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Emergent Systems: A Discussion

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Schedule and Discussion Links
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During fall 2005, we will meet every Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. in Park 230, the Emergent Intelligence Laboratory. Coffee and muffins start the meeting off, followed by a presentation and discussion. Open to all.

People in a variety of disciplines and walks of life are in the business of trying to make sense of the world. In so doing, all make use of conceptual frameworks, habitual ways of thinking that influence both how one tries to make sense of new observations and the new questions one asks (and doesn't ask). These conceptual frameworks are themselves reflections of the kinds of observations that have and can be made.

Computers, like telescopes and microscopes, have opened a whole new world of possible observations. Because of the rapidity with which they can do well-defined calculations, computers have made it possible to explore the consequences of relatively simple interactions of relatively simple things in ways never before possible (try, for example, the Game of Life or Simple Networks, Simple Rules).

From this new capability are emerging in different arenas significant insights into phenomena long believed too complex for serious analysis ... and perhaps a new quite general conceptual framework applicable in a variety of disciplines and practical contexts. People who are interested the emergence of "emergent systems" as a way of thinking are invited to join this discussion by contacting Doug Blank or Paul Grobstein.

emergent.brynmawr.edu/eprg/ - a collaborative, interactive hypertext discussion of emergent systems

Complex Systems on Serendip - additional resources

"If you knew the algorithm and fed it back say ten thousand times, each time there's be a dot somewhere on the screen. You'd never know where to expect the next dot. But gradually you'd start to see this shape, because every dot will be inside the shape of this leaf. ... The unpredictable and the predetermined unfold together to make everything the way it is. It's how nature creates itself, on every scale, the snowflake and the snowstorm." Tom Stoppard, Arcadia, 1993.


Schedule and Discussion Links

Discussion notes and participant lists for all discussions can be found on the Resources page.
August 31 "Being Emergent"
A start at the beginning ...of the book. We will examine the prospectus of a book that we are writing:
http://mightymouse.brynmawr.edu/~dblank/papers/Bryn_Mawr_Prospectus.doc
Discussion leaders: Jan Trembley, Anne Dalke, and friends
September 7 "A Skeptical Look at Emergence"
A discussion on the paper "How do you solve a problem like a (Fritjof) Capra?", by Burton Guttman:
http://bubo.brynmawr.edu/~dblank/papers/skeptical-emergence.pdf
Discussion leader: Alan Baker
September 14 "A Skeptical Look at Emergence" (continued)
Discussion leader: Alan Baker
September 21

"Discussion of Nagel on Emergence"
Discussion leader: Rob Wozniak

September 28 "Emergence in Emergencies"
Discussion leader: Tim Burke
October 5

"Evolution, Alternate Stories, and Lines in the Sand"
Discussion leader: Paul Grobstein
Pre-discussion reading: Intelligent Design and the Story of Evolution: No Need for Drawing Lines in the Sand

October 12 FALL BREAK
October 19 "Evolution, Alternate Stories, and Lines in the Sand" (continued)
Discussion leader: Paul Grobstein
October 26 "Sustainable Development"
Discussion leader: Ted Wong
November 2 BREAK
November 9 "Some further developments in the story of story telling"
Discussion leader: Paul Grobstein
Reference materials
November 16 "The Emergence and (continuing) Evolution of the Story of Story Telling"
Discussion leader: Paul Grobstein
Reference materials
November 23 BREAK
November 30 "Beyond Emergent Pedagogy: Scripted, Non-Scripted? Conducted, Non-Conducted?"
What Happens When Agents Resist: A Report from the Summer Institute
Discussion leaders: Anne Dalke and Wil Franklin
Reference materials
December 7 "Swarm: Contemporary Artists Explore the Concept of Emergence"
Discussion leader: Shir Ly Camin, Education Coordinator, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia
December 14 Emerging From "The End of Ethics?"
Discussion leader: Anne Dalke

Archives

Emergent Systems Schedule and Discussion Links 2004-2005
Forum 2004-2005

Information Working Group, summer 2004

Emergent Systems Schedule and Discussion Links 2003-2004
Forum 2003-2004

Emergent Systems Schedule and Discussion Links 2002-2003
Forum 2002-2003


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Last Modified: Tuesday, 19-Sep-2006 11:30:47 EDT