Glider Gun Animated GIF

iOS Apps for Complexity Lovers: Conway’s Game of Life

One important aspect of Complexity Science is the idea of “emergence” or “self-organization,” where simple rules or circumstances lead to events that are not scripted. In other words, where things seem to take on “a life of their own.”  The iOS Apps Life Game Touch and LifeGameHD speeder do a good job of demonstrating the cellular automation “game,” Conway’s Game of Life.

Complexity Science: Now a Magazine on Flipboard

Complexity lovers and learners alike will fall in love with the new Complexity Science magazine on Flipboard. With selections from Jake David and other contributors, this magazine aims to “observe complex and emergent phenomenon in science, society, and art.”  In other words, it brings together articles that might not seem related to Complexity Science together for the complexity reader.

Map of Ireland from The Atlas of Economic Complexity

What is Complexity?

Complexity Science is a relatively new approach to understanding the systems in our lives. Complex systems and complexity science deal with systems that cannot be easily/perfectly predicted (such as the movement of the planets or the weather) or simplified down to a probability (such as flipping a coin or describing the behavior of gas molecules in a room).

Determinate vs Probabilistic

In order to begin to understand complexity, we need to discover what complexity is not. Complexity is the region between the polar opposites, Determinate and Probabilistic. Something determinate can be predicted with certainty. Something probabilistic can be predicted within some statistical bounds (like the flipping of a coin). While complexity includes elements of both of these, it is neither determinate nor probabilistic.