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Kevin Russell
Simulation Innovation Strategist, Earthling for sustainable systems, thinking and action.
Simulation Innovation Strategist, Earthling for sustainable systems, thinking and action.

Kevin's posts

“I think the app store censorship issue is one layer of ice on the surface of the iceberg above the waterline,” said Eben Moglen, a professor at Columbia Law School and a leader in the free software movement of activists who have long been warning about the dangers of centrally managed, commercial software" Yike ... +Michael Tiemann

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"How well you work (in collaboration) with AI" BRING IT! +richard boyd

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#HiddenFigures was excellent on so many levels. The analytical geometry was up there with KPAX :) . Happy #MLDday.

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No biosphere, then game over.
In a Q&A with SynBioBeta, DARPA Program Manager Renee Wegrzyn explains how the Agency's Safe Genes program could advance the scientific basis for ensuring biosafety and biosecurity as synthetic biology continues to evolve. Doing so would unlock the positive potential of synthetic biology to assist human health, economic growth, and national security, while proactively acknowledging risks and forming the basis for mitigating them.

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A good review especially on the cultural.

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At 1.6M popular votes up, feel the elation

Well worth looking out for, ESPECIALLY now.

From "Transformations: Mathematical Approaches to Culture Change". From chapter, "Systems collapse as social transformation: Catastrophe and anastrophe in early state societies", the section from "General Features of System Collapse":

1. Collapse of central administrative organization of the early state:
a. Disappearance or reduction in number of levels of central place hierarchy
b. Complete fragmentation or disappearance of military organization into (at most) small, independent units
c. Abandonment of palaces and central storage facilities 
d. Eclipse of temples as major religious centers (often with their survival, modified, as local shrines)
e. Effective loss of literacy for secular and religious purposes
f. Abandonment of public building works
2. Disappearance of the traditional elite class:
a. Cessation of rich, traditional burials (although different forms of rich burial frequently emerge after a couple of centuries)
b. Abandonment of rich residences, or their reuse in impoverished style by "squatters"
c. Cessation in the use of costly assemblages of luxury goods, although individual items may survive
3. Collapse of centralized economy:
a. Cessation of large-scale redistribution or market exchange
b. Coinage (where applicable) no longer issued or exchanged commercially, although individual pieces survive as valuables
c. External trade very markedly reduced, and traditional trade routes disappear
d. Volume of internal exchange markedly reduced
e. Cessation of craft-specialist manufacture
f. Cessation of specialized or organized agricultural production, with agriculture instead on a local "homestead" basis with diversified crop spectrum and mixed farming
4. Settlement shift and population decline:
a. Abandonment of many settlements
b. Shift to dispersed pattern of smaller settlements
c. Frequent subsequent choice of defensible locations—the "flight to the hills"
d. Marked reduction in population density
5. Transition to lower (cf. "earlier") level of sociopolitical integration:
a. Emergence of segmentary societies showing analogies with those seen centuries or millennia earlier in the "formative" level in the same area (only later do these reach a chiefdom or "florescent" level of development)
b. Fission of realm to smaller territories, whose boundaries may relate to those of earlier polities 
c. Possible peripheral survival of some highly organized communities still retaining several organizational features of the collapsed state
d. Survival of religious elements as "folk" cults and beliefs
e. Craft production at local level with "peasant" imitations of former specialist products (e.g., in pottery)
f. Local movements of small population groups resulting from the breakdown in order at the collapse of the central administration (either with or without some language change), leading to destruction of many settlements
g. Rapid subsequent regeneration of chiefdom or even state society, partly influenced by the remains of its predecessor
6. Development of romantic Dark Age myth:
a. Attempt by new power groups to establish legitimacy in historical terms with the creation of genealogies either (a) seeking to find a link with the "autochthonous" former state or (b) relating the deeds by which the "invaders" achieved power by force of arms
b. Tendency among early chroniclers to personalise historical explanation, so that change is assigned to individual deeds, battles, and invasions, and often to attribute the decline to
hostile powers outside the state territories (cf. 5f)
c. Some confusion in legend and story between the Golden Age of the early vanished civilization and the Heroic Age of its immediate aftermath
d. Paucity of archaeological evidence after collapse compared with that for preceding period (arising from loss of literacy and abandonment or diminution of urban centers)
e. Tendency among historians to accept as evidence traditional narratives first set down in writing some centuries after the collapse
f. Slow development of Dark Age archaeology, hampered both by the preceding item and by focus on the larger and more obvious central place sites of the vanished state
Diachronic Aspects
7. The collapse may take around 100 years for completion (although in the provinces of an empire, the withdrawal of central imperial authority can have more rapid effects)
8. Dislocations are evident in the earlier part of that period, the underlying factors finding expression in human conflicts- wars, destructions, and so on. 
9. Boundary maintenance may show signs of weakness during this time, so that outside pressures leave traces in the historical record.
10. The growth curve for many variables in the system (including population, exchange, agricultural activity) may take the truncated sigmoid form seen in Figure 21.1.
11. Absence of single, obvious "cause" for the collapse

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