Category Archives: History and Philosophy of Science

Emergence and Complexity [Professor Robert Sapolsky , Stanford]

“(May 21, 2010) Professor Robert Sapolsky gives a lecture on emergence and complexity. He details how a small difference at one place in nature can have a huge effect on a system as time goes on. He calls this idea fractal magnification and applies it to many different systems that exist throughout nature.” (Stanford’s Youtube channel)

Filed in connection to the Santa Fe Institute and Complexity Explorer.

Mae Jemison: Teaching art & science together (TED talk)

“Mae Jemison is an astronaut, a doctor, an art collector, a dancer … Telling stories from her own education and from her time in space, she calls on educators to teach both the arts and sciences, both intuition and logic, [holistically] – to create bold thinkers.” (TED page)

Symbolic Systems adjuvant: “Wittgenstein’s forgotten lesson” from Prospect

“Scientism takes many forms. In the humanities, it takes the form of pretending that philosophy, literature, history, music and art can be studied as if they were sciences, with ‘researchers’ compelled to spell out their ‘methodologies’—a pretence which has led to huge quantities of bad academic writing, characterised by bogus theorising, spurious specialisation and the development of pseudo-technical vocabularies. Wittgenstein would have looked upon these developments and wept.”

[ Full article in Prospect ]

Opening Up Open Access Beyond the Sciences: Learning from the Open Library of Humanities

Dr. Caroline Edwards describes the origins, motivations, and strategies of the Open Library of Humanities:

This site aims to give the background to, and rationale for, our vision of building a low cost, sustainable, Open Access future for the humanities.”

Speaker: Jeremy England, MIT: Statistical physics of self-replication

Published on Sep 11, 2014

What is life – lecture: A new theory for evolution. Speaker: Jeremy England, MIT.

“The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.”

{Credit and thanks to Mose for reminding me}