DiscoverSean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas72 | César Hidalgo on Information in Societies, Economies, and the Universe
72 | César Hidalgo on Information in Societies, Economies, and the Universe

72 | César Hidalgo on Information in Societies, Economies, and the Universe

Update: 2019-11-1116
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Description

Maxwell's Demon is a famous thought experiment in which a mischievous imp uses knowledge of the velocities of gas molecules in a box to decrease the entropy of the gas, which could then be used to do useful work such as pushing a piston. This is a classic example of converting information (what the gas molecules are doing) into work. But of course that kind of phenomenon is much more widespread -- it happens any time a company or organization hires someone in order to take advantage of their know-how. César Hidalgo has become an expert in this relationship between information and work, both at the level of physics and how it bubbles up into economies and societies. Looking at the world through the lens of information brings new insights into how we learn things, how economies are structured, and how novel uses of data will transform how we live.

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César Hidalgo received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Notre Dame. He currently holds an ANITI Chair at the University of Toulouse, an Honorary Professorship at the University of Manchester, and a Visiting Professorship at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. From 2010 to 2019, he led MIT’s Collective Learning group. He is the author of Why Information Grows and co-author of The Atlas of Economic Complexity. He is a co-founder of Datawheel, a data visualization company whose products include the Observatory of Economic Complexity.


Comments (4)

Pedro Abreu

tik tok is shit. The attention span required of the dominant communication medium tells a lot about societies.

Nov 28th
Reply (1)

gregorior

Fascinating subject and César Hildalgo is incredibly able to express its complexity. One of my favorite podcasts here.

Nov 25th
Reply (1)
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72 | César Hidalgo on Information in Societies, Economies, and the Universe

72 | César Hidalgo on Information in Societies, Economies, and the Universe