Review paper published: Self-Organization and Artificial Life

Self-organization can be broadly defined as the ability of a system to display ordered spatiotemporal patterns solely as the result of the interactions among the system components. Processes of this kind characterize both living and artificial systems, making self-organization a concept that is at the basis of several disciplines, from physics to biology and engineering. Placed at the frontiers between disciplines, artificial life (ALife) has heavily borrowed concepts and tools from the study of self-organization, providing mechanistic interpretations of lifelike phenomena as well as useful constructivist approaches to artificial system design. Despite its broad usage within ALife, the concept of self-organization has been often excessively stretched or misinterpreted, calling for a clarification that could help with tracing the borders between what can and cannot be considered self-organization. In this review, we discuss the fundamental aspects of self-organization and list the main

Postdoctoral fellowships at UNAM

//Please forward to whom may be interested. The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has an open call for postdoctoral fellowships to start in  September, 2020 . Candidates should have obtained a PhD degree within the last five years to the date of the beginning of the fellowship. The area of interests of candidates should fall within complex systems, artificial life, information, evolution, cognition, robotics, and/or philosophy. Interested candidates should send CV and a tentative project/research interests (1 paragraph) to by  February 10th  (we need some time for paperwork).  Postdoctoral fellowships are between one and two years (after renewal). Spanish is not a requisite. Accepted candidates would be working at the Computer Science Department (  ) of the IIMAS (  ), and/or at the Center for Complexity Sciences (  ), both at UNAM's main campus. To know more about UN

Call for Applications: Cátedra Germinal Cocho en Ciencias de la Complejidad (Senior posdoc)

The Center for Complexity Sciences  (C3) at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México is seeking candidates for a one year researcher position (extensible for a second year). The candidates should have more than ten publications in indexed journals and to have directed at least one thesis (doctorate, masters, or bachelors). Projects can be individual or related to current research at the C3. Interested candidates should send CV and research statement before June 20th to cgg at unam dot mx.

New draft: Antifragility of Random Boolean Networks

A month late, but I share a draft where we propose a simple measure of antifragility and apply it to random and biological Boolean networks. Spoiler: biological networks are antifragile. Abstract: Antifragility is a property that enhances the capability of a system in response to external perturbations. Although the concept has been applied in many areas, a practical measure of antifragility has not been developed yet. Here we propose a simply calculable measure of antifragility, based on the change of "satisfaction" before and after adding perturbations, and apply it to random Boolean networks (RBNs). Using the measure, we found that ordered RBNs are the most antifragile. Also, we demonstrate that seven biological systems are antifragile. Our measure and results can be used in various applications of Boolean networks (BNs) including creating antifragile engineering systems, identifying the genetic mechanism of antifragile biological systems, and developing new treatment st

New draft: Information in Science and Buddhist Philosophy: Towards a non-Materialistic Worldview

My first philosophical text in years, comments welcome. Information theory has been developed for seventy years with technological applications that have transformed our societies. The increasing ability to store, transmit, and process information is having a revolutionary impact in most disciplines. The goal of this work is to compare the formal approach to information with Buddhist philosophy. Considering both approaches as compatible and complementary, I argue that information theory can improve our understanding of Buddhist philosophy and vice versa. The resulting synthesis leads to a worldview based on information that overcomes limitations of the currently dominating physics-based worldview. Gershenson, Carlos, Information in Science and Buddhist Philosophy: Towards a non-Materialistic Worldview (October 4, 2018).

Unsolicited middle age advice

I’m turning 40. Given the current life expectancy, statistically it’s about half of my life. A proper moment to reflect on what I’ve done, what I could have done, and what I would still like to do.  The dominating emotion is gratitude: for all that I have experienced, it has been amazing. Grateful to my parents, family, teachers, mentors: my origins. Grateful to my wife, my friends, my colleagues: my companions. Grateful to my children and students: my legacy. So, it is a favorable moment to throw out some unsolicited advice. I’m not saying anything new, so perhaps it is just a reminder list to myself, of what I think is important in life (because I keep on forgetting):  Don’t worry . We’re all gonna die sooner than later. Everything changes, so all that you cherish and and that you despise will vanish. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive, it means that worrying about doing or not doing is not useful for achieving.  Just do it . It is OK to be mistaken . Well, if you