Emergence and power law distribution?

For discussions of the Open University's T214 Systems course.

Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby llamagirl on Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:44 pm

Emergence is not completely random though, in the same conditions, the same properties will emerge - if you are cooking ingredients, the same ingredients cooked in the same way don't one day make a cake and another day make a casserole, so emergent properties must somehow be explainable.
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Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby jamesWtc on Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:52 pm

llamagirl wrote:Emergence is not completely random though, in the same conditions, the same properties will emerge - if you are cooking ingredients, the same ingredients cooked in the same way don't one day make a cake and another day make a casserole, so emergent properties must somehow be explainable.


In other word, the emergence is the property of the whole. Removing one ingredient from your cooking and the food will not taste the same.
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Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby Teiana on Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:55 pm

same ingredients cooked in the same way don't one day make a cake and another day make a casserole, so emergent properties must somehow be explainable


you want to explain how we *can* tell identical twins apart then?

if, as you say, emergent properties are explainable, then give me one explanation which works to explain:

friendship
sticky-toffee-pudding flavour
how i feel about the colour 'orange'
an online community
education
beethovens 5th.
H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby llamagirl on Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:41 pm

There seems to be a problem with the word explain!! I am going to stop using it, its the wrong word :)

Teiana, are you talking about emotions, and humanness (is that a word?). If you are, then you are right that they cannot be expressed mathematically, although I think mathmatics is far more artistic than most people realise, but I still think that emergence can be understood. What I am trying to understand about power laws is how they can be used as a systems tool as I would like to be able to use the concept in my ECA.
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Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby Teiana on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:21 pm

i think you can use the idea of emergence without being able to quantify it.

i think it's 'systemic' to accept the qualitative things along with the quantitative...

i'm not specifically talking about emotions: they are just one example of what i see as emergent properties. You could have all kinds of things being emergent properties. 'lateness' is an emergent property.

using power laws as a systems tool? I don't think they are a tool. They could conceivably be a concept?
H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby llamagirl on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:34 pm

Teiana wrote:'lateness' is an emergent property.

and can be expressed numerically

how come I'm defending maths - I hate maths :?

So as a systems concept, how can power laws / self organising systems / chaos be used in a systemic analysis????
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Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby Teiana on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:47 pm

well.. <thinks>

the power-law distribution tells us stuff about networks... ? and networks are about understanding the relationships between things as opposed to just the objects...

and doing a systemic investigation is about exploring relationships?
But of course that doesn't mean that all relationships are described by power laws. I could generalise, perhaps, and say that knowing about power laws tells me I can't trust 'averages', and I could then go from there to say learning to look for hubs or spikes, or know when to expect them, might be useful. An example i think is there's an argument about healthcare in africa: they can either distribute ( eg, hiv vaccines) to everyone equally, or to 'the most vulnerable if they get affected' or, to the most likely to infect others.. ie, the hubs. It might seem unfair to give the best healthcare treatment to the people most likely to infect others, but in practice it might save the most lives. So understanding about power laws might be useful to someone trying to come up with a systemic 'real change' they want to effect...
H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby Teiana on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:49 pm

'lateness' is an emergent property.
and can be expressed numerically



my point was trying to be that there isn't one way to measure or process 'all' emergent properties. The same measurement that measures 'lateness' won't measure 'friendship'.
H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby llamagirl on Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:04 pm

Teiana wrote:I could generalise, perhaps, and say that knowing about power laws tells me I can't trust 'averages', and I could then go from there to say learning to look for hubs or spikes, or know when to expect them, might be useful. An example i think is there's an argument about healthcare in africa: they can either distribute ( eg, hiv vaccines) to everyone equally, or to 'the most vulnerable if they get affected' or, to the most likely to infect others.. ie, the hubs. It might seem unfair to give the best healthcare treatment to the people most likely to infect others, but in practice it might save the most lives. So understanding about power laws might be useful to someone trying to come up with a systemic 'real change' they want to effect...


Ok, I can understand that, by concentrating on the hubs, the 'network' can be broken, its a different approach, and I've still got unanswered questions about power laws, emergence and chaos, but it makes sense.
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Re: Emergence and power law distribution?

Postby Teiana on Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:39 pm

i have loads of unanswereds about chaos... :-) worth more exploration, for sure.
H.R.H. 8-)
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