwingled and far-reaching one, as suits the topic. Plant yourself and soak it up!If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give. You'll find plenty of other ways to engage with us at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInDiscussed in this episode:“Evolutionary history resolves global organization of root functional traits”by Zeqing Ma, Dali Guo, Xingliang Xu, Mingzhen Lu, Richard D. Bardgett, David M. Eissenstat, M. Luke McCormack & Lars O. Hedinin Nature“Global plant-symbiont organization and emergence of biogeochemical cycles resolved by evolution-based trait modelling”by Mingzhen Lu, Lars O. Hedinin PubMed“Biome boundary maintained by intense belowground resource competition in world’s thinnest-rooted plant community”by Mingzhen Lu, William J. Bond, Efrat Sheffer, Michael D. Cramer, Adam G. West, Nicky Allsopp, Edmund C.  February,  Samson Chimphango, Zeqing Ma, Jasper A. Slingsby, and Lars O. Hedinin PNASComplexity ep. 8 - Olivia Judson on Major Energy Transitions in Evolutionary HistoryA (Very) Short History of Life on Earthby Henry Gee (Senior Editor of Nature)"General statistical model shows that macroevolutionary patterns and processes are consistent with Darwinian gradualism”by SFI Professor Mark Pagelin NatureComplexity ep. 29 - On Coronavirus, Crisis, and Creative Opportunity with David Krakauer“Childhood as a solution to explore–exploit tensions”by SFI Professor Alison Gopnikin Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society BComplexity ep. 35 - Scaling Laws & Social Networks in The Time of COVID-19 with Geoffrey WestComplexity ep. 17 - Chris Kempes on The Physical Constraints on Life & EvolutionComplexity ep. 60 - Andrea Wulf on The Invention of Nature, Part 1: Humboldt's NaturegemäldeDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?by Philip K. DickThe Shock Doctrineby Naomi KleinDoughnut Economicsby Kate RaworthThe Long Descentby John Michael Greer“6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World”by Paul StametsComplexity ep. 43 - Vicky Yang & Henrik Olsson on Political Polling & Polarization: How We Make Decisions & IdentitiesThe Expanse (novel series)by James S. A. Corey (Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck, here at IPFest 2019 on our World Building panel)
53:36 03/26/2022
The Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles with Bryant Walker Smith
Autonomous vehicles hardly live up to their name. The goal of true “driverlessness” was originally hyped in the 1930s but keeps getting kicked further and further into the future as the true complexity of driving comes into ever-sharper and more daunting focus. In 2022, even the most capable robotic cars aren’t self-determining agents but linked into swarms and acting as the tips of a vast and hidden web of design, programming, legislation, and commercial interest. Infrastructure is more than the streets and signs but includes licensing requirements, road rules, principles of product liability, and many other features that form the landscape to which driverless cars continue to adapt, and which they will increasingly alter.While most ethical debates about them seem to focus on the so-called “Trolley Problem” of how to teach machines to make decisions that minimize human casualties, there are many other wicked problems to consider:Is automated driving a technological solution or a policy solution? Should policymakers have the same expectations for automated and conventional driving? How safe must an automated vehicle be for deployment? Should humans or computers have ultimate authority over a given action? Should harm that a human could have prevented somehow outweigh harm that a human caused? Given that a hacker could infect entire fleets, maps, or real-time communication between cars, how much new risk are we willing to take to reduce the more traditional safety hazards with which we are familiar? And, perhaps most surreally: How do you ticket a robot, and who should pay?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on complexity, we speak to Bryant Walker Smith (Twitter) at the University of South Carolina School of Law and The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford, whose work centers on the ethics of autonomous vehicles. We link up to explore the myriad complexities — technological, regulatory, and sociocultural — surrounding the development and roll-out of new mobility platforms that challenge conventional understanding of the boundaries between person, vehicle, institution, and infrastructure. Buckle up and lean back for a dynamic discussion on the ever-shifting locii of agency, privacy and data protection, the relationship between individuals, communities, and corporations…If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInDiscussed:• Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Transport• Who is driving driverless cars?• From driverless dilemmas to more practical commonsense tests for automated vehicles• Who’s Responsible When A Self-Driving Car Crashes?• How Do You Ticket a Driverless Car?• Controlling Humans and Machines• Regulation and the Risk of Inaction• Government Assessment of Innovation Shouldn’t Differ for Tech Companies• New Technologies and Old Treaties• It’s Not The Robot’s Fault! Russian and American Perspectives on Responsibility for Robot HarmsMentioned:Melanie Mitchell - A.I.: A Guide for Thinking People + Complexity ep. 21Kathy Powers & Melanie Moses on The Complexity of Harm, Complexity ep. 75Cris Moore on Algorithmic Injustice, Complexity ep. 51Luis Bettencourt on Urban Networks, Complexity ep. 4Sabine Hauert on Swarming Robots, Complexity ep. 3Kevin Kelly - Out of ControlEmergent EngineeringCory DoctorowJake Harper (formerly of Zoox)InterPlanetary FestivalJose Luis BorgesW. Brian Arthur - The Nature of Technology + Complexity ep. 13Ricardo HausmannAmazon Prime Video - UploadCharles Stross - Halting StateDoyne Farmer on Market Malfunction, Complexity ep. 56Marten Scheffer on Autocorrelation & Collapse, Complexity ep. 33
57:01 03/11/2022
Elizabeth Hobson on Animal Dominance Hierarchies
Irrespective of your values, if you’re listening to this, you live in a pecking order. Dominance hierarchies, as they’re called by animal behaviorists, define the lives of social creatures. The society itself is a kind of individual that gathers information and adapts to its surroundings by encoding stable environmental features in the power relationships between its members. But what works for the society at large often results in violence and inequity for its members; as the founder of this field of research put it, “A grave seriousness lies over the chicken yard.” Over the last hundred years, the science of dominance hierarchies has bloomed faster than a saloon brawl — branching out for deeper understanding of the lives of everything from fish to insects, apes to parakeets. Today, amidst clashing national and corporate titans, systemic economic inequality, and legitimacy crises in the institutions that once served to maintain (admittedly unfair) order, the time is ripe to turn to and learn from what science has discovered about the fundamental mechanisms that underly both human nature and the rest of it: who loses and who wins, and why, and at what cost?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we speak with former ASU-SFI Fellow Elizabeth Hobson (Website | Twitter), now an Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati, about the last century of pecking order research. Dobson just co-edited an issue of Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B devoted to this topic, and we unpack her and others’ contributions to this volume — including retrospectives, literature reviews, quantitative analysis, and a look at the current state and frontiers of the science of what we can colloquially call “punching up and down”…If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInPapers & People Discussed Include:• The centennial of the pecking order: current state and future prospects for the study of dominance hierarchiesEli D. Strauss, James P. Curley, Daizaburo Shizuka and Elizabeth A. Hobson• Quantifying the dynamics of nearly 100 years of dominance hierarchy researchElizabeth A. Hobson• DomArchive: a century of published dominance dataEli D. Strauss, Alex R. DeCasien, Gabriela Galindo, Elizabeth A. Hobson, Daizaburo Shizuka and James P. Curley• Social hierarchies and social networks in humansDaniel Redhead and Eleanor A. Power• Dominance in humansTian Chen Zeng, Joey T. Cheng and Joseph Henrich• From equality to hierarchySimon DeDeo and Elizabeth A. Hobson• More is DifferentPhil Anderson• Environmentally Mediated Social DilemmasSylvie Estrela, Eric Libby, Jeremy Van Cleve, Florence Débarre, Maxime Deforet, William R. Harcombe, Jorge Peña, Sam P. Brown, Michael E. Hochberg• Jessica Flack• Michael Mauboussin• Joshua Bell• Robert Kegan• Thorleif Schjelderup-EbbeRelated Podcast Episodes Include:• Sidney Redner on Statistics and Everyday Life• Simon DeDeo on Good Explanations & Diseases of Epistemology• Deborah Gordon on Ant Colonies as Distributed Computers• Jonas Dalege on The Physics of Attitudes & Beliefs• Fractal Conflicts & Swing Voters with Eddie Lee• Fighting Hate Speech with AI & Social Science (with Joshua Garland, Mirta Galesic, and Keyan Ghazi-Zahedi)• Matthew Jackson on Social & Economic Networks• Rajiv Sethi on Stereotypes, Crime, and The Pursuit of Justice
73:37 02/25/2022
Hard Sci-Fi Worldbuilding, Robotics, Society, & Purpose with Gary Bengier
As a careful study of the world, science is reflective and reactive — it constrains our flights of fancy, anchors us in hard-won fact. By contrast, science fiction is a speculative world-building exercise that guides imagination and foresight by marrying the known with the unknown. The field is vast; some sci-fi writers pay less tribute to the line between the possible and the impossible. Others, though, adopt a far more sober tactic and write “hard” sci fi that does its best to stay within the limits of our current paradigm while rooting visions of the future that can grow beyond and beckon us into a bigger, more adventurous reality.The question we might ask, though, is: which one is which? Our bounded rationality, our sense for what is plausible, is totally dependent on our personal life histories, cultural conditioning, information diet, and social network biases. One person’s linear projections seem too conservative; another person’s exponential change seems like a fantasy. If we can say one thing about our complex world, it might be that it always has, and always will, defy our expectations…Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we join up with Caitlin McShea and the InterPlanetary Project’s Alien Crash Site podcast for a wild discussion with SFI Trustee, technologist, and philosopher Gary Bengier about his science fiction novel Unfettered Journey. This book takes readers forward more than a century into a highly automated, highly-stratified post-climate-change world in which our protaganist defies the rigid norms of his society to follow fundamental questions about mind, life, purpose, meaning, consciousness, and truth. It is a perfect backdrop to our conversation on the role of complex systems science in our understanding of both present-day society and the futures that may, or may never, come to pass…If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInGo Deeper With These Related MediaScience:Paul Smaldino: The evolution of covert signaling in diverse societiesGeoffrey West: ScaleBob May: Will a Large Complex System be Stable?Melanie Mitchell: The Collapse of Artificial IntelligenceMelanie Mitchell: On Crashing The Barrier of Meaning in AIElisa Heinrich Mora et al.: Scaling of Urban Income Inequality in the United StatesSFI ACtioN Climate Change Seminar: Complexity of SustainabilityRaissa D’Souza: The Collapse of NetworksDavid Krakauer: Preventative Citizen-Based MedicineSimon DeDeo & Elizabeth Hobson: From equality to hierarchyPeter Turchin: The Double Helix of Inequality and Well-BeingSpeculative Fiction:2019 IPFest World Building Panel Discussion with Rebecca Roanhorse, James S.A. Correy, and Cris MooreRobin Hanson: Age of EmAyn Rand: Atlas ShruggedPeter Watts: BlindsightIsaac Asimov: FoundationThe Strugatsky Brothers: Roadside PicnicPodcast Episodes:Complexity 10: Melanie Moses on Metabolic Scaling in Biology & ComputationComplexity 14: W. Brian Arthur (Part 2) on The Future of The EconomyComplexity 19: David Kinney on the Philosophy of ScienceComplexity 21: Melanie Mitchell on Artificial Intelligence: What We Still Don't KnowComplexity 22: Nicole Creanza on Cultural Evolution in Humans & SongbirdsComplexity 36: Geoffrey West on Scaling, Open-Ended Growth, and Accelerating Crisis/Innovation Cycles: Transcendence or Collapse? (Part 2)Complexity 51: Cris Moore on Algorithmic Justice & The Physics of InferenceThe Jim Rutt Show 152: Gary Bengier on Hard Sci-Fi Futures
54:18 02/11/2022
Multiscale Crisis Response: Melanie Moses & Kathy Powers, Part 2
COVID has exposed and possibly amplified the polarization of society. What can we learn from taking a multiscale approach to crisis response? There are latencies in economies of scale, inequality of access and supply chain problems. The virus evolves faster than peer review. Science is politicized. But thinking across scales offers answers, insights, better questions…Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we conclude our conversation (recorded on December 9th last year) with SFI External Professors Kathy Powers, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico, and Melanie Moses, Director of the Moses Biological Computation Lab at the University of New Mexico.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give. Please also be aware of our new SFI Press book, The Complex Alternative, which gathers over 60 complex systems research points of view on COVID-19 (including those from this show). Learn more at SFIPress.org. Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInRelated Reading & Listening:“Spatially distributed infection increases viral load in a computational model of SARS-CoV-2 lung infection”by Melanie E. Moses et al. incl. Stephanie Forrest“Sunsetting As An Adaptive Strategy”by Roberta Romano and Simon A. Levin“The Virus That Infected The World”by David Krakauer & Dan RockmoreA Model For A Just COVID-19 Vaccination ProgramLegacies of Harm, Social Mistrust & Political Blame Impede A Robust Societal Response to The Evolving COVID-19 PandemicHow To Fix The Vaccine RolloutModels That Protect The VulnerableComplexities in Repair for Harm (Kathy’s SFI Seminar)"The inevitable shift towards science as crisis response is a call to arms for complexity science. How well we will be able to meet these challenges will determine the future path of humanity."- Miguel FuentesAlso Mentioned:Jessica Flack, James C. Scott, Sam Bowles, Wendy Carlin, Joseph Henrich, Luis Bettencourt, Matthew Jackson, David Kinney
46:07 01/27/2022
Fractal Inequality & The Complexity of Repair: Kathy Powers & Melanie Moses, Part 1
Some people say we’re all in the same boat; others say no, but we’re all in the same storm. Wherever you choose to focus the granularity of your inquiry, one thing is certain: we are all embedded in, acting on, and being acted upon by the same nested networks. Our fates are intertwined, but our destinies diverge like weather forecasts, hingeing on small variations in contingency: the circumstances of our birth, the changing contexts of our lives. Seen through a complex systems science lens, the problem of unfairness — in economic opportunity, in health care access, in susceptibility to a pandemic — stays wicked. But the insights therein could steer society toward a much better future, or at least help mitigate the worst of what we’re left to deal with now. This is where the rubber meets the road — where quantitative models of the lung could inform economic policy, and research into how we make decisions influences who survives the complex crises of this decade.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, in a conversation recorded on December 9th 2021, we speak with SFI External Professors Kathy Powers, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico, and Melanie Moses, Director of the Moses Biological Computation Lab at the University of New Mexico. In the first part of a conversation that — like COVID itself — will not be contained, and spends much of its time visiting the poor and under-represented, we discuss everything from how the network topology of cities shapes the outcome of an outbreak to how vaccine hesitancy is a path-dependent trust fail anchored in the history of oppression. Melanie and Kathy offer insights into how to fix the vaccine rollout, how better scientific models can protect the vulnerable, and how — with the help of complex systems thinking — we may finally be able to repair the structural inequities that threaten all of us, one boat or many.  Subscribe for Part Two in two weeks!If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give. Please also be aware of our new SFI Press book, The Complex Alternative, which gathers over 60 complex systems research points of view on COVID-19 (including those from this show) — and that PhD students are now welcome to apply for our tuitionless (!) Summer 2022 SFI GAINS residential program in Vienna. Learn more at SFIPress.org and SantaFe.edu/Gains, respectively. Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInRelated Reading & Listening:A Model For A Just COVID-19 Vaccination ProgramLegacies of Harm, Social Mistrust & Political Blame Impede A Robust Societal Response to The Evolving COVID-19 PandemicHow To Fix The Vaccine RolloutModels That Protect The VulnerableComplexities in Repair for Harm (Kathy’s SFI Seminar)How a coastline 100 million years ago influences modern election results in Alabama @ Reddit🎧 Better Scientific Modeling for Ecological & Social Justice with David Krakauer (Transmission Series Ep. 7)🎧 Cris Moore on Algorithmic Justice & The Physics of Inference🎧 Mirta Galesic on Social Learning & Decision-making🎧 Matthew Jackson on Social & Economic Networks🎧 Luis Bettencourt on The Science of CitiesMentions Include:Johan Chu, James Evans, Sam Scarpino, Simon DeDeo, Tony Eagan, Matthew Jackson, Mirta Galesic, Stuart Firestein, David Kinney, Jessica Flack, Samuel Bowles, Wendy Carlin, Cris Moore, Miguel Fuentes, Stephanie Forrest, David Krakauer, Luis BettencourtMany additional resources in the show notes for the next episode!  Stay tuned…
46:03 01/13/2022
Reflections on COVID-19 with David Krakauer & Geoffrey West
If you’re honest with yourself, you’re likely asking of the last two years: What happened? The COVID-19 pandemic is a prism through which our stories and predictions have refracted…or perhaps it’s a kaleidoscope, through which we can infer relationships and causes, but the pieces all keep shifting. One way to think about humankind’s response to COVID is as a collision between predictive power and understanding, highlighting how far the evolution of our comprehension has trailed behind the evolution of our tools. Another way of looking at it is in terms of bottlenecks and reservoirs — whether it’s N95 mask distribution, log-jammed shipping lanes, or everybody looking up to Tony Fauci, superspreader events or narrative rupture, COVID is a global crash course in how things flow through networks. Ultimately, the effects go even deeper: How has COVID changed our understanding of individuality — the self and its relationship to other selves?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.In this special year-end wrap-up episode, we speak with  SFI President David Krakauer and former SFI President and Distinguished Professor Geoffrey West about The Complex Alternative, a new SFI Press volume gathering the perspectives of over 60 members of the complex systems research community on COVID-19 — not just the disease but the webbed and embedded systems it revealed.Complexity Podcast will take a winter hiatus over the holidays and return on Wednesday, January 12th. If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give. Please also be aware that PhD students are now welcome to apply for our tuitionless (!) Summer 2022 SFI GAINS residential program in Vienna, Austria. Learn more at santafe.edu/gains.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInRelated Reading & Listening:The Complex Alternative: Complexity Scientists on the COVID-19 PandemicSelected contributions from that volume:David Kinney - Why We Can’t Depoliticize A PandemicSimon DeDeo - From Virus To SymptomOn Coronavirus, Crisis, and Creative Opportunity with David Krakauer (Transmission Series Ep. 3)Bill Miller on Investment Strategies in Times of CrisisCristopher Moore on the heavy tail of outbreaksSidney Redner on exponential growth processesAnthony Eagan - The COVID-19-Induced Explosion of Boutique NarrativesCarrie Cowan on the future of educationMelanie Mitchell - The Double-Edged Sword of Imperfect MetaphorsDanielle Allen, E. Glen Weyl, and Rajiv Sethi - Prediction and Policy in a Complex SystemAdditional Media:John Kaag - What Thoreau can teach us about the Great ResignationKyle Harper - The Fall of the Roman Empire (SFI Talk)Niall Ferguson’s Networld, Part 1 “Disruption” feat. Geoffrey WestNeal Stephenson, SFI Miller ScholarThe Limits of Human Scale - David Pakman interviews Geoffrey WestSamuel Bowles, Wendy Carlin - The coming battle for the COVID-19 narrativeJonathan Rausch - The Constitution of KnowledgeLaurent Hébert-Dufresne on Halting the Spread of COVID-19Sam Scarpino on Modeling Disease Transmission & InterventionsScaling Laws & Social Networks in The Time of COVID-19 with Geoffrey West (Part 1)Geoffrey West on Scaling, Open-Ended Growth, and Accelerating Crisis/Innovation Cycles: Transcendence or Collapse? (Part 2)New Directions in Science Emerge from Disconnection and Discordby Yiling Lin, James Allen Evans, Lingfei WuScaling of Urban Income Inequality in the United Statesby Elisa Heinrich Mora, Jacob J. Jackson, Cate Heine, Geoffrey B. West, Vicky Chuqiao Yang, Christopher P. Kempes
70:52 12/22/2021
Tina Eliassi-Rad on Democracies as Complex Systems
Democracy is a quintessential complex system: citizens’ decisions shape each other’s in nonlinear and often unpredictable ways; the emergent institutions exert top-down regulation on the individuals and orgs that live together in a polity; feedback loops and tipping points abound. And so perhaps it comes as no surprise in our times of turbulence and risk that democratic processes are under extraordinary pressure from the unanticipated influences of digital communications media, rapidly evolving economic forces, and the algorithms we’ve let loose into society.In a new special feature at PNAS co-edited by SFI Science Board Member Simon Levin, fifteen international research teams map the jeopardy faced by democracies today — as Levin and the other editors write in their introduction to the issue, “the loss of diversity associated with polarization undermines cooperation and the ability of societies to provide the public goods that make for a healthy society.” And yet humankind has never been more well-equipped to understand the problems that we face. What can complex systems science teach us about this century’s threats to democracy, and how to mitigate or sidestep them? How might democracy itself transform as it adapts to our brave new world of extremist partisanship, exponential change, and epistemic crisis?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we speak with SFI External Professor Tina Eliassi-Rad, Professor of Computer Science at Northeastern University, about her complex systems research on democracy, what forces stabilize or upset democratic process, and how to rigorously study the relationships between technology and social change.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give. Please also be aware of our new SFI Press book, The Complex Alternative, which gathers over 60 complex systems research points of view on COVID-19 (including those from this show) — and that PhD students are now welcome to apply for our tuitionless (!) Summer 2022 SFI GAINS residential program in Vienna. Learn more at SFIPress.org and SantaFe.edu/Gains, respectively. Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInRelated Reading & Listening:Tina’s Website & Google Scholar Page“What science can do for democracy: a complexity science approach”Tina Eliassi-Rad, Henry Farrell, David Garcia, Stephan Lewandowsky, Patricia Palacios, Don Ross, Didier Sornette, Karim Thébault & Karoline Wiesner“Stability of democracies: a complex systems perspective”K Wiesner, A Birdi, T Eliassi-Rad, H Farrell, D Garcia, S Lewandowsky, P Palacios, D Ross, D Sornette and K Thébault“Measuring algorithmically infused societies”Claudia Wagner, Markus Strohmaier, Alexandra Olteanu, Emre Kıcıman, Noshir Contractor & Tina Eliassi-Rad1 - David Krakauer on The Landscape of 21st Century Science7 - Rajiv Sethi on Stereotypes, Crime, and The Pursuit of Justice35 - Scaling Laws & Social Networks in The Time of COVID-19 with Geoffrey West38 - Fighing Hate Speech with AI & Social Science (Garland, Galesic, Olsson)43 - Vicky Yang & Henrik Olsson on Political Polling & Polarization: How We Make Decisions & Identities51 - Cris Moore on Algorithmic Justice and The Physics of Inference“Stewardship of global collective behavior” - Joe Bak-Coleman et al.Michelle Girvan - Harnessing Chaos & Predicting The Unpredictable with A.I.Transmission T-015: Anthony Eagan on Federalism in the time of pandemicTransmission T-031: Melanie Moses and Kathy Powers on models that protect the vulnerableAlso Mentioned:Simon DeDeoElizabeth HobsonDanielle AllenAlexander De TocquevilleStewart BrandSafiya NobleFilippo MenczerJessica FlackRajeev GandhiScott AdamsDavid Brin
58:03 12/13/2021
Simon DeDeo on Good Explanations & Diseases of Epistemology
What makes a satisfying explanation? Understanding and prediction are two different goals at odds with one another — think fundamental physics versus artificial neural networks — and even what defines a “simple” explanation varies from one person to another. Held in a kind of ecosystemic balance, these diverse approaches to seeking knowledge keep each other honest…but the use of one kind of knowledge to the exclusion of all others leads to disastrous results. And in the 21st Century, the difference between good and bad explanations determines how society adapts as rapid change transforms the world most people took for granted — and sends humankind into the epistemic wilds  to find new stories that will help us navigate this brave new world.This week we dive deep with SFI External Professor Simon DeDeo at Carnegie Mellon University to explore his research into intelligence and the search for understanding, bringing computational techniques to bear on the history of science, information processing at the scale of society, and how digital technologies and the coronavirus pandemic challenge humankind to think more carefully about the meaning that we seek, here on the edge of chaos…If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you  listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/engage. Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInWorks Discussed:“From Probability to Consilience: How Explanatory Values Implement Bayesian Reasoning”Zachary Wojtowicz & Simon DeDeo (+ SFI press release on this paper)“Supertheories and Consilience from Alchemy to Electromagnetism”Simon DeDeo (SFI lecture video)“From equality to hierarchy”Simon DeDeo & Elizabeth HobsonThe Complex Alternative: Complexity Scientists on the COVID-19 PandemicSFI Press (with “From Virus to Symptom” by Simon DeDeo)“Boredom and Flow: An Opportunity Cost Theory of Attention-Directing Motivational States”Zachary Wojtowicz, Nick Chater, & George Loewenstein“Scale and information-processing thresholds in Holocene social evolution”Jaeweon Shin, Michael Holton Price, David H. Wolpert, Hajime Shimao, Brendan Tracey, & Timothy A. Kohler “Slowed canonical progress in large fields of science”Johan Chu and James Evans“Will A Large Complex System Be Stable?”Robert MayRelated Podcast Episodes:• Andy Dobson on Disease Ecology & Conservation Strategy• Nicole Creanza on Cultural Evolution in Humans & Songbirds• On Coronavirus, Crisis, and Creative Opportunity with David Krakauer• Carl Bergstrom & Jevin West on Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World• Vicky Yang & Henrik Olsson on Political Polling & Polarization: How We Make Decisions & Identities• David Wolpert on The No Free Lunch Theorems and Why They Undermine The Scientific Method• Science in The Time of COVID: Michael Lachmann & Sam Scarpino on Lessons from The Pandemic• Jonas Dalege on The Physics of Attitudes & Beliefs• Tyler Marghetis on Breakdowns & Breakthroughs: Critical Transitions in Jazz & MathematicsMentioned:David Spergel, Zachary Wojtowicz, Stuart Kauffman, Jessica Flack, Thomas Bayes, Claude Shannon, Sean M. Carroll, Dan Sperber, David Krakauer, Marten Scheffer, David Deutsch, Jaewon Shin, Stuart Firestein, Bob May, Peter Turchin, David Hume, Jimmy Wales, Tyler Marghetis
81:03 11/24/2021
Lauren Klein on Data Feminism (Part 2): Tracing Linguistic Innovation
Where does cultural innovation come from? Histories often simplify the complex, shared work of creation into tales of Great Men and their visionary genius — but ideas have precedents, and moments, and it takes two different kinds of person to have and to hype them. The popularity of “influencers” past and present obscures the collaborative social processes by which ideas are born and spread. What can new tools for the study of historical literature tell us about how languages evolve…and what might a formal understanding of innovation change about the ways we work together?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week we talk conclude our two-part conversation with Emory University researcher Lauren Klein, co-author (with Catherine D'Ignazio) of the MIT Press volume Data Feminism. We talk tracing change in language use with topic modeling, the role of randomness in Data Feminism, and what this work ultimately does and does not say about the hidden seams of power in society…Subscribe to Complexity wherever you listen to podcasts — and if you value our work, please rate and review us at Apple Podcasts and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give.You can find numerous other ways to engage with us — including books, job openings, and open online courses — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInRelated Reading & Listening:Data Feminism by Catherine D'Ignazio & Lauren Klein“Dimensions of Scale: Invisible Labor, Editorial Work, and the Future of Quantitative Literary Studies” by Lauren Klein“Abolitionist Networks: Modeling Language Change in Nineteenth-Century Activist Newspapers” by Sandeep Soni, Lauren Klein, Jacob EisensteinOur Twitter thread on Lauren’s SFI Seminar (with video link)“Disentangling ecological and taphonomic signals in ancient food webs” by Jack O Shaw, Emily Coco, Kate Wootton, Dries Daems, Andrew Gillreath-Brown, Anshuman Swain, Jennifer A DunneMore resources in the show notes for Part 1: Surfacing Invisible Labor.
33:23 11/05/2021
Lauren Klein on Data Feminism (Part 1): Surfacing Invisible Labor
When British scientist and novelist C.P. Snow described the sciences and humanities as “two cultures” in 1959, it wasn’t a statement of what could or should be, but a lament over the sorry state of western society’s fractured intellectual life. Over sixty years later the costs of this fragmentation are even more pronounced and dangerous. But advances in computing now make it possible for historians and engineers to speak in one another’s languages, catalyzing novel insights in each other’s home domains. And doing so, the academics working at these intersections have illuminated hidden veins in history: the unsung influence and cultural significance of those who didn’t write the victors’ stories. Their lives and work come into focus when we view them with the aid of analytic tools, which change our understanding of the stories we’ve inherited and the shape of power in our institutions. One strain of the digital humanities called data feminism helps bring much-needed rigor to textual study at the same time it reintroduces something crucial to a deeper reconciliation of the disciplines: a human “who” and “how” to complement the “what” we have inherited as fact.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week we talk to Emory University researcher Lauren Klein, co-author (with Catherine D'Ignazio) of the MIT Press volume Data Feminism. In Part 1 of a two-part conversation, we discuss how her work leverages the new toolkit of quantitative literary studies and transforms our understanding of historical dynamics — not just in the past, but those in action as we speak…For Part 2 in two weeks, subscribe to Complexity wherever you listen to podcasts — and if you if you value our research and communication efforts, please rate and review us at Apple Podcasts and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give.You can find numerous other ways to engage with us — including job openings and open online courses — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedIn Related Reading & Listening:Data Feminism by Catherine D'Ignazio & Lauren Klein“Dimensions of Scale: Invisible Labor, Editorial Work, and the Future of Quantitative Literary Studies” by Lauren KleinOur Twitter thread on Lauren’s SFI Seminar (with video link)Cognition all the way down by Michael Levin & Daniel DennettComplexity 34 - Better Scientific Modeling for Ecological & Social JusticeComplexity 42 - Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West on Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven WorldComplexity 45 - David Wolpert on the No Free Lunch Theorems and Why They Undermine The Scientific MethodComplexity 64 - Reconstructing Ancient Superhighways with Stefani Crabtree & Devin White Mentions Include:Ruha Benjamin, Joy Buolamwini, Julia Lefkowitz, Ted Underwood, Derrick Spires, David Wolpert, Farita Tasnim, Stefani Crabtree, Devin White, Donna Haraway, Carl Bergstrom, Joe Bak-Coleman, Michael Levin, Dan Dennett
46:10 10/23/2021
W. Brian Arthur (Part 2) on "Prim Dreams of Order vs. Messy Vitality" in Economics, Math, and Physics
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 evolving processes of innovation and exchange?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week on Complexity, we bring our two-part conversation with SFI External Professor W. Brian Arthur to a climax — a visionary exploration of multiple scientific methodologies that takes us from the I Ching to AlphaGo, Henri Bergson to Claude Shannon, artificial life to a forgotten mathematics with the power to (just maybe) save the future from inadequate and totalizing axioms…We pick up by revisiting the end of Part 1 in Episode 68 — if you’re just tuning in, you’ll want to double back for vital context.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give. You can find numerous other ways to engage with us — including job openings for both SFI staff and postdoctoral researchers, as well as open online courses — at santafe.edu/engage.Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInRelated Reading & Listening:W. Brian Arthur on Complexity episodes 13, 14, & 68.“Economics in Nouns and Verbs” by W. Brian Arthur (+ @sfiscience Twitter thread excerpting the essay“Mathematical languages shape our understanding of time in physics” by Nicolas Gisin for Nature Physics“Quantum mechanical complementarity probed in a closed-loop Aharonov–Bohm interferometer” by Chang et al. in Nature Physics“Quantum interference experiments, modular variables and weak measurements” by Tollaksen et al. in New Journal of Physics
63:09 10/07/2021
W. Brian Arthur on Economics in Nouns and Verbs (Part 1)
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 available.  And scientific instruments — be they material technologies or concepts — don’t just make new things visible, but also hide things in new blind spots.  For instance, algebra does very well with ratios and quantities…but fails to properly address what markets do: how innovation works, where value comes from, and how economic actors navigate (and change) a fundamentally uncertain shifting landscape.  With the advent of computers, new opportunities emerge to study that which cannot be contained in an equation. Using algorithms, scientists can formalize complex behaviors – and thinking economics in both nouns and verbs provides a more complete and useful stereoscopic view of what we are and do.This week we speak with W. Brian Arthur of The Santa Fe Institute, Stanford University, and Xerox PARC about his recent essay, “Economics in Nouns and Verbs.” In this first part of a two-part conversation, we explore how a mathematics of static objects fails to describe economies in motion — and how a process-based approach can fill gaps in our understanding.  If you can’t wait two weeks for Part Two, dig through our archives for more Brian Arthur in episodes 13 and 14.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give. You can find numerous other ways to engage with us — including job openings for both SFI staff and postdoctoral researchers, as well as open online courses — at santafe.edu/engage.Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInRelated Reading & Listening:• “Economics in Nouns and Verbs” by W. Brian Arthur (pre-print)• @sfiscience Twitter thread excerpting “Economics in Nouns and Verbs”• “Mathematical languages shape our understanding of time in physics” by Nicolas Gisin for Nature Physics• “Introduction to PNAS special issue on evolutionary models of financial markets” by Simon Levin & Andrew Lo• “The Information Theory of Individuality” by David Krakauer et al. for Theory in Biosciences• “On Coronavirus, Crisis, and Creative Opportunity with David Krakauer” on Complexity Podcast• “The Erotics of Becoming: XENOGENESIS and The Thing” by Eric White for Science Fiction Studies• “New model shows how social networks could help generate economic phenomena like inequality & business cycles” by INET Oxford on research by J. Doyne Farmer
51:56 09/24/2021
Tyler Marghetis on Breakdowns & Breakthroughs: Critical Transitions in Jazz & Mathematics
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” traced by groups of improvisers. Society itself appears to have an “aha moment” when a meme goes viral or a new word emerges in the popular vocabulary. How do collectives at all scales — be they neurons, research groups, or a society at large — suddenly change shape…and what early warning signs portend a pending bolt of inspiration?This week we talk to SFI Fellow Tyler Marghetis of UC Merced about regimes and ruptures across timescales — from the frustration and creativity of mathematicians and musicians to the bursts of innovation that appear to punctuate civilization and the biosphere alike.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/podcastgive. You can find numerous other ways to engage with us at santafe.edu/engage. Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedIn Related Reading & Listening:“Creative leaps in musical ecosystems: early warning signals of critical transitions in professional jazz” by Matt Setzler, Tyler Marghetis, Minje Kim“The complex system of mathematical creativity: Modularity, burstiness, and the network structure of how experts use inscriptions” by Tyler Marghetis, Kate Sampson, David Landy“An Integrated Mess of Music Lovers in Science” – press release with video playlist of the 2020 Musicology & Complexity Working Group“Explosive Proofs of Mathematical Truths” – Simon DeDeo SFI Seminar on inductive networksComplexity 29: David KrakauerComplexity 33: Tim Kohler & Marten SchefferComplexity 35, 36: Geoffrey WestComplexity 37: Laurence GonzalesComplexity 65: Deborah GordonTopics Discussed:• competitive wrestling to complex systems science• free jazz ensembles as a mode of distributed cognition like ant colonies• creative transitions as analogous to ecosystemic transitions (loss of resilience due to autocorrelation, etc)• the difference between composed and improvised music• creativity and boredom• the relationship between improvisation and trauma, exploration and nonlinearity• the death of the genre (?)• the role of the body in thought• how can you tell an “aha moment” is about to happen?• what does a healthy mathematical ecosystem look like?• burstiness and virality
64:19 09/08/2021
Katherine Collins on Better Investing Through Biomimicry
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 design the tools of finance, or who come up with economic theories. Many of the human world’s problems can be traced back to this fundamental error, and, by extension, many of the problems we create for other life-forms on this planet. What changes when we take the time to pause, and listen, and reflect on how the biosphere already works? How do we balance innovation with sustainability, or growth with resource distribution? Could a careful study of nature not only lead to better business outcomes but also help us heal the living world? Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week we talk to SFI’s new Board Chair Katherine Collins, Head of Sustainable Investing at Putnam, about insights encoded in her book, The Nature of Investing. We discuss how investing has transformed in the 21st Century and what new challenges have emerged because of it; the tragedy of value capture; the push and pull between sustainability and efficiency; the consequential differences between risk and uncertainty, problems and mysteries; how multiple timescales interact to produce complexity in the market; balancing growth and development; and what all this means for those who want to do good and not just well with their investments…If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/podcastgive. You can find numerous other ways to engage with us at santafe.edu/engage. Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedIn Related Reading & Listening:Katherine’s Website (where you can buy a copy of The Nature of Investing)Katherine’s SFI ProfileSFI’s Alien Crash Site 12 with Katherine CollinsRe: Putnam’s Sustainable InvestingESG at Putnam: A Digital Resource Guide“The coming battle for the COVID-19 narrative” by Samuel Bowles & Wendy Carlin“Economics in Nouns and Verbs” by W. Brian Arthur“The information theory of individuality” by David Krakauer, Nils Bertschinger, Eckehard Olbrich, Jessica C. Flack & Nihat Ay“Industrial mass-capture fishing may undo the benefits of schooling, according to a new study from UC Santa Barbara co-authored by SFI Postdoc Albert Kao…”“Group Decisions: When More Information Isn’t Necessarily Better”Complexity 35, 36: Scaling Laws & Social Networks in The Time of COVID-19 with Geoffrey WestComplexity 62, 63: Mark Ritchie on A New Thermodynamics of BiochemistryComplexity 13, 14: W. Brian Arthur on The History & Future of Complexity EconomicsComplexity 30: Rethinking Our Assumptions During the COVID-19 Crisis with David Krakauer
66:28 08/14/2021
Deborah Gordon on Ant Colonies as Distributed Computers
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” environment, not fluid adaptation to evolving conditions. But ants do not just “graduate” from one task to another as they age; they pivot to accept the work required by their colony in any given moment. In this “agile” and dynamic process, ants act more like verbs than nouns — light on specialization and identity, heavy on collaboration and responsiveness. What can we learn from ants about the strategies for thriving in times of uncertainty and turbulence?What are the algorithms that ants use to navigate environmental change, and how might they inform the ways that we design technologies? How might they teach us to invest more wisely, to explore more thoughtfully?Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.In this episode we talk to SFI External Professor Deborah Gordon at Stanford University about the lessons we can learn from insect species whose individuals cannot be trained, but whose collective smarts have reshaped every continent. We muse on what the ants can teach us about a wide variety of real-world and philosophical concerns, including:  how our institutions age, how to fight cancer, how to build a more resilient Internet, and why the notion of the “individual” is overdue for renovation…If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/podcastgive. You can find numerous other ways to engage with us at santafe.edu/engage. Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInKey Links:Deborah Gordon at StanfordDeborah's TED Talk, "What Ants Can Teach Us About Brain Cancer and The Internet"Deborah's Google Scholar PageDeborah's book, Ants at Work: How an Insect Society is OrganizedFurther Exploration:Complexity 10 with Melanie Moses (ants, scaling, and computation)Complexity 29 with David Krakauer (catastrophe and investment strategy)Complexity 56 with J. Doyne Farmer (market ecology)Krakauer, et al., "The Information Theory of Individuality"W. Brian Arthur, "Economics in Nouns & Verbs"Michael Lachmann's research on Costly Signaling and Cancer 
54:15 07/30/2021
Reconstructing Ancient Superhighways with Stefani Crabtree and Devin White
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 records of recovered artifacts.Now, progress in the fields of geographic information system mapping and agent-based modeling can help archaeologists run massive simulations that explore all likely paths across a landscape, bridging the view from orbit with thoughtful models of prehistoric peoples and how they moved through space.The new research expands our scientific understanding of how ritual and story encode vital geographic features, and sheds light on how our modern world is the product of deep, ancient forces.Agent-based modeling in archaeology can also help save lives by improving science communication, empowering stakeholders in cultural resource management, and facilitating better international planning and coordination as the climate crisis looms…Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.This week we talk with Stefani Crabtree, SFI Fellow and Assistant Professor in Socio-Environmental Modeling at Utah State University, and Devin White, R&D Manager for Autonomous Sensing & Perception at Sandia National Laboratories. Stefani and Devin are the first two authors on the recent Nature Human Behaviour paper, Landscape rules predict optimal superhighways for the first peopling of Sahul, a project at the bleeding edge of agent-based modeling for archaeology that simulated over 125 billion potential ancient migratory routes.In our conversation, we discuss bringing advanced technologies to bear on research into human prehistory; the ways humans make sense of space; how our minds and landscapes inform each other; and the ways agent-based modeling might help avert disaster for the sedentary populations of our century.If you value our research and communication efforts, please subscribe to Complexity Podcast wherever you prefer to listen, rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at santafe.edu/podcastgive. You can find numerous other ways to engage with us at santafe.edu/engage. Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInRelated Reading & Listening:• Stefani’s Website• Devin’s Webpage• Landscape rules predict optimal superhighways for the first peopling of Sahul by Stefani A. Crabtree, Devin A. White, Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Frédérik Saltré, Alan N. Williams, Robin J. Beaman, Michael I. Bird & Sean Ulm • Complexity 60: Andrea Wulf on Alexander von Humboldt’s Naturegemälde• Complexity 33: The Future of the Human Climate Niche with Tim Kohler & Marten Scheffer• Subscribe to updates from SFI Press on the upcoming ABM for Archaeology textbook• Lauren Klein’s SFI Seminar: What is Feminist Data Science?• Sam Bowles, Wendy Carlin, Suresh Naidu: Core Economics• Scale and information-processing thresholds in Holocene social evolution by Jaeweon Shin, Michael Holton Price, David H. Wolpert, Hajime Shimao, Brendan Tracey & Timothy A. Kohler • The universal visitation law of human mobility by Markus Schläpfer, Lei Dong, Kevin O’Keeffe, Paolo Santi, Michael Szell, Hadrien Salat, Samuel Anklesaria, Mohammad Vazifeh, Carlo Ratti & Geoffrey B. West• Outreach in Archaeology with Agent-Based Modeling in Advances in Archaeological Practice by Stefani Crabtree, Kathryn Harris, Benjamin Davies, and Iza Romanaowska
66:01 07/16/2021