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Santa Fe Institute
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The world headquarters for complex systems science, operated as a non-profit education & research center since 1984.
The world headquarters for complex systems science, operated as a non-profit education & research center since 1984.

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From the Collective Computation archives: Graham Spencer's 2012 talk on distributed programming architectures and the advent of internet-scale software.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1XxHomWXZ8&index=2&list=PLZlVBTf7N6Gojp0vRGmTom0rwqFuoaT_d
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From the Collective Computation archives:

Paul Davies of Arizona State University on the origins of life and the conceptual mismatch between physics & chemistry (energy/matter) and biology (information/signals):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCD1ZT4IgAY&index=1&list=PLZlVBTf7N6Gojp0vRGmTom0rwqFuoaT_d
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"It Takes a Small team to Think Deep and A Long Time to Grow Young"

A glimpse into the birth of a powerful idea: Lingfei Wu's potent new publication on small-team disruption in science (with co-authors James Evans and Dashun Wang) began in a small team at SFI, in a burst of poetic thinking. Behind the science, a surprisingly image-driven inspiration (thus, great figures in the paper):

"Those remembering will be remembered (i.e., citations to small teams last longer, if at all) and those forgetting will be forgotten (citations to large teams occur almost immediately)."

https://socialsciences.nature.com/users/210347-lingfei-wu/posts/44431-small-teams-think-deep-the-story-behind-the-paper
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Is the greater #innovation of small #teams due to their size, or does #disruption just come earlier in the life-cycle of an idea? Maybe more novelty comes out of small teams simply because they haven't yet attracted funding and research partners.

SFI Prof Mirta Galesic offers an alternative explanation for External Professor James Evans (University of Chicago's Knowledge Lab) et al's touted science of science research:

https://theconversation.com/want-disruptive-research-go-small-instead-of-big-111737
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"The insights gained from the different chapters are startling, and demonstrate the incredible power of complexity science."
- Antiquity Journal

Read the review of 'The Emergence of Premodern States' (Jeremy & Paula Sabloff, eds.), available now through SFI Press:
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/article/new-book-chronicle/EEFF2B12FC7AE8EAC505ED556D44D0FD

Learn more and order the book:
https://www.santafe.edu/research/sfi-press/emergence-premodern-states
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SFI External Prof Jessica Green co-founded Phylagen to translate "the world's largest untapped data set" – the genetic content of microbiomes – into a digital database to track and verify supply chain info with the DNA of microbes living in factories...

How can you be sure your stuff was really made where it claims it was made? Companies working with international contractors often discover to their horror that their products are actually made by subcontractors in unsupervised and unregulated environments, with forced labor, or without environmental accountability. By analyzing DNA in your shoes/clothes/computers, we can put a stop to this.

At Fast Company:
https://www.fastcompany.com/90306934/this-startup-is-tracking-microbes-to-figure-out-where-your-shoes-were-really-made
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Yes, you can be too smart for a decentralized system – and the implications are huge for autonomous robots, treatment for Parkinson's, goal-driven bottom-up organizations, and even the origins of multicellularity:

SFI’s David Wolpert weighs in a new Science Advances paper at Scientific American:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/artificial-dumbness-may-be-a-solution-for-engineering-smart-machines/
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Large teams develop, small teams disrupt: an analysis of over 65 million projects published today in Nature (co-authored by SFI External Prof James Evans at University of Chicago) finds smaller teams produce more disruptive, innovative research (in part by citing older, more obscure references).

“Bigger teams are always searching the immediate past, always building on yesterday's hits. Whereas the small teams, they do weird stuff—they're reaching further into the past, and it takes longer for others to understand and appreciate the potential of what they are doing.”
- SFI External Prof James Evans

Read more about the study and its implications:
https://news.uchicago.edu/story/bigger-teams-arent-always-better-science-and-tech

Read the paper:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-0941-9

#innovation #disruption #teams
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A powerful (but empirically untested) new theory of cancer may sound familiar: "More Money, More Problems" – or, in other words, cancer happens when cells are oversupplied with energy, leading to uncontrolled reproduction.

Lottery winners beware – it's crucial to make sure your system can actually handle a sudden surge of inbound resources.

Read more in the SFI press release:
https://santafe.edu/news-center/news/could-energy-overload-drive-cancer-risk

Link to the original publication on cancer by SFI External Prof John Pepper of the National Cancer Institute, Daniel J Wu of Stanford University, and C Athena Aktipis of ASU: https://academic.oup.com/emph/advance-article/doi/10.1093/emph/eoz004/5298315?guestAccessKey=13161c83-90b2-4938-a923-61d1fc08daff #cancer #research #thermodynamics #metabolism #energy
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Convinced Earth's better off without people? Well, here's your counter-evidence: 48K years of land & food web stewardship by the Martu of Australia.

A new article in The New York Times explains new archaeoecological research by SFI External Prof Stefani Crabtree & Doug Bird of Penn State, whose findings will sound intuitive to anyone familiar with the success of the recent introduction of wolves to Yellowstone (and perhaps counter-intuitive to most everyone else):

"It seemed paradoxical: How could taking hunters out of the desert harm it? The researchers, led by Dr. Crabtree, interviewed the community and observed their foraging strategies and reconstructed food webs in the desert before the Martu left, and after they returned. From these models, they simulated how removing people affected other parts of the desert food chain — like kangaroos eating bush tomatoes, or birds eating rodents...The small hunting fires were vital for sustaining wild species. Without Martu people starting them year-round, seasonal lightning fires raged. Invasive predators thrived and mammals needing to travel long distances for food or water got hit hard."

Read the full article:
http://ow.ly/iB5Z50kVMey
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