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Showing posts with label Game Theory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Game Theory. Show all posts

Monday, March 04, 2013

Plinko and the Galton(quincunx) Board

See Plinko Probability 2.02 A working replica of the machine  (following a slightly modified design.)

There is this randomness that seems to take hold over my thoughts regarding probability. The thoughts question how we can even know with certainty when something is going end in a result.  To know this before hand.

In a way this is what drew me to outcomes  seen and expressed as scenarios given in context of Game theory in terms of negotiation.  I would like to give a little shout out to the work John Baez is doing in that regard.

Predicting economic events with some certainty(?) and here the questions of Nassim Taleb and the Black Swan raises its head again. Fractal Antennas. A lot of things have elevated the discussion for me as to wonder how we have graduated  to a degree to a level of perception that was not so obvious before.

Both the theorists and the experimentalists looked only at the pile of tokens that landed in a particular slot at the bottom of the Plinko board. While the experimentalists had a set of guidelines about how the tokens should have gotten there and excluded any tokens that didn’t follow the rules, the theorists didn’t care as much about that. They were primarily concerned with the mass of the initial particles, the mass of the final particles and the ratio between them.

When the initial massive particles decay into lighter ones, the total energy must be conserved. Sometimes this energy goes missing; if the missing energy adds up to a certain amount, it could mean that a supersymmetric particle carried it away without being detected.See:Keep it simple, SUSY

It also deals with Particle physics and collision processes as the link suggests at the bottom of this entry. So it seems we are getting some kind of hold on this probability and outcome in terms of what was a random act can now become specific and predictable.




If you get the opportunity to watch the latest show of Touch I thought it interesting,  as I see this fellow searching all over for a machine that is mechanical and not electronic,  to use for a project for Amelia.

What is capture in the picture here below is what made this interesting. While a fictional story,  Amelia is capable of being able to determine the randomness of a dropped ball,  even before the result is known. This kidnapping is somehow recognized as a necessary evil when taking Amelia. They want to teach another computer to be able track the neurons as she relays the pockets with which the balls drop as some underlying algorithmic process sequencing.



 


The idea for me while it is nice it is so plain that we could map such an abstract mind to have encompassed such probabilities. It is again with such forth sight that I came to such a vision as an  encompassing one, held above such statistics.  Natures way. If you must, a overlord position using the recognition of Powers of ten,  for as such a view is to contain,  all must contain such outcomes.

So this part of this post is not finished, as ideas will spring up as people and scientists talk about different things. For me,  it is about seeing these "abstract things" as viable entries into the recognizable as functions of our everyday lives.





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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Something, we may not know about the world?

See: Music of the Quantum You combine theoretical positions with concrete ideas?

If one has never encountered an anomaly in nature and thought okay this happened but with no scientific qualification what so ever then indeed it is not a measurable quality about dealing with reality. So only you know it happened. Of course, then, you ask yourself, what weight do you apply to that unless you can reproduce it, or, have the witnesses to back it up? Many years have gone by now.

So it spurs one to investigate some things about nature that as yet you know it happened are only thoughts which may belong to an area that is highly theoretical. A way to make sense of it or grasp the significance of what is not normal. Defines laws of?

So, I am trying to say what may be possible and at the same time ask why nature did not take that course, or, why we are not aware of the anomaly as being "a possible" now?

I know at some point I will have to say that because this is not a measurable process I have to ignore it until I can explain it or reproduce it? Just go on with my life as an unexplainable event. But in the mean time, one can learn many the things because of it?

Is this what you mean? This response, was only possible by you asking the right question?

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Edward Witten Edward Witten's Homepage

One thing I can tell you, though, is that most string theorist's suspect that spacetime is a emergent Phenomena in the language of condensed matter physics.

Now I write this link and quote above because it set my own mind in motion, from that point. I began looking at the experiments and trying to derive something that was consistent in that process that would lead into that same logical conclusion that we are "seeing" and "not seeing" what happens.

What I have learn by association is that sometimes the spring board to move forward can be raised by others who question and point out things about nature.  How in being a scientist how one might look at things. How to be responsible about dealing with the world of observable things as well as interject about how theoretical explanations may provide for some foundation of how to explain "the possibilities" in nature? But without phenomenology this is really only an abstract thing. Some would just call it "a math" without  a reality foundation.So would you say then they are lost in  an abstract world?

Even here as a layman I am assuming that concepts them self are really covers for abstract things. One assumes there is math at it's basis and that all life without this approach is the foundation toward the phenomenological approach? You look for signs of the anomaly in nature and experiment.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Geometry Leads us to the Truth?

"The end he (the artist) strives for is something else than a perfectly executed print. His aim is to depict dreams, ideas, or problems in such a way that other people can observe and consider them." - M.C. Escher




I too have always been interested at the idea of what we can see deeper then what we observe on the surface. As if an abstraction in the geometry may be leading when considering Polytopes and allotrope s or even Penrose Tilings as to the Truth?:)


A remarkable mosaic of atoms

In quasicrystals, we find the fascinating mosaics of the Arabic world reproduced at the level of atoms: regular patterns that never repeat themselves. However, the configuration found in quasicrystals was considered impossible, and Dan Shechtman had to fight a fierce battle against established science. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011 has fundamentally altered how chemists conceive of solid matter. See: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011 Dan Shechtman
I do not think one can ever imagine what goes through my mind and I guess that's part of my artistic journey is to better learn how to describe what I am seeing. It goes back some time as to what I learn about myself and how some of these geometers see. I did not ever feel apart from them as I tried to look deeper into reality and see what the basis is and how  we might describe that.

You must also know I now sport an interesting tattoo that I will share shortly. Maybe even consider it as a line break, and as a pointer. You'll see why when I upload picture. So,  that has been my thing when I look at all this science and those espouse the teaching of,  that I tried to find my place in it. I mean I could be so wrong in a long of things.....but isn't that part of the evolution of being?  Learning about those mistakes and dealing with the responsibility of finding that truth within self?

If the heart was free from the impurities of sin, and therefore lighter than the feather, then the dead person could enter the eternal afterlife.

My second tattoo will be as in the picture showing below on this blog site demonstrating and seen above is an ancient idea about "our heart" in relation to "the truth."  How we weight that against one another and how the choices we make will have us asking whether we acted in accordance with that truth. That is "the final judgement" and if this is understood then we can access whether or not we have much more to learn. I know that setting right past mistakes is not an easy thing but if you at least start then that is part of the success of not of having to repeat them. Maybe repeat many times until you finally actually get it.

Well then,how does one simplify that picture of such Judgement in the Hall of Ma'at as to know that this message is alive and well in today's world and just as valid? How well will the tattooist portray this design? I'll have to give it to her  so she has some time to look at it and decipher.:)

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ducks Know Game Theory








 

A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature (2006)

The ducks, naturally, were delighted with this experiment, so they all rapidly paddled into position. But then Harper’s helpers began tossing the bread onto two separated patches of the pond. At one spot, the bread tosser dispensed one piece of bread every five seconds. The second was slower, tossing out the bread balls just once every 10 seconds.

Now, the burning scientific question was, if you’re a duck, what do you do? Do you swim to the spot in front of the fast tosser or the slow tosser? It’s not an easy question. When I ask people what they would do, I inevitably get a mix of answers (and some keep changing their mind as they think about it longer).
Perhaps (if you were a duck) your first thought would be to go for the guy throwing the bread the fastest. But all the other ducks might have the same idea. You’d get more bread for yourself if you switched to the other guy, right? But you’re probably not the only duck who would realize that. So the choice of the optimum strategy isn’t immediately obvious, even for people. To get the answer you have to calculate a Nash equilibrium.

After all, foraging for food is a lot like a game. In this case, the chunks of bread are the payoff. You want to get as much as you can. So do all the other ducks. As these were university ducks, they were no doubt aware that there is a Nash equilibrium point, an arrangement that gets every duck the most food possible when all the other ducks are also pursuing a maximum food-getting strategy.

Knowing (or observing) the rate of tosses, you can calculate the equilibrium point using Nash’s math. In this case the calculation is pretty simple: The ducks all get their best possible deal if one-third of them stand in front of the slow tosser and the other two-thirds stand in front of the fast tosser.

And guess what? It took the ducks about a minute to figure that out. They split into two groups almost precisely the size that game theory predicted. Ducks know how to play game theory!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Psychohistory

Hari Seldon, a fictional character, is the intellectual hero of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. In his capacity as mathematics professor at Streeling University on Trantor, he developed psychohistory, allowing him to predict the future in probabilistic terms. His prediction of the eventual fall of the Galactic Empire is the reason behind his nickname "The Raven" Seldon.
Psychohistory is a fictional science in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe which combines history, sociology, and mathematical statistics to make (nearly) exact predictions of the collective actions of very large groups of people, such as the Galactic Empire. It was first introduced in the five short stories (1942–1944) which would later be collected as the 1951 novel Foundation.

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Leonid Hurwicz

Eric S. Maskin

Roger B. Myerson

"for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory".

"The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2007". Nobelprize.org. 20 Oct 2010 http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2007/
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Jun 04, 2009

Aug 30, 2009

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The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Author Adam Smith
Publication date 1759
The Theory of Moral Sentiments was written by Adam Smith in 1759. It provided the ethical, philosophical, psychological, and methodological underpinnings to Smith's later works, including The Wealth of Nations (1776), A Treatise on Public Opulence (1764) (first published in 1937), Essays on Philosophical Subjects (1795), and Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue, and Arms (1763) (first published in 1896).

Overview

Broadly speaking, Smith followed the views of his mentor, Francis Hutcheson of the University of Glasgow, who divided moral philosophy into four parts: Ethics and Virtue; Private rights and Natural liberty; Familial rights (called Economics); and State and Individual rights (called Politics).
More specifically, Smith divided moral systems into:
  • Categories of the nature of morality. These included Propriety, Prudence, and Benevolence.
  • Categories of the motive of morality. These included Self-love, Reason, and Sentiment.
Hutcheson had abandoned the psychological view of moral philosophy, claiming that motives were too fickle to be used as a basis for a philosophical system. Instead, he hypothesised a dedicated "sixth sense" to explain morality. This idea, to be taken up by David Hume (see Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature), claimed that man is pleased by utility.
Smith rejected his teacher's reliance on this special sense. Starting in about 1741, Smith set on the task of using Hume's experimental method (appealing to human experience) to replace the specific moral sense with a pluralistic approach to morality based on a multitude of psychological motives. The Theory of Moral Sentiments begins with the following assertion:
How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrows of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous or the humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.
Smith departed from the "moral sense" tradition of Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, and Hume, as the principle of sympathy takes the place of that organ. "Sympathy" was the term Smith used for the feeling of these moral sentiments. It was the feeling with the passions of others. It operated through a logic of mirroring, in which a spectator imaginatively reconstructed the experience of the person he watches:
As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation. Though our brother is on the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did, and never can, carry us beyond our own person, and it is by the imagination only that we can form any conception of what are his sensations. Neither can that faculty help us to this any other way, than by representing to us what would be our own, if we were in his case. It is the impressions of our own senses only, not those of his, which our imaginations copy. By the imagination, we place ourselves in his situation.
Sympathy arose from an innate desire to identify with the emotions of others. It could lead people to strive to maintain good relations with their fellow human beings and provide the basis both for specific benevolent acts and for the general social order. Thus was formed within the beast the psychological basis for the desire to obey natural laws. The Theory of Moral Sentiments culminated in man as self-interested and self-commanded. Individual freedom, according to Smith, was rooted in self-reliance, the ability of an individual to pursue his self-interest while commanding himself based on the principles of natural law.
However, Smith rejected the idea that Man was capable of forming moral judgements beyond a limited sphere of activity, again centered around his own self-interest:
The administration of the great system of the universe ... the care of the universal happiness of all rational and sensible beings, is the business of God and not of man. To man is allotted a much humbler department, but one much more suitable to the weakness of his powers, and to the narrowness of his comprehension: the care of his own happiness, of that of his family, his friends, his country.... But though we are ... endowed with a very strong desire of those ends, it has been entrusted to the slow and uncertain determinations of our reason to find out the proper means of bringing them about. Nature has directed us to the greater part of these by original and immediate instincts. Hunger, thirst, the passion which unites the two sexes, and the dread of pain, prompt us to apply those means for their own sakes, and without any consideration of their tendency to those beneficent ends which the great Director of nature intended to produce by them.
It was in the TMS that Smith first referred to the "invisible hand" to describe the apparent benefits to society of people behaving in their own interests. Smith writes (6th ed. p. 350):
... In spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity, though they mean only their own conveniency, though the sole end which they propose ... be the gratification of their own vain and insatiable desires, they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society.
In a published lecture, Vernon L. Smith further argued that Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations together encompassed:
"one behavioral axiom, 'the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another,' where the objects of trade I will interpret to include not only goods, but also gifts, assistance, and favors out of sympathy ... whether it is goods or favors that are exchanged, they bestow gains from trade that humans seek relentlessly in all social transactions. Thus, Adam Smith's single axiom, broadly interpreted ... is sufficient to characterize a major portion of the human social and cultural enterprise. It explains why human nature appears to be simultaneously self-regarding and other-regarding."[1]

The Theory of Moral Sentiments: The Fourth Edition

Consists of 6 parts:
  • Part I: Of the propriety of action
  • Part II: Of merit and demerit; or of the objects of reward and punishment
  • Part III: Of the foundations of our judgments concerning our own sentiments and conduct, and of the sense of duty.
  • Part IV: Of the effect of utility upon the sentiments of approbation.
  • Part V: Of the influence of custom and fashion upon the sentiments of moral approbation and disapprobation.
  • Part VI: Of systems of moral philosophy

Part I: Of the propriety of action

Part one of the Theory of Moral Sentiments consists of three sections:
  • Section 1: Of the sense of propriety
  • Section 2: Of the degrees of which different passions are consistent with propriety
  • Section 3: Of the effects of propriety and adversity upon the judgment of mankind with regard to the propriety of action; and why it is more easy to obtain their approbation in the one state than the other

 Part I, Section I: Of the Sense of Propriety

Section 1 consists of 5 chapters:
  • Chapter 1: Of sympathy
  • Chapter 2: Of the pleasure of mutual sympathy
  • Chapter 3: Of the manner in which we judge of the propriety or impropriety of the affections of other men by their concord or dissonance with our own
  • Chapter 4: The same subject continued
  • Chapter 5: Of the amiable and respectable virtues
Part I, Section I, Chapter I: Of Sympathy
According to Smith humans have a natural tendency to care about the well-being of others for no other reason than the pleasure one gets from seeing them happy. He calls this sympathy, defining it "our fellow-feeling with any passion whatsoever" (p. 5). He argues that this occurs under either of two conditions:
  • We see firsthand the fortune or misfortune of another person
  • The fortune or misfortune is vividly depicted to us
Although this is apparently true, he follows to argue that this tendency lies even in "the greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society" (p.2).
Smith also proposes several variables that can moderate the extent of sympathy, noting that the situation that is the cause of the passion is the large determinant of our response:
  • The vividness of the account of the condition of another person
An important point put forth by Smith is that the degree to which we sympathize, or "tremble and shudder at the thought of what he feels", is proportional to the degree of vividness in our observation or the description of the event.
  • Knowledge of the causes of the emotions
When observing the anger of another person, for example, we are unlikely to sympathize with this person because we "are unacquainted with his provocation" and as a result cannot imagine what it is like to feel what he feels. Further, since we can see the "fear and resentment" of those who are the targets of the person's anger we are likely to sympathize and take side with them. Thus, sympathetic responses are often conditional on or their magnitude is determined by the causes of the emotion in the person being sympathized with.
  • Whether other people are involved in the emotion
Specifically, emotions such as joy and grief tell us about the "good or bad fortune" of the person we are observing them in, whereas anger tells us about the bad fortune with respect to another person. It is the difference between intrapersonal emotions, such as joy and grief, and interpersonal emotions, such as anger, that causes the difference in sympathy, according to Smith. That is, intrapersonal emotions trigger at least some sympathy without the need for context whereas interpersonal emotions are dependent on context.

He also proposes a natural 'motor' response to seeing the actions of others: If we see a knife hacking off a person's leg we wince away, if we see someone dance we move in the same ways, we feel the injuries of others as if we had them ourselves.

Smith makes clear that we sympathize not only with the misery of others but also the joy; he states that observing an emotional state through the "looks and gestures" in another person is enough to initiate that emotional state in ourselves. Furthermore, we are generally insensitive to the real situation of the other person; we are instead sensitive to how we would feel ourselves if we were in the situation of the other person. For example, a mother with a suffering baby feels "the most complete image of misery and distress" while the child merely feels "the uneasiness of the present instant" (p. 8).
Part I, Section I, Chapter II: Of Pleasure and mutual sympathy
Smith continues by arguing that people feel pleasure from the presence of others with the same emotions as one's self, and displeasure in the presence of those with "contrary" emotions. Smith argues that this pleasure is not the result of self-interest: that others are more likely to assist oneself if they are in a similar emotional state. Smith also makes the case that pleasure from mutual sympathy is not derived merely from a heightening of the original felt emotion amplified by the other person. Smith further notes that people get more pleasure from the mutual sympathy of negative emotions than positive emotions, but we feel "more anxious to communicate to our friends" (p. 13) our negative emotions.

Smith proposes that mutual sympathy heightens the original emotion and "disburdens" the person of sorrow. This is a 'relief' model of mutual sympathy, where mutual sympathy heightens the sorrow but also produces pleasure from relief "because the sweetness of his sympathy more than compensates the bitterness of that sorrow" (p. 14). In contrast, mocking or joking about their sorrow is the "cruelest insult" one can inflict on another person:
To seem to not be affected by the joy of our companions is but want of politeness; but to not wear a serious countentance when they tell us their afflictions, is real and gross inhumanity (p. 14).
He makes clear that mutual sympathy of negative emotions is a necessary condition for friendship, whereas mutual sympathy of positive emotions is desirable but not required. This is due to the "healing consolation of mutual sympathy" that a friend is 'required' to provide in response to "grief and resentment", as if not doing so would be akin to a failure to help the physically wounded.

Not only do we get pleasure from the sympathy of others, but we also obtain pleasure from being able to successfully sympathize with others, and discomfort from failing to do so. Sympathizing is pleasurable, failing to sympathize is aversive. Smith also makes the case that failing to sympathize with another person may not be aversive to ourselves but we may find the emotion of the other person unfounded and blame them, as when another person experiences great happiness or sadness in response to an event that we think should not warrant such a response.
Part I, Section I, Chapter III: Of the manner in which we judge of the propriety or impropriety of the affections of other men by their concord or dissonance with our own
Smith presents the argument that approval or disapproval of the feelings of others is completely determined by whether we sympathize or fail to sympathize with their emotions. Specifically, if we sympathize with the feelings of another we judge that their feelings are just, and if we do not sympathize we judge that their feelings are unjust.
This holds in matters of opinion also, as Smith flatly states that we judge the opinions of others as correct or incorrect merely by determining whether they agree with our own opinions. Smith also cites a few examples where our judgment is not in line with our emotions and sympathy, as when we judge the sorrow of a stranger who has lost her mother as being justified even though we know nothing about the stranger and do not sympathize ourselves. However, according to Smith these non-emotional judgments are not independent from sympathy in that although we do not feel sympathy we do recognize that sympathy would be appropriate and lead us to this judgment and thus deem the judgment as correct.

Next, Smith puts forth that not only are the consequences of one's actions judged and used to determine whether one is just or unjust in committing them, but also whether one's sentiments justified the action that brought about the consequences. Thus, sympathy plays a role in determining judgments of the actions of others in that if we sympathize with the affections that brought about the action we are more likely to judge the action as just, and vice versa:
If upon bringing the case home to our own breast we find that the sentiments which it gives occasion to, coincide and tally with our own, we necessarily approve of them as proportioned and suitable to their objects; if otherwise, we necessarily disapprove of them, as extravagant and out of proportion (p. 20).
Part I, Section I, Chapter IV: The same subject continued
Smith delineates two conditions under which we judge the "propriety or impropriety of the sentiments of another person":
  • 1 When the objects of the sentiments are considered alone
  • 2 When the objects of the sentiments are considered in relation to the person or other persons
When one's sentiments coincide with another person's when the object is considered alone, then we judge that their sentiment is justified. Smith lists objects that are in one of two domains: science and taste. Smith argues that sympathy does not play a role in judgments of these objects; differences in judgment arise only due to difference in attention or mental acuity between people. When the judgment of another person agrees with us on these types of objects it is not notable; however, when another person's judgment differs from us, we assume that they have some special ability to discern characteristics of the object we have not already noticed, and thus view their judgment with special approbation called admiration.

Smith continues by noting that we assign value to judgments not based on usefulness (utility) but on similarity to our own judgment, and we attribute to those judgments which are in line with our own the qualities of correctness or truth in science, and justness or delicateness in taste. Thus, the utility of a judgment is "plainly an afterthought" and "not what first recommends them to our approbation" (p. 24).

Of objects that fall into the second category, such as the misfortune of oneself or another person, Smith argues that there is no common starting point for judgment but are vastly more important in maintaining social relations. Judgments of the first kind are irrelevant as long as one is able to share a sympathetic sentiment with another person; people may converse in total disagreement about objects of the first kind as long as each person appreciates the sentiments of the other to a reasonable degree. However, people become intolerable to each other when they have no or sympathy for the misfortunes or resentment of each other: "You are confounded at my violence and passion, and I am enraged at your cold insensibility and want of feelings" (p. 26).

Another important point Smith makes is that our sympathy will never reach the degree or "violence" of the person who experiences it, as our own "safety" and comfort as well as separation from the offending object constantly "intrude" on our efforts to induce a sympathetic state in ourselves. Thus, sympathy is never enough, as the "sole consolation" for the sufferer is " to see the emotions of their hearts, in every respect, beat time to his own, in the violent and disagreeable passions" (p. 28). Therefore, the original sufferer is likely to dampen her feelings to be in "concord" with the degree of sentiment expressible by the other person, who feels only due to the ability of one's imagination. It is this which is "sufficient for the harmony of society" (p. 28). Not only does the person dampen her expression of suffering for the purpose of sympathizing, but she also takes the perspective of the other person who is not suffering, thus slowly changing her perspective and allowing the calmness of the other person and reduction of violence of the sentiment to improve her spirits.

As a friend is likely to engage in more sympathy than a stranger, a friend actually slows the reduction in our sorrows because we do not temper our feelings out of sympathizing with the perspective of the friend to the degree that we reduce our sentiments in the presence of acquaintances or a group of acquaintances. This gradual tempering of our sorrows from repeated perspective taking of someone in a more calm state make "society and conversation...the most powerful remedies for restoring the mind to its tranquility" (p. 29).
Part I, Section I, Chapter V: Of the amiable and respectable virtues
Smith starts to use an important new distinction in this section and late in the previous section:
  • The "person principally concerned": The person who has had emotions aroused by an object
  • The spectator: The person observing and sympathizing with the emotionally aroused "person principally concerned"
These two people have two different sets of virtues. The person principally concerned, in "bring[ing] down emotions to what the spectator can go along with" (p. 30), demonstrates "self-denial" and "self-government" whereas the spectator displays "the candid condescension and indulgent humanity" of "enter[ing]into the sentiments of the person principally concerned."

Smith returns to anger and how we find "detestable...the insolence and brutality" of the person principally concerned but "admire...the indignation which they naturally call forth in that of the impartial spectator" (p. 32). Smith concludes that the "perfection" of human nature is this mutual sympathy, or "love our neighbor as we love ourself" by "feeling much for others and little for ourself" and to indulge in "benevolent affections" (p. 32). Smith makes clear that it is this ability to "self-command" our "ungovernable passions" through sympathizing with others that is virtuous.

Smith further distinguishes between virtue and propriety:

Part I, Section II: Of the degrees of which different passions are consistent with propriety

  • Chapter 1: Of the passions which take their origins from the body
  • Chapter 2: Of the passions which take their origins from a particular turn or habit of the imagination
  • Chapter 3: Of the unsocial passions
  • Chapter 4: Of the social passions
  • Chapter 5: Of the selfish passions
Smith starts off by noting that the spectator can sympathize only with passions of medium "pitch". However, this medium level at which the spectator can sympathize depends on what "passion" or emotion is being expressed; with some emotions even the most justified expression of cannot be tolerated at a high level of fervor, at others sympathy in the spectator is not bounded by magnitude of expression even though the emotion is not as well justified. Again, Smith emphasizes that specific passions will be considered appropriate or inappropriate to varying degrees depending on the degree to which the spectator is able to sympathize, and that it is the purpose of this section to specify which passions evoke sympathy and which do not and therefore which are deemed appropriate and not appropriate.
Part I, Section II, Chapter I: Of the passions which take their origins from the body
Since it is not possible to sympathize with bodily states or "appetites which take their origin in the body" it is improper to display them to others, according to Smith. One example is "eating voraciously" when hungry, as the impartial spectator can sympathize a little bit if there is a vivid description and good cause for this hunger, but not to a great extent as hunger itself cannot be induced from mere description. Smith also includes sex as a passion of the body that is considered indecent in the expression of others, although he does make note that to fail to treat a woman with more "gaiety, pleasantry, and attention" would also be improper of a man (p. 39). To express pain is also considered unbecoming.

Smith believes the cause of lack of sympathy for these bodily passions is that "we cannot enter into them" ourselves (p. 40). Temperance, by Smith's account, is to have control over bodily passions.

On the contrary, passions of the imagination, such as loss of love or ambition, are easy to sympathize with because our imagination can conform to the shape of the sufferer, whereas our body cannot do such a thing to the body of the sufferer. Pain is fleeting and the harm only lasts as long as the violence is inflicted, whereas an insult lasts to harm for longer duration because our imagination keeps mulling it over. Likewise, bodily pain that induces fear, such as a cut, wound or fracture, evoke sympathy because of the danger that they imply for ourselves; that is, sympathy is activated chiefly through imagining what it would be like for us.
Part I, Section II, Chapter II: Of the passions which take their origins from a particular turn or habit of the imagination
Passions which "take their origins from a particular turn or habit of the imagination" are "little sympathized with". These include love, as we are unlikely to enter into our own feeling of love in response to that of another person and thus unlikely to sympathize. He further states that love is "always laughed at, because we cannot enter into it" ourselves.
Instead of inspiring love in ourselves, and thus sympathy, love makes the impartial spectator sensitive to the situation and emotions that may arise from the gain or loss of love.

Again this is because it is easy to imagine hoping for love or dreading loss of love but not the actual experience of it, and that the "happy passion, upon this account, interests us much less than the fearful and the melancholy" of losing happiness (p. 49). Thus, love inspires sympathy for not for love itself but for the anticipation of emotions from gaining or losing it.
Smith, however, finds love "ridiculous" but "not naturally odious" (p. 50). Thus, we sympathize with the "humaneness, generosity, kindness, friendship, and esteem" (p. 50) of love. However, as these secondary emotions are excessive in love, one should not express them but in moderate tones according to Smith, as:
All these are objects which we cannot expect should interest our companions in the same degree in which they interest us.
Failing to do so makes bad company, and therefore those with specific interests and "love" of hobbies should keep their passions to those with kindred spirits ("A philosopher is company to a philosopher only" (p. 51)) or to themselves.
Part I, Section II, Chapter III: Of the unsocial passions
Smith talks of hatred and resentment next, as "unsocial passions." According to Smith these are passions of imagination, but sympathy is only likely to be evoked in the impartial spectator when they are expressed in moderate tones. Because these passions regard two people, namely the offended (resentful or angry person) and the offender, our sympathies are naturally drawn between these two. Specifically, although we sympathize with the offended person, we fear that the offended person may do harm to the offender, and thus also fear for and sympathize with the danger that faces the offender.

The impartial spectator sympathizes with the offended person in a manner, as emphasized previously, such that the greatest sympathy occurs when the offended person expresses anger or resentment in a temperate manner. Specifically, if the offended person seems just and temperate in coping with the offense, then this magnifies the misdeed done to the offended in the mind of the spectator, increasing sympathy. Although excess anger does not beget sympathy, neither does too little anger, as this may signal fear or uncaring on the part of the offended. This lack of response is just as despicable to the impartial spectator as is the excesses of anger.

However, in general, any expression of anger is improper in the presence of others. This is because the "immediate effects [of anger] are disagreeable" just as the knives of surgery are disagreeable for art, as the immediate effect of surgery is unpleasant even though long-term effect is justified. Likewise, even when anger is justly provoked, it is disagreeable. According to Smith, this explains why we reserve sympathy until we know the cause of the anger or resentment, as if the emotion is not justified by the action of another person, than the immediate disagreeableness and threat to the other person (and by sympathy to ourselves) overwhelm any sympathy that the spectator may have for the offended. In response to expressions of anger, hatred, or resentment, it is likely that the impartial spectator will not feel anger in sympathy with the offended but instead anger toward the offended for expressing such an aversive. Smith believes that there is some form of natural optimality to the aversiveness of these emotions, as it reduces the propagation of ill will among people, and thus increases the probability of functional societies.

Smith also puts forth that anger, hatred, and resentment are disagreeable to the offended mostly because of the idea of being offended rather than the actual offense itself. He remarks that we are likely able to do without what was taken from us, but it is the imagination which angers us at the thought of having something taken. Smith closes this section by remarking that the impartial spectator will not sympathize with us unless we are willing to endure harms, with the goal of maintaining positive social relations and humanity, with equanimity, as long as it does not put us in a situation of being "exposed to perpetual insults" (p. 59). It is only "with reluctance, from necessity, and in consequence of great and repeated provocations" (p. 60) that we should take revenge on others. Smith makes clear that we should take very good care to not act on the passions of anger, hatred, resentment, for purely social reasons, and instead imagine what the impartial spectator would deem appropriate, and base our action solely on a cold calculation.
Part I, Section II, Chapter IV: Of the social passions
The social emotions such as "generosity, humanity, kindness, compassion, mutual friendship and esteem" are considered overwhelmingly with approbation by the impartial spectator. The agreeableness of the "benevolent" sentiments leads to full sympathy on the part of the spectator with both the person concerned and the object of these emotions and are not felt as aversive to the spectator if they are in excess.
Part I, Section II, Chapter V: Of the selfish passions
The final set of passions, or "selfish passions", are grief and joy, which Smith considers to be not so aversive as the unsocial passions of anger and resentment, but not so benevolent as the social passions such as generosity and humanity. Smith makes clear in this passage that the impartial spectator is unsympathetic to the unsocial emotions because they put the offended and the offender in opposition to each other, sympathetic to the social emotions because they join the lover and beloved in unison, and feels somewhere in between with the selfish passions as they are either good or bad for only one person and are not disagreeable but not so magnificent as the social emotions.
Of grief and joy, Smith notes that small joys and great grief are assured to be returned with sympathy from the impartial spectator, but not other degrees of these emotions. Great joy is likely to be met with envy, so modesty is prudent for someone who has come upon great fortune or else suffer the consequences of envy and disapprobation. This is appropriate as the spectator appreciates the lucky individual's "sympathy with our envy and aversion to his happiness" especially because this shows concern for the inability of the spectator to reciprocate the sympathy toward the happiness of the lucky individual. According to Smith, this modesty wears on the sympathy of both the lucky individual and the old friends of the lucky individual and they soon part ways; likewise, the lucky individual may acquire new friends of higher ranks who he must also be modest to, apologizing for the "mortification" of now becoming their equal:
He generally grows weary too soon, and is provoked, by the sullen and suspicious pride of the one, and by the saucy contempt of the other, to treat the first with neglect, and the second with petulance, till at last he grows habitually insolent, and forfeits the esteem of them all...those sudden changes of fortune seldom contribute much to happiness (p. 66).
The solution is to ascend social rank by gradual steps, with the path cleared for one by approbation before one takes the next step, giving people time to adjust, and thus avoiding any "jealousy in those he overtakes, or any envy in those he leaves behind" (p. 66).
Small joys of every day life are met with sympathy and approbation according to Smith. These "frivolous nothings which fill up the void of human life" (p. 67) divert attention and help us forget problems, reconciling us as with a lost friend.
The opposite is true for grief, with small grief triggering no sympathy in the impartial spectator, but large grief with much sympathy. Small griefs are likely, and appropriately, turned into joke and mockery by the sufferer, as the sufferer knows how complaining about small grievances to the impartial spectator will evoke ridicule in the heart of the spectator, and thus the sufferer sympathizes with this, mocking himself to some degree.

Part I, Section III

Of the effects of propriety and adversity upon the judgment of mankind with regard to the propriety of action; and why it is more easy to obtain their approbation in the one state than in the other

Part V, Section V, Chapter I: Of the influence of Custom and Fashion upon the Sentiments of Approbation and Disapprobation

Smith argues that two principles, custom and fashion, pervasively influence judgment. These are based on the modern psychological concept of associativity: Stimuli presented closely in time or space become mentally linked over time and repeated exposure. In Smith's own words:
When two objects have frequently been seen together, the imagination requires a habit of passing easily from one to the other. If the first is to appear, we lay our account that the second is to follow. Of their own accord they put us in mind of one another, and the attention glides easily along them. (p. 1)
Regarding custom, Smith argues that approbation occurs when stimuli are presented according to how one is accustomed to viewing them and disapprobation occurs when they are presented in a way that one is not accustomed to. Thus, Smith argues for social relativity of judgment meaning that beauty and correctness are determined more by what one has previously been exposed to rather than an absolute principle. Although Smith places greater weight on this social determination he does not discount absolute principles completely, instead he argues that that evaluations are rarely inconsistent with custom, therefore giving greater weight to customs than absolutes:
I cannot, however, be induced to believe that our sense of external beauty is founded altogether on custom...But though I cannot admit that custom is the sole principle of beauty, yet I can so far allow the truth of this ingenious system as to grant, that there is scarce any one external form to please, if quite contrary to custom...(p.14-15).
Smith continues by arguing that fashion is a particular "species" of custom. Fashion is specifically the association of stimuli with people of high rank, for example, a certain type of clothes with a notable person such as a king or a renowned artist. This is because the "graceful, easy, and commanding manners of the great" (p.3) person are frequently associated with the other aspects of the person of high rank (e.g., clothes, manners), thus bestowing upon the other aspects the "graceful" quality of the person. In this way objects become fashionable. Smith includes not only clothes and furniture in the sphere of fashion, but also taste, music, poetry, architecture, and physical beauty.
Smith also points out that people should be relatively reluctant to change styles from what they are accustomed to even if a new style is equal to or slightly better than current fashion: "A man would be ridiculous who should appear in public with a suit of clothes quite different from those which are commonly worn, though the new dress be ever so graceful or convenient" (p. 7).
Physical beauty, according to Smith, is also determined by the principle of custom. He argues that each "class" of things has a "peculiar conformation which is approved of" and that the beauty of each member of a class is determined by the extent to which it has the most "usual" manifestation of that "conformation":
Thus, in the human form, the beauty of each feature lies in a certain middle, equally removed from a variety of other forms that are ugly. (p. 10-11).

Part V, Section V, Chapter II: Of the influence of Custom and Fashion upon Moral Sentiments

Smith argues that the influence of custom is reduced in the sphere of moral judgment. Specifically, he argues that there are bad things that no custom can bring approbation to:
But the characters and conduct of a Nero, or a Claudius, are what no custom will ever reconcile us to, what no fashion will ever render agreeable; but the one will always be the object of dread and hatred; the other of scorn and derision. (p. 15-16).
Smith further argues for a "natural" right and wrong, and that custom amplifies the moral sentiments when one's customs are consistent with nature, but dampens moral sentiments when one's customs are inconsistent with nature.
Fashion also has an effect on moral sentiment. The vices of people of high rank, such as the licentiousness of Charles VIII, are associated with the "freedom and independency, with frankness, generosity, humanity, and politeness" of the "superiors" and thus the vices are endued with these characteristics.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Smith (1998) p. 3.

References

  • Bonar, J. (1926) The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith, Journal of Philosophical Studies, vol. 1, 1926, pp. 333-353.
  • Doomen, J. (2005) Smith’s Analysis of Human Actions, Ethic@. An International Journal for Moral Philosophy vol. 4, no. 2, pp 111-122.
  • Morrow, G. R. (1923) The Ethical and Economic Theories of Adam Smith: A study in the social philosophy of the 18th century, Cornell Studies in Philosophy, no. 13, 1923, pp 91-107.
  • Morrow, G. R. (1923) The Significance of the Doctrine of Sympathy in Hume and Adam Smith, Philosophical Review, vol. XXXII, 1923, pp 60-78.
  • Schneider, H.W. editor (1948) Adam Smith's Moral and Political Philosophy, Harper Torchbook edition 1970, New York.
  • Smith, Vernon L. (1998), The Two Faces of Adam Smith, Southern Economic Journal 

External links

Monday, July 05, 2010

Self-organization

Self-organization

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Self-organization is the process where a structure or pattern appears in a system without a central authority or external element imposing it. This globally coherent pattern appears from the local interaction of the elements that makes up the system, thus the organization is achieved in a way that is parallel (all the elements act at the same time) and distributed (no element is a coordinator).

Contents



Overview

The most robust and unambiguous examples[1] of self-organizing systems are from the physics of non-equilibrium processes. Self-organization is also relevant in chemistry, where it has often been taken as being synonymous with self-assembly. The concept of self-organization is central to the description of biological systems, from the subcellular to the ecosystem level. There are also cited examples of "self-organizing" behaviour found in the literature of many other disciplines, both in the natural sciences and the social sciences such as economics or anthropology. Self-organization has also been observed in mathematical systems such as cellular automata.
Sometimes the notion of self-organization is conflated with that of the related concept of emergence.[citation needed] Properly defined, however, there may be instances of self-organization without emergence and emergence without self-organization, and it is clear from the literature that the phenomena are not the same. The link between emergence and self-organization remains an active research question.
Self-organization usually relies on four basic ingredients [2]:
  1. Strong dynamical non-linearity, often though not necessarily involving Positive feedback and Negative feedback
  2. Balance of exploitation and exploration
  3. Multiple interactions

History of the idea

The idea that the dynamics of a system can tend by themselves to increase the inherent order of a system has a long history. One of the earliest statements of this idea was by the philosopher Descartes, in the fifth part of his Discourse on Method, where he presents it hypothetically.[citation needed] Descartes further elaborated on the idea at great length in his unpublished work The World.
The ancient atomists (among others) believed that a designing intelligence was unnecessary, arguing that given enough time and space and matter, organization was ultimately inevitable, although there would be no preferred tendency for this to happen. What Descartes introduced was the idea that the ordinary laws of nature tend to produce organization [citation needed] (For related history, see Aram Vartanian, Diderot and Descartes).
Beginning with the 18th century naturalists, a movement arose that sought to understand the "universal laws of form" in order to explain the observed forms of living organisms. Because of its association with Lamarckism, their ideas fell into disrepute until the early 20th century, when pioneers such as D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson revived them. The modern understanding is that there are indeed universal laws (arising from fundamental physics and chemistry) that govern growth and form in biological systems.
Originally, the term "self-organizing" was used by Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Judgment, where he argued that teleology is a meaningful concept only if there exists such an entity whose parts or "organs" are simultaneously ends and means. Such a system of organs must be able to behave as if it has a mind of its own, that is, it is capable of governing itself.
In such a natural product as this every part is thought as owing its presence to the agency of all the remaining parts, and also as existing for the sake of the others and of the whole, that is as an instrument, or organ... The part must be an organ producing the other parts—each, consequently, reciprocally producing the others... Only under these conditions and upon these terms can such a product be an organized and self-organized being, and, as such, be called a physical end.
The term "self-organizing" was introduced to contemporary science in 1947 by the psychiatrist and engineer W. Ross Ashby[3]. It was taken up by the cyberneticians Heinz von Foerster, Gordon Pask, Stafford Beer and Norbert Wiener himself in the second edition of his "Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine" (MIT Press 1961).
Self-organization as a word and concept was used by those associated with general systems theory in the 1960s, but did not become commonplace in the scientific literature until its adoption by physicists and researchers in the field of complex systems in the 1970s and 1980s.[4] After 1977's Ilya Prigogine Nobel Prize, the thermodynamic concept of self-organization received some attention of the public, and scientific researchers start to migrate from the cybernetic view to the thermodynamic view.

Examples

The following list summarizes and classifies the instances of self-organization found in different disciplines. As the list grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine whether these phenomena are all fundamentally the same process, or the same label applied to several different processes. Self-organization, despite its intuitive simplicity as a concept, has proven notoriously difficult to define and pin down formally or mathematically, and it is entirely possible that any precise definition might not include all the phenomena to which the label has been applied.
It should also be noted that, the farther a phenomenon is removed from physics, the more controversial the idea of self-organization as understood by physicists becomes. Also, even when self-organization is clearly present, attempts at explaining it through physics or statistics are usually criticized as reductionistic.
Similarly, when ideas about self-organization originate in, say, biology or social science, the farther one tries to take the concept into chemistry, physics or mathematics, the more resistance is encountered, usually on the grounds that it implies direction in fundamental physical processes. However the tendency of hot bodies to get cold (see Thermodynamics) and by Le Chatelier's Principle- the statistical mechanics extension of Newton's Third Law- to oppose this tendency should be noted.

Self-organization in physics


Convection cells in a gravity field
There are several broad classes of physical processes that can be described as self-organization. Such examples from physics include:
  • self-organizing dynamical systems: complex systems made up of small, simple units connected to each other usually exhibit self-organization

  • In spin foam system and loop quantum gravity that was proposed by Lee Smolin. The main idea is that the evolution of space in time should be robust in general. Any fine-tuning of cosmological parameters weaken the independency of the fundamental theory. Philosophically, it can be assumed that in the early time, there has not been any agent to tune the cosmological parameters. Smolin and his colleagues in a series of works show that, based on the loop quantization of spacetime, in the very early time, a simple evolutionary model (similar to the sand pile model) behaves as a power law distribution on both the size and area of avalanche.

    • Although, this model, which is restricted only on the frozen spin networks, exhibits a non-stationary expansion of the universe. However, it is the first serious attempt toward the final ambitious goal of determining the cosmic expansion and inflation based on a self-organized criticality theory in which the parameters are not tuned, but instead are determined from within the complex system.[5]

Self-organization vs. entropy

Statistical mechanics informs us that large scale phenomena can be viewed as a large system of small interacting particles, whose processes are assumed consistent with well established mechanical laws such as entropy, i.e., equilibrium thermodynamics. However, “… following the macroscopic point of view the same physical media can be thought of as continua whose properties of evolution are given by phenomenological laws between directly measurable quantities on our scale, such as, for example, the pressure, the temperature, or the concentrations of the different components of the media. The macroscopic perspective is of interest because of its greater simplicity of formalism and because it is often the only view practicable.” Against this background, Glansdorff and Ilya Prigogine introduced a deeper view at the microscopic level, where “… the principles of thermodynamics explicitly make apparent the concept of irreversibility and along with it the concept of dissipation and temporal orientation which were ignored by classical (or quantum) dynamics, where the time appears as a simple parameter and the trajectories are entirely reversible.”[6]
As a result, processes considered part of thermodynamically open systems, such as biological processes that are constantly receiving, transforming and dissipating chemical energy (and even the earth itself which is constantly receiving and dissipating solar energy), can and do exhibit properties of self organization far from thermodynamic equilibrium.
A laser can also be characterized as a self organized system to the extent that normal states of thermal equilibrium characterized by electromagnetic energy absorption are stimulated out of equilibrium in a reverse of the absorption process. “If the matter can be forced out of thermal equilibrium to a sufficient degree, so that the upper state has a higher population than the lower state (population inversion), then more stimulated emission than absorption occurs, leading to coherent growth (amplification or gain) of the electromagnetic wave at the transition frequency.”[7]

Self-organization in chemistry


The DNA structure at left (schematic shown) will self-assemble into the structure visualized by atomic force microscopy at right. Image from Strong.[8]
Self-organization in chemistry includes:
  1. molecular self-assembly
  2. reaction-diffusion systems and oscillating chemical reactions
  3. autocatalytic networks (see: autocatalytic set)
  4. liquid crystals
  5. colloidal crystals
  6. self-assembled monolayers
  7. micelles
  8. microphase separation of block copolymers
  9. Langmuir-Blodgett films

Self-organization in biology


Birds flocking, an example of self-organization in biology
According to Scott Camazine.. [et al.]:
In biological systems self-organization is a process in which pattern at the global level of a system emerges solely from numerous interactions among the lower-level components of the system. Moreover, the rules specifying interactions among the system's components are executed using only local information, without reference to the global pattern.[9]
The following is an incomplete list of the diverse phenomena which have been described as self-organizing in biology.
  1. spontaneous folding of proteins and other biomacromolecules
  2. formation of lipid bilayer membranes
  3. homeostasis (the self-maintaining nature of systems from the cell to the whole organism)
  4. pattern formation and morphogenesis, or how the living organism develops and grows. See also embryology.
  5. the coordination of human movement, e.g. seminal studies of bimanual coordination by Kelso
  6. the creation of structures by social animals, such as social insects (bees, ants, termites), and many mammals
  7. flocking behaviour (such as the formation of flocks by birds, schools of fish, etc.)
  8. the origin of life itself from self-organizing chemical systems, in the theories of hypercycles and autocatalytic networks
  9. the organization of Earth's biosphere in a way that is broadly conducive to life (according to the controversial Gaia hypothesis)

Self-organization in mathematics and computer science


Gosper's Glider Gun creating "gliders" in the cellular automaton Conway's Game of Life.[10]
As mentioned above, phenomena from mathematics and computer science such as cellular automata, random graphs, and some instances of evolutionary computation and artificial life exhibit features of self-organization. In swarm robotics, self-organization is used to produce emergent behavior. In particular the theory of random graphs has been used as a justification for self-organization as a general principle of complex systems. In the field of multi-agent systems, understanding how to engineer systems that are capable of presenting self-organized behavior is a very active research area.

Self-organization in cybernetics

Wiener regarded the automatic serial identification of a black box and its subsequent reproduction as sufficient to meet the condition of self-organization.[11] The importance of phase locking or the "attraction of frequencies", as he called it, is discussed in the 2nd edition of his "Cybernetics".[12] Drexler sees self-replication as a key step in nano and universal assembly.
By contrast, the four concurrently connected galvanometers of W. Ross Ashby's Homeostat hunt, when perturbed, to converge on one of many possible stable states.[13] Ashby used his state counting measure of variety[14] to describe stable states and produced the "Good Regulator"[15] theorem which requires internal models for self-organized endurance and stability.
Warren McCulloch proposed "Redundancy of Potential Command"[16] as characteristic of the organization of the brain and human nervous system and the necessary condition for self-organization.
Heinz von Foerster proposed Redundancy, R = 1- H/Hmax , where H is entropy.[17] In essence this states that unused potential communication bandwidth is a measure of self-organization.
In the 1970s Stafford Beer considered this condition as necessary for autonomy which identifies self-organization in persisting and living systems. Using Variety analyses he applied his neurophysiologically derived recursive Viable System Model to management. It consists of five parts: the monitoring of performance[18] of the survival processes (1), their management by recursive application of regulation (2), homeostatic operational control (3) and development (4) which produce maintenance of identity (5) under environmental perturbation. Focus is prioritized by an "algedonic loop" feedback:[19] a sensitivity to both pain and pleasure.
In the 1990s Gordon Pask pointed out von Foerster's H and Hmax were not independent and interacted via countably infinite recursive concurrent spin processes[20] (he favoured the Bohm interpretation) which he called concepts (liberally defined in any medium, "productive and, incidentally reproductive"). His strict definition of concept "a procedure to bring about a relation"[21] permitted his theorem "Like concepts repel, unlike concepts attract"[22] to state a general spin based Principle of Self-organization. His edict, an exclusion principle, "There are No Doppelgangers"[23] means no two concepts can be the same (all interactions occur with different perspectives making time incommensurable for actors). This means, after sufficient duration as differences assert, all concepts will attract and coalesce as pink noise and entropy increases (and see Big Crunch, self-organized criticality). The theory is applicable to all organizationally closed or homeostatic processes that produce endurance and coherence (also in the sense of Reshcher Coherence Theory of Truth with the proviso that the sets and their members exert repulsive forces at their boundaries) through interactions: evolving, learning and adapting.
Pask's Interactions of actors "hard carapace" model is reflected in some of the ideas of emergence and coherence. It requires a knot emergence topology that produces radiation during interaction with a unit cell that has a prismatic tensegrity structure. Laughlin's contribution to emergence reflects some of these constraints.

Self-organization in human society


Social self-organization in international drug routes
The self-organizing behaviour of social animals and the self-organization of simple mathematical structures both suggest that self-organization should be expected in human society. Tell-tale signs of self-organization are usually statistical properties shared with self-organizing physical systems (see Zipf's law, power law, Pareto principle). Examples such as Critical mass (sociodynamics), herd behaviour, groupthink and others, abound in sociology, economics, behavioral finance and anthropology.[24]
In social theory the concept of self-referentiality has been introduced as a sociological application of self-organization theory by Niklas Luhmann (1984). For Luhmann the elements of a social system are self-producing communications, i.e. a communication produces further communications and hence a social system can reproduce itself as long as there is dynamic communication. For Luhmann human beings are sensors in the environment of the system.{p410 Social System 1995} Luhmann developed an evolutionary theory of Society and its subsytems, using functional analyses and systems theory. {Social Systems 1995}.
Self-organization in human and computer networks can give rise to a decentralized, distributed, self-healing system, protecting the security of the actors in the network by limiting the scope of knowledge of the entire system held by each individual actor. The Underground Railroad is a good example of this sort of network. The networks that arise from drug trafficking exhibit similar self-organizing properties. Parallel examples exist in the world of privacy-preserving computer networks such as Tor. In each case, the network as a whole exhibits distinctive synergistic behavior through the combination of the behaviors of individual actors in the network. Usually the growth of such networks is fueled by an ideology or sociological force that is adhered to or shared by all participants in the network.[original research?][citation needed]

In economics

In economics, a market economy is sometimes said to be self-organizing. Paul Krugman has written on the role that market self-organization plays in the business cycle in his book "The Self Organizing Economy"[25]. Friedrich Hayek coined the term catallaxy to describe a "self-organizing system of voluntary co-operation," in regard to capitalism. Most modern economists hold that imposing central planning usually makes the self-organized economic system less efficient. By contrast, some socialist economists consider that market failures are so significant that self-organization produces bad results and that the state should direct production and pricing. Many economists adopt an intermediate position and recommend a mixture of market economy and command economy characteristics (sometimes called a mixed economy). When applied to economics, the concept of self-organization can quickly become ideologically-imbued (as explained in chapter 5 of A. Marshall, The Unity of Nature, Imperial College Press, 2002).

In collective intelligence


Visualization of links between pages on a wiki. This is an example of collective intelligence through collaborative editing.
Non-thermodynamic concepts of entropy and self-organization have been explored by many theorists. Cliff Joslyn and colleagues and their so-called "global brain" projects. Marvin Minsky's "Society of Mind" and the no-central editor in charge policy of the open sourced internet encyclopedia, called Wikipedia, are examples of applications of these principles - see collective intelligence.
Donella Meadows, who codified twelve leverage points that a self-organizing system could exploit to organize itself, was one of a school of theorists who saw human creativity as part of a general process of adapting human lifeways to the planet and taking humans out of conflict with natural processes. See Gaia philosophy, deep ecology, ecology movement and Green movement for similar self-organizing ideals. (The connections between self-organisation and Gaia theory and the environmental movement are explored in A. Marshall, 2002, The Unity of Nature, Imperial College Press: London).

Self-organization in linguistics

Self-organization refers to a property by which complex systems spontaneously generate organized structures"[26].[Full citation needed] It is the spontaneous formation of well organized structures, patterns, or behaviors, from random initial conditions. It is the process of macroscopic outcomes emerging from local interactions of components of the system, but the global organizational properties are not to be found at the local level. The systems used to study this phenomenon are referred to as dynamical systems: state-determined systems. They possess a large number of elements or variables, and thus very large state spaces.
Traditional framework of good science is Reductionism, in the sense that sub-parts are studied individually to understand the bigger part. However, many natural systems cannot simply be explained by a reductionist study of their parts. Self-organization is not studying the whole structure by breaking it down to smaller sub-parts which are then studied individually. The emphasis of the “self-organization” is, rather, the process of how a super macro global structure evolves from local interactions.
"The self that gets organized should not be just the language ability but the cluster of competencies through which it emerges. These probably include a variety of cognitive, social, affective, and motor skills."[27][Full citation needed] The human brains, and thus the phenomena of sensation and thought, are also under the strong influence of features of spontaneous organization in their structure. Indeed, the brain, composed of billions of neurons dynamically interacting among themselves and with the outside world, is the prototype of a complex system. A good example of self organization in linguistics is the evolution of Nicaraguan Sign Language. Examples of linguistic questions in the light of self organization are: e.g. the decentralized generation of lexical and semantic conventions in populations of agents.[28][Full citation needed][29][Full citation needed];the formation of conventionalized syntactic structures[30];[Full citation needed] the conditions under which combinatoriality, the property of systematic reuse, can be selected[31];[Full citation needed] shared inventories of vowels or syllables in groups of agents, with features of structural regularities greatly resembling those of human languages[32][Full citation needed][33][Full citation needed]

Methodology

In many complex systems in nature, there are global phenomena that are the irreducible result of local interactions between components whose individual study would not allow us to see the global properties of the whole combined system. Thus, a growing number of researchers think that many properties of language are not directly encoded by any of the components involved, but are the self-organized outcomes of the interactions of the components.
Building mathematical models in the context of research into language origins and the evolution of languages is enjoying growing popularity in the scientific community, because it is a crucial tool for studying the phenomena of language in relation to the complex interactions of its components. These systems are put to two main types of use: 1) they serve to evaluate the internal coherence of verbally expressed theories already proposed by clarifying all their hypotheses and verifying that they do indeed lead to the proposed conclusions ; 2) they serve to explore and generate new theories, which themselves often appear when one simply tries to build an artificial system reproducing the verbal behavior of humans.
Therefore, constructing operational models to test hypothesis in linguistics is gaining popularity these days. An operational model is one which defines the set of its assumptions explicitly and above all shows how to calculate their consequences, that is, to prove that they lead to a certain set of conclusions.

[edit] In the emergence of language

The emergence of language in the human species has been described in a game-theoretic framework based on a model of senders and receivers of information (Clark 2009[34], following Skyrms 2004[35]).[Full citation needed] The evolution of certain properties of language such as inference follow from this sort of framework (with the parameters stating that information transmitted can be partial or redundant, and the underlying assumption that the sender and receiver each want to take the action in his/her best interest) [36].[Full citation needed] Likewise, models have shown that compositionality, a central component of human language, emerges dynamically during linguistic evolution, and need not be introduced by biological evolution (Kirby 2000)[37].[Full citation needed] Tomasello (1999)[38][Full citation needed] argues that through one evolutionary step, the ability to sustain culture, the groundwork for the evolution of human language was laid. The ability to ratchet cultural advances cumulatively allowed for the complex development of human cognition unseen in other animals.

[edit] In language acquisition

Within a species' ontogeny, the acquisition of language has also been shown to self-organize. Through the ability to see others as intentional agents (theory of mind), and actions such as 'joint attention,' human children have the scaffolding they need to learn the language of those around them (Tomasello 1999)[39].[Full citation needed]

In articulatory phonology

Articulatory phonology takes the approach that speech production consists of a coordinated series of gestures, called 'constellations,' which are themselves dynamical systems. In this theory, linguistic contrast comes from the distinction between such gestural units, which can be described on a low-dimensional level in the abstract. However, these structures are necessarily context-dependent in real-time production. Thus the context-dependence emerges naturally from the dynamical systems themselves. This statement is controversial, however, as it suggests a universal phonetics which is not evident across languages[40]. Cross-linguistic patterns show that what can be treated as the same gestural units produce different contextualised patterns in different languages[41]. Articulatory Phonology fails to attend to the acoustic output of the gestures themselves (meaning that many typological patterns remain unexplained)[42]. Freedom among listeners in the weighting of perceptual cues in the acoustic signal has a more fundamental role to play in the emergence of structure[43]. The realization of the perceptual contrasts by means of articulatory movements means that articulatory considerations do play a role[44], but these are purely secondary.

In diachrony and synchrony

Several mathematical models of language change rely on self-organizing or dynamical systems. Abrams and Strogatz (2003)[45][Full citation needed] produced a model of language change that focused on “language death” - the process by which a speech community merges into the surrounding speech communities. Nakamura et al. (2008)[46][Full citation needed] proposed a variant of this model that incorporates spatial dynamics into language contact transactions in order to describe the emergence of creoles. Both of these models proceed from the assumption that language change, like any self-organizing system, is a large-scale act or entity (in this case the creation or death of a language, or changes in its boundaries) that emerges from many actions on a micro-level. The microlevel in this example is the everyday production and comprehension of language by speakers in areas of language contact.

See also

References

  1. ^ Glansdorff, P., Prigogine, I. (1971). Thermodynamic Theory of Structure, Stability and Fluctuations, Wiley-Interscience, London. ISBN 0471302805
  2. ^ Eric. Bonabeau, Marco Dorigo, and Guy Theraulaz (1999). Swarm intelligence: from natural to artificial systems. pp.9-11.
  3. ^ Ashby, W.R., (1947): Principles of the Self-Organizing Dynamic System, In: Journal of General Psychology 1947. volume 37, pages 125--128
  4. ^ As an indication of the increasing importance of this concept, when queried with the keyword self-organ*, Dissertation Abstracts finds nothing before 1954, and only four entries before 1970. There were 17 in the years 1971--1980; 126 in 1981--1990; and 593 in 1991--2000.
  5. ^ Self-organized theory in quantum gravity
  6. ^ “Thermodynamics, Nonequilibrium,” Glansdorff, P. & Prigogine, I. The Encyclopedia of Physics, Second Edition, edited by Lerner, R. and Trigg, G., VCH Publishers, 1991. Pp. 1256-1262.
  7. ^ “Lasers,” Zeiger, H.J. and Kelley, P.L. The Encyclopedia of Physics, Second Edition, edited by Lerner, R. and Trigg, G., VCH Publishers, 1991. Pp. 614-619.
  8. ^ M. Strong (2004). "Protein Nanomachines". PLoS Biol. 2 (3): e73-e74. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020073. 
  9. ^ Camazine, Deneubourg, Franks, Sneyd, Theraulaz, Bonabeau, Self-Organization in Biological Systems, Princeton University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-691-11624-5 --ISBN 0-691-01211-3 (pbk.) p. 8
  10. ^ Daniel Dennett (1995), Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Penguin Books, London, ISBN 978-0-14-016734-4, ISBN 0-14-016734-X
  11. ^ The mathematics of self-organising systems. Recent developments in information and decision processes, Macmillan, N. Y., 1962.
  12. ^ Cybernetics, or control and communication in the animal and the machine, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. and Wiley, N.Y., 1948. 2nd Edition 1962 "Chapter X "Brain Waves and Self-Organizing Systems"pp 201-202.
  13. ^ "Design for a Brain" Chapter 5 Chapman & Hall (1952) and "An Introduction to Cybernetics" Chapman & Hall (1956)
  14. ^ "An Introduction to Cybernetics" Part Two Chapman & Hall (1956)
  15. ^ Conant and Ashby Int. J. Systems Sci., 1970, vol 1, No 2, pp89-97 and in "Mechanisms of Intelligence" ed Roger Conant Intersystems Publications (1981)
  16. ^ "Embodiments of Mind MIT Press (1965)"
  17. ^ "A Predictive Model for Self-Organizing Systems", Part I: Cybernetica 3, pp. 258–300; Part II: Cybernetica 4, pp. 20–55, 1961 with Gordon Pask.
  18. ^ "Brain of the Firm" Alan Lane (1972) see also Viable System Model also in "Beyond Dispute " Wiley Stafford Beer 1994 "Redundancy of Potential Command" pp157-158.
  19. ^ see "Brain.." and "Beyond Dispute"
  20. ^ * 1996, Heinz von Foerster's Self-Organisation, the Progenitor of Conversation and Interaction Theories, Systems Research (1996) 13, 3, pp. 349-362
  21. ^ "Conversation, Cognition and Learning" Elesevier (1976) see Glossary.
  22. ^ "On Gordon Pask" Nick Green in "Gordon Pask remembered and celebrated: Part I" Kybernetes 30, 5/6, 2001 p 676 (a.k.a. Pask's self-described "Last Theorem")
  23. ^ proof para. 188 Pask (1992) and postulates 15-18 in Pask (1996)
  24. ^ cmol.nbi.dk Interactive models
  25. ^ "The Self Organizing Economy". 1996. http://www.amazon.com/Self-Organizing-Economy-Paul-R-Krugman/dp/1557866996
  26. ^ de Boer, B, 1998
  27. ^ Wimsatt, p. 232, Cycles of Contingency
  28. ^ Steels, 1997
  29. ^ Kaplan, 2001
  30. ^ Batali, 1998
  31. ^ Kirby, 1998
  32. ^ de Boer, 2001
  33. ^ Oudeyer, 2001
  34. ^ Clark 2009
  35. ^ Skyrms 2004
  36. ^ (Skyrms 2004)
  37. ^ Kirby 2000
  38. ^ Tomasello (1999)
  39. ^ Tomasello 1999
  40. ^ Sole, M-J. (1992). "Phonetic and phonological processes: nasalization." Language & Speech 35: 29-43
  41. ^ Ladefoged, Peter (2003). "Commentary: some thoughts on syllables - an old-fashioned interlude." In Local, John, Richard Ogden & Ros Temple (eds.). Papers in laboratory Phonology VICambridge University Press: 269-276.
  42. ^ see papers in Phonetica 49, 1992, special issue on Articulatory Phonology
  43. ^ Ohala, John J. (1996) "Speech perception is hearing sounds, not tongues." Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 99: 1718-1725.
  44. ^ Lindblom, B. (1999). "Emergent phonology.", doi=10.1.1.10.9538
  45. ^ Abrams and Strogatz (2003)
  46. ^ Nakamura et al. (2008)

Further reading

  • W. Ross Ashby (1947), "Principles of the Self-Organizing Dynamic System", Journal of General Psychology Vol 37, pp. 125–128.
  • W. Ross Ashby (1966), Design for a Brain, Chapman & Hall, 2nd edition.
  • Per Bak (1996), How Nature Works: The Science of Self-Organized Criticality, Copernicus Books.
  • Philip Ball (1999), The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature, Oxford University Press.
  • Stafford Beer, Self-organization as autonomy: Brain of the Firm 2nd edition Wiley 1981 and Beyond Dispute Wiley 1994.
  • A. Bejan (2000), Shape and Structure, from Engineering to Nature , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 324 pp.
  • Mark Buchanan (2002), Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Theory of Networks W. W. Norton & Company.
  • Scott Camazine, Jean-Louis Deneubourg, Nigel R. Franks, James Sneyd, Guy Theraulaz, & Eric Bonabeau (2001) Self-Organization in Biological Systems, Princeton Univ Press.
  • Falko Dressler (2007), Self-Organization in Sensor and Actor Networks, Wiley & Sons.
  • Manfred Eigen and Peter Schuster (1979), The Hypercycle: A principle of natural self-organization, Springer.
  • Myrna Estep (2003), A Theory of Immediate Awareness: Self-Organization and Adaptation in Natural Intelligence, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Myrna L. Estep (2006), Self-Organizing Natural Intelligence: Issues of Knowing, Meaning, and Complexity, Springer-Verlag.
  • J. Doyne Farmer et al. (editors) (1986), "Evolution, Games, and Learning: Models for Adaptation in Machines and Nature", in: Physica D, Vol 22.
  • Heinz von Foerster and George W. Zopf, Jr. (eds.) (1962), Principles of Self-Organization (Sponsored by Information Systems Branch, U.S. Office of Naval Research.
  • "Aeshchines" (false identity made in reference to the classical Greek orator Aeschines) (2007). "The Open Source Manifesto" the self organization of economic and geopolitical structure through the Open Source movement permanent link at Sourceforge.net
  • Carlos Gershenson and Francis Heylighen (2003). "When Can we Call a System Self-organizing?" In Banzhaf, W, T. Christaller, P. Dittrich, J. T. Kim, and J. Ziegler, Advances in Artificial Life, 7th European Conference, ECAL 2003, Dortmund, Germany, pp. 606–614. LNAI 2801. Springer.
  • Hermann Haken (1983) Synergetics: An Introduction. Nonequilibrium Phase Transition and Self-Organization in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, Third Revised and Enlarged Edition, Springer-Verlag.
  • F.A. Hayek Law, Legislation and Liberty, RKP, UK.
  • Francis Heylighen (2001): "The Science of Self-organization and Adaptivity".
  • Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen (1998), Self-Organized Criticality: Emergent Complex Behaviour in Physical and Biological Systems, Cambridge Lecture Notes in Physics 10, Cambridge University Press.
  • Steven Berlin Johnson (2001), Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software.
  • Stuart Kauffman (1995), At Home in the Universe, Oxford University Press.
  • Stuart Kauffman (1993), Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution Oxford University Press.
  • J. A. Scott Kelso (1995), Dynamic Patterns: The self-organization of brain and behavior, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • J. A. Scott Kelso & David A Engstrom (2006), "The Complementary Nature", The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • Alex Kentsis (2004), Self-organization of biological systems: Protein folding and supramolecular assembly, Ph.D. Thesis, New York University.
  • E.V.Krishnamurthy(2009)," Multiset of Agents in a Network for Simulation of Complex Systems", in "Recent advances in Nonlinear Dynamics and synchronization, ,(NDS-1) -Theory and applications, Springer Verlag, New York,2009. Eds. K.Kyamakya et al.
  • Paul Krugman (1996), The Self-Organizing Economy, Cambridge, Mass., and Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Niklas Luhmann (1995) Social Systems. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Elizabeth McMillan (2004) "Complexity, Organizations and Change".
  • Marshall, A (2002) The Unity of Nature, Imperial College Press: London (esp. chapter 5)
  • Müller, J.-A., Lemke, F. (2000), Self-Organizing Data Mining.
  • Gregoire Nicolis and Ilya Prigogine (1977) Self-Organization in Non-Equilibrium Systems, Wiley.
  • Heinz Pagels (1988), The Dreams of Reason: The Computer and the Rise of the Sciences of Complexity, Simon & Schuster.
  • Gordon Pask (1961), The cybernetics of evolutionary processes and of self organizing systems, 3rd. International Congress on Cybernetics, Namur, Association Internationale de Cybernetique.
  • Gordon Pask (1993) Interactions of Actors (IA), Theory and Some Applications, Download incomplete 90 page manuscript.
  • Gordon Pask (1996) Heinz von Foerster's Self-Organisation, the Progenitor of Conversation and Interaction Theories, Systems Research (1996) 13, 3, pp. 349–362
  • Christian Prehofer ea. (2005), "Self-Organization in Communication Networks: Principles and Design Paradigms", in: IEEE Communications Magazine, July 2005.
  • Mitchell Resnick (1994), Turtles, Termites and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds, Complex Adaptive Systems series, MIT Press.
  • Lee Smolin (1997), The Life of the Cosmos Oxford University Press.
  • Ricard V. Solé and Brian C. Goodwin (2001), Signs of Life: How Complexity Pervades Biology, Basic Books.
  • Ricard V. Solé and Jordi Bascompte (2006), Selforganization in Complex Ecosystems, Princeton U. Press
  • Steven Strogatz (2004), Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order, Theia.
  • D'Arcy Thompson (1917), On Growth and Form, Cambridge University Press, 1992 Dover Publications edition.
  • Norbert Wiener (1962), The mathematics of self-organising systems. Recent developments in information and decision processes, Macmillan, N. Y. and Chapter X in Cybernetics, or control and communication in the animal and the machine, The MIT Press, 2nd Edition 1962
  • Tom De Wolf, Tom Holvoet (2005), Emergence Versus Self-Organisation: Different Concepts but Promising When Combined, In Engineering Self Organising Systems: Methodologies and Applications, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, volume 3464, pp 1–15.
  • Tsekeris, Charalambos and Konstantinos Koskinas (2010) "A Weak Reflection on Unpredictability and Social Theory", tripleC – Cognition, Communication, Co-operation: Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society, 8, 1, pp. 36-42.
  • K. Yee (2003), "Ownership and Trade from Evolutionary Games," International Review of Law and Economics, 23.2, 183-197.
  • Louise B. Young (2002), The Unfinished Universe
  • Mikhail Prokopenko (ed.) (2008), Advances in Applied Self-organizing Systems, Springer.

[edit] External links

Dissertations and Theses on Self-organization