Seminars 2011-2012

Program of the 8th ECCO Seminar Series (2011-2012)

What?
Speakers present their on-going research on various topics within the broad Evolution, Complexity and Cognition (ECCO) domain, and then get feedback from the audience. The intention is to discuss in depth the ideas and issues proposed, and to look for transdisciplinary connections with other topics. Speakers are requested to avoid technicalities, so that people from different backgrounds can follow their presentation.

For whom?
Everybody interested in complex systems, evolution, cognition, and their practical and philosophical implications. The discussions are informal and very interactive, with small groups (about 8-10 people). Most participants are researchers, but we regularly welcome students and people from outside academia. Free entrance!

This series is listed in the PhD seminars approved by the VUB Doctoral School of the Human Sciences. On request, you can get a proof of your participation. 

When?
Unless noted otherwise, seminars take place on Fridays at 2 pm. The seminars last about two hours with approximatively one hour of presentation, and one hour of discussion. New series start in the beginning of each academic year, with about 15 seminars per year.

Where?
Unless noted otherwise, the seminar room is 3B217 (building B, level 3), in the VUB Campus Etterbeek

 

Program

(presentations will be added as dates become fixed):

 

Date

Speaker(s)

Topic

 Oct 21

 Eva Busseniers

 (University of Gent)

  Hierarchical organization and self-organization

Oct 25 (Tuesday!)

 Robert K Logan

 (University of Toronto)

 McLuhan, Media, Emergence and Complexity Theory

 Oct 28

 Wim Gielingh

 Theo Lohman

 (Academi-IO)

 An approach for actor-based transdisciplinary innovation of socio-economic value-chains

 Nov 4

 Francis Heylighen

( ECCO, VUB)

 The Future Internet as a Global Brain: an update of the theory

 Nov 11

 

 Bank Holiday - No seminar

 Nov 18

 

 Academic Holiday - No seminar

 Nov 25

 Joachim De Beule (AI-lab, VUB)

  Languaging as a second order of joint control process

 Dec 2

Wim Van Moer

Francis Heylighen

Clement Vidal

David R. Weinbaum (Weaver) (VUB)

Anja Van Rompaey (ULB)

Jan Van der Veken (KULeuven)

 (see workshop program for details)

 Workshop:

Worldviews and religiosity:
a non-theististic perspective on human experience, meaning and purpose

 Dec 9  Clement Vidal

 (ECCO, VUB)

 The origins of the origin: points and cycles as cognitive attractors for ultimate explanations

 Dec 16

Room 3B217

 Philip Rutten

(Radboud University Nijmegen)

 The Complexity of Architecture

 

 Dec 20 (Tuesday!)

 Jon Echanove (AoEC, China)  Transformation of uncertainty in the therapeutic process

 

                                      Ecco / GBI Seminars 2nd Series 2011-2012

 

 

  Date

 

 Speaker(s)  Topic

 Apr 6

 Valérie Aucouturier (VUB, CLEA)   What is an Action ?

 Apr 13

 Marios Kyriazis (British Longevity Society)

 The Global Brain Facilitates Human Biological

 Immortality

 Apr 20

 Joanne Celens (Synthetron)

 Synthetron wisdom of crowds via evolutionary (propagated) consensus in online discussions: experiences and challenges

 Apr 27

 Hermann de Meer ( University of Passau )

 Evaluation of a self-organizing ambient intelligence

  based traffic system

 May 4

 Pierre De Wilde (TinkerPop, Memotive)
 A walk in graph databases

 May 11

 Pieter Ballon (IBBT-SMIT, VUB)
 An introduction to Living Labs

 May 18

 Luk van Langenhove  (CRIS, United Nations University)  How speech-acts are conquering the world

 May 25

 Yoni Van Den Eede ( Faculty of Philosophy, VUB)

 'The Interrelatedness of Many Things':

 Toward a McLuhanist Philosophy of Technology

 Jun 1

 Christophe Debruyne (STARlab, VUB)
 The social dynamics of ontological commitment

 Jun 8 (Room: 3B217)

 S.N. Balagangadhara  (aka Balu) (Center for Comparative Science of Cultures, University of Ghent)

 Who needs a worldview ?

 Jun 15 (Room: 3B217)

 Petter Braathen (Memetor) Organizations and Conceptual Paradoxes, Defined by Action Ontology

 Jun 22 (Room: 3B217)

  Tomas Veloz (University of British Columbia)

  Chemical Organizations: Theory and Applications

 

 

Final announcements with an abstract and additional information are distributed by email about 4 days before the seminar. People outside of ECCO who wish to receive these can subscribe to the Brussels Complexity mailing list.

If you are interested to present a seminar in our series, please contact Weaver  with your proposal.

 

Instructions for people preparing to present a seminar

Please send the abstract of your talk (about 200 words - 1 paragraph) at least 5 days before the lecture to Weaver, so that he can distribute it via our mailing list. This should include your affiliation, a link to your home page, and possibly 1-3 (web) references, where interested people can find more information about the topic of your talk. If you are not a member of ECCO we would also appreciate a short biography including your present affiliation and what you are working on.

The seminar room has an in-built computer projector and screen, so you can easily show PowerPoint or other presentations from your laptop (Do not forget the power cord of your computer!). If you don't bring a laptop with you, send us your file, and we'll save it on another laptop and bring it to the seminar room. You can also use transparencies with the overhead projector, or simply write notes on the blackboard.

You should prepare enough material for a one-hour talk, not more. With questions and discussions during and after the talk, this should result in a total seminar duration of about 2 hours.

After the seminar we would appreciate getting the outline or text of your presentation (PowerPoint, pdf, text or other format) to make available for downloading on this page. Even better would be if, taking into account the reactions you got at the seminar, you would elaborate your notes into a full paper, for our Working Papers archive. 

  

Previous seminar series

Hierarchical organization and self-organization

 

Hierarchical organization and self-organization

Eva Busseniers (University of Gent)

 

Abstract:

In this seminar, we look at the difference between hierarchical organization and self-organization. Organization is a structure with function. First, we try to define hierarchy on the structure. We do this by using graph theory. Next, we look at the function of an organization, how a common goal or global pattern is set and reached. We use some existing theory about self-organization here. Finally, we investigate how these two approaches agree.

 

Background Papers:

1. Self-organization in Communicating Groups:
the emergence of coordination, shared references and collective intelligence
- Francis Heylighen

2. Scale-free and hierarchical structures in complex networks - Albert-László Barabási, Zoltán Dezsö, Erzsébet Ravasz, Soon-Hyung Yook and Zoltán Oltvai

 

Lecture slides:

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/Busseniers-Hierarchy.pdf

 

The speaker:

Eva Busseniers studied mathematics at the university of Ghent, and is just graduated as a Master in Pure Mathematics."

 

McLuhan, Media, Emergence and Complexity Theory

 

McLuhan, Media, Emergence and Complexity Theory

Robert K. Logan (University of Toronto)

 

Abstract

McLuhan’s recognition of the non-linear aspect of the relationship between media and society in a certain sense foreshadowed the notion of co-evolution and complexity or emergence theory. This is not to suggest he played any role in the development of emergence and complexity theory but rather in his non-mathematical approach to understanding media and their effects he independently developed ideas that paralleled work in physics, biology and economics. There is a hint of emergence or complexity theory in a 1955 paper of McLuhan (1955) in which he wrote, “It is therefore, a simple maxim of communication study that any change in the means of communication will produce a chain of revolutionary consequences at every level of culture and politics. And because of the complexity of the components in this process, predictions and controls are not possible.” We will look at how his use of figure ground, the field concept and media ecology parallel emergence and complexity theory.

 

Lecture Slides

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/Logan-McLuhan.pdf

 

An approach for actor-based transdisciplinary innovation of socio-economic value-chains

 

An approach for actor-based transdisciplinary innovation

of socio-economic value-chains

T.A.M. (Theo) Lohman, W.F. (Wim) Gielingh[1]

 

Abstract:

The human race has reached a critical phase of its existence. Western industrial and economic practices have exhausted natural resources and have reduced biodiversity. But emerging economies, such as the BRICS countries, aim at the establishment of comparably high living standards. As we reach the borders of what the Earth can provide within a few decades, there is no other option than to change our way of living, working and thinking fundamentally.

All this will happen in the context of a society that becomes increasingly complex. Human skills and human knowledge have increased to unprecedented levels, requiring high degrees of specialization. As the challenges that are ahead of us cannot be solved by a single discipline, a single science or by technology alone, there is an urgent need for multi- and transdisciplinary skills and knowledge. These should make the required transition feasible within the lifespan of a single generation. The aforementioned challenges cannot be tackled in a top-down fashion either, but call for emergent, decentralized approaches.

We, human individuals, work for organizations that operate as links in larger value-chains. Our span of control is limited. Even CEO’s of enterprises, politicians and presidents are not capable to change society within such a limited timeframe. Hence, society must transform itself through the empowerment of human talents in business, scientific, educational and governmental organizations, throughout the value chains that they collectively form.

In a sequence of European and national collaborative projects between industry, science and education, a new approach has emerged that provides the methodologies and tools for actor-based, transdisciplinary innovation of socio-economic value-chains. Practically all parts of it have been implemented and verified in practice. A collaborative project for the integrated application in food value chains in the Netherlands and China is planned.

Apart from a brief overview and an introduction to the transcultural project, four relevant sub-domains will be presented in more depth:

1)   An actor-based approach for co-innovation in knowledge chains, involving industrial and educational organizations;

2)   Tools and methods for self-organization, supporting 1st, 2nd and 3rd order learning of human individuals, organizations and value chains;

3)   A methodology for systemic and modular innovation;

4)   A theory for cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing (notion-theory).

In addition, relevant areas for future research, with the Netherlands-China project as a potential case study, will be identified.

 

The speakers:

Theo Lohman - Ir. T.A.M. (Theo) Lohman is CEO and founder of TLO Holland Controls b.v.  He is specialized in Systems Innovation and Education Research, and is founder and vice chairman of foundation AcadeMi-IO (a joint effort of industry and education for business and human innovation).

Theo studied Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Organisation at Delft University of Technology (MSc in 1975). Theo published over 20 articles and 4 books on CA-technologies for Application Engineering and Integration. He is member of the Order of Organization Consultants in the Netherlands and was member of several editorial boards of Kluwer Publishing.

 

Wim Gielingh - Dr. W.F. (Wim) Gielingh is management consultant with a specialization in business innovation, vice chairman of foundation AcadeMi-IO (a joint effort of industry and education for business and human innovation), and founder of Real Capital (an innovative financial product for sustainable investments).

Wim initiated, managed and directed several large European R&D projects in the field of Product and Process Data Technology, with applications in construction, shipbuilding and the automotive industries. He was also asked by the European Commission to write parts of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Framework programmes for ESPRIT (= European Strategic Programme for Research in Information Technology).

 


[1] Foundation AcadeMi-IO, Woudrichemseweg 36a, 4286 LB Almkerk, The Netherlands; Correspondences: theo.lohman@academi-io.com , wim.gielingh@academi-io.com

 

The Future Internet as a Global Brain: an update of the theory

The Future Internet as a Global Brain: an update of the theory
 
 Francis Heylighen
(Evolution, Complexity and Cognition group, VUB)
 
 
Abstract
 
The ECCO research group will soon be launching a "Global Brain Institute" (GBI) at the VUB. This provides a good occasion for summarizing the research that will form the focus of this new institute.
 
The Global Brain can be defined as the emergence of a distributed, planetary intelligence supported by the Internet. The seminar will first summarize the history of research in this domain, starting over a century ago with the pioneers Herbert Spencer, Teilhard de Chardin, Paul Otlet and H.G. Wells, and building up to the creation of the world-wide web in the 1990s. It will then sketch the present situation and the contributions of the ECCO research group.
 
The seminar concludes by proposing conceptual foundations for a future theory of the global brain. The global brain would emerge by the self-organization of the network of people, computers and various tools, facilitated by the directed propagation of challenges from agent to agent across a global medium. Its function will be to coordinate (and thus increase the synergy between) all human and machine activities. The global brain would thus play the role of a nervous system for the planetary organism.
 
 
References
 
Heylighen F. (2011) The GBI Vision: past, present and future context of global brain research (ECCO working paper 2011-11)
 
Heylighen F. (in press) Self-organization in Communicating Groups: the emergence of coordination, shared references and collective intelligence, in: Language and Complexity, Barcelona University Press
 
Heylighen F. (2011) Conceptions of a Global Brain: an historical review, in: Evolution: Cosmic, Biological, and Social, pp: 274 - 289, eds: Grinin, L. E., Carneiro, R. L., Korotayev A. V., Spier F., Uchitel Publishing, Moscow.
 
Yuri Milner on the future of the internet (transcript of Milner's presentation to the Yalta Annual Meeting in September 2011)
 
 
------> Slides of the talk 
 
 

 

Languaging as a second order of joint control process

 
 

Languaging as a second order of joint control process

 Joachim De Beule (AI-lab, VUB)

 
Abstract:
 

In this talk, I give a cybernetic account of the phenomenon of language.  The talk consists of three parts.

In the first part, I consider languaging as the process by which people transmit meaningful information.  I investigate what it is that makes information meaningful.  The relation between Shannon information and Bateson (or MacKay) information is discussed, and their connection to the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic dimensions of language are made clear.  This will reveal that the notion of meaning or function can be treated scientifically by taking a process-metaphysical perspective and by conceiving life as a self-regulatory process. 

In the second part, I take into account that language is a collective phenomenon.  In light of the first part, I therefore consider the interaction between self-regulatory systems. I show how it can be investigated by comparing both systems' essential variables.  This leads to a second order cybernetic theory of evolution and the prediction that when systems share essential variables and specialize, they can undergo a meta-level transition and become an integrated whole. Integration requires communication, however, revealing that languaging essentially is a process of joint or integrated control.

In the third and final part, I consider the fact that languages are arbitrary.  This implies that they are the result of conventionalization processes. In light of the previous parts, this means that a study of such processes may give valuable insights into the dynamics of meta-level transitions.  I briefly discuss a computational model of conventionalization, revealing the typical dynamics involved.

 

Slides of the talk:

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/DeBeule-Languaging.pdf

 
 
References:
 
Ross Ashby (1965) An Introduction to Cybernetics. Chapman Hall, London
 
Robert Rosen (1991) Life Itself. Columbia University Press, New York
 
Joachim De Beule, Eivind Hovig and Mikael Benson (2011) Introducing
Dynamics into the Field of Biosemiotics. Biosemiotics Vol.4 No.1
 
 
The speaker:

Joachim De Beule obtained his PhD in computer science at the VUB Artificial Intelligence lab in 2007 under the supervision of Luc Steels.  Since then, his research has focused upon combining insights and models from language evolution and biological evolution in order to unravel the origin and evolution of biological symbol systems. In recent years, this lead him to an inquiry into the nature of meaning and biological function, bringing him to explore the fields of cybernetics and biosemiotics.

 

 

 

Workshop: Worldviews and religiosity

 

 

Workshop

Worldviews and religiosity: a non-theististic perspective on human experience, meaning and purpose

In this age of change, uncertainty, and confusion, many people experience the need for a coherent worldview that would give direction and meaning to their life, and that  would help them to feel part of a larger whole. Such feelings are sometimes described as "spirituality" or "religiosity", and are often used as a justification for a return to the traditional religions, such as Christianity, Islam or Hinduism. On the other hand, the philosopher Leo Apostel has eloquently pleaded for the development of an "atheist religiosity". We too would like to separate the experience of religiosity from the a-priori belief in a personal God(s), and investigate in the most fundamental way how an integrated worldview could give meaning to people's lives.
 

This workshop is intended to bring together a number of scholars who have worked on this issue from different perspectives, and to foster a constructive discussion.

 

 Workshop Organization

 

 Date:  Friday, Dec 2, 2011

 Time: 9.30-18.30h 

 Place: VUB Campus Etterbeek, Room 3B217 (building B, 3rd floor, end of corridor) 

 Organizers: Francis Heylighen, Clément Vidal & David A. Weinbaum (Weaver), Evolution, Complexity and Cognition group, VUB

 Participation: Free, but to facilitate the organization, please register by sending your full name & affiliations (if any) to Weaver. Registered people will receive an email with additional information (such as abstracts and references of the talks) as soon as it is available. Due to space limitations, we cannot guarantee non-registered participants a place to sit. Coffee and tea are freely available, but lunch is on your own responsibility.

 

Program

 

Time Speaker Subject

09.30-10.00

Francis Heylighen & Clement Vidal (ECCO & Center Leo Apostel, VUB) Introduction: Worldviews and Meaning

10.00-10.50

Wim Van Moer (Dep. of Philosophy, VUB)   Religious atheism - a framework and a case study

10.50-11.10

-- Coffee Break --   

11.10-12.00

Jan Van der Veken (Prof. Em. in Metaphysics and Theology, KULeuven) From atheistic to non-theistic religiosity

12.00-12.50

David R. Weinbaum (Weaver) (ECCO, VUB)

God is dead, where do we go from here? 

Nietzsche and a post human perspective on spirituality

12.50-13.15

 General Discussion   

13.15-14.20

-- Lunch Break at the VUB Student restaurant --   

14.20-15.10 

 S.N. Balagangadhara  (aka Balu) (Center for Comparative Science of Cultures, University of Ghent)

Who needs a World View? (Cancelled)

15.10-16.00

Anja Van Rompaey (Center for the Study of Religions and Secularity, ULB)   From exemplarism to representationalism: the difficulty of creating an atheistic concept of truth 

16.00-16.20

 -- Coffee Break --   

16.20-17.10

Francis Heylighen (ECCO & Center Leo Apostel, VUB) 

Animism, Evolution, and the Meaning of Life: 

how God helped to alienate us from our true nature 

17.10-18.00

Clement Vidal (ECCO & Center Leo Apostel, VUB) 

Cosmological Immortality:

Evolutionary Developmental Ethics on a Universal Scale 

18.00-18.30

 General Discussion   

 

Final announcements with an abstract and additional information will be distributed by email before the workshop.

 

Please contact Weaver with any question/request. 

The seminar room has an in-built computer projector and screen, so you can easily show PowerPoint or other presentations from your laptop (Do not forget the power cord of your computer!). If you don't bring a laptop with you, send us your file, and we'll save it on another laptop and bring it to the seminar room. You can also use transparencies with the overhead projector, or simply write notes on the blackboard.

You should prepare enough material for a 30 min talk, not more. With questions and discussions during and after the talk, this should result in a total talk duration of about 50 minutes.

After the workshop we would appreciate getting the outline or text of your presentation (PowerPoint, pdf, text or other format) to make available for downloading on this page. Even better would be if, taking into account the reactions you got at the seminar, you would elaborate your notes into a full paper, for our workshop archive. 

 

 

 

Animism, Evolution, and the Meaning of Life: how God helped to alienate us from our true nature

 
Animism, Evolution, and the Meaning of Life: 
how God helped to alienate us from our true nature

Francis Heylighen (ECCO & Center Leo Apostel, VUB)
 
 
Abstract:
 
According to Charlton (2002), the search for the "meaning of life", in the sense of a far-away end or purpose for our actions, is an artefact of agricultural society. For hunter-gatherers, who evolved to be perfectly adapted to their environment, life is intrinsically meaningful. Every action they perform has a clear, concrete purpose, and results in an immediate affective feedback. The world for a hunter-gatherer is simply a lively community of human and non-human agents with whom he intimately interacts. This action-based perspective (Heylighen, 2011) is what we call "animism".
 
With the development of agriculture, civilisation, and industrial society, people had to plan for an increasingly remote and abstract future, and to apply an increasingly strict discipline in order to stick to these plans. This required the development of a system of moral-religious rules, to be enforced by social pressure and individual interiorization. This system of rules was personified in one or more Gods, who would reward those who stick to the rules, and punish the others. Thus, God functioned to suppress our immediate, spontaneous reactions, and to promote long-term obedience to a rigorous social discipline. The result was that we lost our instinctive experience of being part of nature, and started to look (unsuccessfully) for meaning and purpose in far-away, metaphysical realms.
 
I will argue that our modern information society no longer needs to impose a strict sense of discipline on its members. Therefore, the road is open to recover our innate sense of harmony, provided we are willing to give up some metaphysical illusions (Heylighen, 2000, 2011), and to reconnect with our natural instincts (Heylighen, 2010).
 
 
References:

Charlton, B. (2002). What is the Meaning of Life? Animism, Generalised Anthropomorphism and Social Intelligence. Retrieved from http://www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton/meaning-of-life.html

Heylighen, F. (2000). Foundations and methodology for an evolutionary world view: a review of the Principia Cybernetica Project. Foundations of Science, 5(4), 457-490.
 
Heylighen, F. (2010). Evolutionary Well-Being: the paleolithic model, Retrieved from http://ecco.vub.ac.be/?q=node/127
 

Heylighen, F. (2011). Self-organization of complex, intelligent systems: an action ontology for transdisciplinary integration. Integral Review.

 

Link to presentation:

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/Heylighen-Meaning-Religiosity.ppt

 

Cosmological Immortality: Evolutionary Developmental Ethics on a Universal Scale

 Cosmological Immortality: Evolutionary Developmental Ethics on a Universal Scale

Clement Vidal (VUB)

 

Abstract:

Most ethical principles, religious or not, are based on wisdom acquired through a few millenia. This may seem a long time but once we take a cosmological perspective, even millenia are insignificant. The field of evolutionary ethics makes a big leap by embracing evolutionary time scales (millions of years). Can we continue to extend our ethical reflections, principles and theories up to the 14 billion years of cosmic evolution? What is the ultimate good in the universe? Evolutionary ethics concludes that survival is the most important value. But survival of what? and for how long? How can we aim for infinite survival, that is, for immortality?
 

We first outline evolutionary values (e.g. fitness, robustness, adaptation, competition, cooperation); developmental values for individuals (e.g. cognitive, emotional and moral development); developmental values for societies (e.g. rationality increase, violence decrease) and thermodynamical values (e.g. making the most of free energy; limiting entropy production). Striving toward the ultimate good in the longest term, we then propose a voyage to five kinds of immortalities: spiritual, individual, creative, evolutionary and cosmic. We show how they are correlative to the definition and development of the self. Evolutionary, developmental and thermodynamical values promise to be robust ethical principles because proven through the wisdom of billion years of cosmic evolution. As an application, the age-old longing for immortality is reworked in a cosmological perspective.

More information on this topic:

- On cosmic ethics:

Lupisella, Mark L. 2009. Cosmocultural Evolution: The Coevolution of Culture and Cosmos and the Creation of Cosmic Value. In Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context, ed. Steven J. Dick and Mark L. Lupisella, 321-359. Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, NASA SP-2009-4802. http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4802.pdf.

- On thermodynamics ethics:

Robert A. Freitas Jr., 1979-2010 Xenology: An Introduction to the Scientific Study of Extraterrestrial Life, Intelligence, and Civilization, First Edition, Xenology Research Institute, Sacramento, CA. (especially: http://www.xenology.info/Xeno/25.1.3.htm)

- See also Wikipedia's articles about immortality and developmental psychology.

 

 Link to the slides of the presentation: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/Vidal-Cosmological-Immortality.pdf

From exemplarism to representationalism: the difficulty of creating an atheistic concept of truth

 

From exemplarism to representationalism:

the difficulty of creating an atheistic concept of truth

Anja Van Rompaey (Center for the Study of Religions and Secularity, ULB)

 

Abstract: (provisional)

I will analyse different conceptions of truth, from the Middle Ages to modern times, and will try to show that not explicitly refering to the Sacred Scripture or theology might not be enough to develop a truly non-theistic notion of truth, and as a consequence a non-theistic epistemology. If I have enough time, I'll try to explain briefly why this problem might be solved (to be verified) by contemporary 'formal ontology' (a recently developed philosophical discipline operating in a field between logic and metaphysics).

References:

1. "Sur la théologie blanche de Descartes. Analogie, création des vérités éternelles et fondement", Jean-Luc Marion, Editions PUF, 2009, Paris.

2. "Le contemplateur et les idées. Modèles de la science divine, du néoplatonisme au XVIIIe siècle", O. Boulnois, J. Schmutz et J-L Solère (éd.), Vrin, 2002, Paris.

3. "La scientia Dei au Moyen Âge : de l’irrationalité absolue à l’intellection immédiate d’une ratio rerum située dans les choses mêmes", Anja Van Rompaey, revue "Le Figuier", to be published (automn 2011).

The speaker:

Anja Van Rompaey is a member of the Centre Interdisciplinaire de l'Etude des Religions et de la Laïcité (CIERL) of the ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles). After having worked on the epistemology and ontology of Spinoza for her Masters' Degree in the History of Philosophy (ULB), she currently studies the concept of reason (ratio) in medieval philosophy. Her Ph.D is part of the ULB ARC (Action de Recherche Concertée) project called 'The Religion of the Other. Reading and Interpretation of Religious Alterity in Islam, Christianity and Judaism, from Late Antiquity to the 21th century'. She's mainly interested in metaphysics, epistemology, ontology, the philosophy of the history of philosophy, and the science of religions.

God is dead, where do we go from here? Nietzsche and a post human perspective on spirituality

 

God is dead, where do we go from here? 

Nietzsche and a post human perspective on spirituality

 David R. Weinbaum (Weaver) (VUB)

 

Abstract:

From the perspective of Nietzche's concept of active and reactive forces all religions operate as reactive forces in society promoting spiritual slavery and expressing symptoms such as ressentiment, bad conscience and 'the spirit of revenge'. The fiction of God is the fulcrum and originator of these reactive forces. The problem goes much deeper because the human condition at large is a product of reactive, life depreciating nihilist forces.

Is the death of God a bold rebellion against these reactive forces that diminish the human spirit, or, is it yet another plunge deeper into their trap in a modern disguise?

Nietzsche offers the concept of the overman as a starting point towards what I call 'affirmative spirituality' - a transformative open ended kind of aspiration that is free from both religious pretentious moralities and atheistic reactive concepts such as utility, fitness and well being. Primarily and most importantly affirmative spirituality affirms life and is not based on ideas or values that transcend life. It spells the birth of a new kind of individual.

In the light of a future technological convergence that destabilize the forces currently dominating the human condition, the pressing question is: what are the prospects of an affirmative spirituality to emerge and catalyze the transformation of the human condition?

To frame the question, a preliminary outline of what might be the characteristics of affirmative spirituality are sketched.

 

References:

1. Deleuze, G. (2006) Nietzsche and Philosophy. New York: Columbia University.

2. Nietzsche F. (1968) The will to power. Trans.  Kaufmann  and  Hollingdale, Random House.

3. Nietzsche F. (1961) Thus Spoke Zarathustra Trans.  R. J.  Hollingdale, Penguin Books.

4. Zimmerman E.Z. (2008) The Singularity: A crucial phase in divine self-actualization? The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 4, No 1-2

 

Link to the presentation:

God is dead, where do we go from here?  Nietzsche and a post human perspective on spirituality

Religious atheism - a framework and a case study

Religious atheism – A framework and a case-study

Wim Van Moer (VUB)

 

Abstract:

In order to entirely grasp and understand human religious life, William James (1842-1910) insisted on taking into account the religious experiences rather than systematic theology, ecclesiastical organizations and so on. 

I will try to show that these particular experiences are human experiences; not intrinsically connected with a supernatural reality or being, a god or a theistic concept. This, in turn, means that it might be possible for atheists to have (a) religious experience(s).   

This lecture will consist of two main points: primo, I would like to present a theoretical framework that might be used in studying and examining religious experiences. This theoretical framework is the result of combining a thorough study of William James’s philosophy of religion, the works of Erich Fromm (1900-1980) and Leo Apostel’s (1925-1995) groundbreaking insights. Secundo, I will introduce a case-study in order to clarify and illustrate the framework.

 
 
The speaker:
Wim Van Moer - Assistant/researcher Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences  Vrije Universiteit Brussel
 
http://www.vub.ac.be/infovoor/onderzoekers/research/person_pub.php?person_id=26690
http://vub.academia.edu/WimVanMoer
 

 

The origins of the origin: points and cycles as cognitive attractors for ultimate explanations

 

The origins of the origin:

points and cycles as cognitive attractors for ultimate explanations

Clement Vidal  (ECCO, VUB)

 

Abstract:

All civilizations have developed myths explaining the origin of the world. They provide answers the fundamental worldview question: “where does it all come from?”. This childish question holds in fact four puzzling challenges, whose nature are epistemological, metaphysical, thermodynamical and causal. They can be summarized with the following questions: what are the epistemological characteristics of an ultimate theory? why not nothing? where does the energy of the universe comes from? what was the causal origin of the universe?
 

Our approach to these questions is cognitive and philosophical. What is a cognitively satisfying answer to the origin of the universe? What do we cognitively expect to be a satisfying answer to the ultimate origin? What are the limitations and biases of those explanations? We first outline four major challenges that an ultimate explanation must face. We then show that there are two cognitive attractors on which ultimate explanations tend to fall, the point and the cycle. They are similar to the fixed point and the limit-cycle in dynamical system theory. We analyze both the standard Big Bang model and the creation by a God as point attractors. We raise objections against cyclical cosmological models, such as the logical viciousness of cycles, or the idea of an infinite eternal return. We propose replies and remedies to these issues, and conclude that cycle-like explanations are more promising than point-like explanations.

The Complexity of Architecture

 

The Complexity of Architecture

Philip Rutten (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Abstract:

The digitalization of design production of the last decades has seen a parallel increase of biological ideas in architecture. The collective focus of these ideas is best represented by the term morphogenesis, and the ambition to apply morphogenesis as a generative design procedure in architecture.

Many of the concepts and techniques behind today’s morphogenetic design practices find their roots in the convergence between biology and the computer sciences, which occurred in the second half of the twentieth century, and the blurring of philosophical boundaries between the natural and the artificial that was a direct consequence of this convergence. The present focus of these practices is on coupling computational design techniques to the notion of ‘material systems’; this is accompanied by advances in digital fabrication. Therefore these practices now have the potential to make the philosophical continuity between the natural and the artificial an actual physical reality.

 

The Speaker:

Philip Rutten is an architect and researcher living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His research focuses on the concept of morphogenesis in philosophy and science, and the application of morphogenesis as a design procedure in architecture. Currently, he is working as 3d-visualizer for Benthem Crouwel Architects while doing a PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen. He holds a Master’s degree in Architecture, Building, and Planning from the University of Technology Eindhoven.

Transformation of uncertainty in the therapeutic process

 

Transformation of uncertainty in the therapeutic process

 Jon Echanove (AoEC, China)

Abstract:

For most therapeutic schools the experience of uncertainty is closely linked with unhealthy behaviours and emotions. This understanding of uncertainty is anchored on a reductionist understanding of human beings. However, uncertainty is an essential experience in the way we navigate through our lives. Instead of being defined as lack of information or equated to anxiety, it could be seen as being aware of the permanent lack of accuracy of our chosen course of actions; as an opening for learning.

It is our personal and social history what defines how we experience that lack of accuracy in responding to the challenges of life and how we approach novelty.

The disentanglement of the experience of uncertainty by individuals as a process of appraisal of challenges and action enables the development of a framework where the reduction and the increase of uncertainty co-exists as possible routes to remain ‘healthy’.

When dealing with emotional disorders, all therapeutic approaches aim at offering their clients a renewed sense of certainty in their lives. The thesis of this seminar is that this valuable goal of any therapeutic encounter is achieved via the transformation of the experience of uncertainty, not through its elimination.

To show that, I will start by introducing the definition of uncertainty based on a non-reductionist worldview. Secondly, I will identify the main components that shape the different experiences of uncertainty. Finally, I will use that framework to represent the most common emotional disorders and its relationship with effective therapeutic interventions.

Keywords: uncertainty, anxiety, curiosity, flow, therapy, action, challenge

 

Slides of the talk: http://pcp.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/Echanove-Transf.Uncertainty.pdf

 

The speaker:

An Executive Accredited Coach and Basic Consultant for Positive Psychotherapy, that has developed most of his management professional career in multicultural organisations, in particular supporting and developing cooperation between Europe and its main trade partners. This strong cross-cultural background has lead him to support individuals and couples to integrate cultural and relationship changes.

Jon is currently a core member of ECCO, the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), conducting research human experience in complex, uncertain environments.

As Managing Director and Faculty of the Academy of Executive Coaching China, he is based in Beijing training and developing Executives Coaches in parallel with his coaching/counselling private practice.

 

What is an action?

 

What is an action?

Valérie Aucouturier (VUB, CLEA)

Abstract:

The question may seem utterly naïve, since we do talk about actions all the time (pouring some tea, going to the university, etc.), but it may also reveal very tricky when it comes to understanding the specificity of actions against the general course of happenings. Actions are indeed a specific kind of happening in that they involve agency: an agent intervenes in the course of events, she decides to interfere or not with what is going on, following some goal she intends to pursue.

Philosophers (notably Davidson and Anscombe) have argued that we attend to this specificity when we focus on descriptions of what happens that are somehow linked to an agent's reasons to act. If an action is intentional, one can provide reasons for doing it. But there can be various descriptions of what we do, of the same action (moving one's fingers, typing something, doing a clicking noise, writing a paper, etc.). The issue on which I shall concentrate is double: first, what is specific about agency by contrast with other sorts of happenings (and what kind of creature is thus capable of agency); second what is it that makes all the descriptions of the same action descriptions of the same action? We shall see how the causal chain of events are intertwined with people's actions. I will conclude on the idea that this specificity of agency leads to the irreducibility of action explanations (and thus of any kind of explanation appealing to agency) to any lower level of explanation.

 

About the speaker:

Valérie Aucouturier (F.W.O. Postdoctoral Fellow, Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Study, Free University Brussels – V.U.B.)

I am currently working on the epistemology of human action and psychological explanations. Indeed, philosophers, psychologists and practitioners encounter major theoretical and practical difficulties in trying to build a consistent, non-reductionist, account of their object of study. I try to analyse which epistemological constraints apply to psychology as a 'special' science in order to shed light on new understandings of mental causation that would be appropriate to e.g. what happens in the psychotherapeutic cure.

 

Slides of the Talk:

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/Aucouturier-Action.pdf

 

 
 

 

The Global Brain Facilitates Human Biological Immortality

 

The Global Brain Facilitates Human Biological Immortality

Marios Kyriazis (British Longevity Society)

 

 Abstract:

The Global Brain represents the highest order of self-organised intelligent complexity hitherto achieved by nature. This has enormous consequences for the biological evolution of humans whose lifespan is, at present, extremely limited by constrains defined by Darwinian forces. I will argue that those who purposefully engage in an active manner with the physical and virtual structures of the Global Brain will inevitably experience a progressive increase in their lifespan, reaching a situation whereby their rate of mortality as a function of age will tend to zero. This situation is Human Biological Immortality.  Our intelligent presence within the Global Brain is demarcated by a new evolutionary replicator, the noeme. Those who purposefully reinforce it, will be subjected to positive natural influences that promote its survival. In addition, those who significantly engage with an enriched digital environment, increase their exposure to cognitive challenges, which act via hormesis and biological amplification in order to influence basic biological processes that afford increased longevity.

 

Background information:

1. http://hplusmagazine.com/2011/03/04/indefinite-lifespans-a-natural-consequence-of-the-global-brain

2. http://biologicalimmortality.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html

3. https://acrobat.com/#d=MAgyT1rkdwono-lQL6thBQ

 

Speaker’s website:

www.elpistheory.info

 

Slides of the talk:

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/Kyriazis-GlobalBrain.pptx

 

 

 

Evaluation of a self-organizing ambient intelligence based traffic system

 

Evaluation of a self-organizing ambient intelligence based traffic system

Hermann de Meer and Richard Holzer, University of Passau

Abstract:

For increasing safety in traffic, ambient intelligence (AmI) devices can be used in vehicles to assist the drivers actions. Modern vehicle communications technologies will allow drivers to be alerted much sooner to an accident, and voluntarily take actions to ensure smoother and safer traffic flow without any assistance from the road infrastructure. Quantitative measures can be used for the design, analysis and optimization of such systems with respect to the overall goal to maximize safety in the traffic scenario.

The results presented in this talk refer to SOCIONICAL, an European integrated project, on self-organization by use of AmI technology.

References:

1. Tutorial

2. Methods for Approximations of Quantitative Measures in Self-Organizing Systems

Slides of the talk:

Can be found here: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/deMeer-TrafficIntelligence.ppt

 

 

 

Synthetron wisdom of crowds via evolutionary (propagated) consensus in online discussions: experiences and challenges

 

 Synthetron wisdom of crowds via evolutionary (propagated) consensus in online discussions:

experiences and challenges

Joanne Celens (Synthetron)

 

Synthetron the company

Synthetron smart listening solutions helps organistations to efficiently engage large groups in feedback, reflection and co-creation on specific topics so
The purpose is to get “the wisdom of the crowd”  to be able to accelerate change and reduce risk of failure: this is the instant insight in the real and for the participants most relevant values, ideas and opinions and suggestions.  Clients are typically multinationals (Shell, BNP, RWE as well as governments and NGO – G1000 online part)
 

The approach of proactively crowd source via 1 hour real time online brainstorm-like conversations  that are moderated, interactive , anonymous, fully scalable (10-1000) and collaborative conclusive.  The software is based on a participants organization in a smart set of virtual overlapping discussion tables (to manage scale) where participants share, react and evaluate each other’s ideas and an evolutionary propagation of these ideas: weak ideas stay at the table and ideas that get support move on to more tables as long as they keep maintaining support

 

The presentation:

The presentation we will share how these  synthetron discussions work- the mathematical model behind the software. Share experience  on ways to get the best wisdom, and the limits we are confronted with, the different propagation modes , share what the synthetron database of hundreds of these discussions is learning us,  and explore ways to further improve the wisdom gathering process.
 

References:

Website: www.synthetron.com
 

Publications:

  •  J.Celens, C. Shovlin “White paper: Listen to Learn , Learn to Listen”, april 2008, Wainhouse conference Berlin, http://www.synthetron.com/2011/11/05/listen-to-learn-learn-to-listen/ 
  • Paul Verdin,Eric Cabocel,Joanne Celens& François Faelli,  “Making Change work What Managers, Executives and Staff Tell us that Really Matters “ ,Review of Business and Economics, 2011/2 ·        http://www.synthetron.com/2011/12/18/makingchangework/
  • Elektronisches unternehmenskommunikation, Konzepte un Best Practices zur Kultur und Führung, Deutscher Fachverlag , ISBN 978-3-86641-078-7 Frank Martin Hein, chapter 4;3;10 Synthetron ein neues Niveau fûr Blackboard –Systeme pagina 259 -270 , co author Joanne Celens en Catherine Shovlin
  • Faeita, B., Huberman, B. and Verhaeghe, P., “Scalable online Discussions as Listening Technology”, System Sciences (2006), HICSS ‘06, Proceedings of the 39th Annual Hawaii International Conference.
 

The Speaker CV Joanne Celens:

Born in Belgium, Joanne has studied business (handels ingenieur) and international relations (KU Leuven and Johns Hopkins University). Joanne worked for Royal Dutch Shell, where she held various international line positions in trading, marketing, strategy and general management over an 18 year career. The experience of leading virtual teams as well as several major change programs at Shell stimulated Joanne’s interest in collaborative listening and engagement in change. In 2003, she left Shell to co-found Synthetron, where she first focused on business development and assumed the role of CEO in 2007. Joanne has a broad international management experience, deep insights in change and strategy alignment. Joanne has lived, studied and worked in many countries and speaks well Dutch (mother tongue), French, English, Italian and ok German
 

Slides of the talk (partial):

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ECCO/Seminars/Celens-Synthetron.pptx

 

 

A walk in graph databases

A walk in graph databases

Pierre De Wilde (TinkerPop, Memotive)

Abstract:

For the past 40 years, most of our data have been stored in relational databases. Behind the NoSQL movement, we will see how scalability and index-intensive issues are addressed. After the introduction of the property graph model, we will start our walk in graph databases with Gremlin, a flexible graph traversal language. A step-by-step guide will help us to manipulate and traverse a graph database. Several traversal patterns will be explored. We will end our walk by connecting graphs to the Linked Data world.
 

Websites:

 

Papers:

Constructions from Dots and Lines (2010)
by Marko A. Rodriguez and Peter Neubauer
 
The Graph Traversal Pattern (2010)
by Marko A. Rodriguez and Peter Neubauer
 

The speaker:

Over the past ten years, Pierre has explored several ways to represent knowledge: Concept Maps, Semantic Web, Linked Data and Graph Databases. He has created an experimental navigation tool for knowledge bases like ConceptNet, DBPedia, Freebase, OpenCyc, TrueKnowledge. On top of the property graph model, he is currently creating an online concept mapping tool for fostering collective intelligence.
 

Slides of the talk:

Can be found here:  http://www.slideshare.net/pierredewilde/a-walk-in-graph-databases-v10

 

An introduction to Living Labs

 

An introduction to Living Labs

Pieter Ballon (IBBT-SMIT, VUB)

Abstract:

Living Labs are a relatively recent type of test and experimentation platforms. They are focused on real-life experiments, user-driven co-design and open innovation. Over the past few years, around 300 Living Labs have sprung up across Europe. Despite this success, several questions remain as to their relationship to innovation theories, methodologies, and impact.
 

References:

homepage: openlivinglabs.eu
web reference: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1331557
 

The Speaker:

Pieter Ballon, who leads several European Living Labs projects and is International Secretary of the European Network of Living Labs, will provide his insights into the Living Lab phenomenon.

 

 

How speech-acts are conquering the world

 

How speech-acts are conquering the world

 Luk van Langenhove  (CRIS, United Nations University)

 

Abstract:

This talk is about the ontology of the social realm. It will be argued that the 'substance' of the social world is made out of speech-acts. They can be regarded as the equivalent of what matter is for the natural world. But where matter can be situated in an Euclidean time-space grid, speech-acts exist in a different grid that is non-Euclidean. As such, speech-acts constantly shape a 'parallel universe' to the natural world: a social world that allows persons and institutions to exist and interact. In that world causality exists next to intentionality.

 

Furthermore, it will be argued that in the course of the history of mankind, speech-acts have found technological devices to become more independent of people. They can now 'travel' instantly across the planet or stay dormant for many years and come back to live again. Together, the universe of speech acts form a world wide web that envelops all people on Earth.

 

 

 

Finally , the question will be raised if this metaphorical view of the substance of the social realm can be pushed further: are we entering a new era in which speech-acts can interact with other speech-acts without persons as intermediates?
 

References:

Van Langenhove, L. (2007). Innovating the Social Sciences. Vienna: Passagen.
Van Langenhove, L. (2010). People and Societies. London: Routledge.
Van Langenhove, L. (2012). Make social sciences relevant, Nature, vol 484, p. 442.
 
 

The Speaker:

Bio: see: http://www.lukvanlangenhove.be/biography.php
 
 

Slides of the talk:

See: 

Slides

 

'The Interrelatedness of Many Things': Toward a McLuhanist Philosophy of Technology

 

'The Interrelatedness of Many Things': Toward a McLuhanist Philosophy of Technology

Yoni Van Den Eede ( Faculty of Philosophy, VUB)

Abstract:

Can media theorist Marshall McLuhan be "read" as a full-blown philosopher of technology? We attempt to do so, by reformulating his ideas in the context of a systematic "philosophy of media." The concept of "human-technology relationships" is deployed as guiding metaphor. And we proceed, practically, by synthesizing McLuhan's approach with that of contemporary philosophers of technology, hence constituting a crucial overall link between the disciplines of Media Ecology and contemporary Philosophy of Technology.

References:

Van Den Eede, Yoni. 2010. “In Between Us: On the Transparency and Opacity of Technological Mediation.” Foundations of Science 16 (2-3): 139–159. doi:10.1007/s10699-010-9190-y.

The Speaker:

Yoni Van Den Eede is affiliated to the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences at the VUB as a Ph.D. fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). He conducts research into the philosophy of technology, media theory, and media ecology, with an emphasis on phenomenological, cultural, and existential themes. His doctoral dissertation, 'Amor Technologiae,' synthesizes the work of Marshall McLuhan with diverse approaches in the contemporary philosophy of technology, in that way reformulating McLuhan's ideas in the context of a systematic 'philosophy of media,' that circles around the notion and metaphor of 'human-technology relationships.'

Speaker's website:  http://www.westofthediamond.com.

 

Slides of the talk

 

The social dynamics of ontological commitment

On the Social Dynamics of Ontological Commitment

 Christophe Debruyne (STARlab, VUB), Robert Meersman

Abstract:

Ontologies are formal, shared, and computer-stored (approximate) de-scriptions of a universe of discourse. They are key in the realization of semantic interoperability between autonomously developed information systems and the Semantic Web. The problem is not so much what ontologies in computer science are, but how ontologies come to be. An ontology is the result of a series of interaction  leading to agreements to a better approximation of a communities perceived reality, often for a specific goal.  Methods and tools are thus needed to support those communities in ontology construction. As those interactions happen in natural language, the resulting ontology should be grounded in that same language as well. We present the DOGMA framework for ontology engineering and GOSPL, a collaborative ontology engineering methodology built ontop of DOGMA. DOGMA is a framework in which the basic element is a binary-fact, grounded in natural language with the communities own terminology. GOSPL captures the social interactions and the natural language definitions of concepts to drive the ontology engineering.

References:

[1]  C. Debruyne and R. Meersman. Semantic interoperation of information sys-
tems by evolving ontologies through formalized social processes. In J. Eder,
M. Bielikov´a, and A M. Tjoa, editors, ADBIS, volume 6909 of LNCS, pages
444–459. Springer, 2011.

[2]  M. Jarrar and R. Meersman. Ontology engineering - the DOGMA approach.
In T. Dillon, E. Chang, R. Meersman, and K. Sycara, editors, Advances
in Web Semantics I, volume 4891 of LNCS, pages 7–34. Springer Berlin /
Heidelberg, 2009.

[3]  R. Meersman and C. Debruyne.   Hybrid ontologies and social semantics.
In Proc. of 4th IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and
Technologies (DEST 2010). IEEE Press, 2010.

 

Slides of the talk:

http://ecco.vub.ac.be/sites/all/files/2012-06-01-ECCO-SEMINAR.pptx-small.pdf

 

 

 

 

Who needs a worldview ?

 

Who needs a worldview ?

S.N. Balagangadhara  (aka Balu) (Center for Comparative Science of Cultures, University of Ghent)

 

 

  A summary of the talk

  Reference: Metaphilosophical criteria to worldview comparison

 

 

 

Organizations and Conceptual Paradoxes, Defined by Action Ontology

 

Organizations and Conceptual Paradoxes, Defined by Action Ontology

 Petter Braathen (Memetor)

Abstract:

Organizations described by Action Ontology.

The theory of complex systems is an interdisciplinary epistemic framework. Working within it requires coherence when connecting concepts from different disciplines, and that we respect the permanence of concepts developed inside the disciplines.

I will describe complex systems in the tradition of process philosophy and develop an action-based ontology. I will go on to describe how an organization can be described as a set of primary types of actions. The advantage is that general complex systems theory can be applied across different ontological realms.

My Phd thesis focuses on how organizations relate to conceptual paradoxes that emerge. The theoretical formulation of action-ontology in process philosophy metaphysics, gives the ability to describe such phenomenon with more precision. This will again open up the possibility for practical solutions to the problem. I will briefly describe two case studies in global organizations where the theoretical approach has been applied in practical work.

 

Slides of presentation:

 

 http://ecco.vub.ac.be/sites/all/files/Brussels June 2012b.ppt

Chemical Organizations: Theory and Applications

 

Chemical Organizations: Theory and Applications

Tomas Veloz (University of British Columbia)

 

Abstract:

Chemical Organization Theory (COT) studies the dynamical properties of reaction networks avoiding the computationally expensive analysis of their corresponding systems of ODE or stochastic simulations. Instead, COT focuses on how the occurrence of a reaction affects the availability of molecules in the network to perform other reactions and studies the conditions under which a system can self-maintain. It has been proved that some special sub-networks, so called organizations, are the only possible sub-networks that correspond to asymptotically stable solutions of the system of differential equations that governs the dynamics of the system. This has important consequences from both dynamical and computational points of view. This talk would cover the basic aspects of the theory and two novel applications based on reaction networks as a paradigm to study social systems will be presented.

 

References:

Ref 1 (Basic Theory): http://www.informatik.uni-jena.de/~dittrich//p/DS2005.pdf
Ref 2 (A theoretical refinement): http://www.informatik.uni-jena.de/~dittrich//p/PVD2010cmc11.pdf
Ref 3 (Social systems application): http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0219525908001878

 

The speaker:

Affiliation: University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus. Psychology and Mathematics Departments.
home-webpage: https://people.ok.ubc.ca/tomveloz/homepage.htm

Slides of the talk:

Chemical organization