Blogging gives me a better place than Facebook for the things I’m thinking about and the things I want to share. I write about science, and all kinds of other things.
I’m Seth Frey, and I study group/social/organizational/collective/human behavior. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004, with a degree in Cognitive Science. I spent two years in Boston at the New England Complex Systems Institute. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Indiana University in Cognitive Science and Informatics under Robert L. Goldstone, Peter M. Todd, Randall Beer, Jerome Busemeyer and, until very recently, Elinor Ostrom. I’m due to finish this summer 2013.
Seth Frey, Cognitive Science Program
1101 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
I am working at the intersections of cognitive science, game theory, and collective behavior to build experimental support for non-equilibrium learning dynamics in the application of higher-level reasoning. Game theorists have long known that complex dynamics (like flocking, cycles, and even chaos) are common among groups of simple theoretical agents. But economics seem to hope that adding the faculties that distinguish humans—like what-you-think-I-think-you-think reasoning—will facilitate convergence to static conceptions of rationality. My work undermines this hope, showing that higher-level reasoning can reinforce complex dynamics where it was predicted to prevent them. This work is being supported as a part of my interdisciplinary training through the NSF/IGERT on the Dynamics of Brain-Body-Environment Systems, as well as through other NSF, NASA, and JSPS venues.
Other academic interests
I read a lot in game theory, network science, econ and physics, organization theory, social psychology, industrial organization, collective action, collective behavior, animal behavior, evolution, and cognitive science. I also read more widely, and am unrepentantly curious and collaborative. I organize all kinds of excuses for interdisciplinary dialogue, and by the time I graduate, the work beyond my focus will include robots in game theory, learning transfer in game theory, reciprocity in the NBA, the experience of reading Shakespeare, the science of housing cooperatives, and the evolution of modularity.
Other personal interests
Outside of school I build/promote business cooperatives, repair my abused bicycle, admire print, seek good conversation, and think about how to communicate with clarity. I sometimes speak about the study or practice of cooperation, like in a recent popular talk for the TEDx franchise. I love people’s fascinations (peculiar or not), and fixing things (broken or not).
Here are some things I want to know:
- the biology of mushrooms
- the mathematical methods of physics: how to wreak havoc on equations
- the name and history every plant I step on
- when we should have decentralized control, when we should have bosses
- the contributions of statistical physics to social science
- more theoretical neuro
- more theoretical bio
- more theoretical ecology
- how to evolve modularity, and how modularity evolved
- birds by their songs
- more about soil ecology
- how palm wine tastes differs in every country that you can find it
- every Mediterranean climate in the world
- the influences of Greco-Roman culture that elicited Christianity from Judaism
- the cultural histories of Heavens and Hells
- how to never lie to myself unintentionally
- how to keep changing forever
- how I’ll change when I leave this town for the next
- why there aren’t more worker-owned businesses
Here is a small list of friends with websites pursuing neat questions
- Rob Goldstone,
- Peter Todd,
- Randall Beer,
- Jerome Busemeyer,
- Elinor Ostrom
- Percepts Concepts Lab
- IU Cognitive Science
- IU Informatics, and CNetS, the center for complex networks and systems.
- Indiana University
- NSF/IGERT in the Dynamics of Brain-Body-Environment Systems
Bloomington Cooperative Living Inc.
North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO)
NASCO Development Services
United Nations’ International Year of Cooperatives