***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Barry Wellman _______________________________________________________________________ S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC NetLab Director Department of Sociology 725 Spadina Avenue, Room 388 University of Toronto Toronto Canada M5S 2J4 twitter:barrywellman http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman fax:+1-416-978-3963 Updating history: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php _______________________________________________________________________ Networked buffering: a basic mechanism for distributed robustness in complex adaptive systems , arXiv Excerpt: This paper proposes a generic design principle for generating robust traits in complex systems that requires two basic conditions to be satisfied: 1) agents are versatile enough to perform more than one single functional role within a system and 2) agents are degenerate, i.e. there exists a partial overlap in the functional capabilities of agents. Our principle claim is formulated within the so-called networked buffering hypothesis. It outlines how degenerate systems may readily produce a distributed response to local perturbations and reciprocally how excess resources related to a single function can indirectly support multiple unrelated functions within a degenerate system. *  Networked buffering: a basic mechanism for distributed robustness in complex adaptive systems, James Whitacre and Axel Bender, 2009/12/10, arXiv:0912.1961 http://arXiv.org/abs/0912.1961 -------------------------- The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life , Summary: One of the greatest discoveries of recent times is that the complex patterns we find in life are often produced when all of the individuals in a group follow the same simple rule. This process of √Ę‚^¬¨Ň^”self- organization√Ę‚^¬¨¬^› reveals itself in the inanimate worlds of crystals and seashells, but as Len Fisher shows, it is also evident in living organisms, from fish to ants to human beings. Fisher√Ę‚^¬¨‚^ńĘs investigation encompasses topics ranging from √Ę ‚^¬¨Ň^”swarm intelligence√Ę‚^¬¨¬^› to the science of parties and the best ways to start a fad. Finally, Fisher sheds light on the beauty and utility of complexity theory. *  The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life, Len Fisher. New York: Basic Books. 2009, ------------------------- Summary: What happens to scientific knowledge when researchers outside the natural sciences bring elements of the latest trend across disciplinary boundaries for their own purposes? Researchers in fields from anthropology to family therapy and traffic planning employ the concepts, methods, and results of chaos theory to harness the disciplinary prestige of the natural sciences, to motivate methodological change or conceptual reorganization within their home discipline, and to justify public policies and aesthetic judgments. Using the recent explosion in the use (and abuse) of chaos theory, this book examines the relationship between science and other disciplines as well as the place of scientific knowledge within our broader culture. Stephen H. Kellert√Ę ‚^¬¨‚^ńĘs detailed investigation of the myriad uses of chaos theory reveals serious problems that can arise in the interchange between science and other knowledge-making pursuits, as well as opportunities for constructive interchange. *  Borrowed Knowledge: Chaos Theory and the Challenge of Learning Disciplines, Stephen H. Kellert, 2008/12/01, University Of Chicago Press _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.