Complexity

The emergent properties of complex adaptive systems. Systems with many agents constantly acting, and reacting, in parallel to produce large scale emergent behavior that can evolve in response to stimuli from the environment. Irreversible history, and uncertain future, with strong path dependency, and a tendency to maximize the entropy of the system as whole.

The Emerging Science of Food Webs

This diagram shows a food web, The nodes are species and the lines show predator-prey relationships between the species. Species at higher trophic levels eat those lower down in the web. This particular food web is for Little Rock Lake in Wisconsin and was produced by Neo D. Martinez of San Francisco State University, Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies.


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Convergent, Iterative Optimization of Solutions – Why Solving some Problems is Easier Said than Done

For some problems the challenge is not to identify the solution. The real challenge is working out how to put the solution in place. Anyone who has setup a theodolite will understand what I mean. The solution is simple to describe. Position a precision optical measuring device so that it is; perfectly level, at a reasonable height for operation and directly above a predefined mark. Sounds easy, but given a tripod and a theodolite most untrained surveyors will take hours and usually give up in frustration. The problem is that there are too many degrees of freedom in the system. Everything is interdependent. Make one small adjustment here and it knocks things way out of whack there!

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Internet Cartography – Maps of the World Wide Web and other Cyber Geography

In the Beginning there was one….

This is the first map of The Internet. It shows the first node on the ARPANET at the University California Los Angeles (UCLA) on the 2nd September 1969. The diagram is taken from
Casting the Net: From ARPANET to INTERNET and beyond by Peter H. Salus and was drawn by Alex McKinzie who worked for BBN. Any Travelog needs maps. For a good catalog of Internet cartography checkout The Atlas of Cyberspaces

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The Immortal Game – Maybe the Greatest Game of Chess Ever Played

In July 1851 two mathematics teachers, Prof. Adolf Anderssen (1818 -1879) from Breslau, and Lionel Kieseritzky (1806-1853) from what is now Estonia, played a game of chess at Simpsons on the Strand, a London chess Salon. The game was so startling in its brlliance that in 1855 it was named The Immortal Game by the Austrian player Ernst Falkbeer. The chess Canon contains very few named games. This game is considered by some to be the greatest ever played. It has been been studied and replayed for over 150 years.

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