Conference 2013

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Second International Conference on the

Evolution and Development of the Universe

Proposed EDU 2012 Theme:

The Physics of Performance Curves: The Nature and Limits of Functional Performance Improvement in Technology Innovation

Topics of Investigation:

  • What models do we have for the physical basis of technology and complexity performance curves (also referred to as 'learning curves,' 'experience curves')?
  • Are these curves representative of undiscovered physical law or constraint, of economic or psychological expectations, or of some other effect?
  • Can we develop unifying theories for any classes (physical, efficiency, computational, informational) of performance curves?
  • How do non-computational (physical process, efficiency) performance curves differ from computational (computing, memory, communication) performance curves?
  • How do we differentiate non-persistently exponential performance curves (market-limited, etc.) from persistently exponential (scale reduction, FERD, etc.) curves?
  • When does technology substitution occur in any technology platform? Can we predict it?
  • When does exponential performance end in any performance curve? Can we predict it?
  • What explains the "smoothness" and long-term predictability we find in many technology performance curves?
  • What explains "state switches" (transitions to steeper or flatter exponential modes) in some technology performance curves?
  • Why are scale reduction processes persistently exponential, and which physical processes are leading candidates for continued scale reduction?
  • What physical processes differentiate superexponential, exponential, logistic, life cycle, and other curves?
  • What do exponential and superexponential performance and efficiency curves imply for the future of technological innovation and sustainability?


We wish to seek out and network transition scholars, periodization, and acceleration, multi-level evolution and development scholars, world system modelers, and their critics. Scholars who approach evolutionary transitions from thermodynamic, informational-computational, evolutionary, developmental, integrative, and systemic perspectives are particularly desired. We will seek to compare logistic, exponential, and superexponential models arising from a variety of complexity transition definitions, and finally, explore a range of scenarios these models propose for the future of innovation and sustainability, underscoring the great technical, political, economic, and social value of better scholarship and science in this area.

Location: (TBD).

We are presently developing a proposal to host EDU 2012 at a U.S. venue. If you have an interest in working on the EDU 2012 conference development committee, sponsoring the event, or providing other assistance, please contact Clément Vidal and/or John Smart.