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Author: Marco Villani Topics:

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Abstract A key problem in research on innovations is that of understanding their origins. In this paper, we propose that radical innovations are created by a process of ’exaptation’, and we introduce a dynamical model that describes how it may happen. In particular, our model is focussed on the interplay between artefact innovation and attributions [...]

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Paper
Author: David Lane Topics:

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Abstract This essay investigates some of the relationships between hierarchy and complexity. After a brief look in Section 1 at some of the possible meanings of “hierarchy”, we turn in Sections 2-4 to a discussion of seminal essays by three scientists who thought deeply about hierarchy and complexity: Herbert Simon, Phil Anderson and John Holland. [...]

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Paper
Author: David Lane Topics:

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Abstract This paper explores the relationship between uncertainty and innovation. It distinguishes three kinds of uncertainty: truth uncertainty, semantic uncertainty, and ontological uncertainty, the latter of which is particularly important for innovation processes. The paper then develops some implications of ontological uncertainty for innovation processes at three levels of organization, by means of three theories: [...]

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Paper
Author: Andrew Feenberg Topics:

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Abstract Although it has been in existence for over three decades, the Internet remains a contested technology. Its governance and role in civic life, education, and entertainment are all still openly disputed and debated. The issues include censorship and network control, privacy and surveillance, the political impact of activist blogging, peer to peer file sharing, [...]

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Paper
Author: Jamal Shahin Topics:

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Abstract This article focuses on the European perspective of the Internet’s development. In the first sec-tion, a brief description of the characteristics and early impact of the Internet in the global context is outlined, describing the somewhat reluctant approach that the European Community (subse-quently the EU) took towards the development of the protocols that underlie [...]

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Paper
Author: Michael Szell Topics:

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Abstract Quantification of human group-behavior has so far defied an empirical, falsifiable approach. This is due to tremendous difficulties in data acquisition of social systems. Massive multiplayer online games (MMOG) provide a fascinating new way of observing hundreds of thousands of simultaneously socially interacting individuals engaged in virtual economic activities. We have compiled a data [...]

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Paper
Author: Michael Szell Topics:

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Abstract The capacity to collect fingerprints of individuals in online media has revolutionized the way researchers explore human society. Social systems can be seen as a nonlinear superposition of a multitude of complex social networks, where nodes represent individuals and links capture a variety of different social relations. Much emphasis has been put on the [...]

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Author: Stefan Thurner Topics:

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Abstract Despite the recent availability of large data sets on human movements, a full understanding of the rules governing motion within social systems is still missing, due to incomplete information on the socio-economic factors and to often limited spatio-temporal resolutions. Here we study an entire society of individuals, the players of an online-game, with complete [...]

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Author: Stefan Thurner Topics:

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Abstract We study behavioral action sequences of players in a massive multiplayer online game. In their virtual life players use eight basic actions which allow them to interact with each other. These actions are communication, trade, establishing or breaking friendships and enmities, attack, and punishment. We measure the probabilities for these actions conditional on previous [...]

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Paper
Author: Giovanni Bonifati Topics:

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Abstract In socio-economic innovation processes, exaptations emerge from processes through which an initial attribution of new functionality to existing artifacts or organizations leads to new artifacts and eventually new markets. In this essay I argue that exaptation may generate degeneracy, defined as the property according to which structurally different elements provide overlapping functionalities. I propose [...]

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