posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 02:35 PM
reply to post by BayesLike
Exactly. I tend to view human response/behavior at the societal level as riding on that proverbial bell curve where the most interesting activities
are not going to be found in the middle but on the extreme ends of the bell--the more "radical". Looking at the radical ends and the overall
conditions actually allows some predictability in societal response as they shed light on whether or not the status quo continues and what the
majority response will be. In the case of Occupy, they didn't have a chance here in the US as the conditions here were simply not severe enough.
Contrast it with Spain, Greece or even more recently, Brazil, and the conditions are much more severe, allowing for the radical to influence the
majority enough to invoke a demand for change by a greater portion of the populace.
Absolutely agree that they may bugger themselves with "noise" but from the sounds of it, they eliminate the "noise" portion of the chatter to
specific subject matters through the keyword use. It's kind of like google or twitter picking out the words/articles and selecting the most commonly
viewed/used that are trending. If the program is being used to look for individual instances of certain behavioral responses, then a narrow channel
of words framing that specific response would be used. However, at a societal level, it is comprehending what is moving through the mass as a whole
that may actually matter as it is a direct indicator of active interest and possible response. The messy middle, as you so aptly called it, is
ultimately influenced by the actions of the radical. The middle tends to be lazy ("as long as someone else is doing something, I don't have to")
until they perceive little choice but to act. I see the interactions between the radical and the middle as having a tendency to behave rather like
Based on what I have gleaned from all the articles discussing the data collection and processing that is done, I do believe that they are filtering
the noise to expose specific individuals but I also believe that they go through the noise to find what is trending through society and taking
interest in what may be a threat to the status quo. If I were in their position, I'd be interested in that, too, but I think where I would vary is
how I responded to such interests because I believe in social contract.
The Stanford course is free. I think that either Harvard, Yale or Princeton also has a similar course that is free but I'm not 100% certain.