03 February 2014

on emergence ...

"We live in an emergent universe, in which the interaction between its parts, be they people or electrons, gives rise to emergent collective behaviors that are different from those of the parts separately and are generally unpredictable from knowledge only of those parts and their interaction. To understand this emergent universe, scientists are replacing the traditional reductionist approach, with its focus on using the individual components as basic building blocks, by an emergent perspective, in which the focus is on characterizing collective emergent behavior and the search for the collective organizing concepts and principles that bring it about"


http://emergence.ucdavis.edu/emergence.html
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

... and here are some good popular-science podcasts on the subject:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91500-emergence/
http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Emergence

The emergent perspective and change in complex systems:


I like this bit: 
"Emergent strategies for making progress involve trying simultaneously many different partial solutions, inventing new institutions, and experiment, experiment, experiment in pursuing these."

and this:
"Experimenting with new approaches and connecting the results can be accelerated by the using the vastly improved communication tools available through the internet.
Sharing “best practice” on the internet enables local groups seeking change to become aware of the “best practice” developed elsewhere, and help them avoid “reinventing the wheel.”"
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