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Have the monks stopped meditating?

They all seem to be tweeting This observation by Herzog is totemic of what seems to me like a mass self-induced autism, immersed in a vortex of banality, that society has sunk into. When I observe how oblivious people are of reality when out and about with their device, it’s easy to understand why many of us refuse(d) to…

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Complexity and Stupidity

Catching up on Sam Harris’ podcasts — this one is of particular interest. Sam’s guest, David Krakauer, I recall from taking the debut Santa Fe Institute freebie course a few years back run by the excellent Melanie Mitchell. Do check out the SFI’s free programmes, notably SFI’s Complexity Explorer: it beats many a fee-paying university course. In any event, if you…

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Models of Environment

The thirteenth in a series of excerpts from Minds, Models and Milieux: Commemorating the Centennial of the Birth of Herbert Simon. Marcin Miłkowski Herbert A. Simon is well known for his account of bounded rationality. Whereas classical economics idealized economic agency and framed rational choice in terms of the decision theory, Simon insisted that agents need…

How Do Our Social Networks Affect Our Health?

Nicholas Christakis (yes, the very same that had been in the news recently, unfortunately caught in the midst of campus fuckwittery) explains how face-to-face social networks and their structures influence behaviors and phenomena in human society and the natural living world. (H/T to Guy Theraulaz). NPR/TED Video/Audio. collective behaviorcommunicationcontagiondistributed cognitionemergent orderExtended MindgeneticsNetwork ScienceNicholas ChristakisSocial networkSwarm behavior