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SOCNET  November 2007

SOCNET November 2007

Subject:

complexity digest

From:

Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 4 Nov 2007 14:39:21 -0500

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (194 lines)

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Lots today, especially on networks among non-humans. Takes me right back
to SocRel101, and Harrison's lectures to wondering/ous frosh at Harvard.

 Barry Wellman
 _______________________________________________________________________

  S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC              NetLab Director
  Centre for Urban & Community Studies           University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue          Room 418          Toronto Canada M5S 2G8
  http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman            fax:+1-416-978-7162
  Updating history:     http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php
         Elvis wouldn't be singing "Return to Sender" these days
 _______________________________________________________________________


Abstract: This is a programmatic paper, marking out two directions in
which the study of social media can contribute to broader problems of
social science: understanding cultural evolution and understanding
collective cognition.  Under the first heading, I discuss some
difficulties with the usual, adaptationist explanations of cultural
phenomena, alternative explanations involving network diffusion effects,
and some ways these could be tested using social-media data. Under the
second I describe some of the ways in which social media could be used to
study how the social organization of an epistemic community supports its
collective cognitive performance.

* [9] Social Media as Windows on the Social Life of the Mind, Cosma
Rohilla Shalizi, 2007/10/25, DOI: 0710.4911, arXiv
 http://uk.arXiv.org/abs/0710.4911

-------------------------

Empirical Multiscale Networks of Cellular Regulation , PLoS Comput Biol

Excerpt: In a eukaryotic organism such as the mouse, the complete
transcriptional network contains ~ 15,000 genes and up to 225 million
regulatory relationships between pairs of genes. Determining all of these
relationships is currently intractable using traditional experimental
techniques, and, thus, a comprehensive description of the entire mouse
transcriptional network is elusive. Alternatively, one can apply the
limited amount of experimental data to determine the entire
transcriptional network at a less detailed, higher level. This is
analogous to considering a map of the world resolved to the kilometer
rather than to the millimeter.

* [14] Empirical Multiscale Networks of Cellular Regulation, Benjamin de
Bivort,  Sui Huang,  Yaneer Bar-Yam, 2007/10/19, DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030207, PLoS Comput Biol 3(10): e207

[14] http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030207

------------------------------

Analysis, Modeling, Emergence & Integration In Complex Systems ,
Complexity

Excerpts: Analysis and Modeling is the first phase of understanding or
developing a system. It is also, maybe more importantly, the foundation of
understanding a natural science or system. It's abstract and conceptually
difficult but, being foundational, (...). Complex Systems have a natural
hierarchy of levels and multiple subsystems. The character and
functionality of each level or subsystem emerges across its boundaries.
(...) Integrated interdisciplinary collaboration is essential for making
sense of complex systems; but collaboration among disciplines is
difficult, because of their different ways of thinking. This creates a
dilemma, understanding complex systems is one horn; integrated
interdisciplinary collaboration is the other. (...)

* [16] Analysis, Modeling, Emergence & Integration In Complex Systems: A
Modeling And Integration Framework & System Biology, [17] T. J. Wheeler,
Sep.-Oct. 2007, Online 2007/10/08, DOI: 10.1002/cplx.20186, Complexity
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/116328993/ABSTRACT
[17] mailto:[log in to unmask]

---------------------------------

[Note, nothing to do with networks, but it is a milestone. BW]

Wolfram's 2,3 Turing Machine Is Universal , Wolfram Research Press
Release

Excerpts: Wolfram Research and Stephen Wolfram today announced that
20-year-old Alex Smith of Birmingham, UK has won the US $25,000 Wolfram
2,3 Turing Machine Research Prize. (...) This result ends a half-century
quest to find the simplest universal Turing machine.
 It demonstrates that a remarkably simple system can perform any
computation that can be done by any computer.

* [19] Wolfram's 2,3 Turing Machine Is Universal, [20] Marcus Wynne,
2007/10/24, Wolfram Research Press Release
[19] http://www.wolframscience.com/prizes/tm23/solved.html
[20] mailto:[log in to unmask]

----------------------------

Evolution: The Sharp End of Altruism , Science

Excerpts: Which would you prefer: a society of selfish but tolerant
freetraders, or a warrior society in which people help one another but are
hostile to outsiders? If you value both altruism and tolerance, neither
seems ideal. Societies of tolerant altruists, however, are exceedingly
rare in the simulation presented by Choi and Bowles on page [32] 636 of
this issue ( [33] 1). Instead, altruism flourishes only in the company of
outgroup hostility (parochialism), with war as both the engine of this
coevolutionary process and its legacy. For a compatriot, the parochial
altruist who risks his life is a shining knight, whereas the outsider
encounters the sharp end of this altruism.

* [34] Evolution: The Sharp End of Altruism, Holly Arrow, 07/10/26,
Science:581-582.
[32] http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/318/5850/636
[33] http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/318/5850/581#ref1
[34] http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/318/5850/581

--------------------------------

 The Coevolution of Parochial Altruism and War , Science

Excerpts: Altruism - benefiting fellow group members at a cost to oneself
- and parochialism - hostility toward individuals not of one's own ethnic,
racial, or other group - are common human behaviors. The intersection of
the two - which we term "parochial altruism" - is puzzling from an
evolutionary perspective because altruistic or parochial behavior reduces
one's payoffs by comparison to what one would gain by eschewing these
behaviors. But parochial altruism could have evolved if parochialism
promoted intergroup hostilities and the combination of altruism and
parochialism contributed to success in these conflicts.

* [35] The Coevolution of Parochial Altruism and War, Jung-Kyoo Choi ,
Samuel Bowles, 07/10/26, Science : 636-640.
[35] http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/318/5850/636


------------------------------------

Excerpts: When it comes to their social behavior, people sometimes act
like monkeys, or more specifically, like rhesus macaques, a type of monkey
that shares with humans strong tendencies for nepotism and political
maneuvering, (...). "After humans, rhesus macaques are one of the most
successful primate species on our planet; our Machiavellian intelligence
may be one of the reasons for our success" wrote (...). Rhesus macaques
live in complex societies with strong dominance hierarchies and
long-lasting social bonds between female relatives. Individuals constantly
compete for high social status and the power that comes with it using
ruthless aggression, nepotism, and complex political alliances. (...)

* [36] Humans And Monkeys Share Machiavellian Intelligence, 2007/10/26,
Innovations-report
http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/life_sciences/report-93712.html

---------------------------------------
Population Ecology: Group Living And Hungry Lions , Nature

Excerpts: Ecologists have necessarily had to simplify matters in looking
at predator-prey dynamics. Study of a situation in which predator and prey
live in groups reveals that a key process was previously overlooked. (...)
Fryxell et al. examine how group living in prey, in predators and in both
kinds of species influences the shape of the functional response and the
interaction between predator and prey populations. They show theoretically
that gregarious living in either the prey or the predator species reduces
the rate of prey consumption by each predator.

* [38] Population Ecology: Group Living And Hungry Lions, Tim Coulson,
07/10/25, DOI: 10.1038/449996a, Nature 449, 996-997
[38] http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7165/full/449996a.html

-----------------------------------------------

 Group Formation Stabilizes Predator-Prey Dynamics , Nature

Excerpts: Theoretical ecology is largely founded on the principle of mass
action, in which uncoordinated populations of predators and prey move in a
random and well-mixed fashion across a featureless landscape. The
conceptual core of this body of theory is the functional response,
predicting the rate of prey consumption by individual predators as a
function of predator and/or prey densities. This assumption is seriously
violated in many ecosystems in which predators and/or prey form social
groups. Here we develop a new set of group-dependent functional responses
to consider the ecological implications of sociality and apply the model
to the Serengeti ecosystem.

* [39] Group Formation Stabilizes Predator-Prey Dynamics, John M. Fryxell,
Anna Mosser,  Anthony R. E. Sinclair, Craig Packer, 07/10/25, DOI:
10.1038/nature06177, Nature 449, 1041-1043
[39] http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7165/full/nature06177.html
----------------------------------------

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