Madison Chaos and Complex Systems Seminar

Summer 2016 Discussions

At the seminar on May 5, 2015, we decided to make our long-standing summer discussions slightly more formal by having a topic, a facilitator, and a web-accessible reading or video. The reading or video should take no more than 20 minutes, and the facilitator should be prepared to give at most a 5-minute introduction to the topic and lead the ensuing discussion. All discussions are Tuesday noon on the Memorial Union Terrace (Union Theater Lounge area facing Lake Mendota in the event of bad weather). Anyone interested in facilitating a topic should contact Myrna Casebolt.

Short List


May 10, 2016

Topic: Storm Chasing

Facilitator: George Hrabovsky

Reading: Introduction to Storm Chasing

May 17, 2016

Topic: Questions Political Candidates Should be Asked

Facilitator: Jim Blair

Reading: Questions Political Candidates Should be Asked

May 24, 2016

Topic: Open discussion



May 31, 2016

Topic: Resource Exhaustion/Financial Instability

Facilitator: Bill Fischer

Reading: Korowicz, Part 1, How To Be TrappedKorowicz, Part 2, Anger and Complicity in a Time of Limits

June 7, 2016

Topic: Intellectual Laziness

Facilitator: Myrna Casebolt

Reading: Wikipedia article on Anti-intellectualism

June 14, 2016

Topic: Are we Living in a Golden Age? And How Would we Know?

Facilitator: Jim Blair

Reading: 2020 Vision: at the Midway; a book review

June 21, 2016

Topic: The Complexity of the Climate Crisis

Facilitator: Bernard Friedlander

Reading: Wake Up America

June 28, 2016

Topic: Political Extremism

Facilitator: Clint Sprott

Reading: Why Moderate Views Rarely Prevail and Encouraging Moderation

July 5, 2016

Topic: What Will Change Everything?

Facilitator: Open discussion

Reading: 2009 Edge Annual Question

July 12, 2016

Topic: Procrastination

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: How Procrastination can be Good for You and Ted Talk by Tim Urban

July 19, 2016

Topic: Algorithms to Live By

Facilitator: Blaise Thompson

Reading: "Algorithms to Live By" Podcast

July 26, 2016

Topic: A Stark Nuclear Warning

Facilitator: Bernard Friedlander

Reading: Book Review of "A Stark Nuclear Warning"

August 2, 2016

Topic: How Predictability Shapes Policy

Facilitator: Karen Holden

Reading: How Probability Shapes Policy

August 9, 2016

Topic: Improving High-school Curriculums

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: Improving High-school Curriculums

August 16, 2016

Topic: Foreseeable Systemic Crises

Facilitator: Robin Chapman

Reading: You Can't Handle the Truth

August 23, 2016

Topic: What’s an Ordinary Citizen To Do?

Facilitator: Russ Gardner
Reading: What’s an Ordinary Citizen To Do?

August 30, 2016

Topic: Superintelligence and the Ethics of Autonomous Systems

Facilitator: Terry Allard

Reading: Superintelligence and the Ethics of Autonomous Systems