A recent study led by SFI External Professor Marten Scheffer identified a set of striking patterns in the written record that suggest that, in the universe of language, an era framed by sentiment and individuality has been on the rise for decades. A response from External Professor Simon DeDeo gives a replication of the findings with similar results and also offers remarks on both the methodological challenges and some of the interpretive questions the work raises.
Hate speech and disinformation have become intractable problems on social media and other online platforms— might counter speech be an effective strategy to curb it? It’s a difficult thing to address scientifically because so many societal factors are at play beyond the online forums. However, a study published in EPJ Data Science uses a multifaceted approach to begin exploring the question.
We can’t understand polarization unless we analyze it as a complex system, argues SFI External Professor Scott Page (University of Michigan) in a commentary for a special feature on the dynamics of political polarization in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Polarization is dangerous for democracy. Though the U.S. Constitution was designed to harness rivalry with a diverse, redundant, and modular set of institutions, if that rivalry curdles into the belief that your competitors are your enemies, those institutions may not be strong enough to hold a nation together. In a Perspective piece in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, SFI External Professor Jenna Bednar (University of Michigan) argues that polarization poses three perils in particular.
A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests extreme polarization can be avoided when two sides of a stubbornly intolerant population have low exposure to each other. This paper is part of a PNASspecial issue on the dynamics of polarization.
In the largest single donation in its history, the nonprofit Santa Fe Institute will receive $50 million from legendary investor Bill Miller. The gift will advance the Institute's pioneering science of complex systems by growing its research community and expanding the facilities in which it works.
For the past few years, SFI Professor David Wolpert and physicist Artemy Kolchinsky, a former SFI postdoctoral fellow, have been collaborating to better understand the connection between thermodynamics and information processing in computation. Their latest exploration of the topic, published in Physical Review E, looks at applying these ideas to a wide range of classical and quantum areas, including quantum thermodynamics.
A new book from the SFI Press, edited by David Krakauer Geoffrey West, underscores the importance of resisting simple answers in combatting such a complex phenomenon as a global pandemic and instead recognizing its inherently messy nature.
Mathematicians who study dynamical systems often focus on the rules of attraction, finding the “basins” that show the states the systems are drawn to. For straightforward systems, the shape and size of a basin is comprehensible, but not so for more complicated systems. In fact, they may look like the tentacles of an octopus, according to a new paper by SFI Postdoc Yuanzhao Zhang and co-author Steven Strogatz.
The Complex Systems Society has awarded a 2021 Junior Scientific Award to SFI External Professor Orit Peleg, an assistant professor in the University of Colorado’s Department of Computer Science and BioFrontiers Institute.
A new study by Santa Fe Institute researchers examines how scale affects factors like tuition, research production, and teaching salaries in different categories of colleges and universities. The research, published in PLOS ONE, is the first to systematically look at interconnected scaling effects in U.S. higher education.
Will the 21st century be humanity’s greatest, or our worst? According to the award-winning new documentary “Solutions,” which was filmed on-location at the Santa Fe Institute, the answer depends on the decisions we make in the next couple of decades, and on our ability to work across disciplines and continents to find revolutionary solutions.
Networks are a powerful model for describing connected systems in biological, physical, social, and other environments. As useful as they are, though, conventional networks are static and are limited to describing links between pairs of objects. In a paper published in Communications Physics, SFI Schmidt Science Fellow Yuanzhao Zhang and collaborators describe a new framework for simplifying the analysis of synchronization patterns in a wide variety of systems that include hypergraphs, temporal networks, and multilayer networks.
Is merit necessarily achieved, or does social status influence whether a person succeeds or is trapped in a system? Former SFI Postdoctoral Fellows Eleanor Power and Marion Dumas, together with their colleague Jessica Barker, explore these questions in a new paper published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
SFI researchers cheered this October when the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Syukuro Manabe, Klauss Hasselmann, and Giorgio Parisi "for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex systems.”