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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 61 through 73 of 73 found.


Earth Life Emergence: Development of Body, Brain, Selves and Societies

Earth Life > Sentience

Kverkova, Kristina, et al. The Evolution of Brain Neuron Numbers in Amniotes. PNAS. 119/11, 2022. Charles University, Prague paleo-neuroscientists deftly reconstruct the evolution of brain neuron number across an entire range of Metazoa species and found that after fish and reptiles, birds and mammals have much larger quantities in cerebral areas meant for higher cognition. It is noted that several major changes in neuron brain scaling in the past 300 million years indeed appear to be oriented to an increasing degree of intelligence. The group effort has achieved the strongest evidence to date of how life’s emergent sensory stirrings can be known to have this central edification. The paper has vivid illustrations of relative creaturely advances in body and brain anatomies, which well evince a grand learning experience.

A reconstruction of the evolution of brain information-processing capacity is vital to understandings the rise of complex cognition. Comparative studies long used brain size as a proxy. However, to get a better sense of paths leading to high intelligence, power, we need to compare brains by large datasets of computational neurons. We find Amniote brain evolution to be tracked by four major shifts in neuron–brain scaling. The most dramatic increases in brain neurons occurred independently with the appearance of birds and mammals. The other two rises in neuron numbers happened in core land birds and anthropoid primates, known for their cognitive prowess. (Abstract excerpt)

Amniota, a group of limbed vertebrates that includes reptiles, birds, mammals and their extinct ancestors. The amniotes are the evolutionary branch (clade) of the tetrapods in which the embryo develops within a set of protective extra-embryonic membranes—the amnion, chorion, and allantois.

Earth Life > Sentience > Animal Intelligence

Bialek, William. On the Dimensionality of Behavior. PNAS. 119/18, 2022. The veteran Princeton systems physicist (search) posts his contribution to an April 2020 virtual Physics of Behavior Workshop. From the quotes one might get a sense of some imminent synthesis between life and laws, if we might ever be able to fully allow and perceive this animate revolution.

There is a growing effort in the “physics of behavior” that aims at complete quantitative characterization of animal movements under more complex, naturalistic conditions. One reaction to the volumes of high-dimensional data is the search for low-dimensional structure. Here I try to define more clearly what we mean by the dimensionality of behavior, where observable behavior may consist of either continuous trajectories or sequences of discrete states. (Abstract excerpt)

The explosion of quantitative data on animal behavior is exciting because these essentially macroscopic behaviors — rather than microscopic mechanisms — are what first strike us as being interesting about living systems. Behaviors have been selected by evolution for their utility, and as we observe them it is difficult not to think of them as purposeful or intelligent. Understanding the phenomena of life means explaining how these behaviors arise, ultimately from interactions among molecules that obey the same laws of physics as in inanimate (and unintelligent) matter. (5)

Earth Life > Individuality

Tomasello, Michael. The Evolution of Agency: Behavioral Organization from Lizards to Humans. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2022. After some decades at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, the renowned behavioral psychologist (search) has returned to Duke University. This latest volume is slated for August.

Nature does not form organisms that are biologically prepared for every contingency they might encounter. Instead, organisms evolve as feedback control systems that have goals, can make decisions about how to achieve them, and then monitor their behavioral course. Thus nature builds psychological agents. In a bold new theoretical proposal, Here Dr. Tomasello describes agent-like entities that emerged on the evolutionary pathway to human beings. First was the goal-directed agency of ancient vertebrates, then an intentional agency of early mammals, next the rational agency of great apes and finally the social agency of homo sapiens. (Publisher excerpt)

Our Earthuman Ascent: A Major Evolutionary Transition in Individuality

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Liang, Junhao and Changsong Zhou. Criticality Enhances the Multilevel Reliability of Stimulus Responses in Cortical Neural Networks. PLOS Computational Biology.. January, 2022. We cite this entry by Beijing-Hong Kong-Singapore, Joint Centre for Nonlinear and Complex Systems researchers for one more notice of nature’s prime preference to seek and reside at an optimum balance between two opposite but reciprocal states. Our especial is a tendency toward Chimera-like active or static modes.

The complexity of dynamical brain activity ranges from neuronal spiking and neural avalanches to oscillatory potentials of local circuits across many states. Such multilevel variables are functionally and behaviorally relevant. To better clarify, we study the stimulus–response of neural circuits. Our model assumes excitation–inhibition (E–I) interactions and synaptic couplings with a critical sub-region. We further analyze the nonlinear dynamical principles using a novel and a broadly applicable mean-field theory. (Summary excerpt)

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Wilkerson, Galen, et al. Spontaneous Emergence of Computation in Network Cascades. arXiv:2204.11956.. Senior complexity scholars GW and Henrik Jensen, Imperial College London and Sotiris Moschoyiannia, University of Surrey, UK post a theoretical exercise as they join a growing endeavor to model an apparent procreative genesis with an innate propensity to form and process an informational essence. A retrospect survey of 44 references from A. Turing, J. A. Wheeler and S. Wolfram to this worldwise phase quite evinces how the past decades have been a long encounter with a radical reality which seems to be trying to quantify and express itself. That is to say, so to achieve its own internal, quantified self-description and observant recognition.

Computation by neuronal networks and by avalanche supporting networks are of interest to the fields of physics, computer science as well as machine learning. Here we show that computations of complex Boolean functions arise spontaneously in threshold networks as a function of connectivity and inhibition via logic automata (motifs) in the form of computational cascades. We also show that the optimal fraction of inhibition observed supports results in neuroscience, relating to optimal information processing. (Excerpt)

A somewhat surprising initial result in this investigation is that complex functions on inputs emerge spontaneously and seemingly inevitably as threshold networks are connected at random. (2)

The relationship between physical systems and information has been of increasing and compelling interest in the domains of physics, neuroscience, computer science, quantum computing, and other fields such as computation in social networks, or biology to the point where some consider information to be a fundamental phenomenon in the universe. Often, physical systems operating on information take place on, or can be modeled by, network activity, since information is transmitted and processed by interactions between physical entities. (2)

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Complementary Brain

Grossberg, Stephen. Conscious Mind, Resonant Brain: How Each Brain Makes a Mind. New York: Oxford University Press, 2022. The octogenarian Boston University poly-neuroscientist was often asked to write a summary work about his luminous studies (search). As a result, this large format, illustrated, 700 page volume proceeds to substantiate and explain his Complementary Computation theory of dynamic cerebral processes and cognitive features. As the quotes describe, into the 21st century and 2020s a vital finding can now be established. Our human neural facility, awareness and responsive behavior is distinguished by a double basis of opposite but reciprocal functions and qualities. One version is the What/Where model of object view and spatial place, which draws on dual cortical streams. Another instance, of course, is our hemispheric halves with their archetypal contrast of dot/connect, node/link, the litany goes all the way to male and female compete/cooperate aspects.

Malleable network topologies, as they serve to inform and communicate are noted to play a significant role. In further regard, as noted in an Introduction (7), Chapter 17 traces our emergent, personal brain/mind epitome deep down to the original complex dynamics of a physical source stage. Sections such as A Universal Developmental Code, Complementarity Biological and Physical Laws, A Universal Measurement Device of and in the World express how active neural cognizance can be found to self-organize in similar accord with physical principles and phenomena.

The work embodies a revolutionary Principia of Mind that clarifies how autonomous adaptive intelligence is achieved. Because brains embody a universal developmental code, further insights emerge about shared law in living cells from primitive to complex and onto how networks of interacting cells support developmental and learning processes in all species. These novel brain design principles of complementarity, uncertainty, and resonance are then traced to the physical world with which our brains ceaselessly interact, and which enable our brains to incrementally learn to understand those laws, thereby enabling humans to understand the world scientifically. (Publisher)

A question concerns how the complementarity organization of our brains may be related to the complementary properties of the physical world. Here I will note that this occurrence was first proposed in the 1920s by the physicist Niels Bohr from quantum mechanics. The phenomena involves different aspects such as position and momentum for waves and particles. If the brain is a kind of universal measurement system of physical environs such as light, heat and pressure. This fact raises the question of whether brains may have assimilated basic physical principles throughout evolution. (7)

What and Where Cortical Processing Streams These two types of learning, perceptual/cognitive vs. spatial motor, to on in different brain systems. The ventral>/i> stream processes information that enables us to recognize objects. It is thus called the What version. Thedorsal phase provides information about where objects are in space and how to act upon them. It is accordingly called the Where and How mode. (28) I will suggest in Figure 1.19 how they obey “computationally complementary” laws. Complementarity implies the need to balance the capabilities of each version against those of the other. (aka herein as a Golden Mean). (28)

Complementary Processing Streams for Perception/cognition and Space/action. I have called this paradigm Complementary Computing because it describes how the brain is organized into complementary parallel processing streams whose interactions generate biologically intelligent behaviors. A singly cortical stream can compute some properties well, but cannot, by itself, process orther computationally complementary properties. Pairs of cortical streams interact, using multiple stages, to generat emergent features that overcome their complementary deficiencies to compute complete information with which to represent or control some intelligent faculty. (29)

Universal Design for Self=Organizing Measurements and Prediction Systems. Implicit in these conclusions is the fact that principles, mechanisms and architectures in this book are about fundament problems of measurement and how a self-organizing system and represent and predict outcomes in a changing world. Mind and brain are explained by these theories because they are natural computational embodiments of these occasions. (34)

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Human Societies

Schweitzer, Frank. Group Relations, Resilience and the I Ching. arXiv:2204.09330. The ETH Zurich veteran systems theorist (search) provides an insightful contrast and meld of this Chinese wisdom tradition with 21st century agent-based models as a way to gain modern social understandings and beneficial coherence. Thus these ancient yin/yang gender balance teachings could inform and guide better interactions, relations, heterogeneity, resilience, changes. It can also be read as a book of wisdom revealing the laws of life to which we must all attune ourselves if we are to live in peace and harmony.

We evaluate the robustness and adaptivity of social groups with heterogeneous agents that are characterized by their binary state, their ability to change this state, and their preferred relations to other agents. To define group structures, we operationalize the hexagrams of the I Ching. The relations and properties of agents are used to quantify their influence according to the social impact theory. From these influence values we derive a weighted stability measure for triads involving three agents, which is based on the weighted balance theory. A stochastic approach determines the probabilities to find robust and adaptive groups. The discussion focuses on the generalization of our approach. (Abstract)

Some 3000 years old, the I Ching is a book of oracles containing the whole of human experience. Used for divination, it is a method of exploring the unconscious. Through the symbolism of its hexagrams we are guided towards the solution of problems and life situations. It can also be read as a book of wisdom revealing the laws of life to which we must all attune ourselves if we are to live in peace and harmony. (Google Books)

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Physiology

Domingues, Guilherme, et al. City Motifs as Revealed by Similarity between Hierarchical Features. arXiv:2204.09104. University of Sao Paulo system theorists contribute a comprehensive report to date of common, nested, network topologies across every scale and occasion. The same pattern and process repeats in kind everywhere as it arises from an independent, informative, genotype-like source. Once again in this year (see Nuno Araujo, et al), a robust realization of nature’s ecosmic universalities is achieved.

See also from this group The Universality in Urban Commuting Across and Within Cities by Lei Dong, et al at 2204.12865, A Similarity Approach to Cities and Features by L. Da Costa, Luciano and Eric Tokuda at 2202.08301 and search names on this preprint site.

Several natural and theoretical networks can be broken down into smaller portions, or subgraphs corresponding to neighborhoods. The more frequent of these neighborhoods can be understood as evident motifs, they can serve to provide a better understanding of their overall structures. (Excerpt)

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Physiology

Hynes, William, et al. Systemic Resilience in Economics. Nature Physics. 18/4, 2022. In search of better natural guidance for our flawed financial commerce, five senior scholars in the USA, France and the UK cast their studies all the way to substantial condensed matter to propose that the latest understandings of non-equilibrium phenomena could be a vital resource. Akin to Evolutionary Dynamics, Forces, and Robustness: A Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics Perspective by Riccardo Rao and Stanislas Leibler (PNAS 119/13, 2022) a recurrent continuity and cohesion becomes lately apparent. As the quotes cite, once again an organic milieu of an independent, genotype-like source code is ever in independent effect as it gives self-similar rise to ascendant phenotype scales and selves.


We describe a framework for understanding the factors that underpin economic resilience, and identify basic ways for implementing it. This task mainly involves examining resilience by design, which promotes endogenous reorganization in the commercial marketplace. We link these ideas to comparable notions from physics, such as the rich and non-trivial phenomenology that arises in circumstances when a system is dynamic and out of equilibrium. We contend that a more nuanced understanding of the underlying structure of our economic system could lead to enlightened policies decisions that promote and result in better outcomes in the long run. (Abstract)

Awarding the 2021 Nobel Prize for physics to two climatologists, Klaus Hasselmann and Syukuro Manabe, and a physicist, Giorgio Parisi, sent an important message to all those concerned about the overall complex system in which we live. We should see the socioeconomic system as one part of the whole planetary system in which the very different components interact with each other and generate aggregate phenomena that could not be predicted from even the most detailed knowledge of the millions of individual parts in isolation. (381)

How then can such an interdependent set of networks be made more resilient to endogenous upheavals resulting from the system’s tendency to self-organize into a critical state, as well as disruptions from those parts of the system over which we have only limited or no control? RBD and RBI must be undertaken simultaneously, using resilience analysis to drive implementation design and estimate the efficiency/resilience trade-offs. Resilience analysis can be used to stress test network and system intricacies, complexities and interdependencies to evaluate necessary corrective actions, regulations and policy to prevent degradation of critical function post-disruption. (383)

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Civilizations

Buckley, Chris. Bristling Against the West, China Rallies Domestic Sympathy for Russia. New York Times. April 4, 2022. The article describes a deep, sharp “ideological” contrast on the planet between this Eastern authoritarian fixation which feels compelled to defend itself against perceived encroachments by polar Western individualist, liberal, decadent cultures. As a result a torrent of misinformed, distorted confusions, along with nuclear threats, consume these late years as our precious bioplanet lies in a critical to terminal state. See The Bifocal Stance Theory of Cultural Evolution (Jagiello, et al, April 2022) for an Oxford University paper on nature’s common bireciprocal societies. However might we learn in the short time?

Earth Earn: Our Open Participatory Ecosmocene Futurity

Ecosmo Sapiens > New Earth > Viable Gaia

Sachs, Jeffery, et al. Six Transformations to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Nature Sustainability. 2/9, 2019. Six senior authorities from the USA, Germany, the UK, and Austria, from Columbia University to the Potsdam Institute, including Johan Rockstrom, provide a thorough conceptual and technical study to date. But as I review in April 2022, the world has gone to blazes in an orgy of bombings and summer firestorms. Our pan- demic world is exhausted, ill advised, beset by mad warlords, with little academic natural philosophy. We have long been trying to discern and give our most especial bioworld an epochal relevance to the future and fate of the entire ecosmic genesis so as an incentive. A finding that social protocells as noted in Sustainable Ecovillages are meant to be life’s metabolic stage could provide an actual rationale. And so on.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change call for deep transformations in every country that will require cooperative actions by governments, civil society, science and business. Yet stakeholders lack a shared understanding of how the 17 SDGs can be achieved. Following on the World in 2050 work, we introduce six SDG Transformations as modular building-blocks: (1) education, gender and inequality; (2) health, well-being and demography; (3) energy decarbonization and sustainable industry; (4) sustainable food, land, water and oceans; (5) sustainable cities and communities; and (6) digital revolution for sustainable development. We also outline an action agenda for science to provide the knowledge required for designing, implementing and monitoring the SDG Transformations. (Abstract excerpt)

Ecosmo Sapiens > Self-Selection

Olse,, Stephanie, et al. The Effect of Ocean Salinity on Climate and its Implications for Earth’s Habitability. arXiv:2205.06785. As if we didn’t need any more fine-tuned conditions, Purdue University, University of Chicago, Weizmann Institute of Sciences and University of Victoria researchers including Dorion Abbot note that variable salt water levels could have aid or inhibit life’s planetary occasion and course.

The influence of atmospheric composition on the climates of present-day and early Earth has been studied extensively, but the role of ocean composition has received less attention. We use the ROCKE-3D ocean-atmosphere general circulation model to investigate the response of Earth's present-day and Archean climate system to low vs. high ocean salinity. We find that saltier oceans yield warmer climates due to changes in ocean dynamics. In combination with higher levels of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4, a saltier ocean may allow for a warm Archean Earth with only seasonal ice at the poles despite receiving 20% less energy from the Sun. (Abstract)

Ecosmo Sapiens > Self-Selection

Way, M. J.. et al. Large-scale Volcanism and the Heat Death of Terrestrial Worlds. arXiv:2204.12475. NASA Goddard, Carleton University, Ottawa and NASA Ames researchers pile on with still another deleterious factor in occurrence in early Hadeon and Archean eras and on to today. Not only do meteors pound the planet, a vicarious degree of eruptions from inside the Earth can have a serious impact and influence on life, pluck and luck.

We argue that more so that meteor impacts, volcanos have played a critical role in the long-term habitability of Earth as a cause of mass extinction events.. We estimate the likelihood of effects that could drive a planet into an extreme moist or runaway greenhouse inhospitable states. In one approach, we make a conservative estimate of the rate at which sets of near-simultaneous LIPs (pairs, triplets, and quartets) occur in a random history statistically the same as Earth's. We find that LIPs closer in time than 0.1-1 million yr are likely; significantly, this is less than the time over which terrestrial LIP environmental effects are known to persist. (Excerpt)

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