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Can We Prove That a Large System is Self-Organizing?

In my 2014 article about large systems I wrote that "what makes a system large is our inability...

How Consumer Computational Search is Changing the Internet

I don't like using the term "consumer" because it implies an economic function of the searcher...

Resonating Euler Spirals and Prolate Spheroids

You might call it a two-tone football.  If you're a real mathematician you may be able to...

Spinning Objects: A Process for Controlling Self-modifying Systems

I used to work with a programming language called Business Basic.  It was descended through...

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Michael MartinezRSS Feed of this column.

Michael Martinez has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, an Associate of Science degree in Data Processing Technology, and a few certifications in long-forgotten 2nd millennium technologies... Read More »

Blame Jack Kirby and Stan Lee for the word "formuloop".  They did not devise it.  They made a comic book about four people who went into space and then returned to Earth with magic super powers.   Such a fantastic time I had reading their adventures as a kid.  One of their catch phrases was "swell foop", which is a type of Spoonerism, and that has nothing to do with "formuloop" other than that my word was an inevitable evolution of "swell foop".  But if that doesn't make it clear, then let me put the relationship this way: we strive to relate what we see to what we know, thus reinforcing what we believe; hence, we have a sustainable formulaic way of keeping ourselves in the same informational loop.
In my latest attempt to debunk some of the nonsense that passes for analysis among Internet marketers I decided it might be worthwhile to talk about large systems theory.  The problem, of course, is that there really is no "large systems theory" (or a universal theory of large systems).  At least, we are still searching for the theory that will universally explain all large systems regardless of what field of thought in which we are discussing them.  We know that large systems exist and we intuitively feel that there is something characteristic about large systems which makes them large.
I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theories.  Yes, sometimes there are conspiracies, but the Internet seems to magnify discordant cynicism on an unbelievable scale.  I begin with this disclaimer because the conspiracy theorists have come out to explain why Google would do something completely absurd.  I don't have an explanation for it, other than that I think they are reacting to the Edward Snowden scandal (which has supposedly hurt their business prospects outside the US).
Reading Robert Walker's article on what extraterrestrial mathematics might look like has the wheels in my head a'turning.  We live in a digital civilization, one that specifically evolved toward a binary representation of a decimal-based mathematics.  Our computers count by 1s and 0s, whereas we tend to count by 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, and 0s.  And that is just our conscious countatiousness.  Our bodies count in ways we have yet to enumerate.  I think it's quite likely that any complex biological organism like a jelly fish uses some sort of internal mathematics to regulate itself.
As I write this impromptu post the 2nd day of a search technology conference in Seattle is closing with the usual after-hours partying.  People are happily writing blog posts and newsletters that digest the things they have learned from the conference and they will continue the process that has led to your reading my post here on Science 2.0.
That process can be boiled down to "figure out something to say online and then figure out how to get people to read it".  I'll do my part by Tweeting and SHARING this post after it has been published but that is "old school" marketing.  It's also "crowd-sourced promotion", "social sharing", "user buzz", "community involvement", "extended engagement", and several other things I probably have never heard about.

News media in the United Kingdom and United States have fallen in love with statins all over again.  According to media reports, a recent study by British researchers into 29 clinical trials for statin drugs allegedly concluded that except for an elevated risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and/or seeing liver enzymes increase, statins have no side effects.