Throughout this course, I've found one aspect of our discussions and readings to be somewhat troubling. There is a tendency proclaim emergence as a penultimate field, emergent phenomenon as universal and terribly important...in short, emergence as not just a new kind of science but the coming messiah of science.
It could just be that the field, in particular the content matter, is inherently of a universal and penetrating sort. So if emergence itself claims to be the end-all, be all of reality, then our conversations and emergent literature should similarly describe it as such. I think this is true to a certain extent. In my eyes, however, there is also a some aggrandizing in our conversations and the literature.
Dr. Ursula Goodenough (Professor of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, author of The Sacred Depths of Nature):
"EMERGENCE: NATURE'S MODE OF CREATIVITY"
She'll be speaking as part of a larger forum on Saturday, April 8th from 1PM-5PM in Sharpless Auditorium
Ursula Goodenough is currently Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis MO. She was educated at Radcliffe and Barnard Colleges (B.A. Zoology, 1963), Columbia University (M.A. Zoology, 1965) and Harvard University (Ph.D. Biology, 1969), did 2 years of postdoctoral at Harvard, and was Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology at Harvard from 1971-1978 before moving to Washington University.
This isn't particularly good or even described well, but it does reflect my current thoughts on my final project. Perhaps with your critique and commentary, I can refine my thoughts and put together a nice project.
--A series of simple NetLogo models that illustrate an emergent explanation for complicated social behavior--
Some potential models include:
#1. Antagonism between 2 races, with one racial group having superiority in number and resources over the other.
- For most individuals of the superior race (red), they would rather live almost entirely with people like themselves (the exact proportion can be on a slider)
I figure I'll have my midterm nearly completed by about midnight Sunday...are there people interested in reading papers and providing commentary for an hour or so at around that time?
How does 12AM Sunday night Zubrow Commons in the INSC sound? I'll be there then unless people suggest a BMC locale instead.
I'm interested in emergence's 'human' implications, primarily socio-economic behavior and interaction. In my mind, emergence retains a certain mystical quality typically reserved for theologies. It's imbued with transcendental powers, offering explanations for a diverse set of phenomena, from the big bang to coral reefs to the market economy. Though the concept remains opaque, I'm searching for a perspective that can provide insight into the most troubling aspects of human existence (marginalization, poverty, etc). Even if these phenemona possess no emergent qualities, some of their contributing factors (markets, social groupings, evolution) may prove susceptible to emergent analysis.