Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies






The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.


Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Gene Therapy is NOT a Monstrous Science / Singularity 1on1

Why Superintelligence May Not Help Us Think about Existential Risks — or Transhumanism

Sleep Drug Modafinil Affirmed by Scientists as a Safe and Effective Brain Booster

Identity: In & Beyond the Gender Binary

How SETI Will Understand Messages Broadcast by an Alien Intelligence

Philosophy versus Science versus Politics


ieet books

The End of the Beginning: Life, Society and Economy on the Brink of the Singularity
Author
Ben Goertzel


comments

Darin Robbins on 'Transhumanism: there are [at least] ten different philosophical categories; which one(s) are you?' (Sep 2, 2015)

Giulio Prisco on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 2, 2015)

Steve Fuller on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 2, 2015)

dobermanmac on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 2, 2015)

micahredding on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 1, 2015)

Lincoln Cannon on 'The Political Voice of a Transhumanist - An Interview with Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan' (Sep 1, 2015)

Laurence Hitterdale on 'Would AI and Aliens be Moral in a Godless Universe?' (Aug 31, 2015)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


ETER9: The Social Network That Turns Your Personality Into an Immortal Artificial Intelligence
Aug 30, 2015
(8785) Hits
(0) Comments

8 Craziest Mega-Engineering Projects We Could Use to Rework the Earth
Aug 13, 2015
(6102) Hits
(0) Comments

Free Will, Buddhism, and Mindfulness Meditation - interview with Terry Hyland
Aug 8, 2015
(5601) Hits
(0) Comments

Starting from Scratch: The Basic Building Blocks of AI
Aug 23, 2015
(5527) Hits
(0) Comments



IEET > Life > Innovation > Vision > Affiliate Scholar > Melanie Swan

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (6432) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


Application of Complexity Theory: Away from Reductionist Phase Transitions


Melanie Swan
By Melanie Swan
Ethical Technology

Posted: Dec 16, 2012

Reductionism persists as a useful node in the possibility space of understanding and managing the world around us. However the possibility space is now expanding to higher levels of resolution such as a focus on complex systems. Learning and tools are ratcheting in lock-step.

Some of the key complexity-related concepts in understanding collective behavior in real-life physical systems like the burning of a forest fire include:

  • Organization and Self-Organization: Self-orchestration into order in both living and non-living systems, for example: salt crystals, graphene, protein molecules, schools of fish, flocks of birds, bee hives, intelligence and the brain, social structures 

  • Order and Stability of Systems: Measurements of order, stability, and dynamical break-down in systems such as entropy, symmetry (and symmetry-breaking), critical point, phase transition, boundaries, and fractals (101 primer)

  • Tunable Parameters: An element or parameter which doesn’t control the system, but can be tuned to influence the performance of the system (for example, temperature is a tunable parameter in the complex system of water becoming ice) 

  • Perturbation and Reset: How and how quickly systems reset after being perturbed is another interesting aspect of complex systems 
 
Complexity science is not new as a field. What is new is first, a more congruous conceptual application of complexity thought in the sense of appreciating overall continuum of systems phenomena, not trying to grasp for the specific moment of a phase transition.

The other aspect that is new is the idea of working in an applied manner with complex systems, particularly with tools that are straightforward to implement like the math tools of non-linear dynamics, networks, chaos, fractals, and power laws (many inspired by the work of Stan Strogatz), and Software Tools like NetLogo, a multi-agent programmable modeling environment and ChucK, a digital audio programming language.


Melanie Swan, MBA, is an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET. Ms. Swan, principal of the MS Futures Group, is a philosopher, science and technology futurist, and options trader.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (6433) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: #16: Developing World: Beyond the Frontiers of Science Fiction

Previous entry: Could maternally inherited DNA gather harmful mutations that only affect men?

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376