Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

What “rolling coal” has to say about the cultural state of sustainability efforts

Posted 05 Dec 2016 / 0

Image of a Ford F-150 “rolling coal” courtesy of Salvatore Arnone via Wikimedia Commons. In a recent meeting of my Ecology course dedicated to sustainable policies, we were discussing why people don’t choose to adopt sustainable technologies. I think that the question was asked under the assumption that people want to be more sustainable, but face financial Read More

A Minor Post, Activism, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Behavior, Belief, Climate Change, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Economic sustainability, Economics, Environmental Justice, Memetic Fitness, Pollution, Public Policy, Punishment, Social Dilemmas, Social Diversity, Social Norms, Sustainability, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Transportation, System Stability

David Sloan Wilson on how Jeff Bezos don’t know squat about chickens (or evolution!)

Posted 16 Oct 2015 / 0

Evonomics “Jeff Bezos got Darwinism all Wrong!” This is an interesting analysis of the Bezos way of doing business, which represents an oft-lauded bastardization of Darwinian theory. What I like about Wilson’s brief analysis is that he focuses back on the unit of selection that matters for a business: the corporation. Unless you naively believe Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Cultural Evolution, Group Selection, Human Nature, Social Diversity, System Stability, Web

Evolution beyond adaptation: a critical step for evolutionary theory

Posted 04 Jul 2015 / 0

The July 2015 issue of Trends in Ecology & Evolution features a really important review article entitled “Selection on stability across ecological scales“. The paper embraces the idea that the stability properties of ecological systems dictate the configuration of extant social groups, interacting species pairs, and overall ecological communities. Lev Ginzburg, my Ph.D. advisor, has Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Articles, Community Ecology, Ecological Modeling, Ecosystem Ecology, Evolution, Evolutionary Modeling, Macroevolution, Multilevel Selection, Predation, System Stability

Evolution 2014: Are island mutualist communities more likely to be nested because they are inherently more unstable?

Posted 21 Jun 2014 / 0

The interactions in ecological communities can be structured in a variety of ways, and recently there has been a push to categorize these networks along the spectrum between modular (smaller clusters of more specialized interactions) and nested (unclustered networks with more generalist species). Theoretically it is understood that the nested communities are more stable, so Read More

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Conferences, Mutualism, Mutualistic Networks, Society for the Study of Evolution

Does self organization of social networks foster cooperation in the face of cheating?

Posted 11 Oct 2013 / 0

Web Information Systems Engineering – WISE 2013 “A Study on the Evolution of Cooperation in Networks“

A Minor Post, Articles, Game Theory, Social Networks, System Stability

More press for paper that de-bunks the zero determinant superiority

Posted 03 Sep 2013 / 0

There has been additional coverage of the paper showing that “zero determinant” strategies in the Prisoner’s Dilemma are not evolutionarily robust: Phys.org “Generosity leads to evolutionary success, biologists show” Popular Science “Evolution Punishes Selfish People, Game Theory Study Says” Here’s the original paper: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA “From extortion to generosity, evolution Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Cooperation, Game Theory, Modeling (General), System Stability, Web

Zero determinant strategy is just another short-term adaptation

Posted 15 Aug 2013 / 0

The Scientist “A Twist in Evolutionary Game Theory: Biologists demonstrate the instability of employing a selfish strategy in the prisoner’s dilemma game” Nature Communications “Evolutionary instability of zero-determinant strategies demonstrates that winning is not everything” I am so glad to see that someone did the math and simulations to look at the long-term stability of Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Coevolution, Cooperation, Evolutionary Modeling, Game Theory, Individual-based Models, Phenotypic Plasticity, Punishment, Reciprocity, System Stability

Is selective rejection of science really a problem?

Posted 18 Jan 2013 / 1

In a recent short opinion piece (Scientific American “Creation, Evolution and Indisputable Facts“), Jacob Tanenbaum argues that selectively rejecting evolutionary biology is dangerous to the scientific culture of America. He rightly points out that our populace does not reject science as a whole, but instead picks and chooses what science to doubt and what science Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Altruism, Articles, Belief, Cooperation, Evolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Religion, System Stability

David Sloan Wilson on Ayn Rand and the delusion of a world without tradeoffs

Posted 10 Oct 2012 / 0

The Huffington Post “Ayn Rand and Modern Politics” What I really appreciate about this post is its very simple brand of analysis. It asks a simple question and employs a clear methodology to objectively understand a phenomenon (in this case, the appeal of Ayn Rand to conservatives). Talk about a job of social construction: the Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Belief, Carrying Capacity, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Economics, Ethics, Game Theory, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Social Norms, System Stability, Web

Punishment, properly rewarded, can promote cooperation without corruption

Posted 20 Sep 2012 / 0

Public Library of Science ONE “Evolving Righteousness in a Corrupt World” In the race to build the next over-simplified model of cooperative dynamics, it will be interesting to see how the media runs with this one. Is this a “scientists discover the evolutionary rationale for honorable police” moment? I think it is important to take Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Cooperation, Ethics, Evolution, Evolutionary Modeling, Game Theory, Punishment, Social Networks, System Stability