Field Notes from Complexity Studies

It’s a shimmering new term, and here I am, still living the dream. Complexity and ecology studies at the University of Michigan, the possibility that dogged my dreams as I twisted in my smelly sleeping bag all those years ago, Mitchell Waldrop’s Complexity creasing beneath my thermarest.

Some brief observations.

At the first meeting for the Agent-Based Modeling course, Rick surveyed the represented disciplines, as he seems to like to do. The score: of the 15 students who showed up, 10 of us were from SNRE. Professor Riolo pointed out that even if all the students who weren’t there yet aren’t snerds, that’s a big jump from the usual 2-3. What does this mean? Am I part of a movement? Oh good. Rick charmingly described us as invasive species. Fine then.

At the first meeting of the Intro to Complexity course, the count was 11 departments among 15 students. That’s more like it. There was a pile of copies of the above mentioned Waldrop’s Complexity on the table. I picked up a fresh one to replace my (Fish’s) old copy, which I left on a coffee table in Yellowknife after that planting season, all those years ago.

Maybe now I’ll get to find out what happens in the end.

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