24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Q

The hypothesis of {108} abstraction says that every living creature is characterized by a number Q which is a measure of the complexity of the creature. To measure Q, we do not need to know anything about the internal structure of the creature. Q can be measured by observing from the outside the behavior of the creature and its interaction with its environment. Q is simply the quantity of entropy produced by the creature's metabolism during the time it takes to perform an elementary respons...
Folksonomies: complexity quantification
Folksonomies: complexity quantification
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19 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Measurements Change Dramatically Depending on the Methodo...

Benoit Mandelbrot asked his famous question “How long is the coast of Britain?” long before this symposium was written, but it perfectly captures the sort of puzzle people in this crowd love. The question seems simple. Just look it up in the encyclopedia. But as Mandelbrot observed, the length of the coast of Britain depends on what you use to measure it. If you draw lines on a map to approximate the coastline, you get one length, but if you try to measure the real bumps in every inlet an...
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David Brook's relating Benoit Mandelbrot's experience measuring the British coast.

12 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Life is Rebellion Against Chaos

Life is order, death is disorder. A fundamental law of Nature states that spontaneous chemical changes in the universe tend toward chaos. But life has, during milliards of years of evolution, seemingly contradicted this law. With the aid of energy derived from the sun it has built up the most complicated systems to be found in the universe—living organisms. Living matter is characterized by a high degree of chemical organisation on all levels, from the organs of large organisms to the small...
Folksonomies: complexity chaos
Folksonomies: complexity chaos
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Death is chaos.

12 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Geometry Seems Disconnected from Reality

Why is geometry often described as 'cold' and 'dry?' One reason lies in its inability to describe the shape of a cloud, a mountain, a coastline, or a tree. Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line... Nature exhibits not simply a higher degree but an altogether different level of complexity.
Folksonomies: complexity geometry
Folksonomies: complexity geometry
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It deals with orbs and squares, but clouds and trees are much more complex.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Everything is Getting Simpler

It is often claimed that knowledge multiplies so rapidly that nobody can follow it. I believe this is incorrect. At least in science it is not true. The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler. This, of course, goes contrary to what everyone accepts.
Folksonomies: complexity knowledge
Folksonomies: complexity knowledge
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Going against the common belief that science is making life more complex as knowledge grows.

16 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Physics Reduced to Probability

Philosophers have said that if the same circumstances don't always produce the same results, predictions are impossible and science will collapse. Here is a circumstance—identical photons are always coming down in the same direction to the piece of glass—that produces different results. We cannot predict whether a given photon will arrive at A or B. All we can predict is that out of 100 photons that come down, an average of 4 will be reflected by the front surface. Does this mean that phy...
Folksonomies: complexity probability
Folksonomies: complexity probability
  1  notes

Feynman explains that probabilities are the best we can hope for in complex systems.

28 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Don't Be Discouraged by the Complexity of Nature

Far from becoming discouraged, the philosopher should applaud nature, even when she appears miserly of herself or overly mysterious, and should feel pleased that as he lifts one part of her veil, she allows him to glimpse an immense number of other objects, all worthy of investigation. For what we already know should allow us to judge of what we will be able to know; the human mind has no frontiers, it extends proportionately as the universe displays itself; man, then, can and must attempt al...
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Maintain the enthusiasm that investigation will reveal all her secrets.

21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Donald Knuth on Complexity in Computer Science

In other words, there's still so much more beyond any five pages of my book that you can make a lifetime's worth of study, because there's just that much In computer science. Computer science doesn't all boil down to a bunch of simple things. If it turned out that computer science was very simple, that all you needed to do was find the right 50 things and then learn them really well, then I would say, "OK, everybody in the world should know those 50 things and know them thoroughly." But It ...
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The realm of computer science goes on and on, too expansive for anyone to remember it all.

21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Bernie Cosell on the Complexity of Modern Programming

So I don't envy modern programmers, and It's going to get worse. The simple things are getting packaged into libraries, leaving only the hard things. That stuff is getting so complicated, but the standards that people are expecting are stunning. One of the ones ^i^ey showed me stunned me. He was showing me Google Maps that will do I routes for you. One of the things you can Jo is you can grab a piece of the route with ^our mouse and drag that piece of the route somewhere else to tell Google t...
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Provides a great example of complexity in Google Maps functionality and being thankful that he no longer must contend with such increasing difficulty.

23 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Imitation is Instinctive

Recent research shows that babies begin to imitate facial expressions and gestures from an early age whether they are rewarded or not. Babies are able to mimic facial expressions they see and sounds they hear when they are too young to have learned by practice or by looking in mirrors (Meltzoff 1990). Successfully imitating something seems to be rewarding in itself. We can see now, as the behaviourists could not, why so much of our behavior has to be instinctive. The world is too complicated ...
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The complexity of our brains makes us natural learners and imitators.