The Limitations of Imitation

Innovation is getting a lot of attention at the moment in development and humanitarian work. Many, including myself, see this as long overdue. But, according to an article in this  weeks Economist, this attention may be misplaced. The piece makes a strong argument for the importance of imitation  in business, and its advantages over innovation. In this post I want to take a look at these arguments for imitation. I also want to see what complex systems research tells us about the limits and possibilities of such an approach.  

I: The Virtues of Copying?

Innovation is essential. Countless speeches, articles and books attest to its central importance – in economic growth, business success, and organisational effectiveness. As a result, imitation is a “heretical idea”.  But the uncomfortable truth, according to the piece in this weeks Economist at any rate, is that in the real world, firms that copy others are more successful.

Neurotic Thought: Synchronized Brains: Feeling Strong Emotions Makes People's Brains 'Tick Together'

s33:

neurosciencestuff:

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2012) — Experiencing strong emotions synchronizes brain activity across individuals, a research team at Aalto University and Turku PET Centre in Finland has revealed.

Experiencing strong emotions synchronizes brain activity across individuals….

This strongly supports my ideas about both the phenomenological roots of time, as well as and quorum mechanics. Here we see that brains do synchronize across space without direct transmission of particles, and that this synchronization is initiated at the top-down level, through perceptual content rather than neurological mechanism only.

(via fuckyeahneuroscience)

blackspaceandstars:

rhea137:

A Pied Kingfisher hovers over water to find fish. (Planet Earth Live - BBC)

I love you nature!
(you/me be default I suppose, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy)

blackspaceandstars:

rhea137:

A Pied Kingfisher hovers over water to find fish. (Planet Earth Live - BBC)

I love you nature!

(you/me be default I suppose, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy)

jtotheizzoe:

Phineas Gage’s Connectome
In 1848, railroad worker Phineas Gage had a 3.5-foot, 13 pound tamping iron blown through the front of his skull in a construction accident. Hell of a way to start your Wednesday (yes, I checked). He survived.
The story of Phineas Gage is now the stuff of legend, taught to first-year neuroscience students around the world. How did this man survive a rod through the frontal lobe? Doctors that wrote of him later spoke of extreme behavioral changes, a man who was “. . . fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity (which was not previously his custom), manifesting but little deference for his fellows”. 
Unfortunately, the legend of Phineas Gage’s post-injury brain is largely exaggerated, or at least based on rather thin evidence. But still, he was still a changed man, even if not in the extreme ways his legend suggests.
UCLA’s Jack Van Horn has reconstructed a model of Phineas Gage’s connectome. In the image above, the lower left image shows the “connectogram” of 110 healthy right-handed males, the major highways and byways between brain regions (the brain stem is at 6 o’clock, left and right hemispheres at 9 and 3 o’clock). The lower right image shows the connections that were likely disrupted by the iron spike through Gage’s frontal lobe.
Mo Costandi has a great write-up that you should check out. We now have a map of the damage to Gage’s brain. But do we really know any more about his supposed behavioral changes? Thanks to the exaggerations and sideshow mentality of those who studied hm while alive, likely not.
BONUS: Be sure to check out Robert Krulwich and Carl Zimmer moderating this debate on how much stock we should put in the connectome.
(via Neurophilosophy blog)

jtotheizzoe:

Phineas Gage’s Connectome

In 1848, railroad worker Phineas Gage had a 3.5-foot, 13 pound tamping iron blown through the front of his skull in a construction accident. Hell of a way to start your Wednesday (yes, I checked). He survived.

The story of Phineas Gage is now the stuff of legend, taught to first-year neuroscience students around the world. How did this man survive a rod through the frontal lobe? Doctors that wrote of him later spoke of extreme behavioral changes, a man who was “. . . fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity (which was not previously his custom), manifesting but little deference for his fellows”.

Unfortunately, the legend of Phineas Gage’s post-injury brain is largely exaggerated, or at least based on rather thin evidence. But still, he was still a changed man, even if not in the extreme ways his legend suggests.

UCLA’s Jack Van Horn has reconstructed a model of Phineas Gage’s connectome. In the image above, the lower left image shows the “connectogram” of 110 healthy right-handed males, the major highways and byways between brain regions (the brain stem is at 6 o’clock, left and right hemispheres at 9 and 3 o’clock). The lower right image shows the connections that were likely disrupted by the iron spike through Gage’s frontal lobe.

Mo Costandi has a great write-up that you should check out. We now have a map of the damage to Gage’s brain. But do we really know any more about his supposed behavioral changes? Thanks to the exaggerations and sideshow mentality of those who studied hm while alive, likely not.

BONUS: Be sure to check out Robert Krulwich and Carl Zimmer moderating this debate on how much stock we should put in the connectome.

(via Neurophilosophy blog)

pinealglands:

The talk TED rejected for being “too controversial”

(via blackspaceandstars)

earth-song:

servo leopard” by Paco de la Luz

earth-song:

servo leopard” by Paco de la Luz

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