Mathematicians Predict the Future With Data From the Past

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posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 11:42 AM
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linky

I thought this was very interesting.


In Issac Asimov’s classic science fiction saga Foundation, mathematics professor Hari Seldon predicts the future using what he calls psychohistory. Drawing on mathematical models that describe what happened in the past, he anticipates what will happen next, including the fall of the Galactic Empire.

That may seem like fanciful stuff. But Peter Turchin is turning himself into a real-life Hari Seldon — and he’s not alone.

Turchin — a professor at the University of Connecticut — is the driving force behind a field called “cliodynamics,” where scientists and mathematicians analyze history in the hopes of finding patterns they can then use to predict the future. It’s named after Clio, the Greek muse of history.

These academics have the same goals as other historians — “We start with questions that historians have asked for all of history,” Turchin says. “For example: Why do civilizations collapse?” — but they seek to answer these questions quite differently. They use math rather than mere language, and according to Turchin, the prognosis isn’t that far removed from the empire-crushing predictions laid down by Hari Seldon in the Foundation saga. Unless something changes, he says, we’re due for a wave of widespread violence in about 2020, including riots and terrorism.


The article goes into detail on how he is using digitized newspapers to be able to get these results.
The scary part of this is the prediction of the widespread violence in 2020.
If his science is on the money. Then it's a scary thought.



A great article worth a read.




posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by grey580
 



As of now, has he made any predictions with this mathematical model that have been proven true?




I can toss a handful of peanuts into my backyard, and use them to predict the amount of rainfall we will receive this summer, but that doesn't mean that my prediction will be proven to be accurate. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.


edit on 4/10/13 by BrokenCircles because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 12:05 PM
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I am pretty certain that even a child who has no knowledge of math, given a few hour dose of any MSM network's garbage, and they will be talking about violence, maybe even wanting it, too!

Just look around, people are finding all sorts of justifications to hurt others.

Sadly, most of the violence will go unreported or will not be included for whatever reasons. Which IMHO skews the analysis's potential for accuracy.

For instance, are police brutality incidents included? Because those are political in nature as well, abuse of govt authority, totalitarianism etc.

What about the dead from the drug war? Because that is political as well, considering it is the govt who creates these obscene laws and then creates armies to raid people's homes indiscriminately.

What about people imprisoned wrongly and injured or harmed wrongly inside those institutions? That is political violence, it's the system punishing the innocent and not caring either way.

Considering all the wars going on around the globe, the level of intensity and animosity in political debates, the vast ignorance and willingness to justify violence philosophically, the attempts by polarized parties to control each other's very existence through political means/apparatus. The explosion of the prison population and police brutality and corporate profiteering off filling up the prisons, etc etc. Militarization everywhere, security is the only thing that matters , etc.

Did anyone predict the world was gonna be a nice cozy peaceful place in 2020? Now that would be significant and amazing, IMO, because every road sign clearly points to our civilization facing mass squalor and degradation. Which of course breeds political extremism, animosity, etc.



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by grey580
 


Oh one more thing, just because the computer and most of us (myself included) agree this is a most obvious conclusion to the patterns of activity today, doesn't mean it's written in stone.

We, even the computer, could be missing some larger factor in the equations, and so our entire problem solving process is skewed from the beginning.

Maybe 2020 will be a golden age of prosperity? I have doubts but it's not entirely impossible. Extremely unlikely albeit.



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 12:20 PM
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these dummies left out the war of 1812
Using digitized newspapers as a reference for future events seems so riddled with biases and incomplete information as to make this graph silly
edit on 10-4-2013 by dashen because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Hey it's all theoretical until 2020.

We will find out then.

But it's certainly interesting how he's getting his results.



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 12:38 PM
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This sounds kind of similar to Timewave Zero, doesn't it?




posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by grey580
Good thread. Assimov: the "father" of science fiction. Funny, I just posted something about him quite recently.
I read the Foundation trilogy quite a few years ago, but do remember his assertions.

Frank Herbert wrote quite a bit predictive as well about what kind of issues we would be facing today...ethically involving technology.

I agree if Assimov was on the money, we are, indeed, in serious trouble. But, I also believe, the progression of where we are today has been obvious for quite some time.



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 12:55 PM
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For better or for worse, I'd love this to be true.

I mean if we could actually develop a system that quantifies future events accurately, chances are it would be exploited straight away, but it would also go some way to proving the theory of sacred geometry wouldn't it?

that would be sweet!



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by tetra50
reply to post by grey580
Good thread. Assimov: the "father" of science fiction. Funny, I just posted something about him quite recently.
I read the Foundation trilogy quite a few years ago, but do remember his assertions.

Frank Herbert wrote quite a bit predictive as well about what kind of issues we would be facing today...ethically involving technology.

I agree if Assimov was on the money, we are, indeed, in serious trouble. But, I also believe, the progression of where we are today has been obvious for quite some time.



My wife is way into all of Asimov's work, especially Foundation series.
She has told me a lot about it, and I always cannot help but laugh half of the time.

So if we are going to praise Asimov for being right about a few things, let's also recall how wrong he was about a whole vast array of things. And how half of the concepts presented aren't even explained rationally, and when explanations do arrive they are typically obtuse or blunt, lacking the real specifics needed to actually explain something in depth.

So yes, it's a influential and important work in fiction, and has led to many real developments. But it is still just fiction, and although my wife likes that, I generally stick to the nonfiction aisle.
edit on 10-4-2013 by muzzleflash because: (no reason given)
edit on 10-4-2013 by muzzleflash because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 




let's also recall how wrong he was about a whole vast array of things. And how half of the concepts presented aren't even explained rationally,

Could you include instances please ?
I'll admit I'm ignorant on this subject and would appreciate a counter point to the OP

Cody



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 02:09 PM
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reply to post by grey580
 


Alright, I'm going to forgive your lack of text OP. Something I've been a lil bitch about lately. Only because you're right about this being so damn interesting.

SnF



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 02:13 PM
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In political science we are about 30 years out from perfecting a mathematical model that can accurately use the Nash Equilibrium to predict what two players will do in any given game.

We will be able to take the situation of North Korea and the US and predict, with 100%....well 99% accuracy whether a war will erupt or a return to peace.

Some very exciting work going on in game theory at the moment.



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 02:42 PM
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has led to many real developments. But it is still just fiction,
reply to post by muzzleflash

I also only referred to hm being on the money about what the OP specified. And yes, it is fiction, but you said
yourself that many of those things he wrote about deliverred. I never meant his fiction was predictive of everything.

Stay in that isle. Fine. The thing about this it is disingenuous to believe that at that time anyone was going to write directly about what they may knew was coming because that always carries a price, so some "fiction" has to be in there, as well. However, the basis for qualifying what science fiction as a literary category is, is that it must be scientifically possible theoretically in order to be published as "science fiction."



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 02:56 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 


Something funny though, is that my wife has been so inspired by the Foundation series that she has taken it upon herself to write a sci-fi novel, which will be very different from the Foundation books obviously.

Don't take my criticisms the wrong way, I am forced into playing devils advocate because if I didn't my house would be an Asimov shrine by now.


In all honesty, the guy is overlooked and doesn't get near enough credit for what he accomplished with his writings throughout our society.

Also it is refreshing to find that a lot of people still read good literature.



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 03:14 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


The Foundation series was pretty good.

Its no Twilight of course but still is a decent story.



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 01:34 AM
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Originally posted by Hopechest
reply to post by muzzleflash
 


The Foundation series was pretty good.

Its no Twilight of course but still is a decent story.



Umm I thought we were talking about mathematicians predicting the future with data from the past.....
How does Twilight relate here?





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