Crowdfunding an Open Source Science for Our Complex WorldOpen Source
In short, the crowdfunding campaignto launch the new physics discipline of Complex Thermostatistics ends this weekend, and we could really use your support to get us over our reach goal!
Help us grow a community of researchers and science-lovers who are passionate about understanding complex systems. We will be working on an adaptation of Thermostatistics together for this purpose! Your contributions will provide a year-long runway for a collaborative infrastructure as well as educational materials for this emerging field.
What is Thermostatistics? In the late 1800s, a growing belief in the atomic theory of matter solidified the importance of Statistical Mechanics as a means of deriving Thermodynamics. Thermostatistics focuses on this connection between the “microscopic” Statistical Mechanics of atoms, molecules, consumers, and firms and the “macroscopic” Thermodynamics of the behavior of systems at our scale and beyond.
Thermodynamics was originally developed during the industrial revolution to better understand the properties of steam engines. With great accuracy, it is assumed that the molecules of steam in the engine do not interact with each other at all. Unsurprisingly, scientists have had trouble applying Thermostatistics to complex systems, where interactions between the system components overwhelmingly determine the macroscopic system behavior that emerges.
The emergence of this field coincides with the rapid growth of complex internet technologies and the “big data” they collect. As a data scientist at Radius.com, I engage every day with a database of 27 million small businesses in the United States — an incredibly complex system. Many important systems are complex in nature, and as such are currently outside the scope of modern science. Such systems include metabolism, activity within social networks, the behavior of cities, and the evolution of food webs. Thermostatistics is increasingly referenced as potential bedrock for a theoretical understanding of these types of systems.
It’s time that we apply the scientific method to this big data we’ve been accumulating. This project is a push to generalize the classical Thermostatistics of steam engines so that we might fit this data we are gathering and pave the way toward a physics of complex systems.
How Do I Join as a Supporter?
Contributing toward our crowdfunding campaign is the best way to get involved as an active supporter of our line of scientific inquiry.
If you’d like to receive periodic updates as things develop, sign up here.
How Do I Join as a Researcher?
Meet other interested researchers here.
You may also want to consider contributing to our crowdfunding campaign, as you’ll receive 10 «Khan academy»-style videos in return. The videos will summarize important insights gained from the purchased references, delivered at an upper-undergraduate level.
Join us in our cloud modeling environment, where we collaborate as a community on scientific modeling problems related to the emergence of Complex Thermostatistics.