Monday, October 27, 2014

A new universal law

At the far ends of a new universal law (via 3quraksdaily). The evolution of the law starts with a seemingly simple study published in 1972:
"Imagine an archipelago where each island hosts a single tortoise species and all the islands are connected — say by rafts of flotsam. As the tortoises interact by dipping into one another’s food supplies, their populations fluctuate.
In 1972, the biologist Robert May devised a simple mathematical model that worked much like the archipelago. He wanted to figure out whether a complex ecosystem can ever be stable or whether interactions between species inevitably lead some to wipe out others. By indexing chance interactions between species as random numbers in a matrix, he calculated the critical “interaction strength” — a measure of the number of flotsam rafts, for example — needed to destabilize the ecosystem. Below this critical point, all species maintained steady populations. Above it, the populations shot toward zero or infinity.
Little did May know, the tipping point he discovered was one of the first glimpses of a curiously pervasive statistical law.
The law appeared in full form two decades later, when the mathematiciansCraig Tracy and Harold Widom proved that the critical point in the kind of model May used was the peak of a statistical distribution."

Keynes  said in 1933 "Ideas, knowledge, science, hospitality, travel – these are the things which should of their nature be international. But let goods be homespun whenever it is reasonably and conveniently possible, and, above all, let finance be primarily national."
I wonder whether the above sort of models can be developed to give some idea of how much globalization is too much.

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