A Conversation for Complexity Theory

NASA and complexity

Post 1


Every once in a while, NASA sends me something in my email. I thought this would be a very nice thing to pass along to you, Si. Enjoy.

NASA Space Science News for December 8, 1999

Quakes on pulsars follow the same power law as the stock market, traffic
jams: Here's a hot stock tip -- the market, earthquakes, traffic jams, and
magnetars follow the same power law. This oddity of the universe won't
make you rich; it certainly can't be used to predict where the market is
headed. But it follows a recent theory called self-organizing
criticality. Full story at

NASA and complexity

Post 2

Mark Rest

I've just read something about self organising criticality. Consider a genome of 100 genes. Genes are known to switch on and off one another. This could be fundamental to how different types of cells are generated in one body.

The key thing is how many genes are close enough to be switched. Too few and nothing changes. Too many and you get a chaotic switching frenzy. There is some critical point where something strange emerges....order. The guy who did all the initial work on this is called Kaufman. He joined the Santa Fe Institute (www.santafe.edu) where these ideas and many more are used to describe the behaviour of stock markets the universe....

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