Complexity Digest 2004.23
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
01. Send In the Swarm, Fortune
01.01. The Emergence of Complexity, Kassel University Press
01.02. Proceed With Caution, NY Times
01.03. Concepts, When Symmetry Breaks Down, Nature
02. Ion Entanglement in Quantum Information Processing, Science
03. Designer Nanotubes by Molecular Self-Assembly, Science
03.01. Dancing Lasers Levitate Carbon Nanotubes, NewScientist
03.02. Study: Self-Replicating Nanomachines Feasible, SmallTimes
04. Genetically-Modified Virus Explodes Cancer Cells, NewScientist
04.01. Theoretical Immunology: Parasitic Turncoat, Nature
04.02. Are HIV Vaccines Fighting Fire with Gasoline?, The Scientist
05. ECOLOGY - Lessons From The Wolf, Scientific American
05.01. Challenges of Modeling Ocean Basin Ecosystems, Science
05.02. Dead Waters, Science News
05.03. Flexibility in Algal Endosymbioses Shapes Growth in Reef Corals, Science
06. Controversial Fossil Could Shed Light on Early Animals' Blueprint, Science
06.01. Fossils Hint At Early Complexity, BBC News
07. Young World: NASA Telescope Reveals Clues To Newborn Planet, Science News
07.01. Youngest Extrasolar Planet Reported, Science
08. Gene Expression Is Noisy, The Scientist
08.01. Gene Regulation: A Reason For Reading Nonsense, Nature
08.02. Scientists Find New Type of Gene in Junk DNA, Reuters
09. Neurobiology: A Matter Of Balance, Nature
09.01. Neuroscience: Crossing The Midline, Science
10. Genes Promoting Nerve, Other Cell Communications May Have Come From
11. Flock Density, Social Foraging, And Scanning: An Experiment With Starlings,
12. Behold the Talking Chimp, The Scientist
13. Colour And The Mind: Do You See What I See?, Alphagalileo
14. From Collective Mind To Communication, Com. Sys.
15. Modeling The Movement Of Crowds In A City, Com. Sys.
16. Brain Disease Research, Particle Physics Meet In The Middle(Ware),
17. What's Google's Secret Weapon? An Army of Ph.D.'s, NY Times
17.01. Net Brings Activists Out In Force, BBC News
17.02. How Web Site Organization Influences Free Recall, Factual Knowledge,
Human Comm. Res.
18. Following The Afghan Drugs Trail, BBC News
18.01. The Preemptive-War Doctrine has Met an Early Death in Iraq, Los Angeles
18.02. Measuring Saud Family's Hold on Saudi Arabia, NPR ATC
19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
19.01. Spain and U.S. at Odds on Mistaken Terror Arrest, NY Times
19.02. Saudi Arabian Oil, NPR ME
19.03. Saudi Arabia Dissolves Muslim Charity, NPR ATC
20. Links & Snippets
20.01. Other Publications
20.02. Webcast Announcements
20.03. Conference & Call for Papers Announcements
01. Send In the Swarm , Fortune
Excerpts: Military brainstormers think that scores or hundreds or even a few
thousand cheap robots working in concert may play an important role in future
operations such as land-mine disposal (...). Hence the financial support for
figuring out the software for coordinating and controlling such swarms. As
befits a man who looks to the insect world for inspiration, McLurkin has on his
bookshelf such volumes as Journey to the Ants, by Harvard naturalist Edward O.
Wilson, and The Wisdom of the Hive, by Cornell honeybee expert Thomas Seeley.
* Send In the Swarm, Stuart F. Brown , 04/06/01, Fortune
Contributed by Dean LeBaron
01.01. The Emergence of Complexity , Kassel University Press
Excerpts: This book considers the question how complex systems suddenly emerge
during the course of evolution and why the long-winded evolution of
systems and species is interspersed with short phases of fast revolutions.
Based on an agent based view of complex systems, it describes how systems
become more and more complex, well illustrated with many examples for the
emergence of complexity. From ancient cultures to modern states and from
the earliest primitive organisms to self-conscious human beings, the text
explores the widest range of phenomena with the fewest possible principles.
* The Emergence of Complexity, Jochen Fromm
, Kassel University Press, 2004
01.02. Proceed With Caution , NY Times
Excerpts: Joy often uses the free market as an example of a system where any
outcome, good or bad, is possible. At the moment, he argues, the same potential
for good and bad outcomes exists in various kinds of private-sector research.
The problem, though, is that a single bad biotech outcome may quickly become
epidemic, unstoppable and irreversible. ''Markets can take us places we don't
want to go,'' he says, ''and science, unchallenged and uninhibited, will take
us places we don't want to go.''
* Proceed With Caution, Jon Gertner , 04/06/06, NYTimes
01.03. Concepts, When Symmetry Breaks Down , Nature
Excerpts: For example, in a liquid, an atom is equally likely to move in any
direction in space ?(...). But if we cool the liquid until it freezes, a
crystal will form, which has distinguished axes. All directions in space are
equally possible as crystal axes, but when the liquid freezes, some
distinguished axes will always emerge. The symmetry between the different
directions in space has been lost or 'spontaneously broken'.
(...) just after the 'Big Bang' there was a perfect symmetry between the photon
and the W and Z bosons.
* Concepts, When Symmetry Breaks Down, Edward Witten , 04/06/03, DOI:
10.1038/429507a, Nature 429, 507 - 508
02. Ion Entanglement in Quantum Information Processing , Science
Excerpts: Roos et al.
[HN5] and Leibfried et al. (4)
[HN6] report the creation, control, and potential applications of
three-particle entangled states made with trapped ions.
(...)development of microscopic systems based on pure-state dynamics, which may
lead to scalable quantum computation.(...)
These two complementary studies show the continued progress in engineering
quantum systems to perform tasks that are beyond their classical counterparts.
They open a new path for coherent control by enabling the control operation to
be conditional on measurement, and they point to practical applications for
* Ion Entanglement in Quantum Information Processing, D. G. Cory , T. F. Havel
, 04/06/04, Science : 1456-1457
03. Designer Nanotubes by Molecular Self-Assembly , Science
Excerpts: On a molecular scale, the accurate and controlled application of
intermolecular forces can lead to new, previously unachievable, nanostructures.
This is why molecular self-assembly (MSA) is a highly topical and promising
field of research in nanotechnology today. MSA encompasses all structures
formed by molecules selectively binding to a molecular site without external
influence. With many complex examples all around us in nature (ourselves
included), MSA is a widely observed phenomenon that has yet to be fully
understood. Being more a physical principle than a single quantifiable
property, (...) truly interdisciplinary.
* Designer Nanotubes by Molecular Self-Assembly, Werner J. Blau , Alexander J.
, 04/06/04, Science : 1457-1458
03.01. Dancing Lasers Levitate Carbon Nanotubes , NewScientist
How lasers can pick and place nanotubes
For the first time, carbon nanotubes have been picked up and moved with a laser
beam. The trick may finally offer engineers who want to build microchips based
on nanotube components a way to move the diminutive devices into place.
The semiconducting properties of nanotubes ?(...) - mean they might one day be
used as the basis for low-power, ultra-fast chips. But until now, the only way
to position the carbon tubes has been laborious: nudging them around with an
expensive instrument called an atomic force microscope.
* Dancing Lasers Levitate Carbon Nanotubes, Celeste Biever , 04/06/04, New
03.02. Study: Self-Replicating Nanomachines Feasible , SmallTimes
Excerpts: A useful self-replicating machine could be less complex than a
Pentium IV chip, according to a new study (PDF, 1.73 MB) performed by General
Dynamics for NASA.
(...) examined the design of "kinematic cellular automata," a reconfigurable
system of many identical modules. Through simulations, the researchers
demonstrated the feasibility of this kind of self-replication, which could in a
decade or more lead to the mass manufacture of molecularly precise robots,
display monitors and integrated circuits that can be programmed in the field,
the study said.
* Study: Self-Replicating Nanomachines Feasible, 04/06/02, SmallTimes
04. Genetically-Modified Virus Explodes Cancer Cells , NewScientist
Excerpts: A genetically-modified virus that exploits the selfish behaviour of
cancer cells may offer a powerful and selective way of killing tumours. (...)
Normally, the detection of an intruder by a cell triggers a process called
(...) virus was immediately detected by normal cells and was unable to spread.
But in cancer cells, which grow uncontrollably and ignore the cell death
process, the virus was able to thrive and spread rapidly. It then multiplied so
vigorously that it killed the cancer cells by making them explode.
* Genetically-Modified Virus Explodes Cancer Cells, Shaoni Bhattacharya ,
04/06/01, New Scientist
04.01. Theoretical Immunology: Parasitic Turncoat , Nature
Excerpts: Some parasites evade the immune response of their victim by changing
their antigenic coat. Surprisingly, it seems that the trick works best if the
new coat isn't completely different from the old one.
Antigenic variation is one of the tricks that pathogens have evolved to escape
the immune response of vertebrates. The basic idea is simple. When the specific
immune responses directed against the pathogen's antigens have reached a
sufficiently high level to clear the infection, the pathogen changes its
antigens, rendering the immune responses useless.
* Theoretical Immunology: Parasitic Turncoat, Rustom Antia , Jacob Koella ,
04/06/03, DOI: 10.1038/429511a, Nature 429, 511 - 513
04.02. Are HIV Vaccines Fighting Fire with Gasoline? , The Scientist
Excerpts: An effective HIV vaccine has yet to be created, and maybe one never
will. Scientists working on protective vaccines have mountains of problems with
the virus' slippery nature, but perhaps most unnerving is that a vaccine-primed
immune system might be more susceptible to infection. Boosting the HIV-specific
helper cells may be giving the virus more factories in which to reproduce.
T helper (Th) cells have a "dual role as target cells for infection, as well as
being important mediators of the host immune response," (...).
* Are HIV Vaccines Fighting Fire with Gasoline?, Josh P. Roberts , 04/06/07,
05. ECOLOGY - Lessons From The Wolf , Scientific American
Image: DIANE HARGREAVES
EARLY SPRING in the Lamar River Valley: several wolves chase elk while an
interested grizzly bear awaits the outcome. Grizzlies can drive wolves off a
kill; more often they scavenge after the wolves have eaten their fill.
Bringing the top predator back to Yellowstone has triggered a cascade of
unanticipated changes in the park's ecosystem.
The wolf-effect theory holds that wolves kept elk numbers at a level that
prevented them from gobbling up every tree or willow that poked its head
aboveground. When the wolves were extirpated in the park as a menace, elk
numbers soared, and the hordes consumed the vegetation, denuding the Lamar
Valley and driving out many other species. Without young trees on the range,
beavers, for example, had little or no food, (...).
* ECOLOGY - Lessons From The Wolf, Jim Robbins , 04/06, Scientific American
05.01. Challenges of Modeling Ocean Basin Ecosystems , Science
Excerpts: (...) there is a growing need to understand and predict changes in
marine ecosystems. Biogeochemical and physical oceanographic models are well
developed, but extending these further up the food web to include zooplankton
and fish is a major challenge. The difficulty arises because organisms at
higher trophic levels are longer lived, with important variability in abundance
and distribution at basin and decadal scales. Those organisms at higher trophic
levels also have complex life histories compared to microbes, further
complicating their coupling to lower trophic levels and the physical system.
* Challenges of Modeling Ocean Basin Ecosystems, Brad deYoung , Mike Heath ,
Francisco Werner , Fei Chai , , Bernard Megrey , Patrick Monfray , 04/06/04,
Science : 1463-1466.
05.02. Dead Waters , Science News
SUFFOCATING STRETCH. Map depicts 20,700 square kilometers of the dead zone in
the 2001 Gulf of Mexico. The zone probably extends farther west, but
researchers ran out of money before they could finish charting that area.
S. Norcross, adapted from Rabalais/LUMCON
Massive oxygen-starved zones are developing along the world's coasts
Although the precise timing and size of the Gulf's dead zone varies with the
weather, in many years it encompasses 22,000 square kilometers, a parcel of
underwater real estate roughly the size of New Jersey. Fish that can evacuate
as oxygen drops do so lthough abandoning their home habitat may render them
vulnerable to predators. Crustaceans and other seafloor life that can't leave
fast enough simply die.
* Dead Waters, Janet Raloff , 04/06/05, Science News
05.03. Flexibility in Algal Endosymbioses Shapes Growth in Reef Corals ,
Excerpts: The relation between corals and their algal endosymbionts has been a
key to the success of scleractinian (stony) corals as modern reef-builders, but
little is known about early stages in the establishment of the symbiosis. Here,
we show that initial uptake of zooxanthellae by juvenile corals during natural
infection is nonspecific (a potentially adaptive trait); the association is
flexible and characterized by a change in (dominant) zooxanthella strains over
time; (...) clade C nfected juveniles growing two to three times as fast as
those infected with clade D.
* Flexibility in Algal Endosymbioses Shapes Growth in Reef Corals, Angela F.
Little , Madeleine J. H. van Oppen , Bette L. Willis
, 04/06/04, Science : 1492-1494.
06. Controversial Fossil Could Shed Light on Early Animals' Blueprint , Science
Excerpts: The new animal, (...), was an oval blob less than a fifth of a
millimeter long. The authors say it shows that key features of bilaterians are
preserved in rocks some 580 million to 600 million years old--and thus that the
genetic tool kit used to assemble more sophisticated body plans was present
long before the Cambrian. "If these are bilaterian fossils, they would help
tone down the suddenness of that 'explosion,' " says Jere Lipps of the
University of California, Berkeley.
* Controversial Fossil Could Shed Light on Early Animals' Blueprint, Erik
Stokstad , 04/06/04, Science : 1425
06.01. Fossils Hint At Early Complexity , BBC News
The animals may even have possessed sensory organs
Blob-like fossils dating back about 600 million years may indicate that complex
life evolved much earlier on our planet than had been thought, scientists
If the analysis of the fossils by Jun-Yuan Chen and colleagues is accepted by
the scientific community, the specimens would represent the most ancient
evidence yet of animals complex enough to have the symmetrical two-sided body
plan found in modern creatures, such as humans.
The animals ?(...)- even have what look like pits in their outer surface that
might have contained sensory organs.
* Fossils Hint At Early Complexity, BBC News
07. Young World: NASA Telescope Reveals Clues To Newborn Planet , Science News
NEW PLANET? An artist's conception of a young planet, larger than Jupiter, as
it orbits the star CoKu Tau 4. Astronomers didn't see the planet directly but
inferred its existence from a gap in the star's dust cloud, using infrared
measurements from the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Astronomers have found signs of what may be the youngest planet known, plus the
first signs ever of organic compounds in a region of dust that could evolve
into a planet-forming system.
By measuring infrared light, the Spitzer Space Telescope also located hundreds
of newborn stars, some with potentially planet-forming dust. "The number of
potential Earthlike planets in the galaxy is greater than we previously
CoKu Tau 4, about 420 light-years from Earth and in the constellation Taurus,
is only 1 million years old, a cosmic baby.
* Young World: NASA Telescope Reveals Clues To Newborn Planet, Carrie Lock ,
04/06/05, Science News
07.01. Youngest Extrasolar Planet Reported , Science
Excerpts: When Watson and his colleagues compared the behavior of
shorter-wavelength infrared radiation coming predominantly from the star to
that at longer wavelengths mainly from the dusty disk, they concluded that the
debris has been cleared out near the star to form a gap. Such gaps have been
found around other stars, Watson noted, but the Spitzer observations show an
exceptionally clear and sharp-edged gap. The most likely explanation, said
Watson, is that a planet formed there and swept up the debris.
* Youngest Extrasolar Planet Reported, Richard A. Kerr , 04/06/04, Science :
08. Gene Expression Is Noisy , The Scientist
Excerpts: The random fluctuations lso known as noise f gene expression could
account for phenotypic variations ranging from the minor uch as different
fingerprints in identical twins o the major (...).
(...) measurements of noise in single budding yeast cells suggest that noise
also provides a means, albeit temporary, of cellular adaptation to the
The team also identified mutations that could convert a gene from a less to a
more noisy state, and vice versa, (...) a cellular population can take
advantage of: to evolve to better adapt to an environment."
* Gene Expression Is Noisy, Cathy Holding , 04/08/28, The Scientist
08.01. Gene Regulation: A Reason For Reading Nonsense , Nature
Excerpts: The process of transcribing DNA can itself regulate gene expression
in yeast: (...) the very act of reading the DNA, not the message produced, that
carries out the regulatory job.
What is the production of DNA transcripts good for? Most notably, of course,
the transcripts provide the read-out of an organism's genome in the form of
messenger RNAs that act as blueprints for protein construction. (...) Why is
there (...) production of large quantities of apparently non-coding and
These RNAs are often dismissed as 'noise', (...).
* Gene Regulation: A Reason For Reading Nonsense, Sabine Schmitt , Renato Paro
, 04/06/03, DOI: 10.1038/429510a, Nature 429, 510 - 511
08.02. Scientists Find New Type of Gene in Junk DNA , Reuters
Excerpts: Unlike other genes, the new one does not produce a protein or enzyme
to carry out its function. But when it is turned on, it regulates a neighboring
"I cannot think of another regulatory gene such as this one," he added.
There are about 30,000 to 40,000 genes in the human genome. Much of the genome
consists of junk DNA which scientists are trying to decipher to determine the
causes and potential treatments for human diseases.
* Scientists Find New Type of Gene in Junk DNA, Patricia Reaney , 04/06/02,
09. Neurobiology: A Matter Of Balance , Nature
Excerpts: (...), in the spinal cord of developing frogs, profiles of
neurotransmitter expression can change in response to differing degrees of
neuronal activity. Although it was well known that neurons can alter the levels
of expression of particular neurotransmitters after changes in circuit
activity, (...) embryonic spinal-cord neurons can also alter the types of
neurotransmitter that they produce ?and that they do this independently of
changes in cell identity. Moreover, these changes in neurotransmitter
phenotype, (...), occur in a system that was thought to be genetically
* Neurobiology: A Matter Of Balance, Martyn Goulding , 04/06/03, DOI:
10.1038/429515a, Nature 429, 515 - 517
09.01. Neuroscience: Crossing The Midline , Science
Excerpts: But how do countless axons find the correct target neurons with which
to form synapses, ensuring normal development and function of the nervous
system? The more complex the nervous system of an organism, the greater is the
problem. The sheer distances traveled by axons--up to 105 times an axon's
diameter--and the number of potential target neurons are staggering.
Furthermore, there is the problem of negotiating the midline of the nervous
system. How do axons know if and when they need to cross the midline?
* Neuroscience: Crossing The Midline, C. Geoffrey Woods , 04/06/04, Science :
10. Genes Promoting Nerve, Other Cell Communications May Have Come From
Bacteria , ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Specifically, the genes contain the information needed to make
enzymes, which, in turn are crucial for making the complex molecules that cells
use to communicate with each other. The researchers also identified genes for
enzymes that are involved in the manufacture of the following chemical
messengers: * acetylcholine - involved in learning and memory, muscle
contraction, * dopamine - the absence of which results in Parkinson's disease *
norepinephrine and epinephrine - involved in alertness, vascular tone *
serotonin - involved in mood, * glutamate - involved in alertness * nitric
oxide - involved in many bodily functions, including blood pressure regulation
* histamine - involved in the allergic response
* Genes Promoting Nerve, Other Cell Communications May Have Come From Bacteria,
2004/06/03, ScienceDaily & NIH/National Institute Of Child Health And Human
* Contributed by Atin Das
11. Flock Density, Social Foraging, And Scanning: An Experiment With Starlings
, Behav. Ecol.
Abstract: Social foraging differs from individual foraging because it alters
both resource availability and the forager's behavior. We examined responses of
starlings to the presence of conspecifics by manipulating foraging-group
density experimentally, while ensuring that each subject's foraging
opportunities were unchanged. The focal individual analysis showed that (1)
food-searching activity increased, while time spent scanning, (...) decreased
with flock density; (2) food finding per unit of searching effort increased
with density; (3) head orientation during scanning was sensitive to companions'
proximity (...). We conclude that behavioral responses of individuals to the
presence of others generate important changes in foraging performance (...).
* Flock Density, Social Foraging, And Scanning: An Experiment With Starlings,
E. F.-Juricic firstname.lastname@example.org , S. Siller , A. Kacelnik , May 2004,
* Contributed by Pritha Das
12. Behold the Talking Chimp , The Scientist
Excerpts: Zeroing in on the genetic basis of language
SMALL HINTS, LARGE CHANGES: Although the genetic differences are small, as
illustrated in the above stretch of FOXP2, and the neural differences still
largely unknown, there is a world of difference between the mind of a chimp and
the mind of a human.
Photo: Courtesy of Rick Effland; Design, Erica P. Johnson
It has long been clear that resolving the mystery of language will require
cooperation among researchers steeped in a broad range of disciplines, from
genetics and neuroscience to psychology, anthropology, and linguistics. (...).
Brain imagers are beginning to collaborate with professional linguists,
psychologists are collaborating with geneticists, and so forth. Such studies
have already overturned the simplistic story found in many textbooks (...) and
stimulated a great deal of new research, aimed at understanding language as the
product of a far more complex network that spans the brain.
* Behold the Talking Chimp, Gary Marcus , 04/06/07, The Scientist
13. Colour And The Mind: Do You See What I See? , Alphagalileo
Excerpts: Science Museum visitors are being offered the chance to take part in
a scientific study into how the brain creates experiences of colour. As part of
the Museum's 'Live Science' initiative, scientists will investigate how people
use the mind's eye to associate colours with symbols and will explore
individual differences in the way we perceive the world. "Our experiment (...)
will hopefully show that significant differences do exist in the way that some
people colour their world and give us the opportunity to find out whether these
differences are more common in men versus women and children versus adults."
* Colour And The Mind: Do You See What I See?, B. Ayers email@example.com ,
* Contributed by Atin Das
14. From Collective Mind To Communication , Com. Sys.
Abstract: "Collective mind" is introduced as a set of simple intelligent units
(say, neurons, or interacting agents) that can communicate by exchanging
information without explicit global control. Incomplete information is
compensated for by a sequence of random guesses symmetrically distributed
around expectations with prescribed variances. Both the expectations and
variances are the invariants characterizing the whole class of agents. These
invariants are stored as parameters of the collective mind, while they
contribute to dynamical formalism of the agents' evolution, (...). The main
departure of this model from newtonian and statistical physics is due to
feedback from the mental to the motor dynamics (...).
* From Collective Mind To Communication, M. Zak , 14:4, 2004, Complex Systems
* Contributed by Atin Das
15. Modeling The Movement Of Crowds In A City , Com. Sys.
Abstract: A simulation of crowd movement in a city is studied under various
assumptions about interactions between people. We find, in general, that there
are two modes of steady-state behavior. The crowd may be distributed across the
city, or it may end up gathered in one place. A mathematical model describes
the long-term behavior and shows that this change in behavior is sensitive to a
critical parameter setting in our model. Some alternative interpretations of
the results are formulated.
* El Botell : Modeling The Movement Of Crowds In A City, J. E. Rowe , R.
Gomez , 14:4, 2004, Complex Systems
* Contributed by Atin Das
16. Brain Disease Research, Particle Physics Meet In The Middle(Ware) ,
Excerpts: The study of Alzheimer's disease and the analysis of particle
collisions may not appear to have much in common, but behind the scenes,
middleware being developed (...) Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN)
is establishing the cyberinfrastructure (...). The ability to share and compare
massive data sets such as MRI brain scans or high-resolution electron
microscopy images is essential to participants' research into Alzheimer's
disease, depression, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and other disorders.
With the participating research labs connected by the Internet2
high-performance network, the BIRN cyberinfrastructure uses software from the
NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI) to harness grid-based services (...).
* Brain Disease Research, Particle Physics Meet In The Middle(Ware),
2004/05/31, ScienceDaily & National Science Foundation
* Contributed by Atin Das
17. What's Google's Secret Weapon? An Army of Ph.D.'s , NY Times
Excerpts: Microsoft has 56,000 employees, but its research group, with 700, is
separate. Google has 1,900 employees, and no separate research group, so all
1,900, effectively, are charged to "boldly go where no one has gone before"
(its words). You have to like Google's chances.
Employee motivation is tied to sundry conveniences and happy stomachs, or so it
would seem. When Google filed its initial public offering plans in April, it
enumerated employee benefits like those washing machines, free meals and doctor
visits at company offices.
* What's Google's Secret Weapon? An Army of Ph.D.'s, Randall Stross ,
17.01. Net Brings Activists Out In Force , BBC News
Excerpts: With politics in America more polarised than any time since the
1960s, there is one thing that all the parties can agree on this crucial
election year - the power of web-based activism.
New York City may be a bastion of Democratic Party politics and support, but
that didn't stop the Republican grassroots' campaigner-in-chief, Ralph Reed,
from attending a downtown seminar in late May on politics and the internet.
The legendary right-wing organiser ?(...) - told his mainly left-leaning
audience that local democracy was being regenerated through the internet.
* Net Brings Activists Out In Force, Matt Wells
17.02. How Web Site Organization Influences Free Recall, Factual Knowledge ,
Human Comm. Res.
Abstract: Past research has demonstrated that nonlinear Web presentations
(i.e., those that allow viewing in multiple orders) may lead to decreased free
recall and learning of factual information compared to traditional, print-like
linear Web designs. Recent evidence suggests, however, that nonlinear designs
may facilitate learning of the interconnectedness of the presented information.
This article (...) examine the potential influence of two mediating variables:
selective scanning and elaboration. The central finding is that linear site
designs encourage factual learning, whereas nonlinear designs increase
knowledge structure density. The effects of elaboration and selective scanning,
however, are mixed.
* How Web Site Organization Influences Free Recall, Factual Knowledge, And
Knowledge Structure Density, W. P. Eveland, Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org , J. Cortese
, Apr. 2004, Human Communication Research
* Contributed by Atin Das
18. Following The Afghan Drugs Trail , BBC News
Excerpts: The Afghan drugs trade is growing so fast some fear the country could
become a narco-state, where drugs barons rule, not the government.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, has been
visiting the country to assess the situation, touring north and western
Afghanistan before meeting President Karzai and other leaders in Kabul.
BBC Afghanistan correspondent Andrew North has been travelling with Mr Costa.
This is his diary from the trip.
The UN is worried by a big rise in the opium trade
* Following The Afghan Drugs Trail, 04/06/04, BBC News
18.01. The Preemptive-War Doctrine has Met an Early Death in Iraq , Los Angeles
Excerpts: Bush's preemption doctrine went well beyond anything previous
presidents had contemplated. To be sure, the option of using force preemptively
had existed for Bush's predecessors. Some had used it s Bill Clinton did in
1998 when he ordered an attack on a pharmaceutical plant (...). But Bush's
conception of preemption far exceeded responding to an imminent danger of
attack. He instead advocated preventive wars of regime change. The United
States claimed the right to use force to oust leaders it disliked long before
they could threaten its security.
* The Preemptive-War Doctrine has Met an Early Death in Iraq, Ivo H. Daalder ,
James Lindsay , 04/05/30, Los Angeles Times
18.02. Measuring Saud Family's Hold on Saudi Arabia , NPR ATC
Excerpts: NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Yousef Ibrahim, former New York Times
correspondent and now managing director of the Strategic Energy Investment
Group in Dubai, U.A.E., about the stability of the ruling Saud family in Saudi
Arabia. The recent armed attacks in Khobar are only the surface indications of
great pressures threatening the country's leadership.
* Measuring Saud Family's Hold on Saudi Arabia, 04/06/02, NPR ATC
19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
19.01. Spain and U.S. at Odds on Mistaken Terror Arrest , NY Times
Excerpts: (...) F.B.I. at one point told federal prosecutors that Spanish
officials were "satisfied" with their conclusion.
But in interviews this week, Spanish officials vehemently denied ever backing
up that assessment, saying they had told American law enforcement officials
from the start, after their own tests, that the match was negative. The Spanish
officials said their American counterparts relentlessly pressed their case
anyway, explaining away stark proof of a flawed link ?including what the
Spanish described as tell-tale forensic signs ?and seemingly refusing to
accept the notion that they were mistaken.
Editor's Note: One might wonder about the fate of other terrorist suspects in
U.S. custody where the outcome of the case exclusively depends on F.B.I.
vidence?without any potential corrective influence from unbiased
* Spain and U.S. at Odds on Mistaken Terror Arrest, Sarah Kershaw , 04/06/05,
19.02. Saudi Arabian Oil , NPR ME
Excerpts: NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Robert Baer, a former CIA agent who
worked in the Middle East. They discuss potential future terrorist attacks on
Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure. Over the weekend, armed militiamen killed 22
workers at a compound in the Saudi city of Khobar. Baer is the author of
upcoming book Sleeping With the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi
* Saudi Arabian Oil, 04/06/01, NPR ME
19.03. Saudi Arabia Dissolves Muslim Charity , NPR ATC
Excerpts: Saudi Arabia dissolves a large Saudi-based Muslim charity in what it
says is an action to halt terrorist financing. Assets of the charity,
Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, were placed in a national commission meant to
control. The move follows a weekend attack by suspected al Qaeda gunmen in the
kingdom. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
* Saudi Arabia Dissolves Muslim Charity, 04/06/02, NPR ATC
20. Links & Snippets
20.01. Other Publications
- A Trade-Investment Model For Distribution Of Wealth, N. Scafetta
email@example.com , S. Picozzia , B. J. Westa , 2004/06/15, Physica D: Nonlinear
Phenomena, DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2004.01.031
- Statistical Mechanical Foundations Of Power-Law Distributions, A. K.
Rajagopal firstname.lastname@example.org S. Abeb, 2004/06/15, Physica D: Nonlinear
Phenomena, DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2004.01.010
- What Should A Statistical Mechanics Satisfy To Reflect Nature?, C. Tsallis
email@example.com , 2004/06/15, online 2004/02/26, Physica D: Nonlinear
Phenomena, DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2004.01.006
- Feelings And Emotions: Roles For Electrophysiological Markers, J. T. Cacioppo
firstname.lastname@example.org , Oct. 2004, online 2004/04/09, Biological Psychology,
- "No No No" And Other Types Of Multiple Sayings In Social Interaction, T.
Stivers Tanya.Stivers@mpi.nl , Apr. 2004, Human Communication Research
- New Dinosaurs Link Southern Landmasses In The Mid-Cretaceous, P. C. Sereno ,
J. A. Wilson , J. L. Conrad , 2004/06/01, Alphagalileo & Proceedings
- Spatial Variation And Density-Dependent Dispersal In Competitive Coexistence,
P. Amarasekare , 2004/06/01, Alphagalileo & Proceedings Biological Sciences
- Reproductive Isolation Caused By Visual Predation On Migrants Between
Divergent Environments, P. Nosil , 2004/06/01, Alphagalileo & Proceedings
- Scientists Discover Way To Regulate The Body's Energy Expenditure, T.
Stephenson email@example.com , 2004/06/02, Alphagalileo
- New Cardiac Arrhythmia Syndrome Identified, 2004/06/01, ScienceDaily & Duke
University Medical Center
- The Globalization Of Liberalization: Policy Diffusion In The International
Political Economy, K. Ward firstname.lastname@example.org , Jun. 2004, Journal of Economic
- US Multinational Affiliate Exports From Developing Countries, H. J. Shatz
email@example.com , Jun. 2004, Journal of Economic Geography
- Extrapair Paternity And The Evolution Of Bird Song, L. Z. Garamszegi
firstname.lastname@example.org , A. P. M ler , May 2004, Behavioral Ecology
- The Institutionalization Of The U.S. Supreme Court, K. T. McGuire
email@example.com , Spring 2004, Political Analysis
- Remembrance Of Odors Past: Human Olfactory Cortex In Cross-Modal Recognition
Memory, J. A. Gottfried firstname.lastname@example.org , A. P. R. Smith , M. D.
Rugg , R. J. Dolan , 2004/05/27, Neuron
- Privacy and The Matrix, Barry Steinhardt , 04/05/27, Washington Post
- Total Information Dilemma, Cynthia L. Webb , 04/05/27, Washington Post
- Satellite Images 'Show Atlantis', Paul Rincon , 04/06/06, BBC News,
The imagery may show the former locations of major buildings and rings
- Nice Threads, 04/06/05, Science News,
Once researchers figure out how to spin strong fibers out of carbon nanotubes,
real-world applications such as long-distance power-transmission cables,
lightweight aircraft materials, and electronic textiles become feasible.
- Protein Power: Solar cell produces electricity from spinach and bacterial
proteins, 04/06/05, Science News, Researchers have fabricated a solar cell that
uses photosynthetic proteins to convert light into electricity.
- Tiny Tubes Brighten Bulbs: Nanotubes beat tungsten in lightbulb test aybe,
04/06/05, Science News, Experiments suggest that lightbulbs with filaments made
from carbon nanotubes outshine conventional bulbs.
- Death Waits for No One: Deferred demises take a couple of hits, 04/06/05,
Two new reports challenge the idea that elderly people suffering from serious
physical illnesses can prolong their lives just long enough to experience a
personally meaningful event.
- Geyser Bashing: Distant quake alters timing of eruptions, 04/06/05, Science
A powerful earthquake that struck central Alaska on Nov. 3, 2002, changed the
eruption schedule of some geysers in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park, more
- Breast milk may lower cholesterol, 04/06/05, Science News, Feeding a newborn
baby breast milk instead of formula during the first month of life improves the
child's cholesterol readings later on.
- Killer weather on Mount Everest, 04/06/05, Science News,
An analysis of weather patterns around Mount Everest in May 1996, when eight
climbers died, suggests that a sudden drop in barometric pressure may have
played a significant role in the deaths.
- Simple water filter can nail arsenic, 04/06/05, Science News,
Field tests suggest that people who live in areas with arsenic-tainted aquifers
may be able to purify their drinking water by passing it through a low-tech,
low-cost filter that includes a bed of iron nails.
- Control And Measurement Of Three-Qubit Entangled States, Christian F. Roos ,
Mark Riebe , Hartmut H fner , Wolfgang H sel , Jan Benhelm , Gavin P. T.
Lancaster , Christoph Becher , Ferdinand Schmidt-Kaler , Rainer Blatt
, 04/06/04, Science : 1478-1480.
- Development Spending:Economists Rate Greenhouse Gas Curbs a Poor Investment,
, 04/06/04, Science : 1429
- Drugs May Turn Cancer Into Manageable Disease, Andrew Pollack , 04/06/06,
- Brain-Mimicking Circuits To Run Navy Robot, Charles Choi , 04/06/07, United
20.02. Webcast Announcements
Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium,
International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
Life, a Nobel Story, Brussels, Belgium, 04/04/28
Nonlinear Dynamics and Statistical Mechanics Days, Brussels, Belgium,
Science Education Forum for Chinese Language Culture, , Panel Discussion,
Taipei, Taiwan, 04/05/01
Biologically Inspired Approaches to Advanced Information Technology, ,
Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H.,
Internet-First University Press, 1994
World Economic Forum 2004, Davos, Switzerland Riding the Next Democratic
Wave, Al-Thani, Khan, Vike-Freiberga, Wade, Soros, Zakaria, World Economic
The Future of Global Interdependence, Kharrazi, Held, Owens, Shourie, Annan,
Martin, Schwab, World Economic Forum, 04/01/25 Why Victory Against Terrorism
Demands Shared Values
CODIS 2004, International Conference On Communications, Devices And
Intelligent Systems, 2004 Calcutta, India, 04/01/09-10 EVOLVABILITY &
INTERACTION: Evolutionary Substrates of Communication, Signaling, and
Perception in the Dynamics of Social Complexity, London, UK, 03/10/08-10 The
Semantic Web and Language Technology - Its Po tential and Practicalities,
Bucharest, Romania, 03/07/28-08/08 ECAL 2003, 7th European Conference on
Artificial Life, Dortmund, Germany, 03/09/14-17 New Santa Fe Institute
President About His Vision for SFI's Future Role, (Video, Santa Fe, NM,
03/06/04) 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 13th Ann Intl Conf, Soc f Chaos Theory in Psych & Life
Sciences, Boston, MA, USA, 2003/08/08-10 CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos
of Archived Lectures and Live Events Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video
Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998 Edge Videos
20.03. Conference & Call for Papers Announcements
Experimental Chaos Conference, Florence, Italy,
An Intl Tribute to Francisco Varela, Paris,04/06/18-20
Intl Conf on Linking Systems Thinking, Innovation,Quality, Entrepreneurship and
MARIBOR, SLOVENIA, 04/06/24-26
Biannual Meeting Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, Whistler, BC,
NAACSOS 2004, North American Association for Computational Social and
Organizational Science, Pittsburgh PA, 04/06/27-29
Statphys - Kolkata V An International Conference on Complex Networks:
Structure, Function and Processes , Kolkata, India, 04/06/27-30
ICAD 2004 10th International Conference on Auditory Display, Sydney, Australia,
3rd Intl School Topics in Nonlinear Dynamics Discrete Dynamical Systems and
Applications , Urbino (Italy), 04/07/07-09
`Perspectives on Nonlinear Dynamics 2004 (PNLD-2004), Chen!
nai, India, 04/07/12-15
From Animals To Animats
8, 8th Intl Conf On The Simulation Of Adaptive Behavior
(SAB'04), Los Angeles, USA, 04/07/13-17
14th Annual International Conference The Society for Chaos Theory in
Psychology & Life Sciences , Milwaukee, WI, USA, 04/07/15-18
Facing Complexity, Wellington, NZ, 04/07/15-17
Interdisciplinary Colloquium, Security Bytes, Security/Life/Terror
, Lancaster, 04/07/17-19
Gordon Research Conference on "Oscillations & Dynamic Instabilities In
Chemical Systems", Lewiston, ME, 04/07/18-23
Intl Conf Autonomous Agents & Multi-Agent Systems Conference (AAMAS 2004), New
York City, 04/07/19-23
Intl Workshop on: Trust in Agent Societies , New York City, 04/07/19-20
World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and
Informatics, Orlando, Florida, USA, 04/07/18-21
The 4 th International Workshop on Meta-Synthesis and Complex Systems
(MCS'2004) , Beijing, 04/07/22-23
Summer Simulation MultiConference (SummerSim'04), San Jose
Hyatt, San Jose, California, 04/07/25-29
SME 2004 Symposium on Modeling
and Control of Economic Systems , University in Redlands, CA, 04/07/28-31
International Mathematica Symposium (IMS 2004), Banff,
Real-Life Complex Adaptive Systems: Modelling And Control, session in Intl Conf
on Computing, Communications and Control Technologies: CCCT'04, Austin, Texas,
Fractals and Natural Hazards at
32nd Intl Geological Congress (IGC), Florence, Italy, 04/08/20-28
Intl Conf on Science of Complex Networks: from Biology
to the Internet and WWW (CNET2004), Aveiro
ICCC 2004, IEEE International Conference on Computational Cybernetics, ,
Vienna, Austria, 04/08/30-09/01
2004, 4th International Workshop on Ant Colony
Optimization and Swarm Intelligence, Brussels, Belgium,
An Inquiry into Systems, Emergence, Levels of Reality,
and Forms of Causality, Trento, Italy,
Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems
(ALIFE9), Boston, Massachusetts, 04/09/12-15
Neuroeconomics 2004, Charleston, SC, 04/09/16-19
TNew Economic Windows 2004: Complexity Hints for Economic Policy, Salerno,
Verhulst 200 on Chaos, Brussels, BELGIUM, 04/09/16-18
8th Intl Conf on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature
(PPSN VIII), Birmingham, UK, 04/09/18-22
Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Sao Luis, Maranhao -
TEDMED Conference ,
Charleston SC, 04/10/12-15
Technology Conference, Champaign, Illinois,
6th Intl Conf on Electronic Commerce
ICEC'2004: Towards A New Services Landscape, Delft, The Netherlands,
Complexity and Philosophy Workshop - 2-Day Conference , Rio de Janeiro,
ICDM '04: The Fourth IEEE Intl Conf on Data Mining, Brighton, UK, 04/11/01-04
The 7th Asia-Pacific Complex Systems Conference, Queensland, Australia,
17th Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Queensland,
18th International Conference on Noise and Fluctuations (ICNF 2005), Salamanca,
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