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Reading: "The Environment is not a System" by Tega Brain

Posted: 04 Aug 2018 05:29
by lukas
Wanted to share this reading with anyone interested: https://www.are.na/block/2431975

Tega is associated with NYU engineering and SFPC.

I loved this reading, and opened my eyes to some of the cybernetic history of ecology studies and how even the phrase "ecosystem" assumes a "systemization" to an ecology—understood inputs, outputs, relationships.

The article encourages use of Tsing's terminology "encounter" and "assemblages" of elements as less prescriptive.

It then touches on the canonical question of machine learning: when is a model-free analysis useful, valid, necessary? Versus when is a modeled analysis useful, valid, necessary? I think I can be too quick to criticize the "model-free" ML approach, but that's my math background talking. "All models are wrong; some are useful" and so forth.

I'm not totally sure what ecology research looks like out of an "ecosystem" framework...! Curious if there is an easy place to learn more about this, or other recommendations.