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Complexity Digest's Blog

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Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate

May 5, 2012 Comments (0)

TED Talks In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team build flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other, and form ad hoc teams -- for construction, surveying disasters and far more.See it on, via Talks

Peter Diamandis: Abundance is our future

May 5, 2012 Comments (0)

TED Talks Onstage at TED2012, Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism -- that we'll invent, innovate and create ways to solve the challenges that loom over us. "I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems; we surely do.See it on, via Talks

Navigating the Anthropocene: Improving Earth System Governance

March 16, 2012 Comments (0)

Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth's sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years. Human societies must now change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change. This requires fundamental reorientation and restructuring of national...

From Local to Global Dilemmas in Social Networks

March 16, 2012 Comments (0)

Social networks affect in such a fundamental way the dynamics of the population they support that the global, population-wide behavior that one observes often bears no relation to the individual processes it stems from. Up to now, linking the global networked dynamics to such individual mechanisms has remained...

Universal Theory on Growth and Mixing

March 16, 2012 Comments (0)

What do humpback whales returning to calve in the waters of Maui have to do with the ground state energy of a quantum system? Both exhibit a mathematical property called the "reduction phenomenon", which can be described very simply: mixing reduces growth, and differential growth selects for reduced mixing. The phenomenon underlies the Reduction Principle for the evolution of recombination,...

Using Protein Interaction Networks to Understand Complex Diseases

March 16, 2012 Comments (0)

Recent developments in biotechnology have enabled interrogation of the cell at various levels, leading to many types of "omic" data that provide valuable information on multiple genetic and environmental factors and their...

Jennifer Pahlka: Coding a better government

March 16, 2012 Comments (0)

Can government be run like the Internet, permissionless and open? Coder and activist Jennifer Pahlka believes it can -- and that apps, built quickly and cheaply, are a powerful new way to connect citizens to their governments -- and their...

Jonathan Haidt: Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence

March 16, 2012 Comments (0)

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt asks a simple, but difficult question: why do we search for self-transcendence? Why do we attempt to lose ourselves? In a tour through the science of evolution by group selection, he proposes a provocative...

Our Place in the Cosmos

March 16, 2012 Comments (0)

The lecture "Our Place in the Cosmos" explains how we (and, for that matter, all complex life forms) are connected to the Universe around us. This connection relies on the fact that our Milky Way and other galaxies like it play host to cosmic recycling processes that involve the formation of stars and their planetary systems inside nebulae (dense gas/dust clouds), nuclear fusion reactions that...
Google Tech Talks

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

March 16, 2012 Comments (0)

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires...