*****  To join INSNA, visit  *****

See some of you at the ASAs - in Montreal. Who's going?

   Barry Wellman

    A vision is just a vision if it's only in your head
    Step by step, link by link, putting it together
   NetLab Network                 FRSC                      INSNA Founder           twitter: @barrywellman
   NETWORKED: The New Social Operating System  Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2017 11:02:55 +0000
From: "[utf-8] Complexity Digest" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
To: "[utf-8] Barry" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [utf-8] Latest Complexity Digest Posts

Learn about the latest and greatest related to complex systems research. More at

Thinking in Eigenbehaviors as a Transdisciplinary Approach

Context: By proposing to regard objects as ˙˙tokens for eigenbehavior,˙˙ 
von Foerster˙˙s seminal paper opposes the intuitive subject-object dualism 
of traditional philosophy, which considers objects to be instances of an 
external world Problem: We argue that this proposal has two implications, 
one for epistemology and one for the demarcation between the natural 
sciences and the humanities. Method: Our arguments are based on insights 
gained in computational models and from reviewing the contributions to 
this special issue. Results: Epistemologically, von Foerster˙˙s proposal 
suggests that what is called ˙˙reality˙˙ could be seen as an ensemble of 
eigenforms generated by the eigenbehavior that arises in the interaction 
of multiple dynamics. Regarding science, the contributions to this special 
issue demonstrate that the concept of eigenbehavior can be applied to a 
variety of disciplines from the formal and natural sciences to the 
humanities. Its universal applicability provides a strong argument for 
transdisciplinarity, and its emphasis on the observer points in the 
direction of an observer-inclusive science. Implications: Thinking in 
eigenbehavior may not only have implications for tearing down the barriers 
between sciences and humanities (although a common methodology based on 
von Foerster˙˙s transdisciplinary approach is still to crystalize), a 
better understanding of eigenbehaviors may also have profound effects on 
our understanding of ourselves. This also opens the way to innovative 
behavior design/modification technologies.

Thinking in Eigenbehaviors as a Transdisciplinary Approach

Manfred Füllsack & Alexander Riegler

Constructivist Foundations 12(3): 239˙˙245

Source: (

The scientists˙˙ apprentice (How AI is transforming science)

    Big data has met its match. In field after field, the ability to 
collect data has exploded, overwhelming human insight and analysis. But 
the computing advances that helped deliver the data have also conjured 
powerful new tools for making sense of it all. In a revolution that 
extends across much of science, researchers are unleashing artificial 
intelligence (AI), often in the form of artificial neural networks, on 
these mountains of data. Unlike earlier attempts at AI, such ˙˙deep 
learning˙˙ systems don˙˙t need to be programmed with a human expert˙˙s 
knowledge. Instead, they learn on their own, often from large training 
data sets, until they can see patterns and spot anomalies in data sets far 
larger and messier than human beings can cope with.

The scientists' apprentice
Tim Appenzeller
Science  07 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6346, pp. 16-17
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6346.16

Source: (

The strange topology that is reshaping physics

Topological effects might be hiding inside perfectly ordinary materials, waiting to reveal bizarre new particles or bolster quantum computing.

Source: (

When the Map Is Better Than the Territory

The causal structure of any system can be analyzed at a multitude of 
spatial and temporal scales. It has long been thought that while higher 
scale (macro) descriptions may be useful to observers, they are at best a 
compressed description and at worse leave out critical information and 
causal relationships. However, recent research applying information theory 
to causal analysis has shown that the causal structure of some systems can 
actually come into focus and be more informative at a macroscale. That is, 
a macroscale description of a system (a map) can be more informative than 
a fully detailed microscale description of the system (the territory). 
This has been called ˙˙causal emergence.˙˙ While causal emergence may at 
first seem counterintuitive, this paper grounds the phenomenon in a 
classic concept from information theory: Shannon˙˙s discovery of the 
channel capacity. I argue that systems have a particular causal capacity, 
and that different descriptions of those systems take advantage of that 
capacity to various degrees. For some systems, only macroscale 
descriptions use the full causal capacity. These macroscales can either be 
coarse-grains, or may leave variables and states out of the model 
(exogenous, or ˙˙black boxed˙˙) in various ways, which can improve the 
efficacy and informativeness via the same mathematical principles of how 
error-correcting codes take advantage of an information channel˙˙s 
capacity. The causal capacity of a system can approach the channel 
capacity as more and different kinds of macroscales are considered. 
Ultimately, this provides a general framework for understanding how the 
causal structure of some systems cannot be fully captured by even the most 
detailed microscale description

When the Map Is Better Than the Territory
Erik P. Hoel

Entropy 2017, 19(5), 188; doi:10.3390/e19050188

Source: (

Complexities of Time

This 7th Complexity Conference, organised by Para Limes˙˙ ( attempts to unravel these mysteries. It will also touches on the nature of time and change, geographical, geophysical, cultural, the personal dimensions to time; how to deal with them and what they mean for analyzing and understanding our past, sensing and exploring our future and how to manage our lives, our systems, or the world we live in. Hear them out from top-notch speakers of prominent scientists and thinkers from this field

The conference will also host parallel & poster sessions and launch of the Asian Network of Complexity Scientists by the Complexity Institute. Thus is a partnership of the Para Limes and Complexity Institute.˙˙

Complexity Conference 2018
Theme: Complexities of Time
˙˙Date:     19-21 March 2018
Venue:   Nanyan˙˙g Executive Centre, Singapore˙˙˙˙

Source: (

Sponsored by the Complex Systems Society.
Founding Editor: Gottfried Mayer.
Editor-in-Chief: Carlos Gershenson.

You can contribute to Complexity Digest selecting one of our topics ( ) and using the "Suggest" button.

SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.