Far-reaching conversations with a worldwide network of scientists and mathematicians, philosophers and artists developing new frameworks to explain our universe's deepest mysteries. Join host Michael Garfield at the Santa Fe Institute each week to learn about your world and the people who have dedicated their lives to exploring its emergent order: their stories, research, and insights…


episode 69: W. Brian Arthur (Part 2) on "Prim Dreams of Order vs. Messy Vitality" in Economics, Math, and Physics

Can you write a novel using only nouns? Well, maybe…but it won’t be very good, nor easy, nor will it tell a story. Verbs link events, allow for narrative, communicate becoming. So why, in telling stories of our economic lives, have people settled into using algebraic theory ill-suited to the task of capturing the fundamentally uncertain, open and evolving processes of innovation and exchange?

Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.

This week on Complexity, we bring our two-part conversation with SFI External Professor W. Brian Arthur to a climax — a visionary exploration of multiple scientific methodologies that takes us from the I Ching to AlphaGo, Henri Bergson to Claude Shannon, artificial life to a forgotten mathematics with the power to (just maybe) save the future from inadequate and totalizing axioms…

We pick up by revisiting the end of Part 1 in Episode 68 — if you’re just tuning in, you’ll want to double back for vital context.

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Related Reading & Listening:

W. Brian Arthur on Complexity episodes 13, 14, & 68.

“Economics in Nouns and Verbs” by W. Brian Arthur (+ @sfiscience Twitter thread excerpting the essay

“Mathematical languages shape our understanding of time in physics” by Nicolas Gisin for Nature Physics

“Quantum mechanical complementarity probed in a closed-loop Aharonov–Bohm interferometer” by Chang et al. in Nature Physics

“Quantum interference experiments, modular variables and weak measurements” by Tollaksen et al. in New Journal of Physics


 2021-10-07  1h3m