New concepts may prove necessary to profit from the avalanche of sequence data on the genome, transcriptome, proteome and interactome and to relate this information to cell physiology. Here, we focus on the concept of large activity-based structures, or hyperstructures, in which a variety of types of molecules are brought together to perform a function. We review the evidence for the existence of hyperstructures responsible for the initiation of DNA replication, the sequestration of newly replicated origins of replication, cell division (...) and for metabolism. The processes responsible for hyperstructure formation include changes in enzyme affinities due to metabolite-induction, lipid-protein affinities, elevated local concentrations of proteins and their binding sites on DNA and RNA, and transertion. Experimental techniques exist that can be used to study hyperstructures and we review some of the ones less familiar to biologists. Finally, we speculate on how a variety of in silico approaches involving cellular automata and multi-agent systems could be combined to develop new concepts in the form of an Integrated cell (I-cell) which would undergo selection for growth and survival in a world of artificial microbiology. (shrink)
Christian Godin | : Le Tout de Lavelle n’est ni celui, panthéistique, de l’univers, ni celui, épistémique, des holismes et des théories du système. Il s’agira donc dans cet article de dégager une présence et un sens diffus, pour tâcher de déterminer la fonction que Lavelle fait jouer à l’idée de Tout dans l’économie générale de sa pensée. | : It is neither the whole of the universe (pantheistic), nor the whole of the holisms and theories of system (epistemic), (...) that concerns Lavelle. This article will seek to bring out a presence and a diffuse sense of the whole, with a view to determining the function which Lavelle makes the idea of the whole play in the general economy of his thought. (shrink)
The history of innovation as a category is dominated by economists and by the contribution of J. A. Schumpeter. This paper documents the contribution of a neglected but influential author, the American sociologist William F. Ogburn. Over a period of more than 30 years, Ogburn developed pioneering ideas on three dimensions of technological innovation: origins, diffusion, and effects. He also developed the first conceptual framework for innovation studies—based on the concept of cultural lags—which led to studying and forecasting the impacts (...) of technological innovation on society. All in all, Ogburn has been as important to the sociology of technology as Robert K. Merton has been to the sociology of science and Schumpeter to the economics of technological innovation. (shrink)
In this article, we apply a special case of holographic representations to letter position coding. We translate different well-known schemes into this format, which uses distributed representations and supports constituent structure. We show that in addition to these brain-like characteristics, performances on a standard benchmark of behavioral effects are improved in the holographic format relative to the standard localist one. This notably occurs because of emerging properties in holographic codes, like transposition and edge effects, for which we give formal demonstrations. (...) Finally, we outline the limits of the approach as well as its possible future extensions. (shrink)
Harry Collins' central argument about experimental practice revolves around the thesis that facts can only be generated by good instruments but good instruments can only be recognized as such if they produce facts. This is what Collins calls the experimenters' regress. For Collins, scientific controversies cannot be closed by the 'facts' themselves because there are no formal criteria independent of the outcome of the experiment that scientists can apply to decide whether an experimental apparatus works properly or not.No one seems (...) to have noticed that the debate is in fact a rehearsal of the ancient philosophical debate about skepticism. The present article suggests that the way out of radical skepticism offered by the so-called mitigated skeptics is a solution to the problem of consensus formation in science. (shrink)
Innovation has become a very popular concept over the twentieth century. However, few have stopped to study the origins of the category and to critically examine the studies produced on innovation. This paper conducts such an analysis on one type of innovation, namely technological innovation. The study of technological innovation is over one hundred years old. From the early 1900s onward, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and economists began theorizing about technological innovation, each from his own respective disciplinary framework. However, in the (...) last forty years an economic and “dominant” understanding of technological innovation has developed: technological innovation defined as commercialized invention. This paper documents the origins of this representation and the tradition of research to which it gave rise: “innovation studies.” More specifically, it analyzes what distinguishes this tradition from that concerned with technological change as the use of inventions in industrial production, and looks at why such a tradition originated in Europe. (shrink)
Polarization is a generalized feature of intellectual life. Few authors however have studied polarities as they actually occur in every day life and discourse. This paper proposes two hypotheses to account for the pervasiveness of polarities. The first relates to uncertainty. Almost everything that touches our lives is filled with irreducible uncertainty. As a rhetoric, polarization uses arguments from (future) consequences in order to manage the future. The second hypothesis relates to phenomenology: body and behavior incorporate tensions or dualistic properties (...) which are easily reproduced in language and thinking. Polarized thinking helps people to imagine extremes so that they may better anticipate the spectrum of possibilities available for action. The article concludes with remarks on the dangers of (over)generalizing and universalizing particulars (or extremes) in polarity based argumentation. (shrink)
J. Schumpeter is a key figure, even a seminal one, on technological innovation. Most economists who study technological innovation refer to Schumpeter and his pioneering role in introducing innovation into economic studies. However, despite having brought forth the concept of innovation in economic theory, Schumpeter provided few if any analyses of the process of innovation itself. This paper suggests that the origin of systematic studies on technological innovation owes its existence to the economist W. Rupert Maclaurin from MIT. In the (...) 1940s and 1950s, Maclaurin developed Schumpeter’s ideas, analyzing technological innovation as a process composed of several stages or steps, and proposed a theory of technological innovation, later called the linear model of innovation. The paper also argues that Maclaurin constructed one of the first taxonomies for measuring technological innovation. (shrink)
Slogan nazi et stalinien dans les années 1930, le triomphe de la volonté, heureusement débarrassé de son hypothèque totalitaire, est devenu le programme implicite d'une époque qui, ne voulant plus rien recevoir des dieux ou de la ...
Official science and technology statistics arefifty years old. Among industrial countries,the forerunners were the United States, Canadaand Great Britain. This paper traces thedevelopment and the construction of S&Tstatistics in these three countries, and theirsubsequent standardization, mainly by theOECD, in the 1960s. It shows how military andscience policy needs drove the construction ofstatistics, until economic considerations cameto dominate their development. It alsodiscusses how statistics interacted withpolitics by way of studies that documentedgaps between OECD Member countries and betweenthe OECD and the USSR.
C. Bouton, Le Temps de l'urgence, Paris, Le Bord de l'eau, 2013, 303 p. L'essai de Christophe Bouton s'inscrit dans un ensemble de recherches déjà bien fourni. Depuis quelques années, on observe une inflation d'essais sur la vitesse, l'accélération, l'agitation de la vie quotidienne ou la frénésie au travail. Mais le point de vue qui y est exposé tranche sur la plus grande partie de ces travaux et cela pour un nombre non négligeable de raisons. L'urgence comme norme temporelle (...) de l'action La première (...) - Recensions. (shrink)