Creative metaphors for social change | Arthur Romano

Movement strategist and nonviolence trainer Arthur Romano reflects on 3 creative metaphors for social change – critical mass, critical yeast, and the butterfly effect – drawn from complexity theory and the study of adaptive systems. Critical Mass So when we think about critical mass, we think of that moment after people have been doing work, […]

Conceptual complexity: Understanding how we think about cause and effect

| What cause and effect can teach us about cognition and learning | How we describe the world and the things that happen in it are informed by our understanding of causes, effects, and their relationships. This understanding evolves over time as we learn and grow through experience: things shift from black and white to […]

Language & complexity: Evolution inside out | Terrence Deacon

Drawing on biological anthropology and cognitive science, anthropologist Terrence Deacon explores the interplay of natural selection and adaptation among various environmental, genetic, cognitive, and social factors that could have contributed to the evolution of the human capacity for language.   Reference Language & complexity: Evolution inside out | Terrence Deacon

The evolution of complexity and intelligence on earth

Much of our research on intelligence has started by assuming that humans are special. And I think that’s exactly the wrong place to start if you’re interested in the evolution of intelligence. And if you’re interested in the evolution of intelligence, humans aren’t so much special as different … So the three ingredients of intelligence […]

Finding the simple patterns in a complex world | Michael Barnsley

Professor Michael Barnsley has developed a new way to uncover simple patterns that might underlie apparently complex systems, such as clouds, cracks in materials or the movement of the stockmarket. The method, named fractal Fourier analysis, is based on new branch of mathematics called fractal geometry. The method could help scientists better understand the complicated […]