The biological realm contains a plethora of complex systems. Our biological systems board on Pinterest brings together wonderful close-up images of the cells, tissues, and microorganisms that provide the underlying reality of organisms, groups, and eco-systems. Follow it for great shots of everything from neurons and blood cells in action to viruses and bacteria.
Commercial photographer, Levon Biss, decided to apply his techniques to extreme close ups of insects and the results are stunning. The microsculptures are made from 30 different parts of the insect photographed individually through a microscope. Each part required many images to be taken just 10 microns apart then overlaid. A finished image is made up of 8000-10000 photos! Click through to the Microsculpture website to explore a collection of 22 of these amazing images and zoom in close to see the brilliant details and colour achieved. The exhibition is currently running and has been extended to 29 January 2017 at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
The nautilus shell is one of the best examples of the logarithmic spiral to be found in nature. It’s not surprising we chose one for our logo. Here the digital artist, Sharon Cummings, explores the inherent perfection of the adaptation. We think she’s done a beautiful job.
This short video, promoting the AMBIcon project run jointly by the University of Tuebingen and University of California at San Diego, gives an overview of the aims of systems biology and the problems it faces in terms of the immense complexity of cellular systems. Ultimately the goal is to make biological phenomena predictable and to simulate cellular systems fully.
How can complex systems thinking be applied to economic activity? In this pair of introductory videos Max and Carly Borders give a simple account of the basics that takes us from the simplest system of two nodes (in this system also known as ‘people’) interacting up to societies made up of millions exchanging value. At the heart of the presentation is the contrast between hierarchies of command and control and networks of free exchange. There’s much left unsaid in this video, of course, such as problems in free market systems like boom and bust, or the rather slippery concept of ‘harm’, but on the whole it provides a clear account of standard thinking.