First off, I gave you earlier a flawed URL for the Wiki that was set up by the New England Complex Systems Institute NESCI, relating the abstract of the talk I plan to give at their conference in Boston, late June... and further laying out a “best” version (so far) of the list of predictive hits from EARTH.
Here is the correct URL:
Speaking of complex systems... one thing you’ll find in common among romantics, nostalgics, ideologues and all foes of modernism is an aversion to complexity. An abiding distaste for the never-ending flood of intricate detail, adding up to both good and bad news -- along with an even bigger wave of perplexing it’s-too-soon-to tells.” A steady stream of successes and failures, sparked by endeavors of all kinds, both market and state.
Take some recent examples:
The ozone hole over the Antarctic is likely to begin contracting in the future and may disappear by 2050 because of a reduction in the release of chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting gases, according to a team of Japanese scientists.
Could you ever hope to find a better example of modernist error-discovery and problem-solving, than this one? When scientists first discovered this threat to Earth’s health, the reflex of the right was to suppress the news... and then any thought of action... while the reflex of the right was to screech that (literally) the sky was falling. Fortunately, ideologues weren’t involved in the solution process. What happened was that society exercised its right to conceive general and systemic corrections, but wisely included the market in the details of implementation. A phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons and other gases blamed for the ozone hole seemed too slow for the activists, but it allowed the markets to adjust, delivering new products at a greatly accelerated pace, without provoking a panic-drive ruction and forcing a recall of every air conditioner on the planet. The state did its job, fine tuning market rules so that they included the hidden costs to our descendants... without giving in to the temptation of overly-meddlesome bureaucracy.
Yes, this perfect example is almost too perfect. It will be far harder to solve global warming, or teach the benefit of new, revisionist compromises on, say, DDT and Nuclear Power. The right may be more insane, right now and vastly more dangerous. But the left remains far too intransigent and unwilling to re-evaluate. Unwilling to see complexity.
Having earlier spoken up for optimism, that the world is getting better as a result of deliberate human effort... and therefore such effort should be increased... let me now turn around and avow that there is so, so much farther that we have to go.
World poverty may be going down, but not at a sufficient pace to save us all. A couple of brief articles lay this out cogently. See: Poverty Traps and Global Development.
also: How to Help the Poor Out of Poverty.
And under the category of “Will anybody EVER listen to me?”: Personal information on 26.5 million U.S. veterans was stolen from an employee of the who took the data home without authorization, exposing them to possible identity theft, the department said on Monday.
A snippet someone sent me, with interesting implications. All about “the web's evolution from simple initial conditions of URL, HTTP, and HTML (which I generalize to Identity, connectivity, and relationship)... and a certain common reoccurrence of triplets in initial conditions... The constraint that web founder Berners-Lee put on the web (that it use the Interrnet protocol (IP), instead of proprietary protocols (AOL or Compuserve) ) is what made it open - good fences make good neighbors kind of stuff...”
Thanks in part to molecular manufacturing, accelerated developments in AI and brain reverse-engineering could lead to the emergence of superintelligence in just 18 years. Are we ready for the implications -- like possible annihilation of Homo sapiens? And
will we seem to superintelligence what our ape-like ancestors seem to us: primitive?
The deadly human form of mad cow disease, vCJD, may have infected far
more people than previously thought...
The way the body's immune system responds when its cells are under attack has inspired a new way of protecting computer networks from viruses and hackers. Software has been developed that behaves like
dendritic cells, scouring the network looking for danger signals such as sudden increases in network traffic or unusually high numbers of error...
The anthropic principle -- which argues that our universe is finely tuned to support life and there is no point in asking why it is so -- has been criticized as lazy, untestable science. Now there may be a way to test the theory for one of the most problematic instances of fine-tuning. Cosmologists have observed that the expansion of the...