SFI Professor Sam Bowles Featured in the Santa Fe Reporter

Born Poor ? Santa Fe economist Samuel Bowles says you better get used to it.

Bowles heads the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute, which is home to dozens of big brains imported from all over the world. If he’s right, those troubling job numbers are only the start of New Mexico’s problems. Indeed, if Bowles is right, the state needs to completely rethink the way it does economic development.

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Public Lecture - The Decline of Classic Maya Civilization: A Systems Perspective

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 • 7:30 PM • James A. Little Theater, New Mexico School for the Deaf

The decline and abandonment of many key cities in the Southern Maya Lowlands around A.D. 800 has long attracted scholarly and public attention. While archaeologists now understand – contrary to previous thought – that Maya civilization did not collapse at this time, as a number of Maya cities continued to thrive up until the 16th century Spanish Conquest, the causes of the relatively rapid demise of cities such as Tikal, Palenque, and Copan remain of great interest. New archaeological, epigraphic, and environmental information have enabled archaeologists to form better models that provide more systemic perspectives on this decline than ever before. Sabloff examines the new data and models and discusses their potential relevance to problems facing the world today.

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"Dialing for Answers Where Web Can’t Reach"

There is a new service helping people in Uganda, who don’t have access to computers, find answers to their questions. Question Box was started and has been successful. Workers use their cell phones to call the Question Box call center to ask a question for locals. The call center then gives them the answer. The worker is then given free minutes for their cell phone usage. SFI Omidyar Fellow Nathan Eagle has been doing research on cellphones and development in Africa. Eagle also runs a cellphone-based business in Kenya. Eagle states, “We can’t sit in our offices in America and decide what is useful to people and what is meaningful in their lives. The services only add value if they are open-ended.”

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"How to Measure What We Don't Know"

In their study, James Crutchfield, SFI External Professor and Physics Professor at the University of California at Davis, and graduate students Christopher Ellison and John Mahoney, developed the analogy of scientists as cryptologists who are trying to glean hidden information from Nature. As they explain, “Nature speaks for herself only through the data she willingly gives up.”
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"Nobel laureate honored in lecture series"

SFI, now celebrating its 25th year, will offer a series of three free lectures in tribute to Nobel Prize winner Murray Gell-Mann, starting Tuesday September 15 at the James A. Little Theater.
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"A Place Removed from the Pressure of Received Ideas"

Murray Gell-Mann, SFI Distinguished Professor and winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics was one of the originators of the Santa Fe Institute, an interdisciplinary research center in New Mexico that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Gell-Mann recently addressed a group of about 150 high school students gathered at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., for Adventures of the Mind, a biennial summit for academically outstanding 15- to 18-year-olds. Gell-Mann described the origins of and philosophy behind the Santa Fe Institute’s approach to science.
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"Economic Networks: The New Challenges"

SFI External Professor Douglas White and colleagues present their research into finding an approach to facilitate the design of policies in the complexity of economic networks. The research into economic networks has been studied by two perspectives: sociology and physics or computer science. White and colleagues describe what is needed in order to be able to predict and propose economic policies. With computational models, large-scale network date can be processed quickly and can reflect agent interactions.
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