Computation and the Evolution of Law

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Held at Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Friday, March 11, 2016

Computation and the Evolution of Law

The US Code contains approximately 67 thousand sections with over 92 thousand in-text references. Even though roughly half the sections do not contain references this still creates an extremely important and complicated citation network; a network that impacts almost every aspect of our lives. According to the Washington Post in 2012 federal regulations imposed approximately $216 Billion in costs on the US economy. Moreover, this network of laws is not static. In the ten years between fiscal year 2004 and 2013 the federal government published 37,022 final rules in the Federal Register.

What is the role of evolutionary thinking and computation in all of this mess? What if the intelligent use of computation could make compliance just 10% more efficient? What if we could understand how laws originated, how they are transmitted, and eventually transformed?

A small community of researchers will convene at the Santa Fe Institute on March 11th to discuss the foundations and state-of-the-art in the emerging field of the evolution of the Law. The aim of this Business Network meeting is to bring together individuals with an interest in studying the evolution of the law using computational tools and perspectives, and chart out a strategy for an emerging program at SFI bearing on Complexity and the Evolution of the Law.