Geoffrey West on complexity (and a sad goodbye to Steve Jobs)
As I was sitting down after dinner this evening news came through the interwebs that Steve Jobs had passed away. Given that he had lived seven years with a form of pancreatic cancer, it’s pretty amazing he made it this far. As cantankerous as he was – and whether you love or hate Apple products – you can’t deny that he changed the world of personal electronics. He was a true visionary.
Anyway, on to other matters. At the recent FQXi conference on time I had the pleasure of sharing a Zodiac with Geoffrey West while bouncing around Åbyfjorden, Sweden (the patch under my ear in the picture below is what kept me from vomiting all over Geoffrey). Anyhow, he gave what I think was my favorite talk at the conference. I’ve linked to it below the picture (and note that if you catch site of me around 34 minutes or so, I am not sleeping!). It is worth a watch. In fact I think it ought to be required watching for just about anyone. It’s solidified my intention to start doing more research in complexity theory. I think physics provides the perfect means by which complexity can be studied, meaning that its reductionist methods tend to be ideal for solving complex problems – take it apart and put it back together again, piece by piece. Anyway, watch the video.