Social networks and power (we are all flexians now)….

Terrific long piece on my Mason colleague, Janine Wedel in Pacific Standard, here. Krasnow Institute money quote:

Maciej Latek, a tall, Polish-born computational social scientist whose day job is creating risk models for contentious environments like international borders, stands at one end of the table in a pressed oxford shirt and tapered blue jeans. He projects a diagram, or what anthropologists call a network map, of dots and lines onto the wall. The map depicts all transfers exceeding $50 million that occurred between 2009 and 2012 from pension funds to hedge funds, showing the origins, destinations, and size of the transactions. 

Maciej is of course one of our own here at the Krasnow Institute’s Center for Social Complexity.

Most interesting new book review…

It’s here in today’s FT: Sir Crispen Tickell’s review of Rupert Sheldrake’s new book, The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry¬†published in the UK by Coronet (I’ll need to check whether it’s available as an e-book).

Starts off with the premise that there are certain dogmas in present day scientific thought that may not be true and then goes off into the world of self-organization and complexity, and his theory of “morphic resonance”.

P.S. Sheldrake’s views on science are to say the least quite controversial. In fact, there are some who say it’s pseudoscience since, the argument goes, his theories are unfalsifiable.

Niall Ferguson’s United States of Europe, 2021

In today’s Wall Street Journal, here. His view: the Euro will still exist, but not so much for the European Union….oh and that Brussels will be replaced by Vienna to make the Germans more comfortable.

It’s an entertaining piece, but I’m pretty skeptical of such geopolitical forecasting, especially so far out. The world is far too much of a series of linked complex adaptive systems to make predictions that I’d be willing to actually bet on.