Archivio per 15 aprile 2015


Impossible scenarios: how do we make decisions in complexity? | Spark the Change

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

The General Manager (GM) of a municipal department was repeatedly getting bad press for the all-too apparent failings in maintaining city roads, drainage, sewage, and water. Continuous breakdowns in water supply, blockages in main drains and sewers were inconveniencing city residents and creating high costs in property damage. City Council was being taken to court for several cases of significant damage exacerbated by its insurer’s reluctance to settle claims promptly or on a reasonable basis.

The GM was being accused and abused by the press, the residents, his superiors, elected councilors and by his managers and staff who were taking much of the heat. He fell seriously ill.  While on sick leave the Mayor called him to discuss what he was going to do to address the growing storm of protest that was negatively affecting his chances of re-election. What did he have to say?

Up until now, his decisions were based on his lengthy experience with how to fix issues. In this new dilemma he was expected to come up with a ‘silver bullet’. But how?

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The Upside to Right-Sizing

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

As counter intuitive as it may seem, many financial advisors have achieved substantial breakthroughs on a multitude of levels by disassociating from certain clients who were no longer a good fit. Especially for an advisor who has hit a plateau with his or her business, often the best way to increase the amount of money they were managing was to decrease the number of relationships they were managing. And in the process, these same advisors were able to project scarcity to their clients and prospective clients and ensure those people focus on what the advisors are worth rather than what they c

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Workshop: Living systems, from interaction patterns to critical behavior

See on Scoop.itCxConferences

VENEZIA, San Servolo Island, 16-19 September 2015. 

The workshop will present a wide-range of interdisciplinary problems using creative approaches grounded in statistical physics. 

In particular there will be three main sections: Bio (micro-scale), Bio2Eco (meso-scale) and Eco (macro-scale). In each section it will be given a series of lectures and seminars.

*** DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: June 15, 2015 ****

Recent availability of large volumes of ecological and biological data spanning a wide range of scales, made it evident that, despite their diversity, living systems are characterized by patterns/regularities repeated from microscopic to global scales. This workshop aims to explore how these recurrent phenomena emerge as the result of concerted interactions among their constituent elements (e.g. species, or genes), using a combination of approaches inspired by statistical mechanics, network analysis and the theory of complex systems. The aim of the workshop is to introduce students and young researchers with strong background in quantitative sciences to methods and ideas used to describe such complex systems. The range of topics covered at the workshop is very broad, ranging from genomics to ecology, with the ultimate goal of identifying similarities and differences of complex biological systems operating at different scales.

Fee* 150 euro. (*) We will grants 3 fee waivers to support the attendance of PhD students and Junior Post Doctoral researchers (no more than two years from their PhD completion). Prospective participants who are eligible should accompany send an email to the Organizing Committee ( requiring the fee waiver, providing the CV and a motivation letter. The acceptance will be notified together with the admission to the school.


 Sergey Maslov

Kim Sneppen

Antonio Celani 

Amos Maritan

Stefano Allesina

Joshua Weitz

Invited Speakers

Andrea Rinaldo

Jayanth Banavar

Henrik Jensen

Flavio Seno

Paolo De los Rios

Achille Giacometti

Guido Tiana

Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino

Sandro Azaele


For details see:

On September 19 afternoon, we will organise a guided Tour in Venice that will conclude with the Social Dinner.

For more information and application:


Twitter:   @Liph_lab

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I watch therefore I am: seven movies that teach us key philosophy lessons

See on Scoop.itBrain Tricks: Belief, Bias, and Blindspots

How can we do the right thing?
Force Majeure
If you had lived in Germany in 1939, would you have helped protect Jews or gone along with their systematic extermination? If you had been an MP 10 years ago, would you have milked your expenses for what they were worth? And if you and your family faced a threat, would you protect them or save yourself?

We all like to think that in such situations our basic decency would shine through, but we can never know. This is the central theme of Force Majeure, in which an avalanche suddenly threatens to engulf a Swedish family enjoying lunch on the terrace of a plush ski resort. The husband and father, Tomas, flunks his test. Instead of trying to shield his wife and children he runs away, not forgetting his precious smartphone.

In the aftermath, several characters try to excuse him. “In situations like these you’re not always aware of what you do,” says one. “You try to survive.” Aristotle would not have been satisfied by this or the other excuses offered in Tomas’s defence. He would have insisted that in those few seconds, Tomas revealed his character.

Aristotle’s insight was that we rarely have the time or opportunity to sit down and think about what the best thing to do is before acting. Indeed, a good person does not have to do this. To become good you have to practise being good by cultivating the habits of goodness. Only then will you find yourself doing the right thing almost automatically. If you practise thinking about what you want to be and doing what is necessary to become that person, when you are tested you will be able to do the right thing without thinking.

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Macroscopic description of complex adaptive networks co-evolving with dynamic node states

See on Scoop.itSocial Foraging

In many real-world complex systems, the time-evolution of the network’s structure and the dynamic state of its nodes are closely entangled. Here, we study opinion formation and imitation on an adaptive complex network which is dependent on the individual dynamic state of each node and vice versa to model the co-evolution of renewable resources with the dynamics of harvesting agents on a social network. The adaptive voter model is coupled to a set of identical logistic growth models and we show that in such systems, the rate of interactions between nodes as well as the adaptive rewiring probability play a crucial role for the sustainability of the system’s equilibrium state. We derive a macroscopic description of the system which provides a general framework to model and quantify the influence of single node dynamics on the macroscopic state of the network and is applicable to many fields of study, such as epidemic spreading or social modeling.

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If Algorithms Know All, How Much Should Humans Help?

See on Scoop.itMindfull Decision Making

“…the stakes are rising as the methods and mind-set of data science spread across the economy and society. Big companies and start-ups are beginning to use the technology in decisions like medical diagnosis, crime prevention and loan approvals. The application of data science to such fields raises questions of when close human supervision of an algorithm’s results is needed.”

Philippe Vallat’s insight:

The Laplace’s demon is not dead… Machines can compute and deduce, but certainly not decide – as decision always includes some uncertainty. True is also that some fact finding and calculation can reduce human biases – as long as enough time and quality and availability of the data are given.

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Facebook Admits to Tracking Web Browsing Activity of Non-Users

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Facebook sostiene un bug causato da un cookie nel browser di tutti coloro che hanno visitato il sito. 

Gli annunci sorprendentemente ben mirati gli utenti vedono su Facebook sono una prova sufficiente che il gigante del social networking è  di inseguimento . Ora il sito ammette  che coloro che non hanno un profilo vengono monitorati pure, ma solo a causa di un bug.

La rivelazione che Facebook  traccia  l’attività di navigazione web di tutti i visitatori viene cortesia di un  nuovo rapporto  da un gruppo di ricercatori europei. La relazione ha scoperto che Facebook mette un cookie nel browser che visitano ogni pagina all’interno del dominio di Facebook, tra cui quelli che non richiedono un account. I cookie sono un metodo comune di tracciare le abitudini del browser sul web.

L’agenzia per la protezione dei dati belga ha commissionato il rapporto nel mese di febbraio, dopo di Facebook sulla privacy è stato  segnalato  per essere in violazione del diritto europeo. Controlli della privacy del sito erano troppo complessi per gli utenti di navigare e consenso adeguata non è stato ottenuto prima che gli utenti sono stati profilati per gli inserzionisti di terze parti, la relazione ha rilevato. 

Alessandro Cerboni’s insight:

aggiungi la tua intuizione …

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Time is real? I think not

aprile: 2015
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