Thursday, July 25, 2019

Modelling the emergence of novelties

Mathematical Model Reveals the Patterns of How Innovations Arise
Abstract of the paper:

Dynamics on expanding spaces: modeling the emergence of novelties

Novelties are part of our daily lives. We constantly adopt new technologies, conceive new ideas, meet new people, experiment with new situations. Occasionally, we as individuals, in a complicated cognitive and sometimes fortuitous process, come up with something that is not only new to us, but to our entire society so that what is a personal novelty can turn into an innovation at a global level. Innovations occur throughout social, biological and technological systems and, though we perceive them as a very natural ingredient of our human experience, little is known about the processes determining their emergence. Still the statistical occurrence of innovations shows striking regularities that represent a starting point to get a deeper insight in the whole phenomenology. This paper represents a small step in that direction, focusing on reviewing the scientific attempts to effectively model the emergence of the new and its regularities, with an emphasis on more recent contributions: from the plain Simon's model tracing back to the 1950s, to the newest model of Polya's urn with triggering of one novelty by another. What seems to be key in the successful modelling schemes proposed so far is the idea of looking at evolution as a path in a complex space, physical, conceptual, biological, technological, whose structure and topology get continuously reshaped and expanded by the occurrence of the new. Mathematically it is very interesting to look at the consequences of the interplay between the "actual" and the "possible" and this is the aim of this

Womb-less to boost productivity

A Boris Johnson story

My Boris Johnson story by Jeremy Vine Read it to the end says Naked Capitalism

Monday, July 15, 2019

Some food researchers

The fact is, in order to avoid exacerbating climate change, the amount of cultivated land should not increase. No new piece of rainforest should be cleared to make way for new fields, according to the UN's plan. Every additional calorie must, therefore, be created on existing fields and pastures. It may sound counterintuitive, but according to the UN, in order to produce food sustainably in the long term, more intensive agriculture will be needed.
New technologies may offer a way out of this dilemma, helping farmers to bridge the gap between high yields and environmentally friendly processes. Three scientists provide examples for how this could be achieved:
  • Donald Ort wrote his doctoral thesis about plants' biochemical processes. Today, he is a professor at the University of Illinois. According to an evaluation by the firm Clarivate Analytics, he is one of the most influential researchers worldwide.
  • Rebecca Bart heads a group of researchers at the private, non-profit Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis and specializes in plant diseases that can destroy entire harvests.
  • Jean-Michel AnĂ© has a PhD in cell and molecular biology and is a professor at the University of Wisconson-Madison. His focus is on understanding symbiotic relations between plants and microbes that could replace fertilizer.“ Plant researchers brace for population explosion 

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Dorothy Sayers on teaching

Lost tools of learning From 1954. Somewhat similar to Scott Newstok article “How to think like Shakespeare”. The article is behind a firewall. It seems that Newstok is writing a book along similar lines which will come out soon. Here is an article about a Newstok article. For more recent studies try Clevelands by Lucy Crehan

Thursday, July 04, 2019

No look defence

On democratic dissent in India

Vertical farming

Review of a film on Bob Dylan
I assumed many of those around me had fetishized Barack Obama as a savior even while he was waging endless wars and killing American citizens, bailing out his Wall St. and bank supporters, and jailing more whistleblowers than any American president in history, and that Dylan had accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom from this icon of rectitude who had served to quell all thoughts of rebellion and whose war victims were not counted by those who bought his brand since God was on his side. 
Here in this darkened dream factory in a hyper-gentrified “liberal” town, my mind was knotted with thoughts and questions that perhaps the film would address.”

A job is a job
I always had problems with the argument that a job is a job and we should not worry about the morals involved.