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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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II. Pedia Sapiens: A Planetary Progeny Comes to Her/His Own Actual Factual Knowledge

C. Earth Learns: An Emergent Transition via Global/Local Self-Organizing, Intelligent Collaborations

    The worldwide network of lights and urban centers form an interlinked unity of intelligence and information, luminously evident at night. This NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day for August 22, 2004 is a composite of hundreds of images from the Goddard Space Flight Center, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Geophysical Data Center and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Their web address is: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap040822.html. Similar vistas can be found at NASA's Visible Earth website: www.visibleearth.nasa.gov.

 
     

We first cite a 2022 title Intelligence as a Planetary Scale Process herein by Adam Frank, et al (see herein) which is a strongest endorsement of this worldwise occasion and attribution.

With life’s evolution found to be a nested, recurrent sequence of whole entities, (please see Part V and throughout), its next evident, emergent transition of planetary proportions seems much underway. In regard, a metamorphosis to a diverse yet unified super-organic entity, a sapient personsphere, is variously cited. Part VII, B. EarthKinder alludes to metabiological features of anatomy, physiology and complementary cultures. What is of sure interest is the formation of a global cerebral faculty, an actual brain presently learning on its (her/his) own. Since evolution seems to repeat the same pattern at each ascendant stage, this worldwide scale seems once again to be graced by a neural network structure, hierarchical thought processes and cognitive activity.

But an ultimate consequence of achieving its own knowledge has hardly been considered. If the advent of a novel planetary locus of learning and discovery can be admitted and translated, it could gather and integrate the many fragments now at terminal odds. At a time when peoples cannot break free of ancient cycles of violence and carnage, such a common edification by a unified humanity is indispensible. We can cite one salient notice by Thomas Malone, director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (cci.mit.edu). His Superminds (2018) edition, and You Tube presentations do suggest that such a true noosphere composed of people and computers ought achieve its own palliative and creative knowledge and may be the only way we can save ourselves. And we note its “library of ecosmos” published content is the inspiration and reason for our annotated bibliography and anthology format. We have relocated reviews of international conferences over the last decade as venue examples of global meetings. Their content can give a glimpse how subject areas were advancing through the decade.

We see people, machines and software systems as agents that communicate via complex network links. These agents contribute their own expertise to resolving problems and challenges. Thus the skills of different agents are pooled into a collective intelligence much greater than that of its individual members. This propagation across the global network is a complex process of self-organization. It is similar to the "spreading activation" that characterizes thinking in the human brain. This process will change the network by reinforcing useful links, while weakening less useful ones. So it can be said that the network learns and becomes more intelligent. (Global Brain Institute)

2020: By this bidecadal year, a novel online informative sapiensphere could be seen in place to an extent that it has commenced to learn on its (her/his) own. Again, this perception is the conceptual basis of this resource site. As we human persons contribute to and daily avail, an accessible global repository of accumulated knowledge can become apparent. In wider regard, as an ecosmic (genomic) source may at last reach its conscious recognition, this vast content can be feed back to salve, heal, and enhance the valiant beings it arose from. A specific, crucial case may be its biological and medical application to cure and bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. As 214 select references to date may convey, it would serve me + We = US to become aware of its salutary presence, a novel Earthomo dispensation we so need.

Aerts, Diederik, et al. Towards a Quantum World Wide Web. Theoretical Computer Science. 752/116, 2018.

Chorost, Michael. World Wide Mind. New York: Free Press, 2011.

Engel, David and Thomas Malone. Integrated Information as a Metric for Group Interaction. arXiv:1702.02462.

Falk, Emily and Danielle Bassett. Brain and Social Networks. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 21/9, 2017.

Heylighen, Francis and Marta Lenartowicz. The Global Brain as a Model of the Future Information Society. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 114/1, 2017.

Hillis, Ken, et al. Google and the Culture of Search. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2012.

Malone, Thomas. Superminds. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Publishing, 2018.

Momennejad, Ida. Collective Minds: Social Network Topology Shapes Collective Cognition. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. December 2021.

Noriega-Campero, Alejandro, et al. The Wisdom of the Network. arXiv:1805.04766.

Sloman, Steven and Philip Fernbach. The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. New York: Riverhead Books, 2017.

Sole, Ricard, et al. Synthetic Collective Intelligence. BioSystems. Online February, 2016.

Tetlow, Philip. The Web’s Awake. Hoboken, NJ: IEEE Press/Wiley Interscience, 2007.

As a note,the first few pages are citations about international conferences which were moved from another section.

2016 Science of Consciousness. www.consciousness.arizona.edu. This is the main site for these premier, luminous biennial convocations founded in 1996 by the University of Arizona physician Stuart Hameroff, who continues as their impresario. This latest event merited a New York Times report Science of Consciousness Conference Is Carnival of the Mind by George Johnson (May 10). From this home page the large 2016 Program Book can be accessed with abstracts for over a hundred talks. Among the speakers are Stanislas Dehaene, Walter Freeman, David Chalmers, Nao Tsuchiya, Deepak Chopra, Terrence Deacon, Katherine Peil and Gyorgy Buzsaki. Sample sections are Panpsychism, Idealism and Metaphysics, Quantum Approaches, The Extended Mind, and Metacognition.

The Science of Consciousness is an interdisciplinary conference aimed at rigorous and leading edge approaches to all aspects of the study of conscious experience. These include neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, molecular biology, medicine, quantum physics, and cosmology, as well as art, technology, and experiential and contemplative approaches. The conference is the largest and longest-running interdisciplinary gathering probing fundamental questions related to conscious experience. As in previous conferences, program sessions will include plenary and keynote talks, concurrent talks, posters, art-science-film demos and exhibits, pre-conference workshops, side trips, and social events in the Tucson tradition.

After 23 years, the seminal conference ‘Toward a Science of Consciousness’ is now simply ‘The Science of Consciousness’. But as consciousness cannot be observed, scientifically explained, nor commonly defined, is there now truly a ‘Science of Consciousness’? Are we there yet? We do have essential questions. Is the brain a computer? Does it process or generate conscious information as output? When, where and how did consciousness evolve? Can we have free will, or are we just ‘along for the ride’? Will consciousness be reproduced through brain mapping, transhumanism and/or artificial intelligence? Or, does the brain ‘tune into’ and organize consciousness or its precursors existing naturally in the universe? What are the implications of either view on the nature of existence and treatment of mental and cognitive disorders? These and many other questions will be debated in a week-long gathering of scientists, philosophers, artists, meditators and interested people at Loews Ventana Canyon, a luxurious eco-resort in the mountains just north of Tucson, Arizona.

7th International Workshop on Thermodynamics, Disequilibrium and Evolution. http://pages.cnpem.br/tde2014/.. A September 2014 conference held in Campinas, Brazil, whose main organizer is the NASA Astrobiology Institute. There are so many ways can one document nowadays how much such science is a common, worldwide endeavor, open to everyone everywhere by instant collaborative communication. And the subject matter here is one more example of the welling union of physics and biology. The keynote speaker is Ada Yonath, Weizmann Institute, Israel, and 2009 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, abstract below.

The 7th Workshop on Thermodynamics, Disequilibrium and Evolution (TDE) aims to explore the relations between biological and planetary systems, considering their dynamic aspects. The searching for answers in this field must consider phenomena that are out of thermodynamic balance, in outdoor ambient systems. This approach is necessary for a better understanding of chemistry and geochemistry involved in prebiotic processes, in the origin of life and in the subsequent chemical complexity gain until self-sustained systems. Organized for the first time in Brazil, in partnership with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the TDE workshop will bring together experts on this new field, in order to discuss experimental and theoretical approaches to constrain the scenarios of origin of life on our planet, and to explore the possibilities of life arising on other places on the Universe.

A Prebiotic Bonding Entity is Function in all Living Cells: Ribosomes, the universal cellular machines for translation of the genetic code into proteins, possess spectacular architecture accompanied by inherent mobility, allowing for their smooth performance as polymerases that translate the genetic code into proteins. The site for peptide bond formation is located within an almost fully conserved internal semi-symmetrical region made exclusively of RNA. The high conservation of this region implies its existence irrespective of environmental conditions and indicates that it may represent an ancient RNA machine. (Ada Yonath)

8th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Information. www.iiisci.org/sci2004. This international meeting is noted because it plans to provide a balance of each brain hemisphere complement.

We are trying to relate the analytic thinking required in focused conference sessions to the synthetic thinking required for analogies generation….We are trying to promote a synergic relation between analytically and synthetically oriented minds, as it is found between left and right brain hemispheres….SCI 2004 might be perceived as a research corpus callosum trying to bridge analytically with synthetically oriented efforts, convergent with divergent thinkers.

Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. http://www.evolution-rome2009.net/. Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories is a major conference to be held at the Pontifical Gregorian University, March 3 – 7, 2009 in coordination with the 200th Anniversary year of Charles Darwin’s birth, and the 150th year after the publication of his The Origin of Species. An international panel has been assembled with a good number of active researchers and theorists such as Simon Conway Morris, Stuart Kauffman, Lynn Margulis, Francisco Ayala, Robert Ulanowicz, and David Sloan Wilson. A website along with a program and speaker bios can be reached by the URL or Googling venue and title keywords. Its themes of a broadened, more purposeful, 21st century Darwinism might be broached by these paragraphs from the website's “Aims” page.

Paper abstracts have now been posted in late February which seem to range from Darwin plus to a cosmic teleology. In such regard, they exemplify the current divide, or paradigm shift, between aimless contingency, for which Darwin has been misappropriated as David Depew argues, and an inherent evolutionary convergence, which Simon Conway Morris cites with usual emphasis. And we find the term Embryogeny used by Anthropologist Dr. Anne Dambricourt Malasse could be an apt image for a cosmic natural genesis.

These last few years have seen the growth of several intense, and at times heated, debates on Evolution that have involved scientists, philosophers and theologians. The repercussions of those debates have been heard on several occasions in the mass media and have involved the public as well. Frequently it appeared that the debates were the expression of true ideological positions: on the one hand, an antireligious metaphysical evolutionism; on the other hand, fundamentalist conceptions leading to a misconstrued “creationism” or to the so-called “Intelligent Design.” (Aims)

Thanks to recent discoveries, we can reconsider the problem of evolution within a broader perspective then traditional neo-darwinism. In particular, we refer to the role of epigenetical mechanisms in evolution as well as to new developments produced by the theory of complexity and by the study of incidence on the environment of living species, especially in regards to the value and significance of intelligent behaviour. In this context, which witnesses the intertwining of several fields of knowledge, an appropriate consideration is needed more than ever before. (Aims)

It is received wisdom in nearly all neo-Darwinian circles that these, like any other evolutionary end-point, are effectively flukes, mere accidents of history. Such resonates, of course, with the emphasis on randomness, be it in terms of mutation or mass extinctions. Stephen Jay Gould observed, using the famous Burgess Shale as his exemplar, that were we to re-run the tape of life then the end-products would be completely different. No humans, for example. Drawing on evolutionary convergence I will argue for the complete opposite, and in doing so will suggest that evolution is like any other science, that is predictable. Simon Conway Morris)

China Knowledge Grid Research Group. www.knowledgegrid.net. This site is a portal to leading edge projects in China in collaborative computing, e-science, innovation culture and so on. Its founder and main mentor is Professor Hai Zhuge. (see below) His recent paper, China's e-Science Knowledge Grid Environment. IEEE Intelligent Systems. 19/1, 2004, provides an overview.

The Knowledge Grid is an intelligent and sustainable Internet application environment that enables people or virtual roles (mechanisms that facilitate interoperation among users, applications, and resources) to effectively capture, publish, share and manage explicit knowledge resources. It also provides on-demand services to support innovation, cooperative teamwork, problem-solving and decision making. It incorporates epistemology and ontology to reflect human cognition characteristics; exploits social, ecological and economic principles; and adopts the techniques and standards developed during work toward the next-generation web.

Collective Intelligence 2012. www.ci2012.org. Sponsored by the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, this frontier gathering was held April 18 – 20 at the Cambridge Marriott, by the MIT campus. Conference chairs are Thomas Malone, founding director of the MIT Center, and Luis von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University web wizard. Full papers can now be accessed at this website, click on Proceedings. A good typical paper is "Collective Intelligence in Humans: A Literature Review" by Juho Salminen of Lappeenranta University, Finland.

Collective intelligence has existed at least as long as humans have, because families, armies, countries, and companies have all--at least sometimes--acted collectively in ways that seem intelligent. But in the last decade or so a new kind of collective intelligence has emerged: groups of people and computers, connected by the Internet, collectively doing intelligent things. For example, Google technology harvests knowledge generated by millions of people creating and linking web pages and then uses this knowledge to answer queries in ways that often seem amazingly intelligent. Or in Wikipedia, thousands of people around the world have collectively created a very large and high quality intellectual product with almost no centralized control, and almost all as volunteers! These early examples of Internet-enabled collective intelligence are not the end of the story but just the beginning. And in order to understand the possibilities and constraints of these new kinds of intelligence, we need a new interdisciplinary field. Forming such a field is one of the goals of this conference.

Computation by Natural Systems. royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2018/03/natural-systems. A Kavli Royal Society Centre meeting on March 21-22, 2018 with talks such as Entropy and Information in Natural Complex Systems by Karoline Wiesner, Thermodynamics of Computation with Chemical Reaction Networks by Massimiliano Esposito, and Computations and Control in Brain Systems by Danielle Bassett.

Over recent years it has become clear in various sciences that many natural systems perform computations. Research into the properties of these natural computers remains fragmented along disciplinary boundaries between computer science, physics, engineering and biology. The objective of this meeting is to overcome the fragmentation by bringing together researchers from different fields to discuss their latest finding on natural computation. (Synopsis)

Computing can be seen as transformations between nonequilibrium states. In stochastic thermodynamics, the second law can be used to provide a direct connection between the thermodynamic cost needed to induce such transformations and the distance from equilibrium (relative entropy) of these nonequilibrium states. Remarkably, a closely related result also holds for open chemical reaction networks described by deterministic mass action law kinetics. These results lay the foundations for a systematic study of the thermodynamic cost needed to produce chemical spatio-temporal signals which play a key role in biology and chemical computing. (M. Esposito abstract)

e-Print archive. www.arXiv.org. The huge online site for electronically published papers in theoretical and experimental science and mathematics. Many technical references are now just listed as: arXiv:hep-th/# where hep-th for example means High Energy Physics-Theory, followed by the number of the paper.

ArXiv is an e-print service in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, and quantitative biology. The contents of arXiv conform to Cornell University academic standards. ArXiv is owned, operated and funded by Cornell University, a private not-for-profit educational institution. (website home)

Eighth International Conference on Complex Systems. http://www.necsi.edu/events/iccs2011/index.html. The New England Complex Systems Institute will host at the Boston Marriott from June 26 to July 1, 2011 the eighth in their series of arguably the premier gathering of its kind on the planet. No exception this time with plenary speakers such as Eshel Ben Jacob, Steven Bressler, Eric Davidson, John Hopfield, Mark Newman, Didier Sornette, and many others. Two main domains are slated: Unifying Themes of Emergence, Complexity, Information, Dynamics, Self-Organization, and Networks, and their manifest activity in Physical, Chemical, Bio-Molecular, Cellular, Organism, Psychological, Social, and Economic Systems. I have attended the 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 events, whence each time provided an intense immersion in this vital scientific revolution.

Emergence in Chemical Systems 3.0. www.math.uaa.alaska.edu/chemicalemergence3. An International Conference to be held June 2013 at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Proposed conference sessions are: Complex chemical systems, Evolving networks of chemical reactions, Transition from nonliving to living matter, Systems Chemistry, Living Technologies, Bioengineering as mimicking biological systems, and Emergence, innovation, and creation in biology and technology. Among Invited Speakers are Mark Bedau, Wolfgang Banzhaf, Lee Cronin, Robert Hazen, David Krakauer, and Irena Ann Chen.

Evolution: Genetic Novelty – Genomic Variations by RNA Networks and Viruses. www.rna-networks.at. A July 2018 conference in Salzburg, Austria organized by Guenther Witzany and Luis Villarreal (search each) to reconceive how life began, evolved, and developed by better appreciations of its genetic, biomolecular and viral agencies. From this home page, full slide presentations of authorities such as James Shapiro, Karin Moelling, Eugene Koonin, and Sabine Muller can be viewed. One might note this group is more a nucleotide node school, while a lively regulatory system complement also flourishes, as in the Origin of Life section. In his presentation, Gustavo Caetano Anolles (abstract below) does include a network/modular aspect in his accretion model.

This symposium assembles approximately 60 experts from different fields to discuss a new paradigmatic understanding of genetic novelty, code-generating, genome-formatting factors and the current knowledge of regulatory control in all steps und sub-steps of transcription, translation, repair, immunity, epigenetic marking and heredity.

The evolution of structure in biology is driven by accretion and change. Accretion brings together disparate parts to form bigger wholes. Change provides opportunities for growth and innovation. Networks can describe how parts associate in wholes. Here I review patterns and processes that are responsible for a ‘double tale’ of evolutionary accretion in the structure of biological networks. Parts are at first weakly linked and associate variously. As they diversify, they compete with each other and are selected for performance. The emerging interactions constrain their structure and associations. This causes parts to self-organize into modules with tight linkage. In a second phase, variants of the modules evolve and become new parts for a new generative cycle of higher-level organization. Evolutionary genomics and network biology support the ‘double tale’ of structural module creation and validate an evolutionary principle of maximum abundance that drives the gain and loss of modules. Gustavo Caetano-Annolles (search)

Evolutionary outcomes are difficult, if not impossible, to predict, largely because the effect of any possible mutation is unknown. In other words, understanding evolution requires detailed knowledge of the relationship between sequence and activity, or the fitness landscape. Inspired by theRNA World of early life, in which RNA carried information and also performed catalytic functions, we study the emergence and evolution of functional RNAs. I will describe our experimental efforts to map complete fitness landscapes for ribozymes and the implications for optimizing ribozyme activity and replaying the ‘tape of life’. (Irene Chen)

Evolutionary Analysis Beyond the Gene. www.royalsociety.org/events/2014/evolutionary-analysis. A conference to be held November 17 – 18, 2014 at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire. It is organized by Professors Christopher Howe and Jamie Tehrani, who will present along with Quentin Atkinson, Mark Pagel, Heather Windram, and others over the two days.

This strongly interdisciplinary meeting will review how the principles of phylogenetic analysis can be applied to datasets other than DNA or protein, including linguistics, archaeology, behaviour, anthropology and literature. It will identify the technical difficulties in this approach, and, with input from phylogenetics experts, suggest ways of dealing with the difficulties.

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