Madison Chaos and Complex Systems Seminar

Summer 2018 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 (under the  big tree, or in Lakeview Lounge in the event of bad weather). Anyone interested in facilitating a topic should contact Myrna Casebolt.

Short List


May 8, 2018

Topic: Was Marx right?

Facilitator: Jim Blair

Reading: Was Marx right?

May 15, 2018

Topic: Homo Deus: the end of humanism

Facilitator: Terry Allard

Reading: Homo Deus: The End of Humanism

May 22, 2018

Topic: What is chaos?

Facilitator: Clint Sprott

Reading: Wikipedia article on Chaos

May 29, 2018

Topic: The veil of ignorance

Facilitator: Myrna Casebolt

Reading: The Veil of Ignorance

June 5, 2018

Topic: Homo Deus: the end of humanism (continuation)

Facilitator: Deric Bownds

Reading: Homo Deus: The End of Humanism

June 12, 2018

Topic: Ethical issues in advanced robotics and AI

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: Are you scared yet?
and Review of Future and Ethical Perspectives of Robotics and AI

June 19, 2018

Topic: Dangers and potential of social media

Facilitator: Deric Bownds

Reading: Ten Arguments for Deleting your Social Media Accounts Right Now
and Six or Seven Things Social Media can do for Democracy

June 26, 2018

Topic: Privacy

Facilitator: Bill Hibbard

Reading: When our Thoughts are no Longer our Own
and Everything you need to Know about GDPR

July 3, 2018

Topic: The disappearance of flight MH370 and the development of conspiracy theories

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: The Disappearance of Flight MH370 and the Development of Conspiracy Theories

July 10, 2018

Topic: Epigenetics

Facilitator: Bernard Z. Friedlander

Reading: New York Review of Books: Epigenetics: The Evolution Revolution

July 17, 2018

Topic: The anthropic principle

Facilitator: Peter Sobol

Reading: Fine-tuned Universe
and Anthropic Principle

July 24, 2018

Topic: Tribalism

Facilitator: Guillermo Dopico

Reading: Does American 'Tribalism' End in a Compromise or a Fight?

July 31, 2018

Topic: Entropy

Facilitator: George Hrabovsky

Reading: Wikipedia article on Entropy

August 7, 2018

Topic: Influence of technology on children

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox and Bernard Z. Friedlander

Reading: The Tech Industry's Psychological War on Kids

August 14, 2018

Topic: Memory

Facilitator: Jim Blair

Reading: Moonwalking with Einstein

August 21, 2018

Topic: Longevity, cryonics, and life extension

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox
Reading: Longevity, Cryonics, and Life Extension

August 28, 2018

Topic: Longevity, cryonics, and life extension (continued)
Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: Ethics of Lifespan and Healthspan Extension
Cryogenics Explained

September 4, 2018

Topic: A recap of the summer discussions

Facilitator: Myrna Casebolt and Jeff Mattox

Reading: None