URLs of wisdom (January 26th 2014)

URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology.

Network analysis

Is complexity a new science? Probably not…But here are some thoughts as to why understanding network effects in complex systems is important. “Complexity refers not to a single science but rather to a community of scientists in different disciplines who share interdisciplinary interests, methodologies, and a mindset about how to address scientific problems…it includes, first, the assumption that understanding complexity will require integrating concepts from dynamics, information, statistical physics, and evolution.  And second, that computer modeling is an essential addition to traditional scientific theory and experimentation.”

Mesmerising interactive from the Guardian visualising the interconnectedness of places on earth via flight data which reminded me of this graphic showing scientific collaborations around the globe.


Six things that make stories go viral – Maria Konnikova’s New Yorker article points out that Aristotle wasn’t far from the mark compared to the results from a new study from the University of Pennsylvania: “The answer, he argued, was three principles: ethos, pathos, and logos. Content should have an ethical appeal, an emotional appeal, or a logical appeal. A rhetorician strong on all three was likely to leave behind a persuaded audience. Replace rhetorician with online content creator, and Aristotle’s insights seem entirely modern. Ethics, emotion, logic—it’s credible and worthy, it appeals to me, it makes sense.”

The most photographed cities on Earth – according to Google. No surprises which is number one 😉

Academia Online

Building a metro structure for sci comm  Great metaphor from COMPASS’, Executive Director, Brooke Smith on the different structures with science communication and what we might be missing.

Web/Social media developments

A Big Think article presented the argument from Princeton researchers that Facebook is like an infectious disease – and therefore destined to die out in coming years. Which prompted an hilarious response from one of Facebook’s data scientists…


Social media in higher education – a Bundlr of useful articles curated by scientist and communicator, Anne Osterrieder. Also added to the Resources page here – let me know if you have anything else you’d like to see listed there.

Just for fun

The joy of tech

Instagram meets art: Everyday objects are combined with illustrations to create cool Instagrams.


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