Or, more toys at the Carnival.....
Last summer, I did a series of "flash lectures" on Human Augmentation on my Tumblr site, which was subsequently cross-posted to Synthetic Daisies . Flash lectures are short, 5 minute lectures that are either multimedia-rich or presented in the form of a very quick summary. Sometimes they meld two or three disparate topics together around a single theme. In this post, I have chosen to present a new Biosystems paper from myself and Richard Gordon in such a format .
The first part of the paper introduces the toy model as a unified concept. From a writing perspective, this was the most challenging part of the paper, as we re-interpreted a diverse set of biological and evolutionary models. Some of these models are more traditional (e.g. Hardy-Weinberg and fitness landscapes), while others are more novel (e.g. coupled avalanches/evolutionary dynamics and self-organized adaptive change).
We present 13 different toy models, loosely grouped into three functional categories. These include: the dynamic aspects of evolution, the hereditary aspects of evolution, and the adaptive and conserved features of populations in a small number of dimensions. Aside from these categories, there are three archetypes of toy model: hybrid, classical, and heuristic/phenomenological (see the slide above for details).
For supplemental information, there is also an emerging Github repository which will feature code for many of the toy models presented in this paper plus additional models.
 I also did a series of flash lectures for each episode of the "Cosmos" reboot. The entire compilation can be downloaded here.
 The paper was previously mentioned as a standalone publication, but now the paper has been reassigned to a special issue of Biosystems called "Patterns of Evolution".
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