#TSAWM (The Strong And Weak Modes, December 22, 2018):

Is Earth one system? How stable is New York? What sort of a person are you? How does the structure of your networks change the way you behave? How do you find out if something is good? Are societies with (Royal Family-like) strong hubs bad for social learning? Can atmosphere be thought of in terms of networks? Are unstable solutions more likely to become strong? Is it coincidental that strong El Niño and weak Monsoon often go together? Why/when did Krishna have to show his large magnificent form? Is strength always a transient (contingent) ‘solution’? Is democracy the rule of the weak (the ruled…)? Could weak ties produce solidarity? Are States and Markets substitutes? Do both of these, however, needs ‘lots of’ Society (i.e. social ties)? Do you need to have friends to succeed in a competitive market? How are couplings made stronger? Can synchronization be lost after strengthening? How do dynamics and structure of networks influence each other? Can a tornado destroy the whole earth? Could seeking extreme efficiency be risky? Would there be no trade-offs in the future? &, would the world keep becoming more ‘superfluid’ (and superfluous)? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from dynamical systems (Dr. Amit Apte, ICTS-TIFR, Bangalore), economics (Prof. Sanjeev Goyal, University of Cambridge, Cambridge), and poetry & political theory (Prof. Ashwani Kumar, TISS, Mumbai).

Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TSAWM show.

Dr. Amit Apte (dynamical systems) is Associate Professor at International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS-TIFR) in Bangalore. His research interests are dynamical systems, data assimilation (methods for incorporation of noisy observations of a system into an incomplete dynamical model of that system), Hamiltonian dynamics and renormalization (critical transitions to chaos in nontwist systems), and most recently, monsoon dynamics. He completed his M.Sc. (Physics) from Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur, 1996). He then received his Ph.D. in Physics from The University of Texas at Austin, Texas (USA, 2004). His thesis was titled, ‘Numerical Studies of the Standard Nontwist Map and a Renormalization Group Framework for Breakup of Invariant Tori’. Prior to ICTS-TIFR, Dr. Apte was a faculty at the Center for Applicable Mathematics-TIFR, Bangalore, and as a postdoctoral fellow/researcher at Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI, Berkeley, USA), University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC, USA), & Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI, Durham NC, USA). He was also the Fellow of the Summer Program in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (2003, Woods Hole MA, USA). Dr. Apte has published his research in multiple journals such as, Dynamics and Statistics of the Climate System, SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, Monthly Weather Review, Chaos, & Physica D. He serves on the editorial board for Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics.

Prof. Sanjeev Goyal (economics) is Professor of Economics and a Fellow of Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. His research interests are economics, networks, the formation of networks, social structure and human behaviour, networks and markets, politics and public economics, & conflict. He received his B.A. in Economics from Hindu College (University of Delhi, Delhi, 1983), and M.B.A from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (1985). He did his Ph.D. from Cornell University (USA, 1990). Prof. Goyal’s early research in the 1990’s laid the foundations for an economic approach to the study of networks by providing a framework for the study of the effects of social structure on human behaviour and by developing a model of how the costs and benefits of linking shape the formation of networks. In subsequent work, he has explored applications of these ideas in the context of industrial organisation, economic development, international trade, finance, the diffusion of innovations, public economics and political economy, cybersecurity, and conflict. His research has been published in multiple journals such as, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Political Economy, & Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. He has also published a book titled, ‘Connections: an introduction to the economics of networks’ (Princeton University Press, 2007). Prof. Goyal is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Econometric Society. He was the founding Director of the Cambridge-INET Institute (2012-2014) and Chair of the Cambridge Economics Faculty (2014-2018).

Prof. Ashwani Kumar (poetry, political theory) is an Indian English poet, writer, policy researcher and Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Oklahoma (USA). He has also received the Azim Premji University’s major social science research grant for work on violence in India. His research interests are public policy & governance, elections, political processes & democracy, state & democracy in comparative context, violence, insurgency & conflict resolution, interpreting justice & welfare, civil society & social movements, and global governance & international development. His key scholarly contributions include ‘Community Warriors’ (Anthem Press), ‘Power Shifts and Global Governance’ (Anthem Press), ‘Global Civil Society: Poverty and Activism’ (Sage International), and ‘Migration and Mobility’ (forthcoming, Routledge, 2019). He has published two anthologies, ‘My Grandfather’s Imaginary Typewriter’ (with a prolegomenon by Ashis Nandy, Yeti Books), and ‘Banaras and the Other’ (Poetrywala). He is currently working on Ayodhya, second of Banaras trilogy, his non- fiction book ‘Biharis’ (forthcoming, Aleph Books) and a special volume on Tagore in Hungarian ‘Architecture of Alphabets’/ Betűrendek architektúrája (forthcoming 2019). He is co-founder of Indian Novels Collective, an initiative aimed at bringing classic novels of Indian Literature to English readers. Prof. Kumar has been a Senior Fellow of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and visiting fellow at London School of Economics, German Development Institute, & North West University in South Africa. [Note: Also a SynTalkr on #TEOP (The Exile Of Poets)]

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TSAWM mentionsPlato, Aristotle, Jeremy Bentham, Leonhard Euler, Marquis de Condorcet, Friedrich Nietzsche, B. R. Ambedkar, Karl Polanyi, Margaret Thatcher, Robert Putnam, Robert May, Mark Granovetter, Amartya Sen, Albert-László Barabási, Christopher Nolan, & Venkatesh Bala, among others.