Thursday, November 12, 2009

Events/Talks: Upcoming Berkman Center Events, November 16 & 17


Upcoming events and digital media

[1] [MONDAY 11/16/09] "Big Data, Global Development, and Complex Social
Systems" with Nathan Eagle, Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute

[2] [TUESDAY 11/17/09] Berkman Center Luncheon Series: "Kudunomics:
Information and Property Rights in the Weightless Economy" with Sam
Bowles, Santa Fe Institute, Behavioral Sciences Program

11/16/09, 12:30 PM ET, Berkman Center Conference Room @ 23 Everett St.,
Cambridge, MA
RSVP is required for those attending in person (
This event will be webcast live.

Topic: Big Data, Global Development, and Complex Social Systems
Guest: Nathan Eagle, Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute

Petabytes of data about human movements, transactions, and communication
patterns are continuously being generated by everyday technologies such
as mobile phones and credit cards. This unprecedented volume of
information facilitates a novel set of research questions applicable to
a wide range of development issues. In collaboration with the mobile
phone, internet, and credit card industries, my colleagues and I are
aggregating and analyzing behavioral data from over 250 million people
from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. I will discuss a
selection of projects arising from these collaborations that involve
inferring behavioral dynamics on a broad spectrum of scales; from risky
behavior in a group of MIT freshman to population-level behavioral
signatures, including cholera outbreaks in Rwanda and wealth in the UK.
Access to the movement patterns of the majority of mobile phones in East
Africa also facilitates realistic models of disease transmission as well
as slum formations. This vast volume of data requires new analytical
tools - we are developing a range of large-scale network analysis and
machine learning algorithms that we hope will provide deeper insight
into human behavior. However, ultimately our goal is to determine how we
can use these insights to actively improve the lives of the billions of
people who generate this data and the societies in which they live.

This event will be webcast live; for more information and a complete
description, see the event web page:

11/17/09, 12:30 PM ET, Berkman Center Conference Room @ 23 Everett St.,
Cambridge, MA
RSVP is required for those attending in person (
This event will be webcast live.

Topic: Kudunomics: Information and Property Rights in the Weightless Economy
Guest: Sam Bowles, Santa Fe Institute, Behavioral Sciences Program

Why is a good idea like a kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)? For most of
human history – the first 150,000 years of it at least – valuable
resources like kudus and other large game were difficult to own
individually. As a result when captured, they were shared. The emergence
of agriculture 11,000 years ago made land and other forms of wealth
productive enough to be worth demarcating and defending, and thus
allowed for the evolution of the modern possession-based individual
property rights in land, domesticated animals, and goods.

In the resulting economy of grain and steel, as Adam Smith conjectured
and was eventually demonstrated in the Fundamental Theorem of Welfare
Economics, exchange on competitive markets allowed the decentralized
implementation of an efficient allocation of resources as long as
property rights were complete and enforceable.

But the economy of grain and steel is being displaced by a weightless
economy in which the information and network connections that constitute
the new wealth cannot be weighed, measured, or fenced. Good ideas are
indeed like the large game that once formed a major part of our
subsistence: the pursuit of a new operating system, a new drug, or a hit
tune is uncertain, and when the hunt is successful, it is not only
wasteful not to share the prey, it is often impossible to prevent it
from being stolen.

Will intellectual property rights domesticate the kudu? Or will
innovations like a new song or program remain more valuable ‘in the
wild’? Answers will be provided by a model and history of the long-term
development and transformation of property rights drawing on recent
behavioral experiments and econometric estimates of wealth dynamics in
hunter gatherer societies. An evolutionary model and computer
simulations will show how systems of property rights might respond to
the challenges of the weightless economy.

This event will be webcast live; for more information and a complete
description, see the event web page:

Event: Civil Rights Talk at JFK Library, December 10

Civil Rights:  Here and Now 

Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:30-7:00 PM

On the 100th anniversary of the NAACP, CEO and President Benjamin Jealous, and Chairman Julian Bond reflect on past achievements and the challenges ahead for the organization.  Professor Patricia Sullivan, author of Lift Every Voice:  The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement, moderates. 

About Forums

Forums at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library cover a diverse range of historical, political and cultural topics reflecting the legacy of President and Mrs. Kennedy's White House years. They are conducted as conversations rather than lectures.

All forums are free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended. Reservations guarantee a seat in the building, but not the main hall. Doors to the main hall open one hour before the program begins. You may make resevations for upcoming forums by using the online registration offered by this website. You may also make reservations or check if speakers' schedules have changed by calling 617.514.1643.

Kennedy Library Forums receive generous support from our lead sponsor Bank of America, and from Boston Capital, Corcoran Jennison Companies, The Lowell Institute, and The Boston Foundation.
Additional support for the Distinguished Visitor series is provided by Raytheon Company, Boston Capital, Corcoran Jennison Companies, and Nixon Peabody LLP.

Media sponsors of the Kennedy Library Forums are The Boston Globe, WBUR 90.9 FM, and New England Cable News (NECN).

Film: Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Event, November 17

The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Encore Event
The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Encore Event

By popular demand, NCM Fathom, Warner Home Video and Turner Classic Movies bring "The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Encore Event" back to select movie theatres nationwide for only one night on Tuesday, November 17th at 6:30 p.m. (local time). Don't miss this last chance to see this family classic on the big screen! In addition to the feature presentation of The Wizard of Oz, this event includes a special introduction by Robert Osborne, a classic film historian and host of Turner Classic Movies, followed by "To Oz! The Making of a Classic," a look into how L. Frank Baum's classic novel was transformed into one of the most beloved films of all time including archival interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and rare musical outtakes. The presentation of The Wizard of Oz for this event has been enhanced to its maximum potential using the original film source material from over 70 years ago and kept in 4x3 format to preserve the OZ experience as first seen by audiences in 1939.

Movie Details
Running Time: 120 min
MPAA rating: Unrated
Release Date: Nov 17, 2009

Movie Theaters & Showtimes
Map data ©2009 Google - Terms of Use
10 mi
20 km
Date: Tuesday, Nov 17 (first showtime)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Event: US Senate Race Comes to BU, November 17

The Environmental League of Massachusetts

Along with Co-Sponsors: 
Appalachian Mountain Club, Clean Water Action, Conservation Law Foundation, 
Environment Mass., Mass Audubon, Mass. Chapter of the Sierra Club, 
Mass. League of Environmental Voters and The Trustees of Reservations
Invite You to a Forum for US Senate Candidates on the 
Environment and a New Green Economy

Tuesday November 17th 2009 - noon – 1:30pm

Jim Braude:  Host of “Broadside” on NECN-TV

Join US Senate candidates: 
Michael Capuano, US Congressman 
Martha Coakley, Mass. Attorney General 
Alan Khazei, Founder of City Year
Stephen Pagliuca, Businessman and Celtics part-owner 

Panelists:  Beth Daley (Boston Globe), Sacha Pfeiffer, WBUR-FM
Location:  Boston University, Metcalf Trustee Center -  9th fl. One Silber Way (corner of Silber Way &
Commonwealth Ave. – just west of Kenmore Sq.) 
Date:  Tuesday, Nov. 17th, noon – 1:30pm

Note: Seating is limited.  Doors open at 11:30am.  Admission is first-come-first-served. 

For more information contact:  Spencer Higgins at