background preloader

Minority rules: Scientists discover tipping point for the spread of ideas

Minority rules: Scientists discover tipping point for the spread of ideas
Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion. The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals. "When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority," said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. Related:  Si j'avais su (géopolitique)Dynamism

Feelings Beat Thoughts For Fast Complex Decisions Think or blink? The debate continues with new research on quick, emotion-based decision-making. We have to make a lot of complicated decisions in life. Surgeons have to make split-second decisions in emergencies and fire-fighters have to decide which route is safest. These are complex decisions in which time is short. A new study by Mikels et al. (2011) supports the power of gut instincts for quick decisions. Overall they found that compared with trying to work out the details, using the emotions led to much better outcomes. This held for both objective and subjective aspects of a decision (this covers the car that’s objectively best overall and the best car taking into account your preferences). For quick decisions, then, this looks like good evidence that you should focus on feelings rather than thoughts. On the other hand, if you’ve got more time—more time than it takes to just understand the problem—then a detail-focused approach is likely to be better. Image credit: Julia Manzerova

Pour les agriculteurs, ressemer sa propre récolte sera interdit ou taxé Une découverte significative de l’Université de l’État de Washington montre que l’ail est 100 fois plus efficace que deux antibiotiques populaires pour combattre des maladies causées par des bactéries responsables de toxi-infections alimentaires. Leur travail a été publié récemment dans le Journal de Chimiothérapie Antimicrobienne, une suite des précédentes recherches de l’auteur dans Microbiologie Appliquée à l’Environnement qui a démontré de manière concluante qu’un concentré d’ail était efficace pour inhiber la croissance de la bactérie Campylobacter jejuni. L’ail est probablement l’un des plus puissants aliments naturels. « Ce travail me passionne beaucoup parce qu’il montre que ce composé a le potentiel de réduire des bactéries pathogènes de l’environnement et de nos aliments » a dit Xiaonan Lu un chercheur docteur en sciences et auteur principal de l’article. L’une des découvertes les plus intéressantes est que l’ail augmente le niveau global d’antioxydants dans le corps. Source

Dana Meadows: 12 Leverage Points to Change the World | Brain Nation Archimedes’ Lever“Give me a lever long enough … and I shall move the world” - Archimedes Every organization, company or “system” can be changed in only certain ways. These are the leverage points – the places where change is possible. (The term “leverage” is originally taken from mechanical engineering and physics.) The 12 universal Leverage Points for changing any system, according to Dana Meadows are (the higher the number in the list, the more effective): Donella Meadows Donella “Dana” Meadows is credited for building a gateway into the world of systems thinking that any lay person could trod and be inspired by. To cut through some of the systems jargon, here are 3 examples of these leverage points, in Meadows’ own words: (1) Constants, parameters, numbers: “consider the national debt. (6) The gain around driving positive feedback loops: “A positive feedback loop is self-reinforcing. And one more: Humanity is headed for a trap? “Speak the truth. Like this: Like Loading...

5 Steps to Thinking Outside of the Box A few years back our litigation team was faced with a seemingly insurmountable task: how to defend our client’s trademark rights against a Fortune 500 company with a massive litigation budget. They had the facts on their side. Moreover, they had money. Worst of all, they had a gaggle of lawyers that just made the case down right unpleasant. In spite of this, as luck would have it, they were missing one very crucial thing that they had never learned in law school. Looking beyond conventional defense methods, we deconstructed every element of the case until we discovered a plan to turn the tables. In thinking beyond the realm of traditional defenses, we wondered what if we could find someone else who had priority of use associated with their own trademark that preceded that of the opposing party? Well, not only could it, it did. How did we do it? People often speak about thinking outside the box, but how do you really do it? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. 2. 3.

Imprimantes 3D : illusoire émancipation par la technologie, par Johan Söderberg Ce serait la révolution industrielle du XXIe siècle : ce qui devait auparavant être acheté en magasin pourrait désormais être fabriqué chez soi grâce à des outils comme une découpeuse laser, une imprimante 3D, une fraiseuse à commande numérique, etc. (1). Ces machines suivent toutes un même principe technologique : guider les mouvements d’un outil mécanique à l’aide d’un logiciel. Les plus célèbres d’entre elles fonctionnent comme des imprimantes, mais en trois dimensions : passage après passage, une buse se déplace sur trois axes et superpose des couches de matière (le plus souvent une résine synthétique) en suivant un modèle numérisé, jusqu’à obtention du volume désiré. De la poignée de porte au vélo, les objets ainsi produits se multiplient. Même si cette technologie suscite un foisonnement de petites entreprises créatives, son développement est essentiellement l’œuvre d’amateurs, qui se définissent comme des makers. Détecter les ouvriers paresseux Vers une baisse des salaires ?

What to Do When an Online Community Starts to Fail - Walter Frick by Walter Frick | 9:38 AM October 31, 2013 Success breeds success online. Indeed, if there is one maxim that dominates the fate of digital communities it is that of network effects — the more users participating in a community, the more valuable it will be to new users. As networks like Twitter and Facebook scale, their advantage over nascent platforms becomes seemingly insurmountable. In one case, Yelp faces a class action suit by users in California alleging that they deserve to be paid for their contributions, along with allegations by researchers that up to 20 percent of its reviews are fake; in another, MIT Technology Review reports on Wikipedia’s shrinking contributor base and the challenges it faces in attracting new and more diverse editors. Rewarding Top Users is Important, But Not Enough Believe it or not, online communities have been the subject of study for at least 20 years at this point, much of which has focused on starting and scaling them. (Emphasis mine.)

9 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Learn From Woody Allen Editor’s note: James Altucher is an investor, programmer, author, and entrepreneur. He is Managing Director of Formula Capital and has written 6 books on investing. His latest book is I Was Blind But Now I See. You can follow him @jaltucher. I hate Woody Allen. This only happens in Woody Allen movies. And people believed it. (Mariel Hemingway in Manhattan when Woody Allen is breaking up with her) Allen puts out a new movie or two every year. So he’s built up a substantial body of work that we can learn from. (Juliette Lewis in Husbands & Wives) Here’s some of the things I’ve learned from him: 1. He elaborates further. One of my earliest memories is having a babysitter while my parents went to a movie. (Scarlett Johansson in Match Point, one of Allen’s best movies) Woody Allen has also failed spectacularly, in every way we can imagine – personally, professionally, etc. 2. 3. (Winona Ryder in Allen’s “Celebrity”) The entrepreneur, the entre-ployee. 4. 5. 6. That said, he doesn’t give up. 7. : environnement et sciences de la Terre - Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'? | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment A new study partly-sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common." The independent research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists.