I Know What I Know

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Here are the “artificial society animations” that accompany Jonathan Rauch’s fascinating essay from the April 2002 Atlantic monthly.

The essay describes the modeling of societies using computers: each dot represents an individual, and the color represents a different parameter (race, religion, occupation, etc). These “people” are programmed to desire certain situations and to seek them out. What you find, with some of these, is that situations that would seemingly be a model of racial integration (desiring that, for instance, at least two neighbors be the same color as you) winds up looking like a model of racial segregation. These models are being used to look for patterns in human social behavior. That is, these models are part of a larger effort to detect patterns that all societies everywhere exhibit.

If you can find it, pick up a copy of the April Atlantic. Well worth the money.


Written by srogers

July 2, 2011 at 2:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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