ժ NO2004.31

Complexity Digest 2004.31

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. Do You See a Pattern Here?, Wired
02. What Is Life? Can We Make It?, Prospect Magazine
02.01. Craig Venter's Epic Voyage to Redefine the Origin of the Species, Wired
03. New Views On Mind-Body Connection, The Scientist
03.01. Deception Detection, Psychologists Try To Learn How To Spot A Liar,
Science News
04. Musically Speaking, CBN 60 Minutes
04.01. When Remembering Might Mean Forgetting, The Scientist
04.02. Crayfish Catch a Nap, Science Now
05. Does The Brain Oscillate? The Dispute On Neuronal Synchronization, Neurol.
05.01. The Scaling Of Motor Noise With Muscle Strength And Motor Unit Number In
Humans, Experi. Brain Res.
06. Sensorimotor Control of Navigation in Arthropod and Artificial Systems,
Arthropod Structure & Development
07. Synthetic Biology Applies Engineering Approach to Biological Components,
MIT News Office
08. An End to the Prion Debate? Don't Count on It, Science
08.01. Synthetic Mammalian Prions, Science
08.02. Study Lends Support to Mad Cow Theory, NY Times
08.03. Lab-Made Prions Trigger Mad Cow Symptoms, Nature
09. Pop Goes the Mitochondrion, Science
10. Building A Cluster Of Intelligent, Adaptive Web Sites, Neural Comp. & Appl.
10.01. Filtering Multilingual Web Content Using Fuzzy Logic And Self-Organizing
Maps, Neural Comp. & Appl.
10.02. Microsoft Deploys Newsbot To Track Down Headlines, Washington Post
11. An Ensemble Of Neural Networks For Weather Forecasting, Neural Comp. &
12. Diversity, Complexity, and Persistence in Large Model Ecosystems, SFI
Working Papers
12.01. Modeling Food-Web Dynamics: Complexity-Stability Implications, SFI
Working Papers
13. Parasites: Small Players With Crucial Roles In The Ecological Theater,
13.01. Insecticide Resistance: A Constraint On Evolutionary Change,
14. Objects That Make Objects: The Population Dynamics of Structural
Complexity, SFI Working Papers
14.01. Electric Fields Assemble Devices, Technology Research News
15. Photonic Chips Go 3D, Technology Research News
15.01. Nanotech Leads Way To Quantum Computing, vnunet.com
15.02. IEEE Virtual Museum, HBS Working Knowledge
16. Stepping on Big Brother's Toes, Wired News
17. Betting on the President, Science Now
18. The Faulty Premise of Pre-emption, NYTimes
18.01. Taking Action in Darfur, NPR TOTN
19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
19.01. Manipulating US Elections is Not an Al-Qaeda Goal, The Daily Star
19.02. Al Qaeda Seeks to Disrupt U.S. Economy, Experts Warn, NY Times
19.03. Seriousness of Threat Defended Despite Dated Intelligence, Washington
19.04. Another F.B.I. Employee Blows Whistle on Agency, NY Times
20. Links & Snippets
20.01. Other Publications
20.02. Webcast Announcements
20.03. Conference & Call for Papers Announcements


01. Do You See a Pattern Here? , Wired

An open letter to the wizards of Wall Street from Beno  Mandelbrot, father of
the fractal.

In the April 2003 settlement of postbubble fraud charges, the biggest Wall
Street firms agreed to cough up $432.5 million to fund "independent" research.

I suggest just a small fraction of that sum - say, 5 percent - be set aside for
fundamental research in financial markets. (...)

A well-managed corporation devotes some portion of its research and development
budget to basic research, in fields of science that underlie its main business.
Isn't understanding the market as important to the economy as understanding
solid-state physics is to IBM?

* Do You See a Pattern Here?, Beno  Mandelbrot  , 04/08, Wired


02. What Is Life? Can We Make It? , Prospect Magazine

Excerpts: Two years ago American scientists created life. Or did they? (...)
Viruses have genes, and they replicate, mutate and evolve, all of which sounds
lifelike enough. And in August 2002, a team at the State University of New York
(SUNY) announced that it had made a virus from scratch, by chemistry alone.

What this meant was that, for the first time since life began over 3.5bn years
ago, a living organism had been created with genetic material that was not
inherited from a progenitor.

* What Is Life? Can We Make It?, Philip Ball  , 04/08, Prospect Magazine


02.01. Craig Venter's Epic Voyage to Redefine the Origin of the Species , Wired

Excerpts: Leaving colleagues and rivals to comb through the finished human code
in search of individual genes, he has decided to sequence the genome of Mother

(...) The great majority of Earth's species are bacteria and other
microorganisms. (...) They are the dark matter of life. They may also hold the
key to generating a near-infinite amount of energy, developing powerful
pharmaceuticals, and cleaning up the ecological messes our species has made.
But we don't really know what they can do, because we don't even know what they

* Craig Venter's Epic Voyage to Redefine the Origin of the Species, James
Shreeve  , 04/08, Wired


03. New Views On Mind-Body Connection , The Scientist

Excerpts: Revealing the complexities of the pain experience may offer a window
into the mind-body interaction. Several recent studies into the placebo effect,
human empathy, and their apparent interconnectedness are providing insight into
the human subjective experience.

Such investigations, (...), help scientists understand the intersection of
physical and emotional states. "The placebo effect gets at the core of how
individuals react and modulate environmental events, whether positive or
negative in nature," he says. If harnessed, the regulatory mechanisms involved
could point to better treatments for pain, depression, and stress.

* New Views On Mind-Body Connection, Eugene Russo  , 04/08/02, The Scientist


03.01. Deception Detection, Psychologists Try To Learn How To Spot A Liar ,
Science News

Excerpts: "Is he lying?" Odds are, you'll never know. Although people have been
communicating with one another for tens of thousands of years, more than 3
decades of psychological research have found that most individuals are
abysmally poor lie detectors. (...) scientists asked more than 2,000 people
from nearly 60 countries, "How can you tell when people are lying?" From
Botswana to Belgium, the number-one answer was the same: Liars avert their

"This is . . . the most prevalent stereotype about deception in the

* Deception Detection, Psychologists Try To Learn How To Spot A Liar, Carrie
Lock , Science News, 04/07/31


04. Musically Speaking , CBN 60 Minutes

Excerpts: (...) musical savant whose incredible piano talent coexists with
blindness and severe mental impairment (...).

he first conversations I had with Rex were through the keyboard. He would
play a phrase, I would play a phrase. And it was a game,?(...). He would try
to force me into a corner. And then he would laugh and laugh and laugh.?

Mehnert thinks he was trying to outwit him: ?...) He's 100 times more musical
than I am ?He's more musical than anybody I've ever met in my life.?
* Musically Speaking, Lesley Stahl  , 04/08/01, CBN 60 Minutes
*See also:
Savant Syndrome Web site, Wisconsin Medical Society


04.01. When Remembering Might Mean Forgetting , The Scientist


Dynamic Duo: The amygdala and hippocampus are two of the various brain
structures thought to underlie learning and memory, including fear

Recall a memory under certain circumstances, and the brain might erase it,
recent rodent research suggests. If that possibility seems like science
fiction, consider other weird tricks played by the mind's memory machinery.
False recollections, for example, can occur during a d ?vu experience or
after hypnosis. And true recollections which can reconstruct experiences from
decades earlier, often seem almost supernatural, even to those fully aware of
the brain's complexity.(...)
The other camp argues that retrieved memories persist without undergoing
reconsolidation, though various treatments might temporarily disrupt access to

* When Remembering Might Mean Forgetting, Douglas Steinberg  , 04/08/02, The


04.02. Crayfish Catch a Nap , Science Now

Excerpts: Crayfish catch z's much like mammals do, a new study finds. (...),
their brains emit slow waves of electricity surprisingly similar to those seen
in the brains of slumbering mammals.

In terms of behavior, sleep is characterized by an animal's indifference to the
outside world and its need to compensate for doze deficits. In mammals and
other vertebrates, sleep also evokes slow, regular waves of electrical activity
in the brain. However, although studies in fruit flies and bees hint at proper
sleep, slow waves have not been found in these animals.

* Crayfish Catch a Nap, Megan Mansell Williams  , 04/07/27, Science Now


05. Does The Brain Oscillate? The Dispute On Neuronal Synchronization , Neurol.

Excerpts: The present essay concisely analyses the contemporary neurobiological
debate concerning the hypothesis of the temporal correlation advanced to solve
the perceptual problem of linking different features in a unitary object or
visual scene. Although fascinating and grounded on simulations and brain
models, in addition to important electrophysiological findings on the sensory
systems, this hypothesis is regarded as not conclusive, and it still excites
numerous critical observations from different approaches. Nevertheless, it has
contributed to an innovative use of the idea of cortical oscillations, as
regards its usual employment in reference to the electrical activity of the
brain. (...)

* Does The Brain Oscillate? The Dispute On Neuronal Synchronization, G. Pareti
gpareti@hotmail.com , A. D. Palma , Jun. 2004, DOI: 10.1007/s10072-004-0235-2,
Neurological Sciences
* Contributed by Atin Das


05.01. The Scaling Of Motor Noise With Muscle Strength And Motor Unit Number In
Humans , Experi. Brain Res.

Excerpts: Understanding the origin of noise, or variability, in the motor
system is an important step towards understanding how accurate movements are
performed. Variability of joint torque during voluntary activation is affected
by many (...). To investigate the relationship between the peripheral factors
and motor noise, the maximum voluntary torque produced at a joint and the
coefficient of variation of joint torque were recorded from six adult human
subjects for four muscle/joint groups in the arm. It was found that the
coefficient of variation of torque decreases systematically as the maximum
voluntary torque increases. (...)

* The Scaling Of Motor Noise With Muscle Strength And Motor Unit Number In
Humans, A. F. de C. Hamilton a.hamilton@ion.ucl.ac.uk , K. E. Jones  , D. M.
Wolpert , Aug. 2004, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-004-1856-7, Experimental Brain
* Contributed by Atin Das


06. Sensorimotor Control of Navigation in Arthropod and Artificial Systems ,
Arthropod Structure & Development

Excerpt: Arthropods exhibit highly efficient solutions to sensorimotor
navigation problems. They thus provide a source of inspiration and ideas to
robotics researchers. At the same time, attempting to re-engineer these
mechanisms in robot hardware and software provides useful insights into how the
natural systems might work.
  This paper reviews three examples of arthropod sensorimotor control systems
that have been implemented and tested on robots. (...)

* Sensorimotor Control of Navigation in Arthropod and Artificial Systems,
Barbara Webb , Reid R. Harrison , Mark A. Willis , 2004/07/01, DOI:
10.1016/j.asd.2004.05.009, Arthropod Structure & Development 33(3):301-329
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


07. Synthetic Biology Applies Engineering Approach to Biological Components ,
MIT News Office

Excerpts: Work in synthetic biology has progressed for two decades, but
researchers are only at the preliminary stages of being able to engineer
biological systems, said Endy (Fellow: Division of Biological Engineering &
Department of Biology). He compared synthetic biology today to mechanical
engineering in the 1800s, when machine components had yet to be standardized.
Thanks to the eventual completion of that process, "we no longer have to think
about the direction of the threading on a screw," said Endy. Similarly,
biological engineers at MIT and elsewhere are working to standardize biological
parts, such as ribosomes and other cell components. (...) For instance, he (
Thomas F. Knight Jr., senior research scientist in the Computer Science and
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) described his work on rewriting the
genome of a microorganism called mesoplasma. One way to do this is to "take
stuff out until it breaks. An alternative to understanding complexity is to
remove it,?he said to laughter from the audience. He added that this approach
could lead to ew science and novel engineering."

* Synthetic Biology Applies Engineering Approach to Biological Components,
Lauren J. Clark , 2004/07/23, MIT News Office
* Contributed by Nadia Gershenson


08. An End to the Prion Debate? Don't Count on It , Science

Excerpts: A bold set of prion experiments in mice may have proven that the
misshapen proteins are, by themselves, infectious. If the work holds up, it
will be a watershed in prion biology, validating the belief that these proteins
alone are the culprits in "mad cow disease" and similar illnesses.

(...) many scientists express reservations about the study (...).
For years, biologists have tried to prove that a protein called PrP can misfold
and become an infectious prion by purifying protein clumps from diseased brains
and injecting them into healthy animals.

* An End to the Prion Debate? Don't Count on It, Jennifer Couzin  , 04/07/30,
Science, Vol 305, Issue 5684, 589


08.01. Synthetic Mammalian Prions , Science

Abstract: Recombinant mouse prion protein (recMoPrP) produced in Escherichia
coli was polymerized into amyloid fibrils that represent a subset of ?sheet
ich structures. Fibrils consisting of recMoPrP(89?30) were inoculated
intracerebrally into transgenic (Tg) mice expressing MoPrP(89?31). The mice
developed neurologic dysfunction between 380 and 660 days after inoculation.
Brain extracts showed protease-resistant PrP by Western blotting; these
extracts transmitted disease to wild-type FVB mice and Tg mice overexpressing
PrP, with incubation times of 150 and 90 days, respectively. Neuropathological
findings suggest that a novel prion strain was created. Our results provide
compelling evidence that prions are infectious proteins.

* Synthetic Mammalian Prions , Giuseppe Legname , Ilia V. Baskakov , Hoang-Oanh
B. Nguyen , Detlev Riesner , Fred E. Cohen , Stephen J. DeArmond , Stanley B.
, 04/07/30, Science : 673-676


08.02. Study Lends Support to Mad Cow Theory , NY Times

Excerpts: Scientists are reporting that, for the first time, they have made an
artificial prion, or misfolded protein, that can, by itself, produce a deadly
infectious disease in mice and may help explain the roots of mad cow disease.
The findings, being reported today in the journal Science, are strong evidence
for the "protein-only hypothesis," the controversial idea that a protein,
acting alone without the help of DNA or RNA, a cousin of DNA, can cause certain
kinds of infectious diseases.

* Study Lends Support to Mad Cow Theory, Sandra Blakeslee  , 04/07/30, NYTimes


08.03. Lab-Made Prions Trigger Mad Cow Symptoms , Nature


Synthetic prion proteins can infect mice.

(c) Science

Researchers have created a synthetic protein that makes mice display symptoms
similar to those of mad cow disease.

The protein, called a prion, helps to resolve a long-standing debate on the
cause of certain degenerative brain conditions, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob
disease (CJD) in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle.
Being able to manufacture the rogue protein in the lab may also aid the
development of new therapies and speedy diagnostic tests.
(...) infectious agent must also contain genetic material, (...) in order to
instruct the healthy proteins to turn bad.

* Lab-Made Prions Trigger Mad Cow Symptoms, Helen Pilcher , 04/07/29, Nature


09. Pop Goes the Mitochondrion , Science

Summary: In cells undergoing apoptosis or cell death, mitochondria, the
powerhouses of the cell, often have a key role. Not only is cellular metabolism
shut down, but mitochondria release molecules into the cytoplasm that further
promote cell death. Substantial controversy has surrounded the mechanisms by
which these processes occur. Green and Kroemer (p. 626) review the role of
mitochondria in cell death. Permeabilization of the mitochondria can be the
point-of-no-return that seals the fate of a cell, and numerous strategies are
envisioned to alter these processes therapeutically to benefit patients
suffering from a range of illnesses from cancer and heart failure to

* The Pathophysiology of Mitochondrial Cell Death, Douglas R. Green  , Guido

, 04/07/30, Science : 626-629.


10. Building A Cluster Of Intelligent, Adaptive Web Sites , Neural Comp. &

Excerpts: Many attempts have been made to track web usage patterns and provide
dynamic suggestions that might help users reach the information they seek more
quickly. These mechanisms rely on mining the web log files for usage patterns.
While this is easy for a single server, it would be much more difficult for
multiple servers. We propose a mechanism that uses agent-based technologies and
dynamic self-organizing maps to combine usage patterns in multiple web server
logs and structures of multiple web sites to provide a more efficient and
informative set of suggested links. This paper includes results of an ongoing
project, (...).

* Building A Cluster Of Intelligent, Adaptive Web Sites, R. Amarasiri
Rasika.Amarasiri@infotech.monash.edu.au , D. Alahakoon , Jun. 2004, online
2004/05/20, DOI: 10.1007/s00521-004-0417-0, Neural Computing & Applications
* Contributed by Pritha Das


10.01. Filtering Multilingual Web Content Using Fuzzy Logic And Self-Organizing
Maps , Neural Comp. & Appl.

Abstract: Effective multilingual information filtering is required to alleviate
users burden of information overload resulting from the increasing flood of
multilingual textual content available extensively over the World-Wide Web.
This paper proposes a content-based self-organizing approach to multilingual
information filtering using fuzzy logic and the self-organizing map. This
approach screens and evaluates multilingual documents based on their semantic
contents. Correlated multilingual documents are disseminated according to their
corresponding themes or topics, thus enabling language-independent
content-based information access efficiently and effectively. A Web-based
multilingual online news-filtering system is developed to illustrate how the
approach works.

* Filtering Multilingual Web Content Using Fuzzy Logic And Self-Organizing
Maps, R Chau Rowena.Chau@infotech.monash.edu.au , C.-H. Yeh , Jun. 2004, online
2004/05/27, DOI: 10.1007/s00521-004-0416-1, Neural Computing & Applications
* Contributed by Pritha Das


10.02. Microsoft Deploys Newsbot To Track Down Headlines , Washington Post

Excerpts: MSN Newsbot (newsbot.msnbc.msn.com) looks a lot like Google News,
another automatically generated headline-gathering service. Google News
continually scans 4,500 online sources to find fresh news articles; Microsoft
scans 4,800 sites and updates its summary pages every 10 minutes.

Like Google, MSN Newsbot groups together headlines about the same topic from a
variety of sources, making it easier to compare alternate accounts.

MSN Newsbot, however, also remembers what you read (using browser cookies to
track use instead of requiring you to sign in (...).

* Microsoft Deploys Newsbot To Track Down Headlines, Leslie Walker  , 04/08/01,
The Washington Post


11. An Ensemble Of Neural Networks For Weather Forecasting , Neural Comp. &

Excerpts: This study presents the applicability of an ensemble of artificial
neural networks (ANNs) and learning paradigms for weather forecasting in
southern Saskatchewan, Canada. The proposed ensemble method for weather
forecasting has advantages over other techniques like linear combination.
Generally, the output of an ensemble is a weighted sum, which are weight-fixed,
with the weights being determined from the training or validation data. In the
proposed approach, weights are determined dynamically from the respective
certainties of the network outputs. The more certain a network seems to be of
its decision, the higher the weight. (...)

* An Ensemble Of Neural Networks For Weather Forecasting, I. Maqsood
maqsoodi@uregina.ca , M. R. Khan  , A. Abraham , Jun. 2004, online 2004/05/20,
DOI: 10.1007/s00521-004-0413-4, Neural Computing & Applications
* Contributed by Pritha Das


12. Diversity, Complexity, and Persistence in Large Model Ecosystems , SFI
Working Papers

Excerpt: Research on how vast numbers of interacting species manage to coexist
in nature reveals a deep disparity between the ubiquity of complex ecosystems
and their theoretical improbability. Here, we show how integrating models of
food-web structure and nonlinear bioenergetic dynamics bridges this disparity
and helps elucidate ecological complexity. (...)

* Diversity, Complexity, and Persistence in Large Model Ecosystems, Richard J.
Williams , Neo D. Martinez , DOI: SFI-WP 04-07-022, SFI Working Papers
* VIDEO - Modelling Food Webs - Neo Martinez
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


12.01. Modeling Food-Web Dynamics: Complexity-Stability Implications , SFI
Working Papers

Excerpt: We discuss theoretical aspects of the broader food-web research
agenda, particularly the background and various approaches used for modeling
food-web dynamics in abstract systems with more than two taxa. Much of this
type of modeling has oriented itself around the classic and enduring
complexity-stability debate in ecology, especially those aspects which relate
to the theoretical and associated empirical food-web research into the
relationships between ecosystem complexity, often characterized as number of
links and/or number of species in a community, and various aspects of ecosystem
stability. (...)

* Modeling Food-Web Dynamics: Complexity-Stability Implications, Jennifer A.
Dunne , Ulrich Brose , Richard J. Williams , Neo D. Martinez , DOI: SFI-WP
04-07-021, SFI Working Papers
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


13. Parasites: Small Players With Crucial Roles In The Ecological Theater ,

Excerpts: Effective management of our natural resources requires an
understanding of ecosystem structure and function; effectively, an
ecosystem-based approach to management. Parasites occur, albeit cryptically, in
almost all ecosystems, yet they are usually neglected in studies on populations
and communties of organisms. Parasites can have pronounced or subtle effects on
hosts affecting host behavior, growth, fecundity, and mortality. Furthermore,
parasites may regulate host population dynamics and influence community
structure. Many parasites have complex life cycles and depend for transmission
on the presence of a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate intermediate hosts.
Often transmission involves predator-prey interactions. (...)

* Parasites: Small Players With Crucial Roles In The Ecological Theater, D. J.
Marcogliese david.marcogliese@ec.gc.ca , Jun. 2004, online 2004/05/03, DOI:
10.1007/s10393-004-0028-3, EcoHealth
* Contributed by Atin Das


13.01. Insecticide Resistance: A Constraint On Evolutionary Change ,

Excerpts: Researchers have identified that a specific point in the genetic code
appears not only to control an organism's resistance to a class of pesticides
but also to significantly influence the ability of an organism to evolve such
resistance at all. Identifying such specific and strong constraints on
short-term evolutionary change are likely to help ecologists and public-health
experts understand, and potentially predict, the ability of particular species
to quickly develop resistance to substances such as insecticides. The new work
also illuminates the kind of genetic technicality that can shape evolution.

* Insecticide Resistance: A Constraint On Evolutionary Change, 2004/07/29,
ScienceDaily & Cell Press
* Contributed by Atin Das


14. Objects That Make Objects: The Population Dynamics of Structural Complexity
, SFI Working Papers

Abstract: To analyze the evolutionary emergence of structural complexity in
physical processes we introduce a general, but tractable, model of objects that
interact to produce new objects. Since the objects psilon-machines ave
well-defined structural properties, we demonstrate that complexity in the
resulting population dynamical system emerges on several distinct
organizational scales during evolution rom individuals to nested levels of
mutually self-sustaining interaction. The evolution to increased organization
is dominated by the spontaneous creation of structural hierarchies and this, in
turn, is facilitated by the innovation and maintenance of relatively
low-complexity, but general individuals.

* Objects That Make Objects: The Population Dynamics of Structural Complexity,
James P. Crutchfield , Olof Gornerup , DOI: SFI-WP 04-06-020, SFI Working
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson


14.01. Electric Fields Assemble Devices , Technology Research News

Excerpts: The easiest way to assemble a device is to provide an environment
that causes it to self-assemble. (...)

In contrast, today's electronic devices are generally put together using tiny
equivalents of assembly line robots that pick up and place components on chips.
This approach can be scaled down only so far because at a certain point natural
forces cause components to stick to assembly mechanisms.

Researchers from the National Microelectronics Research Centre (NMRC) in
Ireland have sidestepped the problem by using electric fields to direct the
assembly process

* Electric Fields Assemble Devices, Eric Smalley  , 04/07/28, Technology
Research News


15. Photonic Chips Go 3D , Technology Research News


Source: MIT

The dream of building computer chips that use light signals rather than
electricity has entered the realm of serious research in recent years with the
advent of photonic crystal, a material that blocks and channels light within
extremely small spaces.

Producing practical photonic crystal chips, however, includes several
challenges: making three-dimensional devices that emit light from specific
points, emit at the wavelengths used by today's optical telecommunications
equipment and can be manufactured using processes suited to mass production.

* Photonic Chips Go 3D, Eric Smalley  , 04/07/28, Technology Research News


15.01. Nanotech Leads Way To Quantum Computing , vnunet.com

Excerpts: Plastic chips and quantum computing could be among the new ways of
keeping up with Moore's Law in the future, according to a new study on
nanotechnology, the science of manipulating matter on a molecular level.

The report from the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering,
entitled Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties,
said that advances are likely to bring the semiconductor and chemical
industries closer together as researchers strive to cram ever more storage and
processing power into increasingly tiny spaces.

* Nanotech Leads Way To Quantum Computing, James Mortleman  , 04/07/30,


15.02. IEEE Virtual Museum , HBS Working Knowledge

Excerpts: We e suckers for good museums about technology, although it must be
said that many of the things we grew up with, like the record player, are now
considered museum pieces. Nevertheless, this collection focusing on technology
developments around electricity is fun and informative. Exhibits include: ow
Electricity Came to Be? et's Get Small: The Shrinking World of
Microelectronics? owering the Electrical Revolution: Women and Technology?
he Beat Goes On: How Sounds are Recorded and Played? and orld War II: How
War Impacted Technology, How Technology Impacted War.?This site was developed
by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, better known as the

* IEEE Virtual Museum, 04/08/02, HBS Working Knowledge
Link to
Virtual Museum

Contributed by  Dean LeBaron


16. Stepping on Big Brother's Toes , Wired News

Excerpts: Big Brother Awards are now held as an annual event in 17 countries.
Each event typically focuses on privacy violations in the host country.

But Privacy International opted to make an exception this year by including in
the U.K. awards a U.S. initiative, US-Visit. This security program requires
that most foreign visitors traveling to the United States on a visa have their
index fingers digitally scanned and a digital photograph taken, so that
immigration officers can verify their identity before the visitors are allowed
entry into the United States.

* Stepping on Big Brother's Toes, Michelle Delio  , 04/07/28, Wired News


17. Betting on the President , Science Now

Excerpts: Now, thanks to the Internet, so-called "prediction markets" are
booming again--and drawing serious attention from economists.
But the current betting markets--led by Web sites such as www.intrade.com,
tradesports.com, and fairbet.com--may outperform opinion polls. In the last
four presidential elections (...), the University of Iowa's Iowa Electronic
Market has averaged an error margin of ?.5% in the week before the vote,
compared with ?.1% for the Gallup polls. More recently, traders picked John
Edwards as John Kerry's running mate 2 months before Kerry did.

* Betting on the President, Dana Mackenzie  , 04/07/27, Science Now


18. The Faulty Premise of Pre-emption , NYTimes

Excerpts: The Bush administration took a new approach to North Korea this
month: it suggested that Kim Jong Il follow the example set by Muammar
el-Qaddafi. John R. Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, urged
North Korea to follow Libya's "strategic choice" and voluntarily dismantle its
nuclear weapons programs.

But if this approach is based on the assumption that Libya acted to avoid a
pre-emptive attack, then its premise is flawed. The United States' pre-emptive
invasion of Iraq did not play a large role in bringing about Libya's

* The Faulty Premise of Pre-emption, Geoff D. Porter  , 04/07/31, NYTimes


18.01. Taking Action in Darfur , NPR TOTN

Excerpts: World leaders said "never again" after atrocities in the former
Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Join NPR's Neal Conan and his guests to discuss the
future of Darfur and what can be done to stop the ethnic fighting in western

* Taking Action in Darfur, 04/07/27, NPR TOTN


19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks


19.01. Manipulating US Elections is Not an Al-Qaeda Goal , The Daily Star

Excerpts: The warning by the US Department of Homeland Security that Al-Qaeda
may be preparing to disrupt the presidential election has been sounded with
little assessment of the terrorist organization's aims.

Some have questioned the extent to which the Bush administration may be using
such warnings for political reasons, but few have challenged the notion that
Al-Qaeda seeks to replicate its Madrid attack on the eve of the Spanish
election for the presumed goal of defeating President George W. Bush.(...)

By this measure, it is difficult to imagine that Al-Qaeda would view the record
of the past three years as having been anything but successful.

* Manipulating US Elections is Not an Al-Qaeda Goal, Shibley Telhami  ,
04/07/26, The Daily Star


19.02. Al Qaeda Seeks to Disrupt U.S. Economy, Experts Warn , NY Times

Excerpts: Since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden has implored
terrorists on several occasions to strike targets that will harm the economy in
the United States and elsewhere. But a man claiming to be Mr. bin Laden went
even further in a tape-recorded statement released April 29, saying that the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks devastated the American economy and the United
States government's budget. For the first time, it appeared, Mr. bin Laden
estimated the economic impact by citing specific statistics.

* Al Qaeda Seeks to Disrupt U.S. Economy, Experts Warn, Don Van Natta Jr. ,
Leslie Wayne  , 04/08/02, NYTimes


19.03. Seriousness of Threat Defended Despite Dated Intelligence , Washington

Excerpts: Bush administration officials acknowledged yesterday that the latest
terrorism alert was based primarily on information that is three to four years
old, but they aggressively defended the decision to warn financial sectors in
Washington, New York and Newark because of the continuing threat posed by al

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said (...) that while much of the
intelligence that led to the alert was dated, authorities were alarmed by
evidence that al Qaeda computer files obtained last week had been updated as
recently as January.

* Seriousness of Threat Defended Despite Dated Intelligence, Dan Eggen  , John
  , 04/08/04, Washington Post


19.04. Another F.B.I. Employee Blows Whistle on Agency , NY Times

Excerpts: o in early 2002, when Mr. German got word that a group of Americans
might be plotting support for an overseas Islamic terrorist group, he proposed
to his bosses (...): go undercover and infiltrate the group.

But Mr. German says F.B.I. officials sat on his request, botched the
investigation, falsified documents to discredit their own sources, then froze
him out and made him a "pariah."
(...) F.B.I. whistle-blowers who claim they were retaliated against after
voicing concerns about how management problems had impeded terrorism
investigations since the Sept. 11 attacks.

* Another F.B.I. Employee Blows Whistle on Agency, Eric Lichtblau  , 04/08/02,


20. Links & Snippets


20.01. Other Publications

- Renormalizing the Schwinger-Dyson Equations, Fred Cooper , Bogdan Mihaila ,
John Dawson , SFI Working Papers, DOI: SFI-WP 04-07-023
- Competition and Adaptation in an Internet Eevolution Model, M. Angeles
Serrano , Marian Boguna , Albert Diaz-Guilera , 2004/07/12, arXiv, DOI:
- Complexity vs Stability in Small-world Networks, Sitabhra Sinha , 2004/07/24,
arXiv, DOI: nlin.AO/0407053
- Novelty in Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) Dynamics: A Computational Theory of
Actor Innovation, Sheri M. Markose , 2004/07/23, Physica A, Article in Press,
Uncorrected Proof, DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2004.06.085
- Rational Competition and Cooperation in Ubiquitous Agent Communities, Jiming
Liu , Chunyan Yao , 2004/07/20, Knowledge-Based Systems, Article in Press,
Uncorrected Proof, DOI: 10.1016/j.knosys.2004.06.002
- Grasping An Object Naturally Or With A Tool: Are These Tasks Guided By A
Common Motor Representation?, M. Gentilucci gentiluc@unipr.it , A. C. Roy  , S.
Stefanini , Aug. 2004, Experimental Brain Research, DOI:
- Where Grasps Are Made Reveals How Grasps Are Planned: Generation And Recall
Of Motor Plans, R. G. Cohen rajal@psu.edu , D. A. Rosenbaum , Aug. 2004,
Experimental Brain Research, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-004-1862-9
- Warning Signals And Predator-Prey Coevolution, D. W. Franks  , J. Noble ,
2004/07/26, Alphagalileo & Proceedings B (Biological Sciences)
- Changing Partners In The Dark: Isotopic And Molecular Evidence Of
Ectomycorrhizal Liaisons Between Forest Orchids And Trees, M. I. Bidartondo  ,
B. Burghardt  , G. Gebauer  , T. D. Bruns  , D. J. Read , 2004/07/26,
Alphagalileo & Proceedings B (Biological Sciences)
- Double-Link Expandohedra: A Mechanical Model For Expansion Of A Virus, F.
Kovacs  , T. Tarnai  , S. D. Guest  , P. W. Fowler , 2004/07/26, Alphagalileo &
Proceedings A (Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences)
- Each White Whale Has Its Individual Voice, S. Komarov
textmaster@informnauka.ru , 2004/07/30, Alphagalileo
- Closer Cooperation With Chinese Scientists: The Helmholtz Association Extends
Its Strategic Research Partnership - Opening Of The Helmholtz Beijing Office,
E. Peerenboom ellen.peerenboom@helmholtz.de , 2004/07/26, Alphagalileo
- A First Glance At The Gene Networks Of Human Aging,
joao@genetics.med.harvard.edu , 2004/07/29, Alphagalileo & Harvard Medical
- Status Syndrome: How Your Social Standing Directly Affects Your Health And
Life Expectancy by M. Marmot, A. Brew a.brew@ucl.ac.uk , 2004/06/07,
- One Taste Of Growth Protein And Nerve Cells Want More, 2004/07/28,
ScienceDaily & Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
- Wasp Researcher Doesn't Mind An Occasional Sting, 2004/07/26, ScienceDaily &
University Of Wisconsin-Madison
- Researchers Find That Color Perception Is Not Innate, But Acquired After
Birth, 2004/07/27, ScienceDaily & Cell Press
- The Complexity Of Agreement, S. Aaronson aaronson@cs.berkeley.edu ,
2004/07/06, Electronic Colloquium on Computational Complexity TR04-061
- Adding Colour To Multiplication: Rehabilitation Of Arithmetic Fact Retrieval
In A Case Of Traumatic Brain Injury, Domahs F.  , Lochy A.  , Eibl G.  ,
Delazer M. , Jul. 2004, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, DOI:
- From Short-Term Memory To Semantics-A Computational Model, P. C. Prasad
paragpc@cc.iitb.ac.in , S. Arunkumar , Jun. 2004, online 2004/05/27, Neural
Computing & Applications, DOI: 10.1007/s00521-004-0419-y
- Writing DNA: First Synthetic Biology Conference Held at MIT, Lauren J. Clark
, MIT's Biological Engineering Division
- Panel Sees No Unique Risk From Genetic Engineering, Andrew Pollack ,
04/07/28, NYTimes
- Attacks Outpace Iraqis' Ability to Restore Order, Nick Simeone  , 04/07/28,
Voice of America
- New Japanese Video Games Promote Dance, Physical Activity, Mike O'Sullivan  ,
04/07/21, Voice of America,

- It's the Conversations, Stupid! The Link between Social Interaction and
Political Choice , Valdis Krebs  , 04/05, Orgnet
- Hologram Makes Fast Laser Tweezer, , 04/07/28, Technology Research News
- Wave Device Boon To Swimmers, Jacqueline Ali  , 04/07/30, BBC News Online,

The design will enable a more efficient swim
  Image: Padraig Murphy

- Apple Attacks RealNetworks Plan to Sell Songs for iPod, Laurie J. Flynn  ,
04/07/30, NYTimes
- Graceful, Beautiful, and Perilous, Erik Stokstad , 04/07/30, Science, Vol
305, Issue 5684, 641-642. As gymnastics routines grow ever trickier, experts
worry that children are being pushed beyond their limits--and are paying with
their health
- Mighty Mice: Inspiration for Rogue Athletes?, Gretchen Vogel  , 04/07/30,
Science, Vol 305, Issue 5684, 633
- Do Pool Sharks Swim Faster?, Kim Krieger , 04/07/30, Science, Vol 305, Issue
5684, 636. New swimsuits with tiny ridges modeled on sharkskin are all the
rage. Experts are split, though, about whether the high-tech suits reduce drag
- Entropy, Holography, and the Second Law, Daniel R. Terno , 04/07/30, Phys.
Rev. Lett. 93, 051303. The geometric entropy in quantum field theory is not a
Lorentz scalar and has no invariant meaning, while the black hole entropy is
- Hawking's Black Hole Reversal , 04/07/30, NPR, TOTN. We get an update on
Stephen Hawking's revised theory about the inner workings of black holes.
- Einstein, Bohr and the Nature of Light, Ira Flatow , Shahriar S. Afshar ,
04/07/30, Talk of the Nation, Friday. Is it a wave or a particle, both, or
neither? Well, maybe it depends on who is looking. In this hour we take a new
look at an old quantum question about the nature of light. We'll talk with one
physicist who says he has a new take on an age old quantum question.
- Parting the Oils , 04/07/28, Science Now, An irregular electric field
separates mixed liquids
- Neurobiology: Odorant Receptors Make Scents, Rainer W. Friedrich  , 04/07/29,
Nature 430, 511 - 512, DOI: 10.1038/430511a
- Monster Waves Rule the Seas, XAVIER BOSCH  , 04/07/26, Science Now
- Branching Gene Could Beautify Bushes , Michael Hopkin  , 04/07/28, Nature
News, Genetic discovery shows how plants organize their shape.
- Fish Stew: Species Interplay Makes Fisheries Management Tricky In The Long
Run, 04/07/31, Science News, Annual fluctuations in certain fish populations
can be best understood and controlled by accounting for ecological factors,
such as predation by other fish, in addition to fisheries harvests.
- Gutless Wonder: New Symbiosis Lets Worm Feed On Whale Bones, Science News, A
newly discovered genus of marine worm can take nourishment from sunken whale
skeletons, thanks to a previously unknown form of symbiosis.
- Chimps Mature With Human Ancestor, Science News, The Stone Age human ancestor
Homo erectus grew at about the same pace as wild chimpanzees today do.
- Early Life Forms Had A Modular Structure, Science News, Fossils recently
discovered in northeastern Newfoundland reveal that some of Earth's earliest
large organisms had modular body plans whose main architectural element was a
branching, frondlike structure.
- Brain Development Disturbed In Autism, Science News. A brain-imaging study
suggests that autism is characterized by disturbances in the development of the
amygdala and the hippocampus, two inner-brain structures.
- KIF1A Alternately Uses Two Loops to Bind Microtubules, Ryo Nitta , Masahide
Kikkawa , Yasushi Okada , Nobutaka Hirokawa
, 04/07/30, Science : 678-683.
Kinesin motor proteins move along microtubules by rapidly alternating between
tightly bound and detached states.


20.02. Webcast Announcements

The 4th Intl Workshop on Meta-synthesis and Complex System, Beijing, China,

Intl Conf on Complex Networks: Structure, Function and Processes, Kolkata,
India, 04/06/27-30

 From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela
(1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20

ECC8 Experimental Chaos Conference, Florence, Italy,

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, ,
Lausanne,Switzerland, 04/01/29-30

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
Forum, 04/01/25
  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

  International Mathematica Symposium (IMS 2004), Banff,
  Canada, 04/08/02-06

  intl seminar on Collective Intelligence
, U of Ottawa, Canada, 04/08/08-10

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
(Portugal), 04/08/29-09/02

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

  Dynamics Days 2004, XXIV Annual Conf,
Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 04/09/13-17

  Neuroeconomics 2004, Charleston, SC, 04/09/16-19

  TNew Economic Windows 2004: Complexity Hints for Economic Policy, Salerno,
Italy, 04/09/16-18

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

  Nonlinear Waves in Fluids: Recent Advances and Modern Applications, Udine,
Italy, 04/09/18-22

  XVII Brazilian
  Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Sao Luis, Maranhao -
  Brazil, 04/09/22-24

  3rd Natll Conf on Systems Science ,
Trento (Italy), 04/10/07-09

   TEDMED Conference ,
Charleston SC, 04/10/12-15

  Intl Workshop On Bifurcations In Nonsmooth And Hybrid Dynamical Systems  ,
Milano (Italy), 04/10/21-22

  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

Denaturing Darwin: International Conference on Evolution and Organization
, Amersfoort, The Netherlands, 04/11/12-14

  The 7th Asia-Pacific Complex Systems Conference,  Queensland, Australia,

  17th Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence,  Queensland,
Australia, 04/12/06-10

Cellular Computing Symposium, U Warwick
(UK), 04/12/09-10

  International Conference On Computational Intelligence (Icci 2004) ,  ,
Istanbul, Turkey, 04/12/15-17

  Kondratieff Waves, Warfare And World Security, NATO Advanced Research
, Covilh? Portugal, 05/02/14-17

  Powders & Grains 2005, Stuttgart, Germany, 05/06/18-22

  Workshop on Complexity and Policy Analysis, Cork, Ireland, 05/06/22-24

18th International Conference on Noise and Fluctuations (ICNF 2005), Salamanca,
Spain, 05/09/19-23

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