Wednesday, March 02, 2005

This is an interesting read...

Political Scientist: "This is the way the world works."

Poli-Sci geeks will want to make note of this. Political scientist R.J. Rummel notes that we shold not be shocked that we suddenly see breakouts of democracy all over the Middle East.

This is the way the world works. It is a process of things being in equilibrium, an equilibrium that increasingly is out of balance with the underling reality, then a sudden breakdown in the equilibrium caused by some trigger, and a jump to new equilibrium better fitting reality. This also gets increasingly out of balance, breaks down, and another new equilibrium is created, and this over and over ad infinitum.

He compares it to the shifting pressures of tectonic plates, in which tensions build up and then finally snap to a new position, causing earthquakes. Political change works much the same way in his view, and he gives the following illustration:

For his full article on the subject, CLICK HERE. If you're mathematically inclined, you'll probably even more enjoy his paper entitled A CATASTROPHE THEORY MODEL OF THE CONFLICT HELIX, WITH TESTS. Since I don't know calculus I don't understand the math, but I'll bet some of you would.

Somehow when reading it it brought to mind Isaac Asimov's concept of "psychohistory."

[Dean's World]

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