14 February 2017:

1) I gave a talk called [Biology as Information Dynamics](http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/bio_asu/) at a workshop called [Biological Complexity: Can it be Quantified?](https://beyond.asu.edu/workshop/biological-complexity-can-it-be-quantified) at the [Beyond Center](https://beyond.asu.edu/) at Arizona State University. The last result in my talk is new: it's an improved version of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection, which is more general than the usual version, and phrased in terms of information geometry.

I talked about gene regulatory networks with Sara Walker, who works there. A gene regulatory network is a very simple thing: a finite set of 'genes' with two kinds of arrows from some genes to some other genes: 'express' and 'repress'. It would be nice to study 'open' gene regulatory networks using the decorated cospan formalism. There seems to be a fairly simple semantics for these networks where time goes in integer steps and at each time each gene is either on (expressed) or off (repressed).

I also had some conversations with Jim Crutchfield, who wants Blake Pollard to visit him up at U.C. Davis.

2) Tom Mifflin of Metron said that DARPA likes our work so much that they're starting two new programs related to these ideas. One will be at the Strategic Technology Office, and it will be big. Tom suggested I could get more money for grad students. The other is a small "seedling" program, just $500,000, for Metron to help develop autonomous vehicles for the Navy.

3) Blake noticed that Jason Erbele's paper [Categories in control](http://www.tac.mta.ca/tac/volumes/30/24/30-24abs.html) was cited by [Dominique Luzeaux](https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=8G2BKfEAAAAJ&hl=en) in a paper on the category-theoretic foundations of systems engineering. The main interesting thing about this paper is that Lzueaux is the Deputy Director of the Joint Directorate for Networks, Infrastructure and Information Systems, part of the French defense department.

It may seem weird that the military is interested in category theory and operads, but it makes sense. They have a lot of money, they're willing to experiment to stay ahead of other countries, and they have huge organizational/strategic problems that involve complex networked systems. Thus, they've traditionally been at the forefront of "[systems of systems engineering](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_of_systems_engineering)".