It’s been an interesting process to organize, interview and publish one-hour interviews on the topic of “making sense of complexity”. The deep and wide ranging conversations have exceeded my expectation. It turns out — everyone is struggling to “make sense” of the world we live in. There are no easy answers, but many, many interesting questions. Here’s a quick snapshot of the latest episodes with links to the video and audio content. Please check it out, and share what you like.
EP 04 –Gary F. Bengier is a writer, philosopher, and technologist, the author of the award-winning SF novel Unfettered Journey and a member of the Santa Fe Institute Board. Gary took us deep into the mathematical structure of the world, and pointed out that some of the questions in physics are much more tractable when modelled in five dimensions. The challenge is that this is inconsistent with our natural intuitions – we cannot perceive anything beyond four dimensions. Gary thinks it may be useful to set aside our preoccupation with the ideas of particles and forces, and look instead at the networks of relationships that permeate our world. His “relational ontology” may give us the opportunity to “see” those other dimensions and figure out what they do.
EP 03 – Sam Barton is a generalist and philosopher based in Sydney, Australia. He hosts the Talk of Todaypodcast and is product lead at Ideamarket.io, a literal marketplace of ideas. Sam has lived extensively in Asia and considers himself a global citizen. Sam gave me a quick introduction to how block chain technology can potentially democratize and decentralize the power of information. Ideamarket is, itself an initiative to crowd-source the question of the credibility of ideas rather than having to rely on commercial media outlets or governments to filter or shape informational resources. Sam and I also talked about the nature of complex dynamics systems and the “free energy principle.” It seems to be the case that emergent solutions maximize efficiency and minimize conflict — giving substance to an ethical claim that such outcomes are ethically good.
EP 02 – Daniel Sanderson is a philosopher and writer, and the Founder of planksip®, a media outlet for authors and Academics. A Hellenic philosopher, Daniel draws inspiration for his epistemological schema on a wide range of topics including AI, Free Will, Psychology, Mathematics and Quantum Physics. His modus operandi: Truth supported by evidence and evolution. This is not Truth dogmatic and immutable, but rather the result of a process of seeking, as we have seen in many of the great philosophers. As we talked, it was clear Daniel has a down-to-earth perspective on how to make sense of things. We are all on a unique journey – but everyone can benefit from the wisdom of the greats. One of those “greats”, for Daniel, was his own grandmother.
EP 01 – Daniel Friedman is a postdoctoral human studying Entomology at UC Davis, having earned his Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolution at Stanford in 2019. Daniel is also the co-organizer of the Active Inference Lab and the Complexity Weekend community of practice, initiatives that demonstrate his commitment to the enabling of dynamic, open source communities contributing to shared and collaborative learning. Daniel loves the fieldwork he does every summer on ants and ant colonies, and gave me a fascinating look at the intricacies of this research. It involves a curious admixture of simple, some might say tedious, observational challenges and incredibly high-tech equipment and analysis. Daniel points out that complexity science has been enabled by computers and the immense data capacity and processing power they provide. Our conversation also extended to the ways we seek to make sense of the world – for Daniel this includes a religious tradition fully consistent with the practice of empirical science.
Please join me on Making Sense of Complexity, featuring conversations with complexity science practitioners and philosophers on the deep and fascinating findings of complexity science. How do we make sense of the uncertain and seemingly incomprehensible world we live in? Hosted by George Gantz, the production is a collaboration with Spiral Inquiry, Planksip, Talk of Today, and Complexity Weekend, and is produced by True Spectrum Media.
Spiral Inquiry: https://spiralinquiry.org
Talk of Today: https://www.samhbarton.com/podcast
Complexity Weekend: https://www.complexityweekend.com
True Spectrum Media/Cray Novick: https://linktr.ee/cameracray