Madison Chaos and Complex Systems Seminar

2022 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 the Lakeview Lounge in the event of cold/bad weather). Anyone interested in facilitating a topic should contact Peter Sobol.

Short List


Mar 15, 2022

Topic: Chaos in Ukraine

Facilitator: Damien Wilson

Reading: None

Mar 22, 2022

Topic: Chaos in Ukraine (cont)

Facilitator: Damien Wilson

Reading: The War in Ukraine and Universal Values

Mar 29, 2022

Topic: Response of scientists to the invasion of Ukraine

Facilitator: Peter Sobol

Reading: CERN Council responds to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Apr 5, 2022

Topic: Threat posed by deepfakes

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: Deepfakes Explained

Apr 12, 2022

Topic: Is history chaotic?

Facilitator: Damien Wilson

Reading: History as Chaos (?)

Apr 19, 2022

Topic: Free speech quiz at Whitewater

Facilitator: Damien Wilson

Reading: The University of Wisconsin has Much to Explain

Apr 26, 2022

Topic: Warp-capable spacecraft

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: DARPA Funded Researchers Accidentally Discover the World's First Warp Bubble

May 3, 2022

Topic: Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter

Facilitator: Damien Wilson

Reading: Article by Anand Giridharadas

May 10, 2022

Topic: Plastic pollution

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: Kipp Street Station and  Is Plastic Recycling a Myth?

May 17, 2022

Topic: The Fermi paradox

Facilitator: Peter Sobol

Reading: New ‘burnout’ theory explains why aliens are avoiding Earth

May 24, 2022

Topic: The UFO/UAP phenomenon

Facilitator: Peter Sobol

Reading: 400 Reports of Strange Alien Phenomena

May 31, 2022

Topic: What happens before you click "submit" on a website?

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: Thousands of Popular Websites See What You Type

Jun 7, 2022

Topic: Relationship between guns and masculinity

Facilitator: Damien Wilson

Reading: Firearms and the Phallus: Using Guns to Reclaim Masculinity

Jun 14, 2022

Topic: Aging as a disease that can be cured

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: The "Benjamin Button Effect": Scientists can Reverse Aging in Mice

Jun 21, 2022

Topic: The Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics

Facilitator: Jeff Mattox

Reading: Parallel Worlds Probably Exist