If COVID-19 has made anything obvious to everyone, it might be how the very small can force the transformation of the very large. Disrupt the right place in a network and exponential changes ripple outward: a virus causes a disease that leads to economic shocks and other social impacts that, in turn, re-open urban spaces to nonhuman animals and change the course of evolution.
Adapting to these changes will require a different kind of understanding: one of nonlinear dynamics, feedback loops, extended selves, and the tiered and interwoven ecological and economic systems of our planet. By studying the processes and structures that this change exposes, we’re offered a new way of seeing individuality-in-context…and, perhaps, new mechanisms for aligning individual and public good, the human and the wild.
Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and each week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.
In Transmission, SFI’s new essay series on COVID-19, our community of scientists shares a myriad of complex systems insights on this unprecedented situation. This special supplementary mini-series with SFI President David Krakauer finds the links between these articles—on everything from evolutionary theory to economics, epistemology to epidemiology—to trace the patterns of a deeper order that, until this year, was largely hidden in plain sight.
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Podcast Theme Music by Mitch Mignano.
Mentioned in this episode:
David Wolpert, Alan Turing, Rolf Landauer, Timothy Morton, Buckminster Fuller, Sidney Redner, Chris Kempes, Geoffrey West, Bill Gates, Ann Pendleton-Jullian, Luis Bettencourt, Cris Moore, Eric Maskin, Wendy Carlin, Sam Bowles, Kenneth Arrow, John Von Neumann, Eric Morgenstern, John Nash, Pamela Yeh, Ian MacGregor-Fors, Alan Weisman, Doug Erwin
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