236 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. For millions of Americans who are living pay-check to paycheck and precariously close to the poverty line, normal life eventslike the birth of a child or temporary loss of a job can send them below thepoverty line. But poverty spells tend to be short, and they are caused by the riskassociated with normal events that happen to most of us across the life course.They are just more catastrophic for some than for others.

      Can poverty be modeled after a statistical thermodynamic framework? How might we move the set point for poverty up significantly to prevent the ill effects of regular, repeated poverty?

      What does the complexity of poverty indicate? Within the web of potential indicators, what might be done to vastly mitigate the movement of people in and out of poverty? What sorts of additional resiliency can be built into the system?

  2. Sep 2022
    1. Ostrom discovered that in reality there were no problems with overgrazing. That is because of a common agreement among villagers that one is allowed to graze more cows on the meadow than they can care for over the winter—a rule that dates back to 1517

      I think this sentence should read "noone is allowed". If you can't care for an animal in the winter, you're not allowed to graze it. This is what never made sense to me in the tragedy of the commons story in the first place, that there would be no feedback mechanisms elsewhere, that the grazing meadow is the only place this would play out, and inside a community that has many other reasons to balance things out. There's therefore always a different place in the system or constellation to introduce negative feedback, and prevent runaway effects.

    1. To criticise Rust for being a complex language misses the point: it's designed to be expressive, which means having a lot of features, and in many situations that's what you want from a programming language.
    1. I have a long list of ideas I want to pursue in cosmology, quantum mechanics, complexity, statistical mechanics, emergence, information, democracy, origin of life, and elsewhere. Maybe we’ll start up a seminar series in Complexity and Emergence that brings different people together. Maybe it will grow into a Center of some kind.

      https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2022/03/06/johns-hopkins/

      Somehow I missed that Sean Carroll had moved to Johns Hopkins? Realized today when his next book showed up on my doorstep with his new affiliation.

  3. Aug 2022
    1. Apart from a higher probability to retrieve particular note sheets, that advantage lies in thecircumstance that notes having a similar keyword will, as the box grows, find themselves atthe same location because of the alphabetical structure. That means not only an automaticcollection of content, but also a comparative review of those related note sheets, which inturn leads to new thoughts basd on the relation between the note sheets with identicalkeywords
    1. Correspondingly,the far-reaching studies of language that were carried out under the influence ofCartesian rationalism suffered from a failure to appreciate either the abstractnessof those structures that are “present to the mind” when an utterance is producedor understood, or the length and complexity of the chain of operations that relatethe mental structures expressing the semantic content of the utterance to thephysical realization.

      What are the simple building blocks of thought and speech that make it so complex in aggregate?

    2. To use the terminology Wilhelm von Hum-boldt used in the 1830s, the speaker makes infinite use of finite means. Hisgrammar must, then, contain a finite system of rules that generates infinitelymany deep and surface structures, appropriately related. I

      building blocks and arising complexity

    3. Descartesalso arrived, quite early in his investigations, at the conclusion that the studyof mind faces us with a problem of quality of complexity, not merely degreeof complexity. He felt that he had demonstrated that understanding and will,the two fundamental properties of the human mind, involved capacities andprinciples that are not realizable by even the most complex of automata.
    4. And this system of linguistic competenceis qualitatively different from anything that can be described in terms of thetaxonomic methods of structural linguistics, the concepts of S-R psychology,or the notions developed within the mathematical theory of communication orthe theory of simple automata.

      What are the atomic building blocks that would allow stimulus-response psychology to show complex behaviors?

    5. Correspondingly, there was a striking decline in studies oflinguistic method in the early 1950s as the most active theoretical minds turnedto the problem of how an essentially closed body of technique could be appliedto some new domain – say, to analysis of connected discourse, or to other cul-tural phenomena beyond language. I arrived at Harvard as a graduate studentshortly after B. F. Skinner had delivered his William James Lectures, later to bepublished in his book Verbal Behavior. Among those active in research in thephilosophy or psychology of language, there was then little doubt that althoughdetails were missing, and although matters could not really be quite that sim-ple, nevertheless a behavioristic framework of the sort Skinner had outlinedwould prove quite adequate to accommodate the full range of language use.

      Are these the groans of a movement from a clockwork world perspective to a complexity based one?

    1. ManuelRodriguez331 · 8 hr. agotaurusnoises wrote on Aug 20, 2022: Technik des Wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens by Johannes Erich HeydeThe idea of grouping similar notes together with the help of index cards was mainstream knowledge in the 1920'er. Melvil Dewey has invented the decimal classification in 1876 and it was applied to libraries and personal note taking as well.quote: “because for every note there is a systematically related one in the immediate vicinity. [...] A good, scholarly book can grow out of the mere collection of notes — not an ingenious one, indeed" [1]The single cause why it wasn't applied more frequently was because of the limitation of the printing press. In the year 1900 only 100 scholarly journals were available in the world. There was no need to write more manuscripts and teach the art of Scientific Writing to a larger audience.[1] Kuntze, Friedrich: Die Technik der geistigen Arbeit, 1922

      reply to: https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/wrytqj/comment/ilax9tc/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      Index card systems were insanely popular in the early 1900's for note taking and uses of all other sorts (business administration, libraries, etc.). The note taking tradition of the slip box goes back even further in intellectual history with precedents including miscellanies, commonplace books, and florilegia. Konrad Gessner may have been one of the first to have created a method using slips of rearrangeable paper in the 1500s, but this general pattern of excerpting, note taking and writing goes back to antiquity with the concept of locus communis (Latin) and tópos koinós (Greek).

      What some intellectual historians are hoping for evidence of in this particular source is a possible origin of the idea of the increased complexity of direct links from one card to another as well as the juxtaposition of ideas which build on each other. Did Luhmann innovate this himself or was this something he read or was in general practice which he picked up? Most examples of zettelkasten outside of Luhmann's until those in the present, could be described reasonably accurately as commonplace books on index cards usually arranged by topic/subject heading/head word (with or without internal indices).

      Perhaps it was Luhmann's familiarity with Aktenzeichen (German administrative "file numbers") prior to his academic work which inspired the dramatically different form his index card-based commonplace took? See: https://hyp.is/CqGhGvchEey6heekrEJ9WA/www.wikiwand.com/de/Aktenzeichen_(Deutschland)

      Is it possible that he was influenced by Beatrice Webb's ideas on note taking from Appendix C of My Apprenticeship (1924) which was widely influential in the humanities and particularly sociology and anthropology? Would he have been aware of the work of historians Ernst Bernheim followed by Charles Victor Langlois and Charles Seignobos? (see: https://hypothes.is/a/DLP52hqFEe2nrIMdrd4U7g) Did Luhmann's law studies expose him to the work of jurist Johann Jacob Moser (1701-1785) who wrote about his practice in his autobiography and subsequently influenced generations of practitioners including Jean Paul and potentially Hegel?

      There are obviously lots of unanswered questions...

    1. Zeynep's law: Until there is substantial and repeated evidence otherwise, assume counterintuitive findings to be false, and second-order effects to be dwarfed by first-order ones in magnitude.
    1. Stigmergy (/ˈstɪɡmərdʒi/ STIG-mər-jee) is a mechanism of indirect coordination, through the environment, between agents or actions.

      Example: ant pheromone paths

      Within ants, there can be a path left for others to follow, but what about natural paths in our environment that influence us to take them because of the idea of the "path of least resistence" or the effects of having paved cow paths.

      Similarly being lead by "the company that you keep".

      relathionship to research on hanging out with fat people tending to make one fatter.

    2. The term "stigmergy" was introduced by French biologist Pierre-Paul Grassé in 1959 to refer to termite behavior. He defined it as: "Stimulation of workers by the performance they have achieved." It is derived from the Greek words στίγμα stigma "mark, sign" and ἔργον ergon "work, action", and captures the notion that an agent’s actions leave signs in the environment, signs that it and other agents sense and that determine and incite their subsequent actions.[4][5]

      Theraulaz, Guy (1999). "A Brief History of Stigmergy". Artificial Life. 5 (2): 97–116. doi:10.1162/106454699568700. PMID 10633572. S2CID 27679536.

  4. Jul 2022
  5. bafybeicuq2jxzrw7omddwzohl5szkqv6ayjiubjy3uopjh5c3cghxq6yoe.ipfs.dweb.link bafybeicuq2jxzrw7omddwzohl5szkqv6ayjiubjy3uopjh5c3cghxq6yoe.ipfs.dweb.link
    1. . It is clear that inorder to achieve certain scientific results complex phenomena must be simplifiedand put in a kind of a straitjacket that deprives them of many if not most of thecharacteristics that make them complex in the first place.

      !- in other words : science and complexity * reductionist scientific methods have limited application within complex systems

    1. In one of his videos he talks about "approaching the mind of god" or something similar, in a way I can't entirely tell whether he is paraphrasing an early-modern note-taker or saying that's what he thinks he is doing himself. I don't really care whether he's religious or not, unless it compromises the system he's building.

      These always read as hyperbole to me, but it's difficult to explain the surprise and serendipity of re-finding things in one's notes on a regular basis. It's akin to the sort of cognitive dissonance that religious people have when encountering the levels of complexity formed by living systems through evolution. Not having better words for describing the experience, they may resort to descriptions of magic or religion to frame their experiences.

    1. there's a lot of discussion about complex systems you know we've been discussing complex systems and i just want to make a couple of points here because uh 01:31:28 commonly some it is not uncommon that someone will say a complex system well that just means that it's liable to fall apart at any moment you know it's just too complex it's going to crash uh but and that that obviously can 01:31:41 happen you know systems can collapse quite quite true but obviously life would not be doing very well if the if if the evolution builds complexity 01:31:53 in species and you know in organisms and ecosystems if life would be have a rough go of it if it was so fragile that uh complexity became a 01:32:07 burden and and uh you know come and then you know you reach a certain level of complexity and then you fall apart that's not really i don't think i mean that can happen but that's but but complex useful complexity 01:32:19 doesn't make you fall apart it actually just does the opposite it serves what we've been talking about all along and that's problem solving so we are anticipatory organisms we are problem 01:32:31 solving organisms it's our nature most of what the human brain does is to solve problems of one kind or another social problems physical problems whatever and maneuver in the world you 01:32:43 know in a useful way and complexity is what allows that there's a number of studies that i cite here that show that as an organism even as a robot you know 01:32:56 faces uh more difficult pressures from its environment it complexifies and complexifies by complexity then it's it's it implies 01:33:08 a greater number of parts coordinating or cooperating in some way uh to you know solve this new challenge and obviously as a human we're very complex we have 01:33:22 we have complex needs we have we can think not just what's going to happen in the next millisecond but what's going to happen we can think about what's going to happen in 100 years i mean part of this project is to think about what might be 01:33:36 happening over the next hundred years or even a thousand years so as an organism complexifies it become it at least potentially becomes a better adapted to solving more complex 01:33:49 problems so you could and from that sense you could almost ex equate complexity with problem-solving capacity you know at least in a uh you know in a 01:34:01 general sense and then i talked about well that just reminds me of in the free energy calculations that we um have gone over in various papers it's like accuracy is the modeling imperative and 01:34:14 then complexity is tolerated to the extent it facilitates accurate modeling so if you get the one parameter model and you got 99 and it's adequate and it's good then you're good to go and you're gonna go for simplicity 01:34:26 but then what you're saying is actually the um appearance and the hallmark of complexity in the world it means that that organism has the need to solve problems at a given 01:34:40 level of counterfactual depth or inference skill or temporal depth temporal thickness

      While complex systems these days has connotations of being more fragile or more challenging to fix, In evolutionary biology, complexity has evolved in organisms to make them more adaptable, more fit. Human beings are complex organisms. Most of our brain is dedicated to solving one type of problem or another, we anticipate the world and problem solving involves choosing the best option based on anticipation and our models.

    1. One aspect of the Orientation part of Boyd’s OODA loop is analysis and synthesis. This relates to deduction, or going from the general to the specific, and induction, or going from the specific to the general. By analyzing and synthesizing our observations and interpretations, we can generate new orientations towards what we are perceiving, so that we can act more effectively.

      To orient is to deduce and to induce. To compress general things into specific views, and to move from specifics to general views.

    1. fly·wheel/ˈflīˌ(h)wēl/ Learn to pronounce nounnoun: flywheel; plural noun: flywheels; noun: fly-wheel; plural noun: fly-wheelsa heavy revolving wheel in a machine that is used to increase the machine's momentum and thereby provide greater stability or a reserve of available power during interruptions in the delivery of power to the machine.

      A potential word to describe some of my theory for evolution, DNA, and complexity

      Used often in business to describe increasing momentum

  6. Jun 2022
    1. Gall's Law is a rule of thumb for systems design from Gall's book Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail. It states: .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.

      This feels like an underlying and underpinning principle of how the IndieWeb which focuses on working real world examples which are able to build up more complex systems instead of theoretical architecture astronomy which goes no where.

      Reference: John Gall (1975) Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail p. 71

    1. Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. EF Schumacher
    1. https://kumu.io/

      Make sense of your messy world. Kumu makes it easy to organize complex data into relationship maps that are beautiful to look at and a pleasure to use.

      tagline:

      The art of mapping is to create a context in which others can think.


      Tool mentioned on [[2022-06-02]] by Jerry Michalski during [[Friends of the Link]] meeting.

    1. WHY GENERALISTS TRIUMPH IN A SPECIALIZED WORLD “The most important business — and parenting — book of the year.” — Forbes “The most important business — and parenting — book of the year.” — Forbes “The most important business — and parenting — book of the year.” — Forbes “The most important business — and parenting — book of the year.” — Forbes “The most important business — and parenting — book of the year.” — Forbes ‹›

      Many university presidents site the value of basic research to fuel the more specialized research spaces.

      Example: we didn't have any application for x-rays when their basic science was researched, but now they're integral to a number of areas of engineering, physics, and health care.

      What causes this effect? Is it the increased number of potential building blocks that provide increased flexibility and complexity to accelerate the later specializations?

      Link this to: https://hyp.is/-oEI3OF5EeybM_POWlI9WQ/www.maggiedelano.com/garden/helpful-books

  7. May 2022
    1. I wore the designer and product manager hats on the project and prototyped the breadboarding and scope mapping techniques described in this book to manage the complexity.

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  8. Apr 2022
    1. It is difficult to see interdependencies This is especially true in the context of learning something complex, say economics. We can’t read about economics in a silo without understanding psychology, sociology and politics, at the very least. But we treat each subject as though they are independent of each other.

      Where are the tools for graphing inter-dependencies of areas of study? When entering a new area it would be interesting to have visual mappings of ideas and thoughts.

      If ideas in an area were chunked into atomic ideas, then perhaps either a Markov monkey or a similar actor could find the shortest learning path from a basic idea to more complex ideas.

      Example: what is the shortest distance from an understanding of linear algebra to learn and master Lie algebras?

      Link to Garden of Forking Paths

      Link to tools like Research Rabbit, Open Knowledge Maps and Connected Papers, but for ideas instead of papers, authors, and subject headings.


      It has long been useful for us to simplify our thought models for topics like economics to get rid of extraneous ideas to come to basic understandings within such a space. But over time, we need to branch out into related and even distant subjects like mathematics, psychology, engineering, sociology, anthropology, politics, physics, computer science, etc. to be able to delve deeper and come up with more complex and realistic models of thought.Our early ideas like the rational actor within economics are fine and lovely, but we now know from the overlap of psychology and sociology which have given birth to behavioral economics that those mythical rational actors are quaint and never truly existed. To some extent, to move forward as a culture and a society we need to rid ourselves of these quaint ideas to move on to more complex and sophisticated ones.

  9. Mar 2022
    1. Gall’s Law, which states that a complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. Contrast this with a complex system designed from scratch, which never works and cannot be patched up to make it work.

      Gall's Law: Working complex systems invariably evolve from simple systems which actually worked.

      It is rare to find working complex systems designed from scratch. They rarely work and are incredibly difficult to patch to make them work.

  10. Feb 2022
    1. X : You seem concerned. Me : The competition talks maps but shows graphs. That's a problem. X : Why? Me : In maps, space has meaning which is why they are good for mapping spaces whether geographic, economic, social or political. X : Isn't that true with graphs? Me : No.

      https://twitter.com/swardley/status/1490344071126294528

      maps != graphs

      what are the building blocks at operation with respect to these?

      what pieces of context are built up and how do they add information to become more complex?

    1. Witness the hundreds of millions of CPE (customer-premises equipment) boxes with literally too much memory for buffering packets. As Jim Gettys and Dave Taht have been demonstrating in recent years, more is not better when it comes to packet memory.1 Wireless networks in homes and coffee shops and businesses all degrade shockingly when the traffic load increases. Rather than the "fair-share" scheduling we expect, where N network flows will each get roughly 1/Nth of the available bandwidth, network flows end up in quicksand where they each get 1/(N2) of the available bandwidth. This isn't because CPE designers are incompetent; rather, it's because the Internet is a big place with a lot of subtle interactions that depend on every device and software designer having the same—largely undocumented—assumptions.

      Good example of complexity and ecosystem behaviour in a human system - the Internet ...

    1. Because of the constantly growing number of volumes, and to minimize coordination issues, Gottfried van Swieten emphasizes a set of instructions for registering all the books of the court library. Written instructions are by no means common prior to the end of the eighteenth century. Until then, cataloging takes place under the supervision of a librarian who instructs scriptors orally, pointing out problems and corrections as every-one goes along.

      Unlike prior (oral) efforts, Gottfried van Swieten created a writtten set of instructions for cataloging texts at the Austrian National Library. This helped to minimize coordination issues as well as time to teach and perfect the system.


      Written rules, laws, and algorithms help to create self-organization. This is done by saving time and energy that would have gone into the work of directed building of a system instead. The saved work can then be directed towards something else potentially more productive or regenerative.

    1. You may remember from school the difference between an exergonicand an endergonic reaction. In the first case, you constantly need toadd energy to keep the process going. In the second case, thereaction, once triggered, continues by itself and even releasesenergy.

      The build up of complexity which results in the creation of life with increasing complexity must certainly be endergonic if the process is to last for any extensive length of time. Once the process becomes exergonic or reaches homeostasis, then the building of complexity and even life itself will cease to exist.

      Must this always be true? Proof? Counter examples?

    2. By adding these links between notes, Luhmann was able to addthe same note to different contexts.

      By crosslinking one's notes in a hypertext-like manner one is able to give them many different contexts. This linking and context shifting is a solid method for helping one's ideas to have sex with each other as a means of generating new ideas.


      Is there a relationship between this idea of context shifting and modality shifting? Are these just examples of building blocks for tools of thought? Are they sifts on different axes? When might they be though of as the same? Compare and contrast this further.

    3. Sull, Donald and Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. 2015. Simple Rules: Howto Thrive in a Complex World. Boston; New York: Houghton Mifflin
  11. Jan 2022
    1. Technological solutions to social problems seem quicker, cheaper, and simpler to implement than larger social changes.

      Tech solutionism can often seem useful because it appears to be cheaper, simpler, and easier to implement than making more difficult choices and larger, necessary social changes.

      One needs to always ask what is the real underlying problem? What other methods are there for potential solutions? What are the knock-on effects of these potential solutions. Is the particular solution really just a quick fix or bandaid? Once implemented how will one measure the effects and adjust after-the-fact?

    1. Cross-referencing the correct answers from previous Wordles with a body of the most commonly used English terms, Moro confirmed that Wardle chooses frequently used words in English, something the game’s inventor also pointed out in his interview with The New York Times, which mentioned that he avoided rare words.

      Wordle specifically chooses more common words which cuts back drastically on the complexity of the game.

    1. The relationship between the top-level subject area and the lower-leve

      subjects cannot be described in terms of a strictly hierarchical order, it is rather a form of loose coupling insofar as one can find lower-level subjects which do not fit systematically to the top-level issue but show only marginally connections.

      There is something suspiciously similar about the instantiation of a zettelkasten and the idea of small pieces loosely joined.

      Perhaps also related to the idea of a small number of primitives which can interact in a small number of ways, but which gives rise to incredible complexity.

    1. Autopoiesis has been proposed as a potential mechanism of abiogenesis, by which primitive cells evolved into more complex molecules that could support the development of life.
    2. The term autopoiesis (from Greek αὐτo- (auto-) 'self', and ποίησις (poiesis) 'creation, production') refers to a system capable of producing and maintaining itself by creating its own parts.[1] The term was introduced in the 1972 publication Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living by Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela to define the self-maintaining chemistry of living cells.[2] Since then the concept has been also applied to the fields of cognition, systems theory, architecture and sociology.

      I can't help but think about a quine here...

    1. The sociological hy-pothesis that evolution implies not simply an increase in complexity but an increase in reducible complexity--or, to put it in other terms, that evolution is production of complexity through reduction of complexity--is thus verified.81

      81 Niklas Luhmann, ‘Reduktion von Komplexität’, in Historisches Wörterbuch der Philoso-phie, eds. Joachim Ritter and Karlfried Gründer, vol. 8 (Basel/Stuttgart, 1992), 377–78, at 377. On the claim that evolution leads to an increase in reducible complexity, there is an extensive literature. See J.W.S. Pringle, ‘On the Parallel Between Learning and Evolu-tion’, Behaviour 3 (1951), 174–215; Francis Heylighen et al., eds., The Evolution of Complexity (Boston/London, 1999), with large bibliography.

      Delve into the statement that "evolution leads to an increase in reducible complexity".

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    1. Only certain kinds of self-organizing complex systems enable collectively beneficial results.

      Which? How?

      Is there a way to (easily) evolve these into political or economic contexts?

    2. Both involve “invisible hand” magic — intricate, unplanned, “self-organizing” systems.
  12. Dec 2021
    1. The role of accidents in the theory of science is not disputed, If you employ evolutionary models, accidents assume a most important role. Without them, nothing happens, no progress is made. Without variation in the given material of ideas, there are no possibilities of examining and selecting novelties. The real problem thus becomes therefore one of producing accidents with sufficiently enhanced probabilities for selection.
    2. The slip box needs a number of years in order to reach critical mass. Until then, it functions as a mere container from which we can retrieve what we put in. This changes with its growth in size and complexity.

      Niklas Luhmann indicates that it may take a number of years to reach critical mass. This may be different for everyone based on the number of ideas they place into it and the amount of work they do in creating connections.

      Ward Cunningham, the creator of the wiki, has indicated that he thinks it takes roughly 500 pages in a wiki for the value to begin emerging.†

      How many notes and what level of links/complexity is a good minimal threshold for one to be able to see interesting and useful results?


      † Quote in FedWiki session on 2021-12-29

    3. Every note is only an element which receives its quality only from the network of links and back-links within the system.

      Every element receives its value based on the network of links and connections it has with other elements. This is just as true for ideas on index cards in a zettelkasten as it is for people within a society.

      idea/index card:zettelkasten :: person:society

      What other elements in complex systems is this analogy true for? Is it a truism for all elements in complex systems? What other examples can we come up with?

    4. Possibility of linking (Verweisungsmöglichkeiten). Since all papers have fixed numbers, you can add as many references to them as you may want. Central concepts can have many links which show on which other contexts we can find materials relevant for them.

      Continuing on the analogy between addresses for zettels/index cards and for people, the differing contexts for cards and ideas is similar to the multiple different publics in which people operate (home, work, school, church, etc.)

      Having these multiple publics creates a variety of cross links within various networks for people which makes their internal knowledge and relationships more valuable.

      As societies grow the number of potential interconnections grows as well. Compounding things the society doesn't grow as a homogeneous whole but smaller sub-groups appear creating new and different publics for each member of the society. This is sure to create a much larger and much more complex system. Perhaps it's part of the beneficial piece of the human limit of memory of inter-personal connections (the Dunbar number) means that instead of spending time linearly with those physically closest to us, we travel further out into other spheres and by doing so, we dramatically increase the complexity of our societies.

      Does this level of complexity change for oral societies in pre-agrarian contexts?


      What would this look like mathematically and combinatorially? How does this effect the size and complexity of the system?


      How can we connect this to Stuart Kauffman's ideas on complexity? (Picking up a single thread creates a network by itself...)

    5. The possibility of arbitrary internal branching.

      Modern digital zettelkasten don't force the same sort of digital internal branching process that is described by Niklas Luhmann. Internal branching in these contexts is wholly reliant on the user to create it.

      Many digital systems will create a concrete identifier to fix the idea within the system, but this runs the risk of ending up with a useless scrap heap.

      Some modern systems provide the ability for one to add taxonomies like subject headings in a commonplace book tradition, which adds some level of linking. But if we take the fact that well interlinked cards are the most valuable in such a system then creating several links upfront may be a bit more work, but it provides more value in the long run.

      Upfront links also don't require quite as much work at the card's initial creation as the creator already has the broader context of the idea. Creating links at a future date requires the reloading into their working memory of the card's idea and broader context.

      Of course there may also be side benefits (including to memory) brought by the spaced repetition of the card's ideas as well as potential new contexts gained in the interim which may help add previously unconsidered links.

      It can certainly be possible that at some level of linking, there is a law of diminishing returns the decreases the value of a card and its idea.

      One of the benefits of physical card systems like Luhmann's is that the user is forced to add the card somewhere, thus making the first link of the idea into the system. Luhmann's system in particular creates a parent/sibling relation to other cards or starts a brand new branch.

    6. The fixed filing place needs no system. It is sufficient that we give every slip a number which is easily seen (in or case on the left of the first line) and that we never change this number and thus the fixed place of the slip. This decision about structure is that reduction of the complexity of possible arrangements, which makes possible the creation of high complexity in the card file and thus makes possible its ability to communicate in the first place.

      There's an interesting analogy between Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten numbering system and the early street address system in Vienna. Just as people (often) have a fixed address, they're able to leave it temporarily and mix with other people before going back home every night. The same is true with his index cards. Without the ability to remove cards and remix them in various orders, the system has far less complexity and simultaneously far less value.

      Link to reference of street addressing systems of Vienna quoted by Markus Krajewski in (chapter 3 of) Paper Machines.


      Both the stability and the occasional complexity of the system give it tremendous value.

      How is this linked to the idea that some of the most interesting things within systems happen at the edges of the system which have the most complexity? Cards that sit idly have less value for their stability while cards at the edges that move around the most and interact with other cards and ideas provide the most value.

      Graph this out on a multi-axis drawing. Is the relationship linear, non-linear, exponential? What is the relationship of this movement to the links between cards? Is it essentially the same (particularly in digital settings) as movement?

      Are links (and the active creation thereof) between cards the equivalent of communication?

    1. https://cynefin.io/wiki/Cynefin

      decision support framework

      This looks interesting, but is so laden with jargon that it's not very welcoming and doesn't have a very clear value proposition.

      Any relation to Wardley mapping space?

    1. Now, we should be clear here: social theory always, necessarily,involves a bit of simplification. For instance, almost any humanaction might be said to have a political aspect, an economic aspect,a psychosexual aspect and so forth. Social theory is largely a gameof make-believe in which we pretend, just for the sake of argument,that there’s just one thing going on: essentially, we reduce everythingto a cartoon so as to be able to detect patterns that would beotherwise invisible. As a result, all real progress in social science hasbeen rooted in the courage to say things that are, in the finalanalysis, slightly ridiculous: the work of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud orClaude Lévi-Strauss being only particularly salient cases in point.One must simplify the world to discover something new about it. Theproblem comes when, long after the discovery has been made,people continue to simplify.

      revisit this... it's an important point, particularly when looking at complex ideas with potentially emergent properties

    1. The anarchist inspiration is clear than ever here: social complexity without “monopoly of legitimate violence” has been possible before, and can be possible again.

      In which contexts has this worked? And if so, how were those societies structured? How might we evolve back to that particular state space or adjacent spaces?

    1. The card index appeared to be simply what it was: a wooden box for paper slips. On one of these file cards, Luhmann once summarized his own reflections on just such an experience: ‘People come, they see everything and nothing more than that, just like in porn movies; consequently, they leave disappointed’ (Figure 1).8
      1. Cf. Schmidt, ‘Luhmanns Zettelkasten’, 7. The heading of this file card is formulated in form of a question: ‘Geist im Kasten?’ (‘Does Spirit hide in the filing cabinet?’). Obviously, the answer is no. Many thanks to Johannes Schmidt for providing the image of this file card.

      In a zettel in his system entitled "Does Spirit hide in the filing cabinet", Niklas Luhmann wrote the note: "People come, they see everything and nothing more than that, just like in porn movies; consequently, they leave disappointed." This is a telling story about the simplicity of the idea of a slip box (zettelkasten, card catalog, or commonplace book).

      yellowed index card with the identifier 9/8,3 with almost illegible handwriting in German Niklas Luhmann, Zettelkasten II, index card no. 9/8,3

      It's also a testament to the fact that the value of it is in the upfront work that is required in making valuable notes and linking them. Many end up trying out the simple looking system and then wonder why it isn't working for them. The answer is that they're not working for it.

    1. If a system encapsulates single projects or topics, chances are that it can’t cope with complexity. This is okay if you want to just work on one project. But if you want to use a system as an aid to writing and as a thinking tool you should opt for a system that is powerful enough for a lifetime of thoughts. So, watch out for folders and projects. They are the means for dealing with encapsulating and limiting complexity. In addition, they hinder the most productive way of knowledge production: the interdisciplinary part.

      For complexity to flourish between various projects and ideas, folders are probably not the final solution. Within a zettelkasten, other emergent structures may emerge to deal with information that doesn't fit neatly into any particular folder or other structure.

    1. One of my greatest concerns about this field today is that almost all of the problem discovery happens by a kind of self-interested navel-gazing process, where product builders take the quote “build things you would want to use” a little too literally, and build products for the small niche group of people interested in note-taking tools and processes. This leads to products that seem useful to a small group of other people who are also working in this space and familiar with its vernacular and concepts, but are unusable or unapproachable by most people outside of that small community. I think this is a dangerous failure mode.

      The level of complexity to using some of these tools is also a huge hurdle for the everyday user as well. Some require deep knowledge of the tool along with coding ability as well.

      Perhaps this complexity barrier will come down over time, but some projects don't seem to be working toward making things easier and simpler for the end user.

  13. Nov 2021
    1. Another person suspended from his job put it this way: “Someone who knows me, but maybe doesn’t know my soul or character, may be saying to themselves that prudence would dictate they keep their distance, lest they become collateral damage.”

      Putting people beyond the pale creates a social contagion of sorts. It would be interesting to look at these cases from the perspective of public health and view these as disease. What information falls out of doing this? How does this model change?

      From Applebaum's perspective that these cases may help sow the seeds of authoritarianism, could they be viewed as something like an initial case of untreated syphilis and authoritarianism becomes a version of festered stage three syphilis.

      What other things may stem from these effects as second and third order problems from a complexity theory perspective?

  14. Oct 2021
  15. Sep 2021
    1. ween societies at greatly differing economic levels). It is also that there has never been any single type of "the transition". The stress of the transition falls upon the whole culture: resistance to change and assent to change arise from the whole culture. And this culture includes the systems of power, property-relations, religious institu- tions, etc., inattention to which merely flattens phenomena and trivializes analysis. Above all, the transition is not to "industrialism" tout court but to industrial capitalism or (in the twentieth century) to alternative systems whose features are still indistinct. Wh

      Speaking about transitions within societies and cultures can be problematic as they are complex and intertwined between individuals, families, and larger structures and institutions. The transition to industrialization is often seen as a foregone conclusion when, in fact, it was a gradual struggle over time. Glossing over these types of transition can trivialize analysis of the complex effects at play.

    1. Every area of our lives is interconnected, so should be the way we journal.

      I generally take this approach, but it can be useful to compartmentalize things.

  16. Aug 2021
    1. Complex challenges, on the other hand, require innovative responses. These are the confounding head-scratchers with no right answers, only best attempts. There’s no straight line to a solution, and you can only know that you’ve found an effective strategy in retrospect. You never really solve your complex challenges–most of the time, you have to push forward and see how it goes.
    2. Humans can master highly sophisticated technical and technological challenges because we’re very skilled at making linear connections from one technical feat to the next. But when it comes to multi-dimensional challenges, it’s a whole different ballgame. We can’t solve them with linear thinking or rely on technical prowess. Sometimes, they move and change at a rate faster than we can act. They don’t patiently await solutions. They are complex problems–which is a whole different ball game than merely complicated issues.
    1. More than that, if Hayek is right about a particular level of complexity being unable to understand its own or a higher level of complexity, it would be impossible to understand the nature of sociotemporality in the first place.
    1. It's hard to convey what a difference it makes to the development experience to cut out this massive tumor of complexity.

      making the web an alive medium again and not a preprocessed nightmare nightmare is critical

      alas: typescript.

    1. Another theoretician of the index card system, the German sociologist Niklas Luhman, whose so-called "Zettelkasten" (slip-box) has achieved independent fame in Germany, used to talk about this first analytic step as "reduction for the sake of [building] complexity." [9]

      Luhmann used the idea of "one card, one fact" as the first step of "reduction for the sake of [building] complexity."

      Historically reducing things to their smallest essential form or building blocks makes it much easier to build up new complex things from them.

      Examples of this include:

      • Reducing numbers to binary 1 and 0
      • tk

      footnote:

      See Luhmann, Niklas (2000) Short Cuts. Edited by Peter Gente, Heidi Paris, Martin Weinmann. Frankfurt/Main: Zweitausendeins), p. 33.

    2. A wiki allows one to build increasingly more complex relationships between what might appear to be at first unrelated bits and pieces of information. The motto that characterizes this approch is: "It's not the data, it's the relationship" and it certainly rings true for me in the context of note-taking.
  17. Jul 2021
    1. “Although a seemingly mundane and simple innovation, Linnaeus' use of index cards marks a major shift in how eighteenth-century naturalists thought about the order of nature,” says Mueller-Wille. The natural world was no longer ordered on a fixed, linear scale, but came to be seen as a map-like natural system of multiple affinities.

      Ha!

      Roughly the idea I'd just written!

      The idea of reordering nature this way would have been fantastic, particularly in light of the general prior order of the cosmos based on the scala naturae or Great Chain of Being.

      Compare this with Ernst Haeckel's Tree of Man. What year was this in relation? Was the idea of broader biological networks and network-like structure thought of prior to this?

    1. These criteria – surprise serendipity, information and inner complexity

      These criteria – surprise serendipity, information and inner complexity – are the criteria any communication has to meet.

      An interesting thesis about communication. Note that Luhmann worked in general systems theory. I'm curious if he was working in cybernetics as well?

    2. Complexity: your partner needs to be sufficiently autonomous. Autonomy is promoted by growing inner complexity of the system. Its inner complexity depends on both the number of notes and their relationships with each other.

      The complexity of a system promotes autonomy.

      How do we define autonomy here? Is this statement really true? Useful? How might this related to the origin of life?

  18. Jun 2021
    1. This leads us to Markovits’s second critique of the aspirational view: The cycle that produces meritocratic inequality severely harms not only the middle class but the very elite who seem to benefit most from it.

      What if we look at meritocracy from a game theoretic viewpoint?

      Certainly there's an issue that there isn't a cap on meritocratic outputs, so if one wants more wealth, then one needs to "simply" work harder. As a result, in a "keeping up with the Jones'" society that (incorrectly) measures happiness in wealth, everyone is driven to work harder and faster for their piece of the pie.

      (How might we create a sort of "set point" to limit the unbounded meritocratic cap? Might this create a happier set point/saddle point on the larger universal graph?)

      This effect in combination with the general drive to have "power over" people instead of "power with", etc. in combination with racist policies can create some really horrific effects.

      What other compounding effects might there be? This is definitely a larger complexity-based issue.

  19. May 2021
    1. Why did a figure such as Leibniz fail to use his own tools? Perhaps messiness was the source of his creativity. This is a fact of intellectual originality with which Google must still grapple—libraries, after all, allow for the type of manageable disorder which is often the spark of creativity.

      Manageable disorder, messiness, and even chaos can be the source of boundless creativity.

      There's an idea in complexity theory that the most interesting things happen at the edge of chaos.

    1. Standard economic theory uses mathematics as its main means of understanding, and this brings clarity of reasoning and logical power. But there is a drawback: algebraic mathematics restricts economic modeling to what can be expressed only in quantitative nouns, and this forces theory to leave out matters to do with process, formation, adjustment, creation and nonequilibrium. For these we need a different means of understanding, one that allows verbs as well as nouns. Algorithmic expression is such a means. It allows verbs (processes) as well as nouns (objects and quantities). It allows fuller description in economics, and can include heterogeneity of agents, actions as well as objects, and realistic models of behavior in ill-defined situations. The world that algorithms reveal is action-based as well as object-based, organic, possibly ever-changing, and not fully knowable. But it is strangely and wonderfully alive.

      Read abstract.

      The analogy of adding a "verb" to mathematics is intriguing here.

  20. Mar 2021
    1. Here are my thoughts: making vim startup time shorter is GOOD added complexity - BAD my main concern is with the complexity that gets added to get startup time improvements. User has to tag scripts, and then manually BundleBind to get scripts loaded. This seems like too much hassle(manual involvement) to me. Fixing 1 time thing (startup) we're adding many more (like BundleBinding required scripts once they're used) For instance in my case i don't start Vim often because i'm using --remote-tab-silent option. So i'll get no benefit along with complexity (
  21. Feb 2021
  22. www.metacritic.com www.metacritic.com
    1. Difficult enough to prove a worthy challenge, with an over-complexity that might have benefitted from a little self-restraint.

      overly complex = unnecessarily complicated

  23. Jan 2021
    1. the commonplace book has been particularly beloved by poets, whose business is the revelation of wholeness through the fragmentary

      Gestalt: the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. See also, emergence in chaos theory and complexity.

  24. Dec 2020
    1. Much like civil engineering and chemical engineering in decades past, this new discipline aims to corral the power of a few key ideas, bringing new resources and capabilities to people, and doing so safely. Whereas civil engineering and chemical engineering were built on physics and chemistry, this new engineering discipline will be built on ideas that the preceding century gave substance to — ideas such as “information,” “algorithm,” “data,” “uncertainty,” “computing,” “inference,” and “optimization.” Moreover, since much of the focus of the new discipline will be on data from and about humans, its development will require perspectives from the social sciences and humanities.

      Michael Jordan draws the analogy with the emergence of civil and chemical engineering, building with the building blocks of the century prior: physics and chemistry. In this case the building blocks are ideas such as: information, algorithm, data, uncertainty, computing, inference and optimization.

    1. The compiler architecture moves complexity from the runtime and source code to buildtime and tools. Behind Svelte’s simple APIs sits a beefy compiler. Frontend web development has become very tool heavy in the webapp era, so in practice this adds little cost beyond what developers like myself already pay, but increased build complexity is important to acknowledge.

      tool-heavy dependence on build tools / heavy/complex build-time

    2. Compilers may appear to magically eliminate complexity, but that’s an illusion — they shift it.
    1. Less developer maintenance burden: The existing (Kuma) platform is complex and hard to maintain. Adding new features is very difficult. The update will vastly simplify the platform code — we estimate that we can remove a significant chunk of the existing codebase, meaning easier maintenance and contributions.
    1. For example, norms that overwhelmingly prioritize the publication and dissemination of philosophical research as articles in pay-to-read academic journals, although serving an evaluative purpose within the discipline, also reinforce a strong separation between professional philosophers and the public.

      True for advanced study of any kind. [[complexity]]

  25. Nov 2020
    1. Finally, you gain the ability to reuse previously built packets for new projects. Maybe some research you did for an online marketing campaign becomes useful for a new campaign. Or some sketches that didn’t quite make it into an old design give you inspiration for a new one. Or some book notes you wrote down casually turn out to be very useful for an unforeseen challenge a year later.

      The Intermediate Packet approach allows you to reuse previously built packets for new projects

      By incorporating existing packets in new projects, you gain the ability to deliver new projects much faster.

    1. Refactoring at scale is challenging and a significant investment, so communicating the progress is important both from a business perspective but also as a motivational effect to developers. In this case we used a combination of complexity trend visualizations and Code Health Metric as shown in the preceding example.

      [[refactoring at scale]]

    1. I also like that the folksonomic approach (as in, there are no “pre-established groups”) allows for a great deal of expression, of negotiation (I imagine that #barcamp will be a common tag between events, but that’s fine, since if there is a collision, say between two separate BarCamps on the same day, they’ll just have to socially engineer a solution and probably pick a new tag, like #barcampblock) and of decay (that is, over time, as tags are used less frequently, other people can reuse them — no domain squatting!).

      The folksonomic approach (user-generated tagging) is beneficial because it allows complexity to emerge bottom-up.

  26. Oct 2020
    1. Of course you can start implementing your own thing, but you will waste a lot of precious time reinventing the wheel. Why not take advantage of a validation library that takes care of all this complexity for you?
    2. Form validation can get complex (synchronous validations, asynchronous validations, record validations, field validations, internationalization, schemas definitions...). To cope with these challenges we will leverage this into Fonk and Fonk Final Form adaptor for a React Final Form seamless integration.
    1. One of the primary tasks of engineers is to minimize complexity. JSX changes such a fundamental part (syntax and semantics of the language) that the complexity bubbles up to everything it touches. Pretty much every pipeline tool I've had to work with has become far more complex than necessary because of JSX. It affects AST parsers, it affects linters, it affects code coverage, it affects build systems. That tons and tons of additional code that I now need to wade through and mentally parse and ignore whenever I need to debug or want to contribute to a library that adds JSX support.
    1. Science and Complexity (Weaver 1948); explained the three eras that according to him defined the history of science. These were the era of simplicity, disorganized complexity, and organized complexity. In the eyes of Weaver what separated these three eras was the development of mathematical tools allowing scholars to describe systems of increasing complexity.
    2. For instance, in the study of mobile phone networks, the frequency and length of interactions has often been used as measures of link weight (Onnela et al. 2007), (Hidalgo and Rodriguez-Sickert 1008), (Miritello et al. 2011).

      And they probably shouldn't because typically different levels of people are making these decisions. Studio brass and producers typically have more to say about the lead roles and don't care as much about the smaller ones which are overseen by casting directors or sometimes the producers. The only person who has oversight of all of them is the director, and even then they may quit caring at some point.

    3. Problems of disorganized complexity are problems that can be described using averages and distributions, and that do not depend on the identity of the elements involved in a system, or their precise patterns of interactions. A classic example of a problem of disorganized complexity is the statistical mechanics of Ludwig Boltzmann, James-Clerk Maxwell, and Willard Gibbs, which focuses on the properties of gases.
    1. "Protestant" life of wealth and risk over the "Catholic" path of poverty and security.[8]

      Is this simply a restatement of the idea that most of "the interesting things" happen at the border or edge of chaos? The Catholic ethic is firmly inside the stable arena while that of the Protestant ethic is pushing the boundaries.

    2. In general, while I've been reading Stuart Kauffmann's At Home in the Universe, I can't help but thinking about the cascading extinctions he describes and wonder if political extinctions of ideas like Communism or other forms of government or even economies might follow the same types of outcomes described there?

    3. What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

      What if, in fact, we've only just found a local maximum? What if in the changing landscape there are other places we could potentially get to competitively that supply greater maxima? And possibly worse, what if we need to lose value to get from here to unlock even more value there?

    1. Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1606.03433 : Calculating the Middle Ages? The Project “Complexities and Networks in the Medieval Mediterranean and the Near East”
    2. “On average across all five polities, a change of ruler in one year increased the probability for another change in the following year threefold,” says Preiser-Kapeller. So the closer you are to an upheaval, the more likely there is to be another one soon. Or in other words, upheavals tend to cluster together.
    3. While the complexity that arises from network theory in many areas of science has been studied for decades, there has been almost no such research in the field of history.
    1. That leaves economist Martin Shubik, surely the second most powerful mind among economists to have tackled the complexity problem (John von Neumann was first). Shubik pursued an overarching theory of money all his life, one in which money and financial institutions emerge naturally, instead of being given. In The Guidance of an Enterprise Economy (MIT, 2016), he considered that he and physicist Etic Smith had achieved it. Shubik died last year, at 92.  His ideas about strict definitions of “minimal complexity” will take years to resurface in others’ hands.
    2. Two of the most successful expositors of economic complexity were research partners, as least for a time:  Ricardo Hausmann, of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and physicist César Hidalgo, of MIT’s Media Lab. They, too, worked with a gifted mathematician, Albert-László Barabási, of Northeastern University, to produce a highly technical paper; then,  with colleagues, assembled an Atlas of Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity (MIT, 2011), a data-visualization tool that continues to function online. Meanwhile, Hidalgo’s Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies (Basic, 2015) remains an especially lucid account of humankind’s escape (so far) from the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but there is precious little economics in it. For the economics of international trade, see Gene Grossman and Elhanan Helpman.
    3. Among the barons who came across my screen were John Holland, Scott Page, Robert Axelrod, Leigh Tesfatsion, Seth Lloyd, Alan Kirman, Blake LeBaron, J. Barkley Rosser Jr., and Eric Beinhocker, as well as three men who became good friends: Joel Moses, Yannis Ionnides, and David Colander.  All extraordinary thinkers. 
    1. His data also suggest that who you know growing up can have lasting effects. A paper on patents he co-authored found that young women were more likely to become inventors if they’d moved as children to places where many female inventors lived. (The number of male inventors had little effect.) Even which fields inventors worked in was heavily influenced by what was being invented around them as children.

      Combine this with Cesar Hidalgo's work and draw the connections!

    1. Similar to my recent musings (link coming soon) on the dualism of matter vs information, I find that the real beauty may lie precisely in the complexity of their combination.

      There's a kernel of an idea hiding in here that I want to come back and revisit at a future date.

    1. There's a grassy vacant lot near her apartment where Franklin often takes a break from her job as a landscaping crew supervisor at Bon Secours Community Works, a nearby community organization owned by Bon Secours Health System. It's one of the few places in the neighborhood with a lot of shade — mainly from a large tree Franklin calls the mother shade. She helped come up with the idea to build a free splash park in the lot for residents to cool down in the heat. Now Bon Secours is taking on the project. "This was me taking my stand," Franklin says. "I didn't sit around and wait for everybody to say, 'Well, who's going to redo the park?' "

      Reminiscent of the story in Judith Rodin's The Resilience Dividend about the Kambi Moto neighborhood in the Huruma slum of Nairobi. The area and some of the responsibility became a part of ownership of the space from the government. Meanwhile NPR's story here is doing some of the counting which parallels the Kambi Moto story.

  27. Sep 2020