ժ NO2003.2

Complexity Digest 2003.02 January-12-2003

  Archive:  http://www.comdig.org, European Mirror:  http://www.comdig.de

Asian Mirror:  http://www.phil.pku.edu.cn/resguide/comdig/ (Chinese GB-Code)

"I think the next century will be the century of complexity." Stephen
Hawking, 2000

    1. Modelling Methodology And Forecast Failure, The Econometrics
          1.1. Plan To Erase Dividend Tax Not Likely To Aid All
                Investors, Florida Today
          1.2. Some Unintended Consequences of Tax-free Dividends, Dean
                LeBaron's View
     2. Now Playing: Reality Without the Downside, NYTimes
          2.1. 'Sims Online' Offers Surprises for the Sociable, Reuters
     3. Technical Efficiency In Telecom And The Impact Of Incentive
         Regulation, Appl. Math. Model.
     4. The Rise of The Intelligent Enterprise, ACM Ubiquity
     5. 'Gadget Printer' Promises Industrial Revolution, New Scientist
     6. Practical Quantum Computers Are Another Step Closer, The
          6.1. Quantum Computing: Putting It Into Practice, Nature
          6.2. Researchers Race to Put the Quantum Into Mechanics,
     7. Solving The Mystery Of Sleep Through Genetic Analysis, J.
     8. Vampire Bat Saliva Compound Could Help Treat Strokes,
         Scientific American
     9. Genetic And Environmental Influences On Human Psychological
         Differences, J. Neurobiology
          9.1. Newborn Neurons Search for Meaning, Science
    10. Cloned Pigs Behave Like ... Pigs, ScienceDaily
    11. Complexity and Life, Emergence
          11.1. What Are 3-D Spider Webs For?, Alphagalileo
          11.2. Animal Behaviour: The Lobster Navigators, Nature
          11.3. True Navigation And Magnetic Maps In Spiny Lobsters,
          11.4. Alternative Attractors May Boost Uncertainty And
                  Sensitivity, Eco. Modelling
          11.5. Social Slime Molds Meet Their Match, Science
    12. Molecular Evolution: Duplication, Duplication, Nature
          12.1. Role Of Duplicate Genes In Genetic Robustness Against
                  Null Mutations, Nature
    13. Virtual Bird Brain Matches Nature's Tunes, New Scientist
          13.1. A Biologist Explores the Minds of Birds That Learn to
                  Sing, NYTimes
          13.2. Selectivity for Conspecific Song in the Zebra Finch
                  Auditory Forebrain, J. Neurophysiol
    14. Brain Can Generate Unexplained Noise In Ears, ScienceDaily
    15. To See Is to Attend, Science
    16. Immune Cognitive Modules, Autoimmune Disease, and Pathogenic
         Social Hierarchy, CogPrints
    17. Sensitive Robots Taught To Gauge Human Emotion, EE Times
          17.1. The Importance Of Depression, Nature
          17.2. Robots For The Masses, CNET News.com
          17.3. Giving Robots The Gift Of Sight, CNET News.com
    18. Wizard's Chess, NYTimes
          18.1. Venezuela Crisis Complicates Iraq Situation, Experts Say,
          18.2. Brazil Needs A-Bomb Ability, Aide Says, Setting Off
                  Furor, NYTimes
          18.3. After Oil, Clean Energy From A Fuel-Cell-Driven Global
                  Hydrogen Web, E-Magazine
    19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
          19.1. Scientists Tell Washington Secrecy Impairs Research,
          19.2. Cascade-Based Attacks On Complex Networks, Phys. Rev. E
          19.3. Al Qaeda Suspects in Germany Detained in Custody, Reuters
          19.4. Paris Frees Airport Worker Who Was Framed as Terror
                  Suspect, NYTimes
    20. Links & Snippets
          20.1. Other Publications
          20.2. Webcast Announcements
          20.3. Conference Announcements
               20.3.1. Public Conference  Calls
               20.3.2. Listening Post, Sound Exhibit
          20.4. ComDig Announcement: New ComDig Archive in Beta Test

1. Modelling Methodology And Forecast Failure, The Econometrics Journal

Abstract: We analyse by simulation the impact of model¡Vselection
strategies (sometimes called pre¡Vtesting) on forecast performance in both
constant¡V and non¡Vconstant¡Vparameter processes. Restricted, unrestricted
and selected models are compared when either of the first two might
generate the data. We find little evidence that strategies such as
general¡Vto¡Vspecific induce significant over¡Vfitting, or thereby cause
forecast¡Vfailure rejection rates to greatly exceed nominal sizes.
Parameter non¡Vconstancies put a premium on correct specification, but in
general, model¡Vselection effects appear to be relatively small, and
progressive research is able to detect the mis¡Vspecifications.
Modelling Methodology And Forecast Failure, Clements M.P., Hendry D.F., The
Econometrics Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp: 319-344(26), Dec. 2002
Contributed by Pritha Das

Excerpts: Typically, that means companies wanting to lower their tax bill
will borrow money for various projects. An interest payment on borrowed
money is tax-deductible; dividend payments are not.

"Tax policy, therefore, biases corporate financing decisions in favor of
raising new money by way of debt," said Scott, who also writes textbooks on
corporate finance. (¡K)

"It can't pay it out of a fictitious number, and that's what some
accounting profits are," Scott said. "Thus, it makes the corporate
accounting process more clear, less opaque.

Plan To Erase Dividend Tax Not Likely To Aid All Investors, Wayne T. Price,
Florida Today, 03/01/10
See also: Some Unintended Consequences of Tax-free Dividends, Blake, Dean
LeBaron, , Dean LeBaron's View From NH, webcast, 03/01/08

2. Now Playing: Reality Without the Downside, NYTimes

Excerpts: The creator of this virtual world, There Inc., is calling it "the
first online getaway," a sort of digital Club Med (¡K).
And while chat is a major feature of There, the company's chief executive,
Tom Melcher, said it offers much more, including avatars enlivened with
artificial intelligence that look and act more realistically than typical
game characters. They appear to breathe. Their eyes blink, and their body
language - controlled by the user or left to software to animate - is meant
to make conversations feel more natural.

Now Playing: Reality Without the Downside, Michel Marriott, NYTimes, 03/01/09

Excerpts: ``The Sims Online'' may look like ``The Sims'' games, but it's a
vastly different product because all the characters in the online game are
controlled by real people. You can speak to them, you can relate to them,
and you can role-play with them. It's like having a secret life in a world
that is, for many reasons, friendlier than our own.(¡K)
Then it's time to select a fictitious virtual city to live in (¡K),
describe some likes/dislikes of your character, and choose a figure to
represent yourself.

'Sims Online' Offers Surprises for the Sociable, Reuters, 03/01/11

3. Technical Efficiency In Telecom And The Impact Of Incentive Regulation,
Appl. Math. Model.

Abstract: Incentive regulation has become an important regulatory tool in
the telecommunications industry in the United States. (¡K) a methodology
for measuring technical efficiency and its change is introduced. This is a
multiple-output/multiple-input distance function approach to measuring
technical efficiency. The results of implementing this approach for 19
local exchange carriers for the 1988-1999 period indicate that in the
production of local service, intrastate toll/access service, and interstate
access to local loops, there was no change in technical efficiency between
the 1988-1990 period and the 1991-1999 period, something that incentive
regulation was specifically designed to promote.
Technical Efficiency In Telecommunications In The United States And The
Impact Of Incentive Regulation, N. D. Uri, Appl. Math. Model., Vol. 27 (1),
pp. 53-67, Jan. 2003
Contributed by Atin Das

4. The Rise of The Intelligent Enterprise, ACM Ubiquity

Excerpt: This vision of the IE represents the magical and compelling
challenge of creating large-scale artifacts that closely resemble
nature-born living organisms -- very much like the Darwinian picture of the
world in which species are created, evolved and morphed into better forms
and superior organizations. Some of these species have disappeared and can
only be seen today in museums. There is no reason that something similar
may not happen to some contemporary enterprises. It seems that the lessons
from Mother Nature should be studied carefully by scientists,
technologists, business people and dream-driven futurists.
The Rise of The Intelligent Enterprise, Kemal A. Delic, Umeshwar Dayal, ACM
Ubiquity, Volume 3, Issue 45, 03/01/06

5. 'Gadget Printer' Promises Industrial Revolution, New Scientist

Excerpt: (...) fully assembled electric and electronic gadgets to be
printed in one go.
The idea was revealed at a December workshop on robotic algorithms in Nice.
Instead of creating a casing and then laboriously filling it with
electronic circuit boards, components and switches, the plan is to print a
complete and fully assembled device.

The trick is to print layer upon layer of conducting and semiconducting
polymers in such a way that the circuitry the device requires is built up
as part of the bodywork.

'Gadget Printer' Promises Industrial Revolution, New Scientist, 03/01/08

6. Practical Quantum Computers Are Another Step Closer, The Economist

Excerpt: (¡K) a qubit can represent a one and a zero simultaneously. This
allows each qubit to participate in more than one calculation at once,
which is why a quantum computer can run a large number of computations in
parallel. The problem is manipulating the qubits. Setting their initial
values is hard. So is reading the results. And while the computation is
performed, different qubits must interact with each other in carefully
controlled ways-aptly known as entanglement-while being kept isolated from
the environment outside the computer.
Practical Quantum Computers Are Another Step Closer, The Economist, 03/01/02

Excerpts: Building such a device would be extremely difficult, involving
placing individual atoms at precisely known locations inside a silicon chip
and then building tiny electrodes and transistors around them. These ideas
have been demonstrated (¡K) and a device with two phosphorus atoms has been
constructed. Early results suggest that these two atoms can be controlled
and observed. Another proposal based on superconducting quantum
interference devices (SQUIDs) has also made substantial progress (¡K).
Several working single-SQUID devices have been constructed, and attempts to
couple two SQUIDs are under way.
Quantum Computing: Putting It Into Practice, Jonathan Jones, Nature 421, 28
- 29 (2003), doi:10.1038/421028a

Excerpt: Atoms, molecules, and other minuscule particles must constantly
flit about because of a law of nature that says if you know precisely where
something is, you can't know where it's going, and vice versa. The
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is an unavoidable nuisance; experimental
physicists have observed countless times that the smallest bits of stuff in
nature wriggle whenever they try to pin them down. However, no one has
directly observed the ineluctable quantum quivering--or zero-point
motion--of a larger, humanmade object.
Researchers Race to Put the Quantum Into Mechanics, Adrian Cho, Science Jan
3 2003: 36-37

7. Solving The Mystery Of Sleep Through Genetic Analysis, J. Neurobiology

Abstract: Sleep has been identified in all mammals and nonmammalian
vertebrates that have been critically evaluated. In addition, sleep-like
states have also been identified and described in several invertebrates.
The completion of several genome sequencing projects has led to the
expectation that fundamental aspects of sleep can be elucidated through
genetic dissection. Indeed, studies in both the mouse and fly have begun to
reveal tantalizing suggestions about the underlying principles that
regulate sleep homeostasis. In this article we will review recent studies
that have used genetic techniques to evaluate sleep in the fruit fly and
the mouse.
Solving The Mystery Of Sleep Through Genetic Analysis, P. J. Shaw, P.
Franken, J. Neurobiology, Vol. 54, Issue 1, pp:179-202, Jan. 2003, DOI
Contributed by Atin Das

8. Vampire Bat Saliva Compound Could Help Treat Strokes, Scientific American

Excerpts: (...) vampire bat saliva contains a potent clot-busting substance
that could help a greater number of patients than current medications do.
Scientists identified the medicinally promising bat compound, an enzyme
known as desmoteplase or DSPA, more than a decade ago. The substance's true
function--to thin a vampire victim's blood so that it flows freely,
allowing the bat to feed--also makes it a candidate for treating strokes.
During an ischemic stroke one or more clots block the supply of blood to
the brain.

Vampire Bat Saliva Compound Could Help Treat Strokes, Sarah Graham,
Scientific American, 03/01/10

9. Genetic And Environmental Influences On Human Psychological Differences,
J. Neurobiology

Abstract: Psychological researchers typically distinguish five major
domains of individual differences in human behavior: cognitive abilities,
personality, social attitudes, psychological interests, and
psychopathology. In this article we: discuss a number of methodological
errors commonly found in research on human individual differences(¡K)
briefly outline the basic quantitative methods used in human behavioral
genetic research; review the major criticisms of behavior genetic designs,
with particular emphasis on the twin and adoption methods (¡K). We conclude
that there is now strong evidence that virtually all individual
psychological differences, when reliably measured, are moderately to
substantially heritable.
Genetic And Environmental Influences On Human Psychological Differences, T.
J. Bouchard, M. McGue, J. Neurobiology, Vol. 54, Issue 1, pp:4-45, Jan.
2003, DOI 10.1002/neu.10160
Contributed by Pritha Das

Excerpt: Indeed, until recently, brain neurons were thought to be
irreplaceable. Adult brains, we were taught, are unable to make new
neurons, so those with which we are endowed at birth must last a lifetime.
Major cracks in that dogma began to appear in the 1980s with the discovery
that some songbirds--warm-blooded vertebrates like ourselves--give birth to
waves of new brain neurons seasonally. Then researchers observed the birth
of new neurons--a process called neurogenesis--in the brains of adult
mammals, and the old view came crashing down.

Newborn Neurons Search for Meaning, Marcia Barinaga, Science Jan 3 2003: 32-34

10. Cloned Pigs Behave Like ... Pigs, ScienceDaily

Excerpts: The behavior of cloned pigs, produced last year at Texas A&M,
were compared to pigs bred normally.
"We found the variation within a litter of clones to be as variable or
greater (than the normal litters) at least 80 percent of the time for all
the tests that we did, they were pretty much regular litters of pigs". Two
litters of cloned pigs were compared to two litters of "control" pigs in
tests that measured the variation in food preference, temperament and how
pigs spend their time.
They played, ate, slept, fought and responded to outside stimuli with the
same range of behavior as the others.
Cloned Pigs Behave Like ... Pigs, ScienceDaily, 2003/01/06
Contributed by Atin Das

11. Complexity and Life, Emergence

Excerpt: And so more and more biologists are looking for a different answer
to Schrodinger's old question, "What is Life?" The conceptual revolution
that is now taking place in biology is a pro-found shift of emphasis from
the structure of genetic sequences to the organization of metabolic
networks. It is a shift from reductionist to systemic thinking. The issue,
simply stated, is this: To understand the nature of life, it is not enough
to understand DNA, proteins, and the other molecular structures that are
the building blocks of living organisms,
Complexity and Life, Fritjof Capra, Emergence, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2002

Excerpts: The classic radial or "orb" spider web captures flying insects
efficiently with a small amount of silk but such flat webs leave spiders
exposed to their own predators. The derived "araneoid sheet web weavers"
transformed the flat orb web into, usually, three-dimensional cobwebs and
sheet webs. These webs surround spiders with tangles of silk that can
provide both physical protection and early warning of predators. (¡K) these
three-dimensional webs are associated with a dramatic decrease in predation
by mud-dauber wasps (¡K). This escape from predation is accompanied by a
dramatic increase in both spider species diversity and abundance.

What Are 3-D Spider Webs For?, E. Davis , Alphagalileo, 2003/01/02
Contributed by Atin Das

Excerpts: When experimentally displaced in geomagnetic space, spiny
lobsters act as if to make their way home. This is a fascinating case of
navigation by an invertebrate using a magnetic map sense. (¡K)

 From the results of elegant displacement experiments in both geographical
and geomagnetic space, they conclude that the impressive homing capacity of
spiny lobsters is probably based on a map sense involving geomagnetic cues.
This is the first time that such true navigational capability has been
plausibly ascribed to an invertebrate.

Animal Behaviour: The Lobster Navigators, Thomas Alerstam, Nature 421, 27 -
28 (2003), doi:10.1038/421027a

Excerpts: Animals are capable of true navigation if, after displacement to
a location where they have never been, they can determine their position
relative to a goal without relying on familiar surroundings, cues that
emanate from the destination, or information collected during the outward
journey. (¡K)Lobsters tested in a field north of the capture site oriented
themselves southwards, whereas those tested in a field south of the capture
site oriented themselves northwards. (¡K) imply that true navigation in
spiny lobsters, and perhaps in other animals, is based on a magnetic map
True Navigation And Magnetic Maps In Spiny Lobsters, Larry C. Boles,
Kenneth J. Lohmann, Nature 421, 60 - 63 (2003); doi:10.1038/nature01226

Abstract: Numerous ecosystems, ranging from coral reefs, and forests to
deserts and lakes have been shown to possess alternative stable states. In
this paper we show that alternative attractors also have important
consequences (¡K) we found that the uncertainty in the model results may be
remarkably high under some conditions. We demonstrate that this high
uncertainty is caused by the alternative stable states of the model: if the
noise on the parameters exceeds a critical threshold, the model uncertainty
can increase steeply, due to switches to the other equilibrium. In the
vicinity of catastrophical bifurcation points, uncertainty approaches
infinity (¡K).
Alternative Attractors May Boost Uncertainty And Sensitivity In Ecological
Models, E. H. van Nes, M. Scheffer, Eco. Modelling, Vol. 159, Issues 2-3,
pp:117-124, 2003/01/15, DOI: 10.1016/S0304-3800(02)00278-8
Contributed by Pritha Das

Excerpt: And with good reason--if knockout cells reached the aggregate,
their reduced adhesion would displace them toward the trailing edge of the
slug, an area that preferentially develops into spores. This would cause
the good, green-beard cells to finish last. Such cheating is apparently
disfavored, and green-beard alleles resist displacement by less adhesive
mutants, just as green beards must have originally spread to supplant them.
But might mutations also occur in beard genes encoding other colors,
leading to clone-specific and thus nepotistic (rather than promiscuous)
Social Slime Molds Meet Their Match, Bernard Crespi, Stevan Springer,
Science Jan 3 2003: 56-57.

12. Molecular Evolution: Duplication, Duplication, Nature

Excerpts: Duplicated genes are common in genomes, perhaps because they
provide redundancy: if one copy is inactivated, the other can still work. A
new study quantifies the effects of deleting 'singletons' and duplicated
genes in yeast.
(¡K) In eukaryotes (loosely speaking, those organisms, such as humans,
whose DNA is packaged into cell nuclei), genomes seem to be far from
optimally designed, in that most stretches of DNA sequence do not code for
proteins, and even those small portions that do are often duplicated. Why
do organisms tolerate such apparent wastage?

Molecular Evolution: Duplication, Duplication, Axel Meyer, Nature 421, 31 -
32 (2003); doi:10.1038/421031a

Excerpt: Deleting a gene in an organism often has little phenotypic effect,
owing to two mechanisms of compensation. The first is the existence of
duplicate genes: that is, the loss of function in one copy can be
compensated by the other copy or copies. The second mechanism of
compensation stems from alternative metabolic pathways, regulatory
networks, and so on. The relative importance of the two mechanisms has not
been investigated except for a limited study, which suggested that the role
of duplicate genes in compensation is negligible.

Role Of Duplicate Genes In Genetic Robustness Against Null Mutations,
Zhenglong Gu, Lars M. Steinmetz, Xun Gu, Curt Scharfe, Ronald W., Davis,
Wen-Hsiung Li, Nature 421, 63 - 66 (2003); doi:10.1038/nature01198

13. Virtual Bird Brain Matches Nature's Tunes, New Scientist

  Excerpts: Adding a virtual brain to a computer model of a singing bird
has allowed scientists to figure out how birds compose their songs. The
feat hints that we might one day be able to map some of the complex
circuitry in an animal's brain just by listening to its calls.
When birds sing, they force air from their lungs past folds of tissue in
the voice box. (¡K) developed a simple computer model that mimics this
process to produce sound.

Virtual Bird Brain Matches Nature's Tunes, Hazel Muir, New Scientist, 03/01/03

Excerpts: These birds are among the few vocal-learning animal groups. By
measuring a certain gene that is activated in their brains when they are
producing their learned vocalizations, (¡K). None of these creatures are
closely related to one another. These pathways are not found in more
closely related birds that do not learn vocalizations.
Our findings indicate that brain pathways for a complex behavior can evolve
in very similar ways, multiple times. There's the possibility that human
language brain pathways have also evolved in ways similar to these birds.

A Biologist Explores the Minds of Birds That Learn to Sing, Claudia
Dreifus, NYTimes, 03/01/07

Excerpts: The selectivity of neurons in the zebra finch auditory forebrain
for natural sounds was investigated systematically. The principal auditory
forebrain area in songbirds consists of the tonotopically organized field L
complex, which, by its location in the auditory processing stream, can be
compared with the auditory cortex of mammals. (¡K) Such preferential
responses to natural sounds cannot be explained by linear frequency tuning
or simple nonlinear intensity tuning and requires linear or nonlinear
spectro-temporal neuronal transfer functions tuned to the acoustical
properties of song.
Selectivity for Conspecific Song in the Zebra Finch Auditory Forebrain,
Julie A. Grace, Noopur Amin, Nandini C. Singh, Frederic E., Theunissen, J.
Neurophysiol. 2003 January 1; 89(1): p. 472-487

14. Brain Can Generate Unexplained Noise In Ears, ScienceDaily

Excerpts: Unexplained and severe tinnitus--a ringing or buzzing in the
ears-can be temporarily reduced in some patients by "jamming" the brain's
electrical activity with focused magnetic stimulation, (¡K). The results
confirm that some phantom sounds are generated by abnormal activity in the
brain itself. "Controlled clinical trials are now necessary to evaluate
whether this method can permanently reduce and thus cure tinnitus," said
senior author Christian Gerloff, M.D, of the University of Tuebingen in
Germany. Many people experience tinnitus, defined as the perception of
sound in the absence of an obvious source, at some point in their lives.
Brain Can Generate Unexplained Noise In Ears, ScienceDaily, 2002/12/26
Contributed by Atin Das

15. To See Is to Attend, Science

Excerpts: (...) trained two monkeys to perform a task that required them to
prepare, but not immediately execute, a rapid eye movement or saccade. The
monkeys had to plan a saccade from a central "home" location to a
remembered location marked by a briefly flashed target dot (¡K).If the
probe was a "C" they were to make the saccade, (¡K). In this monkey task,
the maintained eye movement plan resulted in an increase in visual
sensitivity at the saccade goal that was dependent on attention.
To See Is to Attend, Steven Yantis, Science Jan 3 2003: 54-56

16. Immune Cognitive Modules, Autoimmune Disease, and Pathogenic Social
Hierarchy, CogPrints

Contributing Editor's Note: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an
autoimmune disease without a cure. The causes of the disease are still not
known. More information can be found here.
Abstract: Examining elevated rates of systemic lupus erythematosus in
African-American women from the perspective of the emerging theory of
immune cognition suggests the disease constitutes an internalized
physiological image of external patterns of psychosocial stress, a
'pathogenic social hierarchy' involving the synergism of racism and gender
discrimination. The disorder represents the punctuated resetting of
'normal' immune self-image to a self-attacking 'excited' state, a process
formally analogous to models of punctuated equilibrium in evolutionary
theory. We speculate that this punctuated onset takes place in the context
of an immunological 'cognitive module' similar to what has been proposed by
evolutionary psychologists for the human mind. We discuss the broader
implications of a high rate of this disorder within a marginalized
population, finding it to be a leading indicator for phenomena likely to
entrain powerful subgroups into a larger pattern of embedding pathology.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in African-American Women: Immune Cognitive
Modules, Autoimmune Disease, and Pathogenic Social Hierarchy, Wallace,
Rodrick, 2003-01-03, CogPrints, DOI: 2684
Contributed by Carlos Gershenson

17. Sensitive Robots Taught To Gauge Human Emotion, EE Times

Excerpts: Robotics designers are working with psychologists here at
Vanderbilt University to improve human-machine interfaces by teaching
robots to sense human emotions. Such "sensitive" robots would change the
way they interact with humans based on an evaluation of a person's mood.
Consequently, the team's research project has two parts: sensing the unique
patterns of behavior that mark an individual person's emotions, and
converting that information in real-time into actuator-style commands to
the robot to facilitate communications between humans and machines.

Sensitive Robots Taught To Gauge Human Emotion, R. Colin Johnson, EE Times,

Excerpts: We, and other animals, can generally pinpoint the source of a
sound in space regardless of how loud it is. A study involving
experimentation and computer modelling reveals how our brains perform this
clever task. (¡K).
All synapses exhibit depression - a decrease in the strength of the
connection that occurs after rapid and repeated use - and this might seem
like a bad idea, a design fault that prevents synapses from keeping up with
the demands placed on them.

The Importance Of Depression, Charles F. Stevens, Nature 421, 29 - 30
(2003); doi:10.1038/421029a

Excerpts: A start-up company says it has developed a navigation system that
is cheap enough to bring robots to the mass-consumer market.
Pasadena, Calif.-based Evolution Robotics said its technology that lets a
robot determine its position relative to its environment is based on wheel
sensors and a Webcam that cost less than $50. That's a fraction of the cost
of current robot navigation systems relying on laser range finders (¡K).

The company asserts that its relatively inexpensive system "will result in
a new generation of products that were previously inconceivable."

Robots For The Masses, Ed Frauenheim, CNET News.com, 03/01/09

Excerpt: Moravec's system consists of stereoscopic digital cameras and a 3D
grid set up in the robot's computer brain. The system determines the
robot's distance from objects by noticing the different placement of the
object in the two camera images and applying a geometric equation. The
grid, which is made up of 32 million digital cells, is used to help handle
incomplete or potentially misleading visual data. For example, an object
visible in one camera lens might be blocked from the view of the other, (¡K).
Giving Robots The Gift Of Sight, Ed Frauenheim, CNET News.com, 02/12/30

18. Wizard's Chess, NYTimes

Excerpts: Right now the world must seem like a potentially deadly game of
three-dimensional chess to the Bush administration. In Asia, its allies
don't agree with each other about whether a North Korea with nuclear arms
is an international danger. But they are very certain they don't want the
United States to do anything that might trigger an angry response. The
American people are confused by the contradictions between their
government's approach to North Korea and Iraq, and frustrated by the sudden
lack of clarity in their government's foreign policy.
Wizard's Chess, NYTimes, 03/01/05

Excerpt: But many Latin American experts say the administration's efforts
have been too little, too late. They contend that the Bush administration,
distracted by Iraq, allowed Venezuela's problems to fester.
Others say the administration committed two blunders last year that have
hurt its credibility with Mr. Chavez and other Latin American leaders: in
April, by appearing to endorse an attempted coup against the Chavez
government, and in December by briefly joining the opposition's call for
early elections.

Venezuela Crisis Complicates Iraq Situation, Experts Say, James Dao, Neela
Banerjee, NYTimes, 03/01/10

Excerpts: A senior official in the left-wing government that took power
last week has set off a furor here and alarmed neighboring countries by
arguing that Brazil, Latin America's largest nation, should acquire the
capacity to produce a nuclear weapon. (...)
Mr. Amaral's remarks, coming as the United States faces a nuclear crisis
with North Korea and is preparing for war with Iraq over its weapons
programs, has reawakened debate over Brazil's own nuclear energy and
research program, the most advanced in Latin America.
Brazil Needs A-Bomb Ability, Aide Says, Setting Off Furor, Larry Rohter,
NYTimes, 03/01/08

Excerpts: More than a year after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center (¡K) at the heart of our collective fear is the struggle to control
oil (¡K). Can a combination of technological innovation, global cooperation
and strategic thinking take oil off the international chessboard of power
politics and replace it with the ultimate energy carrier, lighter-than-air,
and potentially non-polluting hydrogen? In recent months U.S. government
concern over the availability of oil in the Middle East has intensified
because of  (¡K) the prospect of war with Iraq, and the likelihood of more
terrorist attacks by the Al Qaeda network.
After Oil, Clean Energy From A Fuel-Cell-Driven Global Hydrogen Web, J.
Rifkin, E-Magazine, Vol. XIV, No 1, Jan.-Feb. 2003
Contributed by Atin Das

  19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks

Excerpts: The government may be worried that enemies are plotting a
biological attack, but it should not react by muzzling researchers and
classifying their findings as secret, (¡K).
While certain biotechnology researchers may need to be discreet about what
they publish, a wide-ranging crackdown on the publication of information
would do more harm than good, said the specialists, who included John
Marburger, the science adviser of President Bush.

Scientific research can benefit humanity only if its traditions of free
information sharing and open questioning of research findings are allowed (¡K).

Scientists Tell Washington Secrecy Impairs Research, Maggie Fox, Reuters,

Abstract: We live in a modern world supported by large, complex networks.
Examples range from financial markets to communication and transportation
systems. In many realistic situations the flow of physical quantities in
the network, as characterized by the loads on nodes, is important. We show
that for such networks where loads can redistribute among the nodes,
intentional attacks can lead to a cascade of overload failures, which can
in turn cause the entire or a substantial part of the network to collapse.
This is relevant for real-world (¡K) such as the Internet and power grids.

Cascade-Based Attacks On Complex Networks, A. E. Motter, Y. C. Lai, Phys.
Rev. E 66, 065102, Dec. 2002, DOI:10.1103/PhysRevE.66.065102
Contributed by Atin Das

Excerpts: An extradition request by the United States could cause a legal
battle with Germany, as German law does not allow the extradition of
suspects if they could face the death penalty in the state they are
extradited to.

In November Berlin only agreed to cooperate in the U.S. trial of French
national Zacarias Moussaoui, charged over the September 11 attacks, after
Washington assured Germany their evidence would not be used to obtain the
death penalty.

Al Qaeda Suspects in Germany Detained in Custody, Reuters, 03/01/11

Excerpts: An airport baggage handler found with weapons and explosives in
his car was released today after France's antiterrorism police determined
that he had been framed by a former Foreign Legionnaire and in-laws who
blamed him for the death of his wife. (...)

The baggage handler, Abdrezak Besseghir, 27, had been in custody since Dec.
28 when he was arrested at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris.
Automatic weapons, five cakes of plastic explosive, two detonators and a
safety fuse were found in the trunk of his car.

Paris Frees Airport Worker Who Was Framed as Terror Suspect, Craig S.
Smith, NYTimes, 03/01/11

20. Links & Snippets

20.1 Other Publications

National: In a First, U.S. Puts Limits on California's Thirst, Dean E.
Murphy, NYTimes, 03/01/05,The federal government has said no to
California's dipping into the Colorado River for more than its allotted share.
Opinion: California Curbed, NYTimes, 03/01/08, The decision by Interior
Secretary Gale Norton to reduce water flows from the Colorado River to
California's Imperial Valley and urban consumers in Southern California was
right on the mark.
The Future Of Behavioral Health And Primary Care: Drowning In The
Mainstream Or Left On The Bank?, Harold Alan Pincus, Psychosomatics 2003
February 1; 44(1): p. 1-11
First Speed Of Gravity Measurement Revealed, New Scientist, Hazel Muir,
Science: Golf Ball Dimples, C. Claiborne Ray, NYTimes, 03/01/07, This
week's question: How do the dimples on a golf ball aid its flight?
Science: How the Spiny Lobster Finds Home: Magnetism, Anahad O'connor,
NYTimes, 03/01/07, Spiny lobsters can travel over long distances at night
and find their way home using only the earth's magnetic field.
Coordinated Turn-and-Reach Movements. I. Anticipatory Compensation for
Self-Generated Coriolis and Interaction Torques, Pascale Pigeon, Simone B.
Bortolami, Paul DiZio, and James R. Lackner, J. Neurophysiol. 2003 January
1; 89(1): p. 276-289
Functional Organization of Speed Tuned Neurons in Visual Area MT, Jing Liu,
William T. Newsome, J. Neurophysiol. 2003 January 1; 89(1): p. 246-256
Computational Diversity In The Cochlear Nucleus Angularis Of The Barn Owl,
Christine Koeppl and Catherine E Carr, J. Neurophysiol. published 27
December 2002, 10.1152/jn.00635.2002
The Control of Seizure-Like Activity in the Rat Hippocampal Slice, Houman
Khosravani, Peter L. Carlen, and Jose L. Perez Velazquez, Biophys. J. 2003
January 1; 84(1): p. 687-695
Cooperativity in Forced Unfolding of Tandem Spectrin Repeats, Richard Law,
Philippe Carl, Sandy Harper, Paul Dalhaimer, David W., Speicher, and Dennis
E. Discher, Biophys. J. 2003 January 1; 84(1): p. 533-544
The Biology Of Aging, Troen BR, Mt Sinai J Med 2003 Jan 70(1): p. 3-22
21st Century Leadership Challenge: Creating And Sustaining Healthy, Healing
Work Cultures And Integrated Service At The Point Of Care, Wesorick B, Nurs
Adm Q 2002 Fall 26(5): p. 18-32
Invariant Representations Of Visual Patterns In A Temporal Population Code,
Reto Wyss, Peter Konig, and Paul F. M. J. Verschure, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.
USA 2003 January 7; 100(1): p. 324-329
Evidence That Exposure Of The Telomere 3' Overhang Sequence Induces
Senescence, Guang-Zhi Li, Mark S. Eller, Reza Firoozabadi, and Barbara A.,
Gilchrest, PNAS published 6 January 2003, 10.1073/pnas.0235444100
Artificial Cells: Unique Insights Into Exocytosis Using Liposomes And Lipid
Nanotubes, Ann-Sofie Cans, Nathan Wittenberg, Roger Karlsson, Leslie
Sombers, Mattias Karlsson, Owe Orwar, and Andrew Ewing, PNAS published 3
January 2003, 10.1073/pnas.232702599
Warmer Paleotemperatures For Terrestrial Ecosystems, Elizabeth A. Kowalski
and David L. Dilcher, PNAS 2003;100 167-170
Engineers Trust Moore's Law, Jan. 7, 2002, Over two-thirds of engineers
believe Moore's law will hold true for at least another five years,
according to a survey by IEEE Spectrum magazine. "Many respondents, though,
seemed just as convinced that some emerging technology would topple Moore's
Law. Among the suggested candidates were...
Feasible Chaotic Encryption, January 3, 2003, Researchers in Beijing have
demonstrated a way to hide messages in chaotic signals for two-way voice
transmission on a computer network. The researchers claim the scheme is
reasonably secure (it would take an intruder armed with a personal computer
more than a million times the lifetime of the...
Mit Targets High-Tech Innovations, For U.S. Soldiers, Jan. 6, 2002,
American soldiers may wear Kevlar vests that will protect against
biological agents as well as stop bullets. With the flick of a switch, the
sleeves of their uniform may stiffen into anti-shrapnel armor or a medical
splint. They may carry night-vision contacts lenses, while a patch on their...
Interface Gets The Point, January 1/8, 2003,Researchers are trying to get a
computer to recognize gestures by correlating speech signals and hand
velocity. The system could eventually enable more natural human-computer
interfaces in applications like crisis management, surgery, vvideo games,
and biometric...
Fracture Protection: Nanotubes Toughen Up Ceramics, Jessica Gorman, Science
News, Vol. 163, No. 1, Jan. 4, 2003, p. 3., also available in Audible
format. Ceramics are famous for being hard but easy to break. Now,
researchers have demonstrated that adding carbon nanotubes to a ceramic
material can nearly triple its resistance to fracturing.
Hawaii's Hated Frogs Tiny Invaders Raise A Big Ruckus, Janet Raloff,
Science News, Vol. 163, No. 1, Jan. 4, 2003, p. 11., also available in
Audible format. In the mid-1980s, potted plants from the Caribbean began
arriving in Honolulu carrying frogs.
Routes To Remembering: The Brains Behind Superior Memory, Eleanor A.
Maguire, Elizabeth R. Valentine, John M. Wilding & Narinder Kapur, Nature
Neuroscience 6(January):90-95., also available in Audible format.
Breathtaking Science A Small Region Within The Brainstem Creates The Normal
Breathing Rhythm,Science News, Vol. 163, No. 1, Jan. 4, 2003, p. 8., also
available in Audible format.
Electroluminescent Device With Reversible Switching Between Red And Green
Emission, S. Welter, K. Brunner, J. W. Hofstraat, L. De Cola, Nature, 03/01/02
Synaptic Depression In The Localization Of Sound, Daniel L. Cook, Peter C.
Schwindt, Lucinda A. Grande & William J.Spain, Nature, 03/01/02
Biomechanics: A Catapult Action For Rapid Limb Protraction, Alan M. Wilson,
Johanna C. Watson & Glen A. Lichtwark, Nature, 03/01/02
Protein Knots: A Tangled Problem, William R. Taylor & Kuang Lin, Nature
421, 25 (2003);doi:10.1038/421025a
Obituary: Arthur T. Winfree (1942-2002), Leon Glass, Nature 421, 34 (2003);
How New York Exams Rewrite Literature (A Sequel), Michael Winerip, NYTimes,
03/01/08, (...) historian quoted on the exam believes that a test question
based on his work has more than one correct answer.
Scaling Theory: Application To Marine Ornithology, D. C. Schneider,
Ecosystems 5:736-748, 2003/01/07, DOI: 10.1007/s10021-002-0156-y
The Use Of Space By Animals As A Function Of Accessibility And Preference,
J. Matthiopoulos,  Eco. Modelling, Vol. 159, Issues 2-3, pp:239-268,
2003/01/15, DOI: 10.1016/S0304-3800(02)00293-4
Neural Network Modelling Of Coastal Algal Blooms, J. H. W. Lee, Y. Huang,
M. Dickman & A. W. Jayawardena, Eco. Modelling, Vol. 159, Issues 2-3,
pp:179-201, 2003/01/15, DOI: 10.1016/S0304-3800(02)00281-8
Fractional Kinetic Description of Chaotic Transport in Complex Dynamical
Systems. Ramy Naboulsi. arXiv. 2003-01-08
On the Origins of Autobiographical Memory . Ian Q. Whishaw and Douglas G.
Wallace. Behavioural Brain Research. 138 (2): 113-119. 2003-01-22.
Is Human Sentence Parsing Serial Or Parallel? Evidence From Event-Related
Brain Potentials, J. M. Hopf ,  M. Baderb, M. Mengb &  J. Bayerb, Cognitive
Brain Research, Vol. 15, Issue 2, Jan. 2003, pp:165-177, DOI:
Parametric Analysis Of Event-Related Potentials In Semantic Comprehension:
Evidence For Parallel Brain Mechanisms, J. Dien,  G. A. Frishkoffb, A.
Cerbonea &  D. M. Tuckerb, Cognitive Brain Research, Vol. 15, Issue 2, Jan.
2003, pp:137-153, DOI: 10.1016/S0926-6410(02)00147-7
Olfaction And Face Encoding In Humans: A Magnetoencephalographic Study, P.
Walla,  B. Hufnagl, J. Lehrner, D. Mayer, G. indinger, H. Imhof, L. Deecke
&  W. Lang, Cognitive Brain Research, Vol. 15, Issue 2, Jan. 2003,
pp:105-115, DOI: 10.1016/S0926-6410(02)00144-1
Branching Out: New System Created By Rensselaer Researchers Speeds The
Mapping Of Blood Vessel Networks In Live Tumors, ScienceDaily, 2002/12/27
Purdue Researchers Discover Basis For Biological Clock, ScienceDaily,
Leading Cloning Experts Challenge Clonaid To Prove Claim, ScienceDaily,
A Short History Of Computational Complexity, L. Fortnow (NEC) & S. Homer in
D. van Dalen, J. Dawson & A. Kanamori, (Eds.) The History Of Mathematical
Logic, North-Holland, Amsterdam, To appear 2003.
Neural Substrates Of Memory: From Synapse To System, J. Dubnau, A. S.
Chiang & T. Tully, J. Neurobiology, Vol. 54, Issue 1, pp:238-253, Jan.
2003, DOI 10.1002/neu.10170
The Organic Codes:An Introduction to Semantic Biology, M Barbieri,
Cambridge Univ. Press , Jan. 2003, ISBN: 0521531004
Developmental Stability As The Primary Function Of The Pigmentation
Patterns In Bivalve Shells? Vincent Bauchau, Belg.J.Zool., 2001, 131,
suppl. 2:23-28; Pigmentation patterns on seashells are complex and highly
diverse. The structure ot these patterns can be explained but processes
similar to cellular-automata (reviewed in the paper). However the primary
function of the pigmentation patterns, if any, remains a puzzle. In this
paper I propose that the pigmentation is intimately associated with the
regulation of the growth of the shell to achieve developmental stability.

20.2 Coming and Ongoing Webcasts

The Center for Business Innovation Bi-Monthly Web Cast, 03/01/15, TOPIC:
CBI Future Scan Version 6.0, WHO: David McIntosh, Director of the CBI Network
Annual Video Game Report Card, Speakers: Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT); Rep.
Betty McCollum (D-MN); David Walsh, President, National Institute on Media
& the Family, c-span.org, 12/19/2002, clip11782 (50 min.)
Artificial Life Conference (A-Life 8), Sydney, Australia, 02/12/09-13
Universes, Edge Video, 02/11
Novel Properties of Nano-Materials Symposium, Natl Taiwan Normal Univ,
Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998

20.3 Conference Announcements

  Conference on Swarming and Network Enabled Command, Control,
Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
(C4ISR), McLean, VA, 03/01/13-14
Sackler Colloquium on "Chemical Communication in a Post-Genomic World",
Irvine, CA, 03/01/17-19
Plexus Ontario Fractal Meeting, Toronto, Canada, 03/01/23
3rd Gathering of the Center for Self-Organizing Leadership, St. George,
Utah, 03/01/24-26
INSC 2003, International Nonlinear Sciences Conference Research and
Applications in the Life Sciences,Vienna, Austria, 03/02/07-09
Complexity Science In Practice: Understanding & Acting To Improve Health
and Health Care, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota USA, 03/03/21-22
Fourth International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and
Automated Learning (IDEAL'03), Hong Kong, 03/03/21-23
2003 AAAI Spring Symposium Series, Computational Synthesis: From Basic
Building Blocks To High Level Functionality, Stanford, 03/03/24-27
Jahrestagung 2003 des AKSOE (Physics of Socio-Economical Systems), Dresden,
Germany, 03/03/24-28
Uncertainty and Surprise: Questions on Working with the Unexpected, U. of
Texas at Austin, Texas, 03/04/10-12
Agent-Based Simulation 4, Montpellier, France, 03/04/28-30
SPIE's 1st Intl Symp on Fluctuations and Noise, Santa Fe, NM, 03/06/01-04
21st ICDE World Conf on Open Learning and Distance Education, Hong Kong,
17th Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Simulation (PADS 2003), San
Diego, California, 03/06/10-13
2003 Summer Computer Simulation Conference (SCSC '03), Montreal, Canada,
5th Intl Conf "Symmetry in Nonlinear Mathematical Physics", Kiev, Ukraine,
03/06/23-29, Mirror
9th International Conference on Auditory Display, Boston, MA, 03/07/07-09,
Wkshp on Assistive Technologies for the Blind, 03/07/06
2003 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2003), Chicago,
2nd Intl Joint Conf on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
(AAMAS-2003), Melbourne, Australia, 03/07/14-18
7th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (SCI
2003), Orlando, Florida, 03/07/27-30
2003 IEEE/WIC Intl Joint Conf. Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent
Technology, Beijing, China, 03/10/13-17

20.3.1 Public Conference  Calls

PlexusCalls - Pat Rush & Bob Lindberg in health concern conversation with
Keith McCandless and Linda Rusch, 03/01/10, Audio File Available Now, mp3
PlexusCalls - John Holland in Conversation - Audio File Available Now, mp3

Are Disease and Aging Information/Complexity Loss Syndromes?, PlexusCalls,
02/11/08, 1 - 2 pm EST (To learn more about Ary Goldberger¡¦s work and
HeartSongs, Music of the Heart.) Audio File Available Now, mp3 (27mb)
Brenda Zimmerman in Conversation - Audio File Available Now, mp3 (24mb)
The Complexity of Entrepreneurship: A Launchcyte Story, PlexusCalls,
02/11/22, 1 - 2 pm EST

20.3.2 Listening Post, Sound Exhibit

Excerpt: The visible and audible text in this installation is live,
collected in real-time from thousands of chat rooms, forums, newsgroups,
bulletin boards, and other public online communication channels.
Listening Post, Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin, Whitney Museum of American Art,
New York, 02/12/17-03/03/08

20.4 ComDig Announcement: New ComDig Archive in Beta Test

We are in the process of upgrading the Complexity Digest archives to a
format with improved search capabilities. Also, we will finally be able to
adequately publish the valuable feedback and comments from our knowledgable
readers. You are cordially invited to become a beta tester of our new
ComDig2 archive.

Complexity Digest <http://www.comdig.org/>  is an independent publication
available to organizations that may wish to repost ComDig to their own
mailing lists. ComDig
is published by Dean LeBaron <http://www.deanlebaron.com/index.html>  and
edited by Gottfried J. Mayer
<http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/g/x/gxm21/> . For individual e-mail
subscriptions send requests to: subscriptions@comdig.org.