Saturday, February 24, 2007

Nature magazine has recently published an interesting essay under the 'Connections' column(Nature:445:Feb 2,2007, p489) The title is as above, and the essay describes how "network math" may help the social sciences in making predictions that can be tested in a scientific way. The author makes a case that internet communications can provide a field wherein the ambiguities of ordinary sociological analysis are reduced so that precise predictions can be made and tested. The author admits that the results derived from internet research are "limited" . The author also, unfortunately, calls for a loosening of the privacy protections on internet communications so that research can be conducted on these matters. NOW, Molly has little doubt that a "science of society" can be constructed that supersedes political ideologies such as Marxism, conservatism, liberalism(or crude anarchism with whatever neologisms it may devise). Time marches on after all. Part of the book that I am trying to review, "A Beautiful Math', refers to such system mathematics. But first objection here is as an individual concerned about their own privacy, and whether the benefit is worth the cost. In a class society such research will be framed in terms of how it can benefit the managerial controllers of the society. I assume that such research can yield testable predictions which I don't assume for most leftoid rhetoric. What I will say plain and simply is that the doomed effort to put chains on scientific inquiry is much more applicable to this case than it is in any other case of simple inquiry. These results will come to view, and leftists are obliged to come to terms with them no matter how much they might like to hide behind rhetoric.
Molly personally is not a leftist in the sense of believing in the underlying ("lying" is an appropriate word) philosophical beliefs of leftism (which includes the so-called "post leftists"). But she is still a "leftist" in terms of believing that the ultimate goals of "the left" are both valuable and achievable. What "the left" has to do is face reality such as that presented in papers such as this and use it for their own purposes.

No comments: