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"A Justice League for renegade geeks." - Rolling Stone The premier research center for #complexsystems #science. @complexexplorer @sfipress #ComplexityPodcast
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Sep 16, 2021
🧵 Global catastrophic and existential risks: the weightiest complex phenomena?

"Our job is to think about how humanity can have a happy ending...about how GOOD it can be."

- @anderssandberg of @FHIOxford speaking at SFI today:

#AIEthics #Biosecurity "The idea that humanity actually *could* go extinct required a lot of ideas to come together. First you needed to know that species go extinct. This wasn't clear until [the discovery of fossil Mastodons]."
- @anderssandberg of @FHIOxford at SFI today:

Read 14 tweets
Apr 16, 2021
"It remains to be seen if we'll rise to this challenge. I'm optimistic, but there's so much more we need to do. We're good at developing new technologies...are we as good at the society-scale change we need?"
- SFI/@MIT Prof Jessika Trancik on @voxdotcom:… @MIT @voxdotcom "If you're purchasing a #CleanEnergy technology, you're creating a market that then drives more #innovation, so everybody can contribute. It DOES also mean that we can't find #SilverBullets. We can't find one really smart person to solve this. We need everyone to contribute."
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Apr 16, 2021
"#Economics in #Nouns and #Verbs"

Below, we share key excerpts from SFI External Prof W. Brian Arthur's (@Stanford, @PARCinc) latest, available at, which we recommend for its elucidation of key blind spots in economic thinking & how to address them... Image "Different means 'see' differently—often they reveal different versions of the same object. #MRI looks at body parts and reveals soft tissue structure; #CT scanning looks at the same body parts and reveals bone structure. There is no 'correct' version of internal body parts."
Read 14 tweets
Mar 31, 2021
"The Evolution of Agency"

Follow this thread for highlights from today's seminar by @WiringTheBrain of @trinitycollege. Watch without login on Facebook (we will post the recording to YouTube within 24 hours):… "The genome doesn't specify the outcome at all; it just encodes the biochemical rules by which development happens."

- @WiringTheBrain on the multi-level interplay of "nature" and "nurture" on #personality ImageImageImageImage
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Mar 9, 2021
On #InternationalWomensDay we'd like to pause and celebrate just a small slice of the enormous contributions to science women have made here at SFI.

Read the thread below for links to some of their own favorite research papers, and a few nominated by other SFI faculty members: First off, these papers on #FoodWebs led by our VP for #Science, Jennifer Dunne:

[@royalsociety Proceedings B]…


...and this interview she did for @QuantaMagazine:…

#Ecology #Ecologist
Read 21 tweets
Jan 20, 2021
"#Thermodynamics of Far-From-Equilibrium Systems, #Biochemistry, and #Life in a Warming World"

Today's SFI Virtual Seminar by Mark Ritchie of @SyracuseU

Streaming now – follow this thread for highlights.…

#Biology #Ecology #GlobalWarming "If we look at the temperatures at which most biological #enzymes fall apart, it's upward of 50º — but most enzymatic activity fails well below that. What's causing this decline? The Standard Model doesn't account for this."

Mark Ritchie of @SyracuseU:… ImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets
Dec 7, 2020
This week at SFI: "#Complexity and the Structure of #Music: Universal Features and Evolutionary Perspectives Across Cultures", an #interdisciplinary working group assembled to explore new frameworks for understanding music. Stay tuned for highlights!… "Every pitch class set is connected to every other pitch class set."

– @mbnUNT, co-organizer of this week's #musicology working group, presents on how to understand the #topology of #harmonic structures in music with #network diagrams (e.g. Pic 4 with #JSBach's BWV 66):
Read 21 tweets
Nov 25, 2020
Today's talk is with neuroscientist #KarlFriston of @ucl, who will offer a heuristic proof suggesting that life is an inevitable emergent property of any weakly mixing random dynamical system that possesses a #Markov blanket.

Tune in here at 12:15 PM MT:… ...and because it's 2020 and nothing is ever simple, we are having technical issues with the stream. The talk is recorded and we will upload it across all of our platforms ASAP. Our apologies!
Read 11 tweets
Aug 21, 2020
New piece at @aeonmag by SFI's @C4COMPUTATION & @MelMitchell1 @aeonmag @C4COMPUTATION @MelMitchell1 "Simple cause-effect reasoning, to which the human mind can default, is not a good policy tool. Instead of attempting to narrowly forecast and control outcomes, we need to design systems that are robust and adaptable enough to weather a wide range of possible futures."
Read 11 tweets
Aug 18, 2020
Streaming now: @michaelmina_lab of @HarvardBiz gives today's SFI Seminar on "#Testing our way out of #COVID19: A bumpy but possible path forward."…

Feat. work with Former SFI Postdoc @DanLarremore.

Follow this thread for highlights... Now may be the best window to squash #COVID19 before flu season begins, but pandemic surveillance—especially in the US—has been a mess.

What are the relative strengths of virus testing vs. serological testing?

@michaelmina_lab speaking at SFI right now:… ImageImageImage
Read 10 tweets
May 27, 2020
Mimicking Simple Life Without Biochemistry

Follow this thread for insights from today's SFI Seminar by Juan Pérez-Mercader (SFI + @Harvard), which you can watch live on our FB page. Recording will be saved for later viewing at this link, as well as YT:… More info about today's seminar by SFI External Professor Juan Pérez-Mercader (@Harvard) on Mimicking Simple Life Without Biochemistry:…

#astrobiology #biochemistry #complexity
Read 10 tweets
Apr 29, 2020
Today at SFI:

External Professor @DaniSBassett (@Penn) on addressing #inequity in the scientific community caused by #bias in #citation practices—focusing on the evidence of a growing #gender imbalance in the reference lists of #neuroscience research.… The proportion of #neuroscience papers with woman first or last authors grew from 1995 to 2018, but the undercitation of female authors actually *increased* in that time.

SFI's @DaniSBassett (@Penn) on #gender #inequity in the scientific community:
Read 7 tweets
Mar 31, 2020
Follow this thread for coverage of our SFI Flash Workshop re: #COVID19, "After the First Wave," organized by @mikha_ehl, Cris Moore, & @svscarpino — with presentations by @meyerslab, @Caroline_OF_B, @rajivatbarnard, @glenweyl, & @sdelvall.

More info:… Some background from Lauren Ancel Meyers @meyerslab about the #epidemiology modeling community's efforts to produce #pandemic projections for the @CDC — first about #influenza and then, suddenly and with the models incomplete, pivoting to #COVID19:
Read 13 tweets
Mar 26, 2020
"Explosive Proofs of Mathematical Truths"

In just a moment, we'll start live coverage of @SimonDeDeo's SFI Seminar-by-Zoom on a data science study of the epistemic structure of actual proofs.

(Seminar not streamed, but recording will be shared soon.)… Theodor Adorno proposed that political preferences are consequences of the kind of explanations people prefer — individual or systemic.

#SocialScience research by Jinwoo Kim asked: is there a correlation between the social and physical narratives preferred by authoritarians?
Read 7 tweets
Nov 9, 2019
Today's Applied Complexity Symposium begins with a panel on Computation and Complex Economies, feat. Rob Axtell, Joshua Epstein, @C4COMPUTATION, Blake LeBaron, John Miller, & @MelMitchell1

(Follow this thread for live coverage all day...)

#complexsystems #economics 4 Principles of Collective #Computation:

1 Ground truth (objective reality)
2 Effective ground truth (what we agree on, whether or not it is accurate)
3 #Information can be collectively encoded in #networks
4 Outputs are a product of collective dynamics

@C4COMPUTATION right now
Read 44 tweets
Nov 8, 2019
SFI President David Krakauer introduces our annual board of trustees symposium on New #Complexity #Economics - follow this thread for live coverage of talks by @EricBeinhocker @AKStanger @ole_b_peters @JacksonmMatt @cmoncap & W. Brian Arthur today... "I think we have to be aware that we're not just discussing financial systems. We are discussing the future of the stability of the planet."

- David Krakauer
on #Complexity #Economics
Read 38 tweets
Oct 10, 2019
"Information theory, predictability, and the emergence of complex life"

SFI Seminar by Luis F Seoane of @IFISC_mallorca, streaming now:
"The size of the #environment in some ways captures the #complexity...longer words take longer and longer to sample. This means in smaller environments, smaller words mean more."

- Luís Seoane of @IFISC_mallorca on #information right now:

Read 5 tweets
Sep 11, 2019
Modular, hierarchical, and information-processing:

Right now at SFI, biologists, physicists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists convene for a three-day workshop on Biological #Computation, organized by David Wolpert, @C4COMPUTATION, & @albert_kao.… "A circular definition isn't worthless if the circle is big enough."

- @livcomp of @UNM at today's #biocomp workshop
Read 4 tweets
Aug 22, 2019
"You don't see radio changing gradually and suddenly become radar. #Darwin's theory doesn't work for #technology, and we have to make a new observation."

- W Brian Arthur at SFI today

#evolution #innovation #invention "Novel technologies are constructed from existing technologies. These offer themselves as components for the construction of further technologies."

- W Brian Arthur at SFI today

#evolution #innovation #invention #technology #engineering #design
Read 18 tweets
Aug 21, 2019
"Life did not invent #DNA."

Experimental support for the #hotsprings hypothesis for life's origin: David Deamer of @ucsc on nucleic acid polymerization in the wet-dry cycling of Darwin's "warm little pond," powered by #geothermal. Lab results confirmed in #hydrothermal pools. From "boring statistical partitioning" in the fission of early protocells to the complex #homeostasis-driven #mitosis of the cells we know - Doron Lancet of @WeizmannInstSci on the gradient between closure of #autocatalysis #networks to complex regulatory mechanisms of #biology.
Read 13 tweets
Jun 27, 2019
"Most of the things that differ from the past will shortly die. The more they differ, the sooner they will die."

@SimonDeDeo of SFI & @CarnegieMellon on the linear correlation of #novelty & #transience - aka, "Why you mostly listen to the same songs over and over" - at #CSSS19: "It's true that new things die. It's also true that is you want to be very very big, be new."

@SimonDeDeo of SFI & @CarnegieMellon on successful #novelty & hopeful #monsters in #evolution, #innovation, & #investment - aka, "Either be really boring, or be Beethoven" - at #CSSS19:
Read 4 tweets