ժ NO2003.28

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Complexity Digest 2003.28 July-13-2003

  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


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     1. The Lure of Data: Is It Addictive?, NYTimes
          1.1 The New Card Shark, NYTimes
          1.2 When Does A Random Robin Hood Win?, Theor. Comp. Sc.
     2. Modelling And Solving Employee Timetabling Problems, Annals of
         Math. & Arti. Intell.
     3. Music Offers Scientists Way To Explore Consciousness, Knight
         Ridder Newspapers
     4. Methods and Techniques of Complex Systems Science: An Overview,
         arXiv
     5. Who'D Want To Work In A Team?, Nature
     6. Naturalness And The Genetic Modification Of Animals, Trends in
         Biotech.
     7. Stem Cells Seek Out and Replace Injured Muscle, GNN
     8. How Tumors Keep Their Blood Vessels Flowing, Science
          8.1. Profiling Cell Networks via Perturbations, Science
     9. Is Perception Discrete Or Continuous?, Trends in Cogn. Sc.
    10. Language Evolution: Consensus and Controversies, Trends in
         Cognitive Sciences
          10.1. Evolving Grounded Communication for Robots, Trends in
                  Cognitive Sciences
          10.2. Cognition is Categorization, CogPrints
    11. Perceptual Learning and Brain Reorganization, Science
          11.1. Spontaneous Muscle Twitches During Sleep Guide Spinal
                  Self-Organization, Nature
          11.2. Gorilla And Orangutan Understanding Of First- And
                  Second-Order Relations, Animal Cognition
    12. Sealed Off from Immune Surveillance, Science
          12.1. Pods Invade Infected Bladders, Science
    13. Machines that Reproduce May be Reality, NewsFactor Network
          13.1. Visionaries See Flexible Computers Using Less Power,
                  EETimes.de
          13.2. New Memory That Doesn't Forget,Wired
    14. Construction Bugs Find Tiny Work, Nature Science Update
    15. White-Light Filaments for Atmospheric Analysis, Science
    16. Delta-Wing Function Of Webbed Feet In Birds, Nature
    17. Evolutionary Danger for Rainforest Species, Science
          17.1. Low Potential for Climatic Stress Adaptation in a
                  Rainforest Drosophila Species, Science
          17.2. Acclimation Capacity Underlies Susceptibility to Climate
                  Change, Science
    18. The Co-Evolution Of Individual Behaviors And Social
          Institutions, J. Theor. Biol.
          18.1. Your Farm Subsidies Are Strangling Us, NYTimes
          18.2. Sowing Seeds of Destruction, NYTimes
    19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
          19.1.  Bioterrorism Defense Priorities, Science
          19.2.  9/11 Commission Says U.S. Agencies Slow Its Inquiry,
                   NYTimes
    20. Links & Snippets
          20.1. Other Publications
          20.2. Webcast Announcements
          20.3. Conference & Call for Papers Announcements
          20.4. ComDig Announcement: New ComDig Archive in Beta Test

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1. The Lure of Data: Is It Addictive?, NYTimes

Excerpts: The ubiquity of technology in the lives of executives, other
business people and consumers has created a subculture of the Always On ¡X
and a brewing tension between productivity and freneticism. For all the
efficiency gains that it seemingly provides, the constant stream of data
can interrupt not just dinner and family time, but also meetings and
creative time, and it can prove very tough to turn off.(...) they are
compulsively drawn to the constant stimulation provided by incoming data.
Call it O.C.D. ¡X online compulsive disorder.
The Lure of Data: Is It Addictive?, Matt Richtel, NYTimes, 03/07/06


Excerpt: The online poker saloons that nurtured Mr. Moneymaker, 27, are
just the beginning. Many players hone their craft with simulation software
that allows them to test strategies by playing out thousands or even
millions of hands. Some researchers are building software opponents that
use sophisticated concepts from economics and artificial intelligence to
seek out the best strategy, then use the knowledge to beat human players.
The experience of playing thousands of games in roadhouses and casinos is
being eclipsed by a cyborg-like intelligence produced by humans weaned on
machine play.

The New Card Shark, Peter Wayner, NYTimes, 03/07/10


Abstract: A certain two-person infinite game (between "Robin Hood" and the
"Sheriff") has been studied in the context of set theory. In certain cases,
it is known that for any deterministic strategy of Robin Hood's, if the
Sheriff knows Robin Hood's strategy, he can adapt a winning
counter-strategy. We show that in these cases, Robin Hood wins with
"probability one" if he adopts a natural random strategy. We then
characterize when this random strategy has the almost-surely winning
property. We also explore the case of a random Sheriff versus a
deterministic Robin Hood.

When Does A Random Robin Hood Win?, W. Gasarch, E. Golub& A. Srinivasan,
Theor. Comp. Sc., Vol. 304, Issues 1-3, pp: 477-484, 2003/05/15,
doi:10.1016/S0304-3975(03)00289-5
Contributed by Pritha Das


2. Modelling And Solving Employee Timetabling Problems, Annals of Math. &
Arti. Intell.

Abstract : Employee timetabling is the operation of assigning employees to
tasks in a set of shifts during a fixed period of time, typically a week.
We present a general definition of employee timetabling problems (ETPs)
that captures many real-world problem formulations and includes complex
constraints. The proposed model of ETPs can be represented in a tabular
form that is both intuitive and efficient for constraint representation and
processing. We show that, on large and difficult instances of real world
ETPs, where systematic search fails, local search methods perform well and
solve the hardest instances.
Modelling And Solving Employee Timetabling Problems, A. Meisels & A.
Schaerf, Annals of Math. & Arti. Intell., 39 (1-2): 41-59, Sep. 2003
Contributed by Pritha Das


3. Music Offers Scientists Way To Explore Consciousness, Knight Ridder
Newspapers

Excerpts: Researchers expect their music studies - aided by the latest
techniques of genetics and brain imaging - to shed new light on the way
brains work and help people suffering from brain damage or disease.
Music also offers scientists another way to explore the unsolved mysteries
of human consciousness. It can help explain how the brain processes
external signals - in this case sound waves - that lead people to perform
actions such as toe tapping, dancing and singing.

"Music provides a panoramic window through which we can examine the neural
organization of complex behaviors that are at the core of human nature," (...).

Music Offers Scientists Way To Explore Consciousness, Robert S. Boyd,
Knight Ridder Newspapers, 03/07/10


4. Methods and Techniques of Complex Systems Science: An Overview, arXiv

Abstract: In this chapter, I review the main methods and techniques of
complex systems science. As a first step, I distinguish among the broad
patterns which recur across complex systems, the topics complex systems
science commonly studies, the tools employed, and the foundational science
of complex systems. The focus of this chapter is overwhelmingly on the
third heading, that of tools. These in turn divide, roughly, into tools for
analyzing data, tools for constructing and evaluating models, and tools for
measuring complexity. I discuss the principles of statistical learning and
model selection; time series analysis; cellular automata; agent-based
models; the evaluation of complex-systems models; information theory; and
ways of measuring complexity.
Methods and Techniques of Complex Systems Science: An Overview, Cosma
Rohilla Shalizi, 2003-07-9, DOI: nlin.AO/0307015, arXiv
Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


5. Who'D Want To Work In A Team?, Nature

Excerpt: Biologists and their institutions are increasingly confronted by
the challenges of working in major collaborations that other disciplines
have already addressed. (...)
Team science is everywhere these days. The trouble is, you'd never guess it
from an inspection of the universities that house it or the agencies that
fund and supposedly foster it. Last week, a meeting at the US National
Institutes of Health (NIH) on "Catalyzing team science" highlighted the
difficulties, and proposed some solutions. What should disturb everybody is
how far from reality many of those solutions are.

Who'D Want To Work In A Team?, Nature 424, 1 (03 July 2003);
doi:10.1038/424001a


6. Naturalness And The Genetic Modification Of Animals, Trends in Biotech.

Abstract: (¡K) concerns about genetic modification (GM) of plants and
animals, for food in particular, have an important role in the public
perception of GM. One of these concerns is the view that GM is `unnatural'.
The author gives a new direction to this discussion, by contrasting the
common sense view of nature and animals, with the scientific concept of
nature and what is natural. The view of nature and what is natural is
always normative. This is illustrated by making explicit the concept of
nature in organic farming, which explains why GM is rejected.
Naturalness And The Genetic Modification Of Animals, H. Verhoog, Trends in
Biotech., Vol. 21, Issue 7, pp:294-297, Jul. 2003,
doi:10.1016/S0167-7799(03)00142-2
Contributed by Pritha Das


7. Stem Cells Seek Out and Replace Injured Muscle, GNN

Abstract: Two new types of stem cells have been found that can seek out
injured muscle tissue and replace the damaged cells. (...) The studies
reveal how different types of stem cells repair injured muscle and point to
a common theme: Damaged tissues send out molecular signals that attract
stem cells. The stem cells then multiply and form new muscle fibers,
replacing the injured tissue.(...) The researchers also found that a
protein released from injured muscle, called Wnt, stimulates the stem cells
to form new muscle cells. Wnt also signals new muscle tissue to form in the
developing embryo.(...) No body builders have yet contacted Rudnicki for
Wnt supplements. However, he has started a company called StemPath to
develop drugs that stimulate muscle stem cells within the body. Ultimately,
he hopes to develop new therapies to combat aging and treat muscular
degenerative disease.
Stem Cells Seek Out and Replace Injured Muscle, Nancy Touchette,
2003-06-11, GNN
Contributed by Nadia Gershenson


  8. How Tumors Keep Their Blood Vessels Flowing, Science

Summary: Solid tumors usually feed their own growth by producing factors
that stimulate the formation of new blood vessels. However, the tumor
microenvironment also harbors factors that should promote the apoptotic
death of the endothelial cells (ECs) that comprise these new vessels. Alavi
et al. (p. 94) find that ECs are protected from both intrinsic and
extrinsic pathways of apoptosis because they activate Raf-1 kinase. Given
its critical role in cell survival, the Raf-1 kinase is a potentially
target for anti-angiogenesis drugs.
Role of Raf in Vascular Protection from Distinct Apoptotic Stimuli, Alavi,
Alireza, Hood, John D., Frausto, Ricardo, Stupack, Dwayne G., Cheresh,
David A., Science 2003 301: 94-96


Summary: The properties of a regulatory network have been determined
without the exhaustive examination of each experimental parameter. Gardner
et al. (p. 102) explored a network of nine genes in the SOS pathway in
Escherichia coli that regulates cellular responses to DNA damage and other
stresses. Relatively small changes made near a physiological steady-state
point (like that of a cell maintained in culture) allowed these nonlinear
cellular processes to be modeled linearly. The transcription activity of
each component of the network was altered, and the effects on the abundance
of messenger RNA transcripts of the other components were measured. After
making some assumptions about the limits of network connectivity and
regulatory inputs for each gene, they could identify most of the known
regulatory connections in this well-studied pathway.

Inferring Genetic Networks and Identifying Compound Mode of Action via
Expression Profiling, Gardner, Timothy S., di Bernardo, Diego, Lorenz,
David, Collins, James J., Science 2003 301: 102-105


9. Is Perception Discrete Or Continuous?, Trends in Cogn. Sc.

  Abstract: How do conscious perceptions evolve following stimulus
presentation? The idea that perception relies on discrete processing epochs
has been often considered, but never widely accepted. The alternative, a
continuous translation of the external world into explicit perception,
although more intuitive and subjectively appealing, cannot satisfactorily
account for a large body of psychophysical data. Cortical and
thalamocortical oscillations in different frequency bands could provide a
neuronal basis for such discrete processes, but are rarely analyzed in this
context. This review reconciles the unduly abandoned topic of discrete
perception with current views and advances in neuroscience.
Is Perception Discrete Or Continuous?, VanRullen, R. & Koch, C., Trends in
Cogn. Sc. (to be published, 2003)
Contributed by Pritha Das


10. Language Evolution: Consensus and Controversies, Trends in Cognitive
Sciences

Abstract: Why is language the way it is? How did language come to be this
way? And why is our species alone in having complex language? These are old
unsolved questions that have seen a renaissance in the dramatic recent
growth in research being published on the origins and evolution of human
language. (...) We highlight new methodologies (such as computational
modeling), emerging points of consensus (such as the importance of
pre-adaptation), and the major remaining controversies (such as gestural
origins of language).
Language Evolution: Consensus and Controversies, Morten H. Christiansen,
Simon Kirby, 2003-07, DOI: 10.1016/S1364-6613(03)00136-0, Trends in
Cognitive Sciences 7(7):300-307
Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


Abstract: The computational and robotic synthesis of language evolution is
emerging as a new exciting field of research. The objective is to come up
with precise operational models of how communities of agents, equipped with
a cognitive apparatus, a sensori-motor system, and a body, can arrive at
shared grounded communication systems. Such systems may have similar
characteristics to animal communication or human language. Apart from its
technological interest in building novel applications in the domain of
human¡Vrobot or robot¡Vrobot interaction, this research is of interest to
the many disciplines concerned with the origins and evolution of language
and communication.

Evolving Grounded Communication for Robots, Luc Steels, 2003-07, DOI:
10.1016/S1364-6613(03)00129-3, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7(7):308-312
Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


Abstract: All of our categories consist in ways we behave differently
toward different kinds of things, whether it be the things we do or don't,
eat, mate with, or flee from, or the things that we describe, through our
language, as prime numbers, affordances, or absolute discriminables. That
is also all that cognition is for -- and about.

Cognition is Categorization, Stevan Harnad, 2003-06-19, DOI: 3027, CogPrints
Contributed by Carlos Gershenson




11. Perceptual Learning and Brain Reorganization, Science

Summary:  In Hebbian learning, repeated events (such as feeding and the
ringing of a bell) should produce increases in synaptic strength. Dinse et
al. (p. 91) analyzed the cortical changes underlying such perceptual
learning by using a lengthy period of finger tip stimulation at randomly
assigned intervals of 100 to 3000 ms in human subjects. As expected from
previous studies, tactile two-point discrimination was improved after this
intense experience on the side that was stimulated but not on the
unstimulated side. Improvement was blocked by memantine, an NMDA-receptor
blocker, and enhanced by the psychostimulant amphetamine, which operates
through the increased release of modulatory neurotransmitters. By combining
measurements of somatosensory evoked potentials in primary somatosensory
cortex with tactile discrimination thresholds, the authors showed a close
correlation between the amount of coactivation-induced perceptual
improvement and the degree of individual cortical reorganizati!
Pharmacological Modulation of Perceptual Learning and Associated Cortical
Reorganization, Dinse, Hubert R., Ragert, Patrick, Pleger, Burkhard,
Schwenkreis, Peter, Tegenthoff, Martin, Science 2003 301: 91-94


Excerpts: During development, information about the three-dimensional shape
and mechanical properties of the body is laid down in the synaptic
connectivity of sensorimotor systems through unknown adaptive mechanisms.
In spinal reflex systems, this enables the fast transformation of complex
sensory information into adequate correction of movements. (...) We also
show that tactile feedback resulting from spontaneous muscle twitches
during sleep1-3 does indeed modify sensorimotor transformation in young
rats in a predictable manner. The results indicate that these twitches,
corresponding to human fetal movements4, are important in spinal
self-organization.

Spontaneous Muscle Twitches During Sleep Guide Spinal Self-Organization,
Per Petersson, Alexandra Waldenstrom, Christer Fahraeus & Jens Schouenborg,
Nature 424, 72 - 75 (03 July 2003); doi:10.1038/nature01719


Abstract: Four orangutans and one gorilla matched images in a delayed
matching-to-sample (dmts) task based on the relationship between items
depicted in those images, thus demonstrating understanding of both first-
and second-order relations. Subjects matched items on the basis of
identity, color, or shape (first-order relations, experiment 1) or same
shape, same color between items (second-order relations, experiment 2).
Four of the five subjects performed above chance on the second-order
relations dmts task within the first block of five sessions. (¡K) indicate
the capability for abstract relational concepts in two species of great ape.

Gorilla (Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla) And Orangutan (Pongo Abelii)
Understanding Of First- And Second-Order Relations, J. Vonk, Animal
Cognition, Vol. 6, Number 2, pp:77-86, Jun. 2003
Contributed by Atin Das


12. Sealed Off from Immune Surveillance, Science

Summary: Recurring bladder infections can be caused by certain strains of
Escherichia coli. Anderson et al.(p. 105; see the cover and the news story
by Ferber), working in a mouse model, found that these pathogens cause
infections within the epithelial cells of the bladder. The bacteria
multiply and differentiate to form distinct "pods" filled with bacteria
that protrude from the bladder wall. The pods are sealed off from host
immune responses and, like the bladder epithelium, are coated with
uroplakin, which probably renders them impermeable.
Intracellular Bacterial Biofilm-Like Pods in Urinary Tract Infections,
Gregory G. Anderson, Joseph J. Palermo, Joel D. Schilling, Robyn Roth, John
Heuser, and Scott J. Hultgren, Science 2003 301: 105-107


Summary: The microbes responsible for urinary tract infections are elusive
prey, often surviving onslaughts by the immune system and antibiotics and
reemerging to strike again. A study reported on page 105 may provide a clue
to what makes them so resilient.

Pods Invade Infected Bladders, Dan Ferber, Science 2003 301: 31


13. Machines that Reproduce May be Reality, NewsFactor Network

Excerpts: Nanometer-scale robots running the JohnnyVon program might be
"the key to low-cost manufacturing," environmental cleanup, or any
application requiring large quantities of robotic helping hands, (...).
"Self-replication can make such large quantities economically feasible," he
added.
Self-replication "is essential to nano-technology," (...). "We want to
build one tiny machine that will go forth and replicate -- but not multiply
ad infinitum."

A built-in fail-safe automatically prevents JohnnyVon from infinite
self-replication, Turney explained. Once the program runs out of codons to
assemble, it stops.

Machines that Reproduce May be Reality, Mike Martin NewsFactor Network July
10, 2003


Excerpt: Perhaps the biggest change seen by experts is the pervasiveness of
computers that can communicate over networks. Computers will be embedded in
many more devices, and most will communicate over wireless networks.
"Bluetooth has established a good initial position as the standard
procedure for the future,¡ Muller-Schloer said.

Structure-less networks like Bluetooth and other wireless concepts are only
part of the overall picture. Sensor and vehicle networks will form bridges
between end devices, while wired networks will continue to carry the main
data communications load over greater distances.

Visionaries See Flexible Computers Using Less Power, Christoph
Hammerschmidt, EETimes.de, July 10, 2003 (12:54 p.m. EST)


Excerpt: With both Motorola and IBM firmly lined up behind a single
contender, the five-year search for a "universal RAM" technology offering a
combination of non-volatility and high-speed random access appears to be
all but over.

According to Motorola, samples of the new magnetoresistive random access
memory, or MRAM, chips will be distributed to developers by the end of
2003, and cell phones and PDAs incorporating MRAM should be on sale by
mid-2004.

New Memory That Doesn't Forget, Elliot Borin,Wired, 03/07/09


14. Construction Bugs Find Tiny Work, Nature Science Update

Excerpts: Her team stuck a film of Serratia marcescens, onto tiny beads.
The microbes' rotating appendages carry the beads along, says Turner. And
when plastered inside tiny tubes, their gyrating arms blend fluids twice as
fast as diffusion alone.

Turner hopes to train the bacteria to move at her bidding, perhaps by
coaxing them towards light or chemicals that they can sense.

(...) Bacteria are ideal nanoscale workhorses, being adapted to the
microscopic world and its tricky conditions.

(...) bacteria effectively swim in thick treacle, grinding to a halt the
moment they stop swimming.

Construction Bugs Find Tiny Work, Helen Pearson, Nature Science Update,
03/07/11


15. White-Light Filaments for Atmospheric Analysis, Science

Abstract: Most long-path remote spectroscopic studies of the atmosphere
rely on ambient light or narrow-band lasers. High-power femtosecond laser
pulses have been found to propagate in the atmosphere as dynamically
self-guided filaments that emit in a continuum from the ultraviolet to the
infrared. This white light exhibits a directional behavior with enhanced
backward scattering and was detected from an altitude of more than 20
kilometers. This light source opens the way to white-light and nonlinear
light detection and ranging applications for atmospheric trace-gas remote
sensing or remote identification of aerosols. Air ionization inside the
filaments also opens promising perspectives for laser-induced condensation
and lightning control. The mobile femtosecond-terawatt laser system,
Teramobile, has been constructed to study these applications.
White-Light Filaments for Atmospheric Analysis, J. Kasparian, M. Rodriguez,
G. Mejean, J. Yu, E. Salmon, H. Wille, R. Bourayou, S. Frey, Y.-B. Andre,
A. Mysyrowicz, R. Sauerbrey, J.-P. Wolf, and L. Woste, Science Jul 4 2003:
61-64


16. Delta-Wing Function Of Webbed Feet In Birds, Nature

Excerpts: Most foot-propelled swimming birds sweep their webbed feet
backwards in a curved path that lies in a plane aligned with the swimming
direction. (...), early in the power stroke, propulsion is achieved mostly
by hydrodynamic drag on the foot, whereas there is a gradual transition
into lift-based propulsion later in the stroke. (...) Because of their
delta shape, webbed feet can generate propulsive forces continuously
through two successivemodes, from drag at the beginning of the stroke, all
the way through the transition to predominantly lift later in the stroke.
Delta-Wing Function Of Webbed In Birds, L. Christoffer Johansson, R. Ake
Norberg, Nature 424, 65 - 68 (03 July 2003); doi:10.1038/nature01695


17. Evolutionary Danger for Rainforest Species, Science

Summary: Can organisms always evolve in response to selective pressure?
Hoffmann et al. (p. 100; see the Perspective by Roff) found that resistance
to desiccation in a rainforest fruit fly did not budge after 30 generations
of intense selection, even though this trait is easily selected in other
species and despite ample genetic variation in this fly. Thus, specialist
species already at their environmental limits may not be able to adapt to
further change. This result raises concerns for conservation priorities and
may affect models for how populations adapt to climate change.
Evolutionary Danger for Rainforest Species, Derek Roff, Science 2003 301:
58-59


Abstract: The ability of sensitive rainforest species to evolve in response
to climate change is largely unknown. We show that the Australian tropical
rainforest fly Drosophila birchii exhibits clinal variation in desiccation
resistance, but the most resistant population lacks the ability to evolve
further resistance even after intense selection for over 30 generations.
(...) The low potential for resistance evolution highlights the importance
of assessing evolutionary potential in targeted ecological traits and
species from threatened habitats.

Low Potential for Climatic Stress Adaptation in a Rainforest Drosophila
Species, A. A. Hoffmann, R. J. Hallas, J. A. Dean, M. Schiffer, Science
2003 301: 100-102


Excerpt: Recent reports have presented meta-analyses of global biological
impacts of climate change (1, 2). However, there is debate as to the level
of confidence ascribed to the certainty that global climate change has
caused the observed biological changes (3). Two important considerations in
the assessment of how climate change will impact organisms are (i) how
close organisms are to their thermal limits in nature and (ii) an
understanding of how organisms respond to increasing habitat temperatures,
especially the degree to which organisms are able to adjust, or
acclimatize, their thermal sensitivity.

Acclimation Capacity Underlies Susceptibility to Climate Change, Stillman,
Jonathon H., Science 2003 301: 65-


18. The Co-Evolution Of Individual Behaviors And Social Institutions, J.
Theor. Biol.

  Abstract: We present agent-based simulations of a model (¡K) in which
group differences in social institutions are culturally transmitted and
individual behaviors are genetically transmitted. We show that intergroup
conflicts may explain the evolutionary success of both: (a) altruistic
forms of human sociality towards unrelated members of one's group; and (b)
group-level institutional structures such as food sharing which have
emerged and diffused repeatedly in a wide variety of ecologies during the
course of human history. Group-beneficial behaviors may evolve if (a) they
inflict sufficient fitness costs on outgroup individuals and (b)
group-level institutions limit the individual fitness costs of these
behaviors  (¡K).
The Co-Evolution Of Individual Behaviors And Social Institutions, S.
Bowles, J. Choic & A. Hopfensitzd, J. Theor. Biol., Vol. 223, Issue 2,
pp:135-147, 2003/06/14, doi:10.1016/S0022-5193(03)00060-2
Contributed by Atin Das


Excerpts: Cotton is our ticket into the world market. Its production is
crucial to economic development in West and Central Africa, as well as to
the livelihoods of millions of people there. Cotton accounts for up to 40
percent of export revenues and 10 percent of gross domestic product in our
two countries, as well as in Benin and Chad. (...)

This vital economic sector in our countries is seriously threatened by
agricultural subsidies granted by rich countries to their cotton producers.

Editor's Note: Amadou Toumani Toure and Blaise Compaore are the presidents
of Mali and Burkina Faso.

Your Farm Subsidies Are Strangling Us, Amadou, Toumani Toure, Blaise
Compaore, NYTimes, 03/07/11


Excerpt: (...) African farmers will benefit from new knowledge and
technology. But he's wrong about which technologies we should be offering.
African farmers neither need nor want to produce American-style genetically
modified crops.

It is easy to understand Africa's lack of enthusiasm. The first generation
of genetically modified food crops ¡X corn and soybean seeds ¡X were
created to make pest management simpler on America's large, mechanized
farms. The technologies would be far less effective on African farms, which
are small and diversified and rely largely on human labor.

These technologies don't make economic sense. In the United States, most
farmers planting genetically modified

Sowing Seeds of Destruction, Charles M. Benbrook, NYTimes, 03/07/11


19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks

Excerpt: Since September 11, 2001, U.S. defense strategies to counter
bioterrorism have largely centered on smallpox. That concentration of
effort has diverted attention and resources away from more basic general
public health considerations that are even more vital to bioterror defense.
Without the capacity to implement response plans and to treat cases that
were unanticipated before the event--capacities that depend on a strong
public health infrastructure--our present preparations are little more than
window-dressing. Perhaps most disturbing is the limited usefulness of
programs directed at defense against smallpox. Given the wide diversity of
potential biological agents that might be used in an attack, it would seem
prudent first to strengthen the public health system overall, a strategy
that serves defense aims whatever biological agent might be employed. The
lessons learned in the United States should be helpful to other nations
that are vulnerable to bioterrorism and ev! en more helpful to the global
effort to manage emerging infections of all kinds.
Bioterrorism Defense Priorities, May, Thomas, Silverman, Ross, Science 2003
301: 17-


Excerpt: The federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks
said today that its work was being hampered by the failure of executive
branch agencies, especially the Pentagon and the Justice Department, to
respond quickly to requests for documents and testimony.

The panel also said the failure of the Bush administration to allow
officials to be interviewed without the presence of government colleagues
could impede its investigation, with the commission's chairman suggesting
today that the situation amounted to "intimidation" of the witnesses.

9/11 Commission Says U.S. Agencies Slow Its Inquiry, Philip Shenon,
NYTimes, 03/07/09


20. Links & Snippets

20.1 Other Publications

Visual Selective Behavior Can Be Triggered By A Feed-Forward Process,
VanRullen, R. & Koch, C., J. Cogn. Neurosc.,15, 209-217, 2003
Almost Periodic Sequences, A. Muchnikm, A. Semenov & M. Ushakov, Theor.
Comp. Sc., Vol. 304, Issues 1-3, pp:1-33, 2003/05/15,
doi:10.1016/S0304-3975(02)00847-2
Sequence of Human Chromosome 7 is Fine-Tuned and Finished, 2003-07-10, WUSTL
Communication and Synchronization in Disconnected Networks with Dynamic
Topology: Moving Neighborhood Networks, Joseph D. Skufca, Erik M. Bollt,
2003-07-3, DOI: nlin.CD/0307010, arXiv
The Use Of Web Structure And Content To Identify Subjectively Interesting
Web Usage Patterns, R. Cooley, ACM Tran. Internet Tech., Vol. 3, Issue 2,
pp:93-116, May 2003, doi:10.1145/767193.767194
Memory Conformity: Can Eyewitnesses Influence Each Other's Memories For An
Event?, F. Gabbert, A. Memon & K. Allan, Appl. Cogn. Psycho., Vol. 17,
Issue 5, pp:533-543, 2003, DOI:10.1002/acp.885
Flashbulb And Factual Memories: The Case Of Rabin's Assassination, I.
Nachson & A. Zelig, Appl. Cogn. Psycho., Vol. 17, Issue 5, pp:519-531,
2003, DOI:10.1002/acp.887
Testing Fundamental Evolutionary Hypotheses, D. Penny, M. D. Hendy & A. M.
Poole, J. Theor. Biol., Vol. 223, Issue 2, pp:377-385, 2003/06/14,
doi:10.1016/S0022-5193(03)00099-7
Mobile Phone Use Can Improve Memory, E. Scales, Alphagalileo, 2003/07/03
Extremely Short Lifespan In The Annual Fish Nothobranchius Furzeri, S.
Valdesalici & A. Cellerino, Alphagalileo & Biol. Lett., 2003/07/07
Mother-Lamb Acoustic Recognition In Sheep: A Frequency Coding, A. Searby &
P. Jouventin, Alphagalileo & Proc. B (Biol. Sc.), 2003/07/07
Degree Of Mutual Ornamentation In Birds Is Related To Divorce Rate,
K.  Kraaijeveld, Alphagalileo & Proc. B (Biol. Sc.), 2003/07/07
Partial Begging: An Empirical Model For The Early Evolution Of Offspring
Signalling, P. T. Smiseth, C. T. Darwell & A. J. Moore, Alphagalileo &
Proc. B (Biol. Sc.), 2003/07/07
Human Hopping On Damped Surfaces: Strategies For Adjusting Leg Mechanics,
C. T. Moritz & C. T. Farley, Alphagalileo & Proc. B (Biol. Sc.), 2003/07/07
Computer Vision Study Links How Brain Recognizes Faces, Moods, ScienceDaily
& Ohio State Univ., 2003/07/03
Engineers Develop Technology To Transmit Sensation Of Touch Over Internet,
ScienceDaily, & Univ. at Buffalo, 2003/07/04
Migration Takes Guts: Birds Modify Digestive Physiology During Migration,
ScienceDaily & Univ. Of Rhode Island, 2003/07/08
Researchers Use Lab Cultures To Create Robotic 'Semi-living Artist',
ScienceDaily & Georgia Inst. Of Tech., 2003/07/09
How the Body Fights Foreign Molecules, bio.com, 03/06/30, Researchers have
moved one step closer to understanding how the body fights harmful antigens
? foreign molecules that trigger an immune response.
The Case For Knowledge Translation: Shortening The Journey From Evidence To
Effect, Dave Davis, Mike Evans, Alex Jadad, Laure Perrier, Darlyne Rath,
David Ryan, Gary Sibbald, Sharon Straus, Susan Rappolt, Maria Wowk, Merrick
Zwarenstein, BMJ 2003; 327: 33-35.
Control of Axon Branch Dynamics by Correlated Activity in Vivo, Ruthazer,
Edward S., Akerman, Colin J., Cline, Hollis T., Science 2003 301:66-70
Web Intelligence, Newsletter, Issue 2, July 2003
Asymmetric Pores In A Silicon Membrane Acting As Massively, Parallel
Brownian Ratchets, Sven Matthias And Frank Muller, Nature 424, 53 - 57 (03
July 2003); doi:10.1038/nature01736


20.2 Coming and Ongoing Webcasts

New Santa Fe Institute President About His Vision for SFI's Future Role,
(Video, Santa Fe, NM, 03/06/04)
Edge Videos
Einstein And Poincare, Peter Galison, 03/06/
Genome Changes Everything, Matt Ridley, 03/06/
A United Biology, E.O. Wilson, 03/05/28
In The Matrix, Martin Rees, 03/05/19
Who Cares About Fireflies? Steven Strogatz, 03/05/12
World Economic Forum Extraordinary Annual Meeting, Jordan, 03/06/21-23
SPIE's 1st Intl Symp on Fluctuations and Noise, Santa Fe, NM, 2003/06/01-04
NAS Sackler Colloquium on Mapping Knowledge Domains, Video/Audio Report,
03/05/11
Uncertainty and Surprise: Questions on Working with the Unexpected and
Unknowable, The University of Texas Austin, Texas USA, 2003/04/10-12
New Trends In Industrial Partnership And Innovation Management At European
Research Laboratories, CERN, Geneva, 2003/03/19 (with webcast)
CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998


20.3 Conference Announcements & Call for Papers

Exystence Thematic Institute - Algorithms And Challenges In Hard
Combinatorial Problems - Trieste, Italy, 03/07/01-31, Turin, Italy,
03/10/01-30
2003 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2003), Chicago,
IL,2003/07/12-16
2nd Intl Joint Conf on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
(AAMAS-2003), Melbourne, Australia, 2003/07/14-18
4th Workshop on Multi-Agent Based Simulation, Melbourne, Australia, 2003/07/14
7th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (SCI
2003), Orlando, Florida, 2003/07/27-30
BIFURCATIONS 2003, Southampton, UK, 03/07/28-30
Intl Conf on Socio Political Informatics and Cybernetics: SPIC '03,
Orlando, Fl, USA, 2003/07/31-08/02
Leadership for Complex Changes - Seattle Conference, Seattle, WA USA,
03/08/04-05
13th Annual International Conference, Soc f Chaos Theory in Psych & Life
Sciences,Boston, MA, USA, 2003/08/08-10
Thematic Institute "Networks and Risks", Budapest, Hungary, 03/08/25 - 09/27
Conference on Growing Networks and Graphs in Statistical Physics, Finance,
Biology and Social Systems, Rome, 03/09/01-05
Call for Papers on Dynamical Hierarchies, Special Issue of Artificial Life,
Deadline: 2003/09/05
7th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL-2003), Dortmund, Germany,
2003/09/14-17
A Dual International Conference on Ethics, Complexity & Organisations &
Creativity, London, UK, 2003/09/17-18
1st German Conference on Multiagent System Technologies (MATES'03), Erfurt,
Germany, 2003/09/22-25
Dynamics Days 2003, XXIII Annual Conference, 4 Decades of Chaos 1963-2003,
Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 03/09/24-27
Improving The NHS Through The Lens Of Complexity, U Exeter, UK, 03/09/24-26
Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT, Cambridge, MA, 2003/09/24-25
Intl School Mathematical Aspects of Quantum Chaos II Quantum Chaos on
Hyperbolic Manifolds, Schloss Reisensburg (Gunzburg, Germany), 03/10/04-11
2003 IEEE/WIC Intl Joint Conf. Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent
Technology, Halifax, Canada, 2003/10/13-17
American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) 2003 Conference (H.v.Foerster),
Vienna, Austria , 2003/11/10-15
Trends And Perspectives In Extensive And Non-Extensive Statistical
Mechanics, In Honour Of The 60th Birthday Of Constantino Tsallis, Angra Dos
Reis, Brazil, 2003/11/19-21
ICDM '03: The Third IEEE International Conference on Data Mining,
Melbourne, Florida, USA, 2003/11/19-22
4th Intl Conf on Systems Science and Systems Engineering, Hong Kong,
03/11/25-28
3rd International Workshop on Meta-Synthesis and Complex System, Guangzhou,
China, 2003/11/29-30
2nd International Workshop on the Mathematics and Algorithms of Social
Insects, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; 2003/12/15-17
1st International Workshop on Biologically Inspired Approaches to Advanced
Information Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland, 04/01/29-30
4th Intl ICSC Symposium Engineering Of Intelligent Systems (EIS 2004),
Island of Madeira, Portugal, 04/02/29-03/02
Fractal 2004, "Complexity and Fractals in Nature", 8th Intl
Multidisciplinary Conf , Vancouver, Canada, 2004/04/04-07
Urban Vulnerability and Network Failure: Constructions and Experiences of
Emergencies, Crises and Collapse, Manchester, UK, 04/04/29-30
Fifth International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2004), Boston, MA,
USA, 2004/05/16-21
13th International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases, Toulon,
France, 04/06/03-05


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.


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