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Jon Lawhead
University of Southern California
  1. Self-Organization, Emergence, and Constraint in Complex Natural Systems.Jon Lawhead - manuscript
    Contemporary complexity theory has been instrumental in providing novel rigorous definitions for some classic philosophical concepts, including emergence. In an attempt to provide an account of emergence that is consistent with complexity and dynamical systems theory, several authors have turned to the notion of constraints on state transitions. Drawing on complexity theory directly, this paper builds on those accounts, further developing the constraint-based interpretation of emergence and arguing that such accounts recover many of the features of more traditional accounts. We (...)
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  2. Gaming the Attention Economy.Daniel Estrada & Jon Lawhead - 2013 - In Pietro Michelucci (ed.), The Handbook of Human Computation. Springer. pp. 961-978.
    The future of human computation benefits from examining tasks that agents already perform and designing environments to give those tasks computational significance. We call this natural human computation. We consider the possible future of NHC through the lens of Swarm!, an application under development for Google Glass. Swarm! motivates users to compute the solutions to a class of economic optimization problems by engaging the attention dynamics of crowds. We argue that anticipating and managing economies of attention provides one of the (...)
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    Getting Fundamental About Doing Physics in The Big Bang.Jon Lawhead - 2012 - In Dean Kowalski (ed.), The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 99-111.
  4. Lightning in a Bottle: Complexity, Chaos, and Computation in Climate Science.Jon Lawhead - 2014 - Dissertation, Columbia University
    Climatology is a paradigmatic complex systems science. Understanding the global climate involves tackling problems in physics, chemistry, economics, and many other disciplines. I argue that complex systems like the global climate are characterized by certain dynamical features that explain how those systems change over time. A complex system's dynamics are shaped by the interaction of many different components operating at many different temporal and spatial scales. Examining the multidisciplinary and holistic methods of climatology can help us better understand the nature (...)
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    Structural Modeling Error and the System Individuation Problem.Jon Lawhead - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Recent work by Frigg et. al. and Mayo-Wilson have called attention to a particular sort of error associated with attempts to model certain complex systems: structural modeling error. The assessment of the degree of SME in a model presupposes agreement between modelers about the best way to individuate natural systems, an agreement which can be more problematic than it appears. This problem, which we dub “the system individuation problem” arises in many of the same contexts as SME, and the two (...)
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