Emergent patterns in nature and society

Posts tagged “Video

Writing advise

Few words of advise from Steven Pinker.


Using fitness landscapes to visualise evolution in action

Cool visualisation by students of Lada Adamic’s lab.

TED talk on the biology of the Arctic and Antarctic.



Some inspiration for boredom moments when working on the Arctic…


Good news on poverty (by Bono)

Because from time to time one needs some good news

“… we are going to win because we don’t understand politics
we are going to win because we don’t play their dirty games
we are going to win because we don’t have a party political agenda
we are going to win because the tears that come from our eyes actually come from our hearths
we are going to win because we dream and we’re willing to stand up for those dreams…” -Wael Ghonim

“we are going to win, if we were together as one, because the power of the people is much stronger that the people in power” -Bono



Exploitation of Natural Resources, Conflict and Internally Displaced People in Colombia

Video by Colombiaverket, a Swedish NGO whose aim is to support a negotiated settlement of the conflict that leads to peace and social justice in Colombia. It shows the reality of some of the communities I worked with back in 2007. Maria Alejandra Velez and me were looking at how collective titling was shaping collective action for natural resource management in the Chocó rain forest.

Black communities have settled there for centuries but only in 1991 their right to land was acknowledge by the constitution. With very little (if any) resources to enforce their institutions; today, they face all sorts of pressure from multinationals trying to do mining to guerrillas trying to keep clean routes for drug smuggling. They live in a country where there is not help from the state if the crop fails, where there is not free education, unemployment subsidies, proper health care or social benefits. They live in the real world as I often call it, I’m writing from “the matrix”.

Thinking on natural resource management in such context is a little bit more complicated that what the textbook tells you about ecosystem management. Conflict, war, corruption, violence, poverty, displacement, power or massacre are not words used to write papers that enhance your good looking CV. They are reality for many who find it hard to talk about it. They are not just concepts in books, they are drivers of abrupt transitions in both ecosystems and societies. They are not external forces that can be ignored by changing the tv channel or asking for visas. They also spread in your social network. They are internal dynamics that still need to be understood. Science still needs to respond the challenge by going further than the journalistic exercise of reporting case studies. The challenge is on, it has always been there. Just go for it.

Video: The power of networks

Publications in the US 1690-2011

Bill Lane Center from Stanford University has been creating really nice visualizations of publications in the United States. It helps me to visualize the great acceleration in the Anthropocene also in the way we write and publish about the world. You can learn more about the project in Data Visualization: Journalism’s Voyage West

The Growth of US Newspapers, 1690-2011 from Geoff McGhee on Vimeo.

Anthropocene mapping | Video by Globaïa


Nice visualization of the anthropocene b Globaïa. It shows several features of our global civilization: cities, built environment, transmission lines, pipelines, main paved and unpaved roads and railways.

Anthropocene Mapping from Globaïa on Vimeo.

Bivalves collapse | Video of Chesapeake Bay case

I’ve been updating the regime shifts database lately. Today, One of the cases I’m reviewing is the one of oysters collapse. I found this nice animation by NOAA about one of the iconic cases: Chesapeake Bay. It nicely describe the role of anthropogenic drivers and ecological processes behind the regime shift. A good resource to teach about regime shifts if you’re interested.

Reefs at Risk Revisited

The World Resource Institute just released their report Reefs at Risk Revisited. Nature News highlights:

About 75% of the world’s coral reefs are threatened by local and global human activities, according to the report. The percent of threatened reefs increased by almost *one-third from 1997 to 2007, likely because of increased pressure from growing coastal populations. Southeast Asia’s reefs are among the most threatened (map, yellow and red dots) as overfishing, including fishing with illegal poison and explosives, have put 95% of its reefs at risk. In contrast, Australia’s reefs are among those at low risk (blue dots) thanks to the designation of reefs as Marine Protected Areas and comparatively smaller human coastal populations.


The report highlights a new facet of the problem – the socioeconomic impacts of failing reefs. Coral reefs provide food, tourist attractions, and coastline protection for more than 275 million people worldwide. Some countries will have a hard time adapting to failing reefs, including poorer countries and those that have had recent conflict

WRI also offers a KML file to better visualize their results on Google Earth, you can find it here.