Emergence

Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems.  Emergence’ is a notion that is used in different philosophical and scientific disciplines in order to capture phenomena in which some properties of composed wholes seem to ‘go beyond’ the properties of the components and their arrangement. Emergent phenomena are higher-level phenomena that somehow depend on lower-level goings-on, but are, at the same time, independent of them in important respects.

There are many examples of emergence including the sophistication of an ant colony, our brains, cities and even some companies.  Many times the individual parts that make up these systems are of no interest or are not extraordinary on their own, but when combined make some of the most interesting systems in our environment.  This topic was inspired by a Radiolab podcast (http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blogland/2013/mar/19/rebroadcast-emergence/) and really has no specific agenda so please bring interesting questions and examples for discussion.

For this discussion we will identify and discuss examples of strong and weak emergence, discuss the utility of such systems and contemplate other future examples that may arise from the emergence of existing systems.  We will also discuss the use of this in science and other disciplines.

 

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  • Linda P.

    I apologize for not making it. It has been a hectic few weeks. Starting up a private practice has required more unexpected time. Once set up things will not be as hectic and time will be more available for various interests.

    April 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I couldn't make it to the meeting but I'm wondering.. how was it?

    April 14, 2013

  • George

    I've posted a discussion here: http://www.meetup.com/thinkings...­

    1 · April 14, 2013

  • Brandon

    Sorry I couldn't make it today I had intended to RSVP as no last night but I forgot. Apologies!

    April 13, 2013

  • Joshua

    turns out i read the factoid about ants on BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/21956...­ - i'd love to see this corroborated in a context specifically about ants or written by a zoologist or something.

    1 · April 13, 2013

    • Joshua

      oh btw i go by both jonas and joshua

      April 13, 2013

  • George

    April 13, 2013

  • Thomas

    I truly had wanted to go, but my girlfriend just noted a different commitment I had to attend to. Cheers!

    April 13, 2013

  • Joshua

    I've been studying emergence informally for a long time. My particular area of interest is in distributed cognition. I'm currently reading "The Emergent Organization" by James Taylor. Its a doozy.

    April 8, 2013

    • Katie

      I am very interested to hear about this book, swarms, and of course ants glad you will be joining!!

      April 10, 2013

  • Virginia S.

    Hi, Leo, I believe the word recursion applies to Mathematic, Linguistics and/or Computer Programs. Not to be confused with Human patterns. However, I disagree, that people continue bad habits, be it financial or otherwise. Change comes through extreme measures and life's experiences. We can and often do change.

    April 9, 2013

    • Salim N.

      Tegmark (http://en.wikipedia.o...­) thinks so... Or just mistaking lego for a brick!

      April 9, 2013

    • George

      That's backwards. The universe is what it is. Mathematics is descriptive.

      2 · April 10, 2013

  • Thomas

    Excited to participate in this talk and hear other perspectives, given the increased use of tech for our mental processes.

    April 10, 2013

  • Lee D.

    The evolution of the brain that came up with the concept of emergent properties in the first place is itself a story of gradually increasing complexity punctuated by quantum leaps as, you guessed it, new properties emerged to organize reality differently.

    April 9, 2013

  • Linda P.

    This topic sounds quite intriguing. I am looking forward to joining the group this Saturday

    April 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am intrigued to learn more about this group. But I have a simple question. I can understand the need to identify patterns in our complex life but what is the end game? What does this group hope to gain from the meetings? Thanks in advance. I look forward to head what you have to say.

    April 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I think we should have a meeting about recursion. We could discuss how patterns through life seem to repeat and yet no matter what we do, we still cannot change them. Just a thought. ;-)

      April 9, 2013

    • Brian

      I'll have fun with all the gang, and if I'm not careful I'll learn something before we're done.

      April 9, 2013

  • Joshua

    MIT runs the Center for Collective intelligence, which provides a number of interesting reading pieces -- here is one on the practical side of harnessing emergence in the form of decision making: http://cci.mit.edu/research/del...­

    1 · April 8, 2013

  • Joshua

    An interesting article on emergence in swarm behavior: http://www.wired.com/wiredscien...­

    April 8, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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