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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 »

There is a great deal of rhetoric and propaganda about "threats to the Internet" floating around the ethernet these days.  It's mostly political talk, in my opinion.  The majority of people don't seem to stop and check the laws before getting onto the Information Highway, so they tend to speed and weave and bob and change lanes and do just about everything imaginably illegal and rude without care.
The Internet, we were told 20 years ago, was designed to survive a nuclear war -- so it should be hard to break, right?  Technically, I don't think the net was supposed to survive -- just some usable fraction of the information stored on it.  I doubt there would be much of an Internet after a full-scale nuclear war but maybe some servers would survive somewhere.
Bruce Schneier needs to watch the movie "Battleship" more desperately than any moron in history.  He may know a lot about security systems in technology but his efforts to undermine the US government and its allies' efforts to track Al Qaeda's operatives on the Internet clearly demonstrate a severe lack of strategic thinking.
Assuming the Guardian succeeds in persuading governments around the world to pull their snooping systems out of the Edward Snowden quagmire, there can only be one logical outcome: they will dig deeper, probe farther, and integrate more tightly with new technologies.
I don't know enough math to know if this has been precisely defined but I know enough about my ignorance of math to know that if there is such a definition I probably won't understand it.  Mathematics fails to be a universal language in most respects because mathematicians can rarely articulate their concepts in layman's language that actually makes sense.  A universal language is only universal iff the common folk can grok it too.
I read with interest the recent disclosure that several biologists suggest they have proven Dollo's Law (that biological evolution is irreversible, a 1-way path through genetic change and time) is at the very least not perfect and perhaps may simply be wrong.

Never having taken a biology course much less one on evolutionary theory I can't say I know anything much about Dollo's proposition other than that he posed it over 100 years ago and that Richard Dawkins supposedly characterized it more as a statement about probabilities.
Researchers from the University of Southampton have published a study in which they argue that crowdsourcing information can be improved through use of incentives.  In "Making crowdsourcing more reliable" Dr Victor Naroditskiy and Professor Nick Jennings and others propose to incentivize crowdsourcing tasks to improve the verification of credible contributors.
In my October 4, 2011 Science 2.0 article “A Search In Time Is A Memorable Path” I defined Chronocity as “the measurement of the distance in Time between where we are (Now) and where we were at some point in the past (or where we will be at some time in the future) with respect to a specific object, or document.”  In other words, Chronocity is the degree of change across a series of sequential states determined through discrete time slices.