I’m an economic theorist (and economics sorely needs better theory) but I collaborate with theoretical biologists, computer scientists, physicists and mathematicians on my OEE -adjacent work. I think what I’m eager for right now is the development of a general interdisciplinary OEE theory. I do see this happening to some extent in the lit: I’m thinking in particular of Banzhaf et al 2016 (Defining and Simulating Open-ended Novelty). I would love more of this, and to be part of developing more of this.
What are your favorite interdisciplinary formal or foundational interdisciplinary OEE papers?
What kind of interdisciplinary lit on OEE is still in the adjacent possible–what are the big issues you think need to be addressed next?
I am currently doing a PhD in mathematics, but my background is in economics. My thesis is hopefully making a connection between financial markets and OEE!
I have not found many papers in the perspective you mention, a lot of OEE papers seem more related to games or artificial worlds contexts. I am very happy to follow this discussion to extend OEE to more interdisciplinary formats and to see if some have references on this.
One point I have found a bit confusing is the notion of permanent generaiton of complexity/novelty in the meta-model. If we think about financial markets, perhaps there are different ways of trading goods, perhaps there are different ways to have money, but does OEE entail that the system may become money-less in some way in the future? If we remain in a money-based system, do we have OEE?
Hi! Theoretically, permanent generation of novelty in the meta-model seems (highly qualified seems as I’ve only seen a few papers on this) connected to Chaitin’s ubiquitous randomness (which is an implication of Godel’s Incompleteness, probably 2nd theorem but I forget). It’s more related to escape from a theoretical framework and its requisite theorems. Economic theory is based primarily on Arrow and Debreu’s Theory of Value, which is an optimization framework that makes assumptions about preference transitivity, the existence of utility functions and their characteristics. By Godel’s IT there are true statements (about markets, economic behavior, etc) that can’t be proved in the Arrow-Debreu framework. So, expand the framework so that more economic behavior is explainable within the framework. But then there are true statements in this new framework that can’t be proved in the new theory, and so on, and so on—there is no end to this, which is itself an inductive implication of Godel’s IT. That’s OEE of the meta-model.
But it doesn’t follow that something we believe impossible or unprovable in our current model will happen eventually…there are constraints to novelty generation. Stu Kauffman and his various co-authors speak about this primarily in reference to theoretical biology but also in reference to economic behavior. Koppl, Kauffman et al’s “Economics for a creative world” is a good paper on this, and they have a few more recent that are also good. Kauffman and Roli just posted a great working paper “The world is not a theorem” that makes these sorts of points, about not being able to derive the entailing laws of the universe (or the socioeconomic system at time t >> present) while acknowledging that OEE happens under constraints.
So, in short, your questions are very much at the heart of a bunch of interdisciplinary current writing on the subject!