John Harte: Maximum Entropy is a Foundation for Complexity Science

Posted on September 16th, 2019

Professor Harte speaking about the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt, or Maximum Information) principle as a basis for understanding complexity in all ecosystems.

Jackie Chan's Kung Fu is "Fake" and That's Okay

Posted on August 31st, 2019

Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Posted on August 8th, 2019

Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, Bu...

Colonel John Boyd USAF (Ret.) Presentation Q&A

Posted on July 10th, 2019

This is a restoration of Colonel John Boyd’s presentation at Air University. It is one of the few known surviving videos of his briefings. The video covers a range of topics from his experiences on the FX/F-15 program, the importance of cross functional teams, and the Toyota Production System. It is worth watching the video just to hear his account of Shigeo Shingo and Taiichi Ohno. Technical Details [1] The original video conta...


Posted on July 5th, 2019

First, The Basics. Cascades are the standard readjustment for complex systems. There is an *essential* distinction between the conditions that allow crises to emerge, and the particular events that trigger the cascade into crisis. — Joe Norman Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity, and little whirls have lesser whirls, and so on to viscosity. — Lewis Fry Richardson, (1922) Interdependence. Strong Interdepende...


Posted on July 4th, 2019

Whistled Language [from Wikipedia] Whistled language is rare compared to spoken language, but it is found in cultures around the world. It is especially common in tone languages where the whistled tones transmit the tones of the syllables (tone melodies of the words). This might be because in tone languages the tone melody carries more of the functional load of communication while non-tonal phonology carries proportionally less. The ...

To Be or To Do?

Posted on June 25th, 2019

[July 1, 2007 – Of all the things Boyd wrote or said, we probably get the most requests for his "To be or to do?" invitation. Although Boyd associated with many junior officers during his Air Force career, there were a few, perhaps half a dozen, that he had such respect for that he invited them to join him on his quest for change. Each one would be offered the choice: Be someone – be recognized by the system and promoted – or do some...

John Boyd Compendium

Posted on June 24th, 2019

John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever -- the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country's most legendary fighter aircraft -- the F-15 and F-16. Still others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They k...