Cyber phenom feels home with the ‘smart crazies’ — ‘Disruptive technologist’ drawn to Santa Fe Institute

Virgil Griffith, the creator of WikiScanner, has spent the past four summers as an undergraduate researcher at SFI. WikiScanner is a program that lets you see who is editing content in Wikipedia. Griffith began his work on WikiScanner while at SFI. This WikiScanner program has busted Wal-Mart and several other major corporations editing and removing content from the Wikipedia entry of their companies. Griffith has been drawn to SFI since he was in high school. He always wanted to be “where all the really smart crazies are.” And as SFI President Geoffrey West said, “He’s certainly one of our crazy smart people. He’s very interesting and he’s very SFI-ish.” Griffith will spend all of September at SFI continuing work on his plethora of projects.
Read More

Public Lecture

The Computer, the Brain, and the Internet The quest to understand intelligence and consciousness remains one of the greatest scientific challenges of our age. In an effort to explain the brain, scientists have turned historically to computers, both as a tool for studying the brain and mind, and as a model for how the brain might work. We now live in the age of distributed data and computers, and the internet has emerged as a giant cobweb of communication among computers and their users. Some now suggest that the internet is our best current model for the brain, and thought is nothing but a form of search in the space of ideas. As we move towards more advanced technology, the brain, the computer, and the internet are progressively merging, and our identities and insights are assuming a radically new form. In this series of talks and discussions we shall explore this new hybrid world and its implications for the intellectual future of our species.
Read More

"The Post-Darwinian World" - James A. Little Theater, New Mexico School for the Deaf

We live in a post-Darwinian world, and it is no longer possible to conceive of life without some reference to Darwin's theories. But the world is more complex than Darwin supposed. Whereas an evolutionary perspective pervades all of biology, economics and politics, we are confronted by a range of post-Darwinian complexities and challenges that require a new and expanded set of ideas. Five short presentations by SFI faculty explore both the influence and the limitations of Darwin's thought on modern science, and introduce several of the ways the Santa Fe Institute has responded to and built upon Darwin's legacy.
Read More

Investmanet Research: What's New

The Journal of Financial Planning recommended and linked to (SFI Trustee) Michael Mauboussin's recent paper for being among the better practitioner-oriented research papers. “Fat Tails and Nonlinearity” (Michael Mauboussin, Legg Mason, December 20, 2007, http://www.leggmason.com/individualinvestors/documents/insights/D4114-FatTailsNonlinearityLMIS.pdf). (... this (is an ) excellent non-journal article. Bringing Nassim Taleb’s now well-known black swan metaphor to the worlds of investment planning, Mauboussin introduces the reader to the concept and risk associated with the complex system we call “the market.”
Read More

New Edition of Dictionary of Economics

STEVEN N. DURLAUF has edited anothe edition of The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, established as the leading reference work in the field. Durlauf is the Kenneth J. Arrow Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, USA. He has served as Co-Director of the Economics Program at the Santa Fe Institute for which he currently serves as a Science Board and external faculty member. A Fellow of the Econometric Society, Durlauf's research covers a range of topics in macroeconomics, econometrics, and income inequality. The second edition will retain many individual classic essays of enduring importance from its predecessor plus over one thousand new or heavily revised articles.
Read More

Study Finds Culture Influences Reaction to Reward, Rebuke

A Wall Street Journal article about what happens in various societies to people who don't share, solicits the opinion of SFI Professor Howard Gintis. The article notes, "social appearances and the good opinion of others do regulate our behavior. In the only other major cross-cultural study of this sort, Dr. Gintis and his colleagues several years ago examined 15 primitive societies of farmers, foragers, hunters and nomads in 12 countries, not unlike those in which humanity might have first evolved. The researchers found that these people all cared as much about fairness as the economic outcome of a trade." "They care about the ethical value of what they do," said Dr. Gintis.
Read More

Gorbachev calls for more international cooperation

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev decries America's military buildup since the Cold War and he is calling for more international cooperation in addressing political and environmental problems. Gorbachev says the growing U.S. defense budget is pushing other countries to do the same and he contends that the expansion of conventional weapons also will undermine efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. Gorbachev, who left office in 1991, was in Santa Fe to deliver a speech to benefit the Santa Fe Institute, a research and education center. He made his comments at a news conference before his lecture.
Read More

SFI Researchers to Speak at AAAS Annual Meeting

- SFI Professor Sam Bowles (University of Sienna) to speak Friday, February 15 at 10:30 a.m. on "Moral Judgment: Evolutionary and Psychological Perspectives" - SFI External Professor Nina Fedoroff (Advisor to the Secretary of State, U. S. Department of State and Penn Sate University) to speak at 1:45 p.m. Friday, February 15 on "Are There Diverse Paths to Progress in Global Science?" and again Saturday, February 16 Dr. Fedoroff will deliver the Plenary Lecture at 6:30 p.m. - SFI Professor Douglas Erwin (Smithsonian Institution) will speak Monday, February 16 at 9:15 a.m. on "Major Transformations in Evolution: The State of the Art and Public Understanding"
Read More

NY Post / Yahoo! Legg Work- Holder: Sweeten Deal

(SFI Trustee) Bill Miller is headlined internationally about Yahoo!'s possible merger with Microsoft. "The second-largest shareholder ...thinks the software giant will have to sweeten its offer to get the $44.6 billion deal done. Bill Miller, who runs Legg Mason's Value Trust fund, ...controls more than 80 million Yahoo! shares, or about 6 percent of the company, valued at roughly $2.3 billion...In the letter, he mentions press reports that claim Microsoft was prepared to pay over $40 a share for Yahoo! last year and that his own valuations of the company are in that range, although he didn't say how much he wants from Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer. "We think MSFT will need to enhance its offer if it wants to complete a deal," Miller said."
Read More

Diverse Teams, Wise Crowds, and Informed Experts

The Business Network is pleased to announce its next Topical Meeting, held March 16 in Chicago, featuring SFI Trustee Michael Mauboussin and SFI External Faculty Scott Page. This meeting is by invitation only, but please contact Kay Frew (kfrew@santafe.edu) with questions.
Read More

Colloquium - December 7th, 2006

Colloquium Series - "Operating on the Edge of Chaos at Google," by Shona Brown, Vice President Google, Robert N. Noyce Conference Room, 3:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Read More

Brown Elected to ASM

James Brown (University of New Mexico Professor and SFI External Faculty and Science Steering Committee Member) was recently elected Honorary Member, the highest honor conferred by the ASM (American Society of Mammalogists).

Read More

2006 Ulam Lectures

Nina Fedoroff (Evan Pugh Professor of Biology, Willaman Professor of Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University and SFI External Professor) will be giving the Ulam lectures this year. They will be held on September 12, 13, and 14, at the James A. Little Theater beginning at 7:30 P.M.
Read More

Public Lecture Tomorrow Night

Christian de Duve, Nobel Laureate (Medicine 1974); Founder, International Institute of Cellular and Molecular Pathology; and Professor Emeritus, University of Louvain and Rockefeller University, will give a talk entitled "The Origin of Life" on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 at 7:00 pm at the James A. Little Theater.
Read More

Public Lecture Tonight

Dean Falk, Hale G. Smith Professor and Chair, Anthropology, Florida State University, will give a talk entitled "The Hobbit of Flores Island: Body and Soul" on Wednesday, February 22, 2005 at 7:00 pm at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.
Read More