This talk was given by Graham Morehead, Curator of The Pangeon at the 2014 TEDxUMaine.

A man rots unjustly in jail, the sea urchins are dying, and Google Translate doesn’t work. Morehead ties together these three disjoint narratives using starlings.

His talk tackles the concept of a complex system. Being complex is not the same as being complicated. Even though no entity within a system can see the whole picture, undeniable large-scale patterns emerge from the system. As we learn to describe this emergence mathematically, in terms of entropy, stability, and far-from-equilibrium dynamics, we will better understand systems like markets, ecologies, and life itself.