📖 Read pages 30-43 of Complexity and the Economy by W. Brian Arthur

📖 Read pages 30-43 of Complexity and the Economy by W. Brian Arthur

Chapter 2 is a nice piece on the El Farol Problem which is a paradox which “represented a decision problem where expectations (forecasts) that many would attend [the El Farol bar] would lead to few attending, and expectations that few would attend would lead to many attending: expectations would lead to outcomes that would negate these expectations.”

Zhang and Challet generalized this problem into the Minority Game in game theoretic form.

Page 31:

There are two reasons for perfect or deductive rationality to break down under complication. The obvious one is that beyond a certain level of of complexity human logical capacity ceases to cope–human rationality is bounded. The other is that in interactive situations of complication, agents cannot rely upon the other agents they are dealing with to behave under perfect rationality, and so they are forced to guess their behavior. This lands them in a world of subjective beliefs and subjective beliefs about subjective beliefs. Objective, well-defined, shared assumptions then cease to apply. In turn, rational, deductive reasoning (deriving a conclusion by perfect logical processes from well-defined premises) itself cannot apply. The problem becomes ill-defined.

This passage, though in an economics text, seems to be a perfect statement about part of the problem of governing in the United States at the moment. I have a thesis that Donald Trump is a system 1 thinker and is generally incapable of system 2 level thought, thus he has no ability to discern the overall complexity of the situations in which he finds himself (or in which the United States finds itself). As a result, he’s unable to effectively lead. From a complexity and game theoretic standpoint, he feels he’s able to perfectly play and win any game. His problem is that he feels like he’s playing tic-tac-toe, while many see at least a game as complex as checkers. In reality, he’s playing a game far more complex than either chess or go.

The overall problem laid out in this chapter is an interesting one vis-a-vis the issues many restaurant startups face, particularly in large cities. How can they best maximize their attendance not only presently, but in the long term while staying afloat in very crowded market places.

Page 38:

The level at which humans can apply perfect rationality is surprisingly modest. Yet it has not been clear how to deal with imperfect or bounded rationality.

Chapter 3 takes a similar problem as Chapter 2 and ups the complexity of the problem somewhat substantially. While I understand that at the time these problems may have seemed cutting edge and incomprehensible to most, I find myself wondering how they didn’t see it all from the beginning.

Complexity and the Economy by W. Brian Arthur
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📗 Read pages i – xxix of An Introduction to Transfer Entropy: Information Flow in Complex Systems

📗 Read pages i – xxix of An Introduction to Transfer Entropy: Information Flow in Complex Systems by Terry Bossomaier, Lionel Barnett, Michael Harré, and Joseph T. Lizier

From page vi:

The structure of the book is a bit like stone fruit, with a soft wrapping of a hard core, …

Transfer entropy is hard to calculate from real data.

I love that they provide a “List of Key Ideas”, a “List of Open Research Questions”, and a “List of Key Results” in the opening along with the traditional sections of symbols used, acronyms, list of tables, etc. More texts of all stripes should be doing this!

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📖 Read pages 57-103 of Professional WordPress: Design and Development 3rd Edition by Brad Williams, David Damstra, and Hal Stern

📖 Read pages 57-103 of Professional WordPress: Design and Development 3rd Edition by Brad Williams, David Damstra, and Hal Stern

The review of core had some resources I’m sure I knew about and have even used before, but somehow forgotten from long disuse. The quick review of the loop was useful to have again particularly as I delve into some themeing work these past few weeks.

The examples they provide are pretty solid from a pedagogic standpoint.

Professional WordPress: Design and Development 3rd Edition by Brad Williams, David Damstra, and Hal Stern
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Photo of all the Dr. Pepper knockoffs

Photo of all the Dr. Pepper knockoffs by Rob Beschizza (Boing Boing)
Spotted doing the viral rounds and unattributed (though watermarked with a URL that redirects to Elbe Spurling's website) this wall of Dr. Pepper knockoffs is a magnificent lesson in branding magic and semiotics and all that fancy jazz.

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Burger King’s new ad forces Google Home to advertise the Whopper | The Verge

Burger King’s new ad forces Google Home to advertise the Whopper by Jacob Kastrenakes (The Verge)
Burger King is unveiling a horrible, genius, infuriating, hilarious, and maybe very poorly thought-out ad today that’s designed to intentionally set off Google Homes and Android phones.

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The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley reengineered journalism | Tow Center for Digital Journalism

The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley reengineered journalism by Emily Bell and Taylor Owen (Tow Center for Digital Journalism)

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Le Cinq, Paris: restaurant review | The Guardian

Le Cinq, Paris: restaurant review by Jay Rayner (The Guardian)
It was supposed to be a joyous trip to one of France’s famous gastro palaces – what could possibly go wrong?

You’d almost think this reviewer was going out of his way to be as delightfully brutal as he possibly could be…

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The Brooklyn Neighborhood Blogger with the Paul Manafort Scoop

The Brooklyn Neighborhood Blogger with the Paul Manafort Scoop by Eric Lach (The New Yorker)
A stray news tip led to the discovery that Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, owns a brownstone in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

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A Long-Sought Proof, Found and Almost Lost | Quanta Magazine

A Long-Sought Proof, Found and Almost Lost by Natalie Wolchover (Quanta Magazine)
When a German retiree proved a famous long-standing mathematical conjecture, the response was underwhelming.

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I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations | The Guardian

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations by Victoria Herrmann (The Guardian)
These politically motivated data deletions come at a time when the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average

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Donald, This I Will Tell You | New York Times

Donald, This I Will Tell You by Maureen Dowd (New York Times)
Donald, you said you could shake up Washington and make it work again. Instead, you’re the one who got worked over. 

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📖 Read Loc 1-261 of 6508 of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

📖 Read Loc 1-261 of 6508 of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

So you think that you control what you read, watch, and listen to? Better take a closer look…

Many will know and understand the outline of the argument here, but it’s important to read the details of the case studies so we can help break “The Cycle”, an aptly named problem.

In some sense, this is a microcosm of governments over the past 12,000+ years when looked at from a Big History perspective.

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