How We Came To Be Deluged By Tweets

The story of information began in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very...

Measuring Social Networks for Disease and Health Behavior Dynamics

2012 Annual Science Board Symposium Future Directions in SFI Science: Potential Ideas

Social Networks and the Diffusion of Health Behaviors

2012 Annual Science Board Symposium Future Directions in SFI Science: Potential Ideas

Welcome to the 2012 SFI Science Board Symposium

2012 Annual Science Board Symposium Future Directions in SFI Science: Potential Ideas

Future Directions for SFI Science

2012 Annual Science Board Symposium Future Directions in SFI Science: Potential Ideas

Tracking and Curbing the Next Pandemic

2012 Annual Science Board Symposium Future Directions in SFI Science: Potential Ideas

10 Lessons from 20 Years in Building a Complexity-Informed Archaeology

2012 Annual Science Board Symposium Future Directions in SFI Science: Potential Ideas Keynote

Are historic events inevitable?

SFI Asking Big Questions

Why and how we ask Big Questions at the Santa Fe Institute

SFI: Asking Big Questions

How do social, cultural, economic, and other human systems interact with ecosystems?

SFI: Asking Big Questions

On the Evolutionary Origins of the Egalitarian Syndrome

Humans exhibit strong egalitarian syndrome, i.e. the complex of cognitive perspectives, ethical principles, social norms, and individual and collective attitudes promoting equality. The universality of egalitarianism in hunter-gatherers suggests that it is an ancient, evolved human pattern. The evolutionary...

The Holographic Approach to Critical Points

Scale invariance in quantum physics is usually associated with critical points which occur at specific phase transitions. There, fluctuations occur on all length scales and the system is described by a conformal field theory. In this framework, scaling dimensions and correlation functions can be computed....

Appealing to Intuitions - Why We Can't Get Along Without Them

Appeals to intuitions have something suspect about them. Intuitions can vary from person to person, and even those that seem least assailable sometimes lead us astray, as the paradoxes of set theory demonstrated. Mathematicians of the last century, in their attempts to formalize mathematics, tried to...

Free Will and the Brain: Some Current Confusions

There has been a recent explosion of writing by neuroscientists and psychologists about how "science shows us" that we don't have free will. The problem with this work is that it confuses several quite different issues. Once we sort it out, we find that there have been in fact some important discoveries...

The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive

Brian Christian is the author of The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, Gizmodo, and The Guardian. Each year Turing Test sponsors confer the title of "Most Human Computer"...

Animal Social Learning and the Evolution of Culture

Both demographically and ecologically, humans are a remarkably successful species. This success is generally attributed to our capacity for culture. But how did our species’ extraordinary cultural capabilities evolve from its roots in animal social learning and tradition? In this seminar I will provide...

Revisiting Resource Scarcity, Warfare, and Violence

After a brief review of earlier cross-cultural research on warfare, I turn to more recent research focusing on eastern Africa, a region frequently plagued with subsistence uncertainty as well as violence. In that research, we explore whether resource unpredictability and chronic scarcities predict higher...

WHAT IF? Architecture, Ecology, Innovation and the Design of Cities

Cities, and over half the world’s population living in and around them, are now clearly an integral part of earth’s ecology. Arcosanti, the urban experiment founded 40 years ago by architect Paolo Soleri in the Arizona desert, would place cities at the very center of that ecology, at the very center...

A Tale of Two Averages: Towards New Socio-Economic Paradigms

This talk begins by examining how the widespread use of ensemble averages to study asset price fluctuations leads to perilous advice about how much one should borrow to invest. It is argued that time averages are more relevant in the non-ergodic processes typically found in finance and lead to the definition...

Bacterial Growth Laws: Origins and Consequences

There has been a dramatic surge in the number of physicists working on biological problems during the past 10 years. Collaboration at the physics-biology interface typically consists of physicists contributing new methods of measurement or analysis to enhance the power of biological investigations, or...