Laboratory for Social Minds

The Lab for Social Minds studies the present and past of the human species to better understand its future.

We undertake empirical investigations, and build mathematical theories, of both historical and contemporary phenomena. We range from the centuries-long timescales of cultural evolution to the second-by-second emergence of social hierarchy in the non-human animals, from the editors of Wikipedia to the French Revolution to the gas stations of Indiana. We create synthetic, deep-time accounts of major transitions in political order, with the goal of the predicting and understanding our species’ future. Read more.

Recent online lectures include Information Processing and Political Order, a talk to the Global Brain Institute at the University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), and State-space Compression, Coarse-Graining, and the Averaging of Life and Mind, a colloquium at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Research Highlights

Conflict and Computation on Wikipedia: a Finite-State Machine Analysis of Editor Interactions
Simon DeDeo

Major Transitions in Political Order
Simon DeDeo

The Evolution of Wikipedia’s Norm Network
Bradi Heaberlin, Simon DeDeo (video; open data)

Exploration and Exploitation of Victorian Science in Darwin's Reading Notebooks
Jaimie Murdock, Colin Allen, Simon DeDeo

Social feedback and the emergence of rank in animal society
Elizabeth Hobson, Simon DeDeo

The evolution of lossy compression
Sarah Marzen, Simon DeDeo

Common Knowledge on Networks
Torrin Liddell, Simon DeDeo

Optimal High-Level Descriptions of Dynamical Systems
David Wolpert, Joshua Grochow, Eric Libby, Simon DeDeo

The civilizing process in London’s Old Bailey
Sara Klingenstein, Tim Hitchcock, Simon DeDeo
[see the new Old Bailey Explorer!]

Dynamical Structure of a Traditional Amazonian Social Network
Paul L. Hooper, Simon DeDeo, Ann E. Caldwell Hooper, Michael Gurven, Hillard S. Kaplan

Group Minds and the Case of Wikipedia
Simon DeDeo

Demystifying information-theoretic clustering
Greg Ver Steeg, Aram Galstyan, Fei Sha, Simon DeDeo

Collective phenomena and non-finite state computation in a human social system
Simon DeDeo

Evidence of strategic periodicities in collective conflict dynamics
Simon DeDeo, David Krakauer, Jessica Flack

Inductive game theory and the dynamics of animal conflict
Simon DeDeo, David Krakauer, Jessica Flack

Intelligent data analysis of intelligent systems
David Krakauer, Jessica Flack, Simon DeDeo, Doyne Farmer, Dan Rockmore

Useful: Information Theory for Intelligent People / Bayesian Reasoning for Intelligent People / Favor Trading in the Amazon for Intelligent People

Simon DeDeo

Simon DeDeo is an Assistant Professor in Indiana University’s SoIC and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He is affiliated with CNetS, and also with IU's Cognitive Science Program.

At the Santa Fe Institute he was an Omidyar Fellow for three years. He is now supported in part by the National Science Foundation under an Emerging Frontiers grant and by the Emergent Institutions project.


From
Ingenious, an interview to accompany When Theft was Worse than Murder.


In Spring 2014 I am teaching I400/I590, “Large-Scale Social Phenomena”, for graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. I am an editor of the journal Human Computation, as well as a review editor of Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

THOTH, a python package for the efficient estimation of information-theoretic quantities, is in development.

Notes (now including lecture video) useful to students at the Complex Systems Summer School at the Santa Fe Institute are online. Information Theory for Intelligent People is a short and simple PDF written for past Summer Schools that has found a following; a similar document, Bayesian Reasoning for Intelligent People, is also now available.

At SFI, I ran a blue sky seminar series, a.k.a. reckless ideas. Work on humanistic topics has its own section. Records of the Undecidables, a group interested in questions of self-reference in mathematics and society, are also available.

Finally, my curriculum vitæ is available.

Simon DeDeo
Informatics East, Room 302
sdedeo [at] indiana.edu
@simondedeo


photo credit: John D. Norton

This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EF-1137929. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

"But the placing of the cap-sheaf to all this blundering business was reserved for the scientific Frederick Cuvier, brother to the famous Baron. In 1836, he published a Natural History of Whales, in which he gives what he calls a picture of the Sperm Whale. Before showing that picture to any Nantucketer, you had best provide for your summary retreat from Nantucket. In a word, Frederick Cuvier's Sperm Whale is not a Sperm Whale, but a squash. Of course, he never had the benefit of a whaling voyage (such men seldom have), but whence he derived that picture, who can tell?"

Moby Dick, Chapter LV, "Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales"


photographer unknown; see http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3978

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