Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Computing systemic risk using multiple behavioral and keystone networks: The emergence of a crisis in primate societies and banks

Computing systemic risk using multiple behavioral and keystone networks: The emergence of a crisis in primate societies and banks is an interesting article in comparative network dynamics. Specifically, they address network collapse. This is important in understanding economic crises. But banks only constitute one kind of social network within the market economy. It would be interesting to apply this data to other spontaneous orders as well.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Complexity Drives Complexity

Complex environments result in the evolution of complex organisms. Of course, one should also point out that the presence of complex organisms results in a more complex environment. And heterogeneity results in a more complex environment as well.

Thus, once life emerged and began evolving, the living environment became more heterogeneous, and thus more complex. And this drove the evolution of greater complexity. Which drove the emergence of more complex environments. Which drove the evolution of greater complexity. Etc.

Which eventually get us to us. We also create more complex environments, within which we evolve more complexity. This is the argument of Gravesean psychology. Complexity drives complexity.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Costs Create Small World Architecture in Networks

Where do small-world architecture in networks come from? According to Jeff Clune, "Once you add a cost for network connections, modules immediately appear. Without a cost, modules never form." This issue of a cost would also explain why market economies are self-organizing scale-free networks with small-world architecture. And not just market economies, but all large-scale social networks. Social interactions all have costs, which means the most efficient network architectures will evolve. The existence of costs is most obvious in economics, but you will find costs in any network -- whether social, neural, or molecular.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Self-Interested Society Is Spontaneous Order Society

Among the main requirements for the emergence of a complex, scale-free social network process -- a.k.a., spontaneous order -- are the breakdown of social hierarchies and, thus, the ability to freely enter and exit within the order. Kenneth Minogue explains how Westn-influenced cultures moved from hierarhical "just societies" to scale-free "self-interested societies'. Only if and when we become independent agents can spontaneous orders emerge.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Human Brain's Flexible Hub Network

What causes humans to have such high intelligence? Evolutionary psychologists typically focus on modules, but humans also have a general intelligence that allows us to adapt to a variety of physical environments. It turns out that both explanations are true. The brain has a flexible hub that allows us to much more rapidly switch among modules. Not surprisingly, both individuation and generalization are in paradoxical tension in our brains, and contribute to our high intelligence.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fossil Words and Power Laws

One of the characteristics of a self-organizing process, or spontaneous order, is the presence of power law distributions. In the market economy, for example, we see power law distributions of firm size and longevity.

Given that language is a spontaneous order, we should expect to see power law distributions of words. And we do. We see power law distributions of word use frequency, for example. But what about longevity? I don't know that anybody has specifically focused on this issue, but the recent discovery of word continuity that goes back as far as 15,000 years for the Eurasian languages, as discussed here, here, and here, is highly suggestive that we should be able to find a power law distribution or word stability across time as well.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Network Cosmology

A Nov. 2012 paper in Nature, Network Cosmology argues that the cosmos is a complex, scale-free network, similar to the brain, the internet, and social spontaneous orders. The authors seem surprised at this, and they wonder if there is a hidden law of physics. They should perhaps consider constructal law and perhaps even bios theory to explain their findings. I personally am not in the least surprised at their findings. This is completely consistent with how I understand the cosmos to be structured. Over the course of cosmological evolution, new levels of complexity emerge, and the same scale-free network processes are discovered. The exciting thing is that network science -- developed to explain complex interactions of high-level complex entities -- is being brought down to the simplest levels of reality, demonstrating the same structures repeat at each level of complexity. Just as reductionist science is starting to experience decreasing returns in physics, emergentist science is being discovered to be highly relevant at even the simplest levels of reality, like physics.