Credit: Marta Gonzalez
Applying a mathematical model to the social dynamics of people presents difficulties not involved with more physical – and perhaps more rational – applications. The many factors that influence an individual’s fate to meet an acquaintance and decide to become a friend are impossible to capture, but physicists have used techniques from physical systems to model social networks with near precision.
By modeling people’s interactions based on how particles bounce off each other in an enclosed area, physicists Marta Gonzalez, Pedro Lind and Hans Herrmann found that the characteristics of social networks emerge “in a very natural way.” In a study recently published in Physical Review Letters, the scientists compared their model to empirical data taken from a survey of more than 90,000 U.S. students regarding friendships, and found similarities indicating that this model may serve as a novel approach for understanding social networks.
“The idea behind our model, though simple, is different from the usual paradigmatic approaches,” Gonzalez told PhysOrg.com. “We consider a system of mobile agents (students), which at the beginning have no acquaintances; by moving in a continuous space they collide with each other, forming their friendships.”
After a collision, a particle moves in a different direction with an updated velocity, just as how an individual’s chance of meeting a new person depends on their most recent acquaintances.
SOME RELATED WRITINGS BY RAPHIE FRANK
photo by tmcdaily
GAME THEORY & DISCRIMINATION
Toward an EXCEPTIONAL Simple Theory Of Everything :: Celestial Chiaroscuro
Introducing Social Cogeneration (& Cognitive Physics)
Letter to a Friend re: Scientific Censorship at the Cornell ArXiv Archives
From Pauli to Einstein to Penrose: A Physorg Letter to RPenner on the “Babelization” of Knowledge
From Darwin to Galileo: Physorg Notes On Observation and the Scientific Method
A Quiet Place in My Dreams, by Giampaolo Macorig (Italy)
The original posting to this “link” has been backdated to October 22, 2007, a bit like time travel of perception. See: Evolving Points of Reference – Cognitive Physics (Part IV: Conceptual Influences)
A couple points…
What jazz was to music, what digital technology was to still and moving images and sound, the blogosphere is to the human voice
For inclusion in:
Life at the Speed of Phi: Falling into Sky
Aphorisms for the Information Age
Sami Sheridan by Sean Sheridan
As such, in my view at least, the string theory community would do itself a service to embrace the possibility, not of the “miraculous” break through coming via the Standard Model alone, but via what Progressive Physicist David Bohm termed the implicate order (i.e. hidden or “enfolded”) that Lisi’s theory suggests.
In other words, it’s not this or that, but this and that because this is that. Not just the light and the dark — what artists might call the “positive and negative space” — but also the underlying order that threads them both together in celestial chiaroscuro.
In relation to the issue of Intelligent Design, all the rage in the news these days, you mention that clinging to Aristotle is both Anti-Science and Anti-Evolution. I both agree and disagree. Certainly clinging to Aristotle is both Anti-Science and Anti-Evolution, in my view, anyway, but “Einstein on a Surfboard,” A. Garrett Lisi‘s recent Grand Unification theory “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything,” bringing the poor orphan of Physics, Gravity, out of the cold and into the Standard Model fold with the other three fundamental forces of nature via the E8 Lie Group — which at least some blogs are referring to as “Ptolemy’s Revenge” — would seem to suggest that a dialectical synthesis of old and new together, the precision of the technological Modern Age with the wisdom of the Ancients, may just be possible in a non-partisan, creed-blind manner.
Whatever your personal view of the theory, it has certainly generated a fair amount of interest from such notable Physicists as Lee Smolin, Peter Woit, and John Baez, while string theorists such as Karlovy-Vary, Czech Republic-based Lubos Motl are apoplectic, already proclaiming the fiery apocalypse, not just of planet Earth, but of the entire Universe! (from Motl’s blog post: Telegraph: Cosmologists are killing the Universe on Motl’s blog “Reference Frame“).
I would suggest that what has in large part created the “ruckus” of late in the Physics community is that many believe Lisi’s theory may lead to the New Dark Ages, a reversion to the blind mysticism and ignorance of the Pre-Galileans, with attendant political consequences that could severely threaten separation of church and state, one of the most sacrosanct bedrocks of any free and pluralistic society.
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