Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Psychohistory

People say that technology is the bane of mankind. Just look at the results technologies had brought us. Overpopulation is the side effects of the advances of medical technology. Pollution becomes our burden because of the Industrial Revolution more than a hundred years ago. And science is the base of technology, scientists are well aware of the bane of technology but they shrug off their responsibility by reasoning that science advances of its own sake and how mankind choose to use it is none of their concern. I find this attitude disgusting. Therefore being a future scientist, I wish to develop a science that can predict the future.

Being the grandmaster of science fiction, Isaac Asimov had also explored this idea and called this science psychohistory (now called futurology). According to the character in his Foundation series, psychohistory is a study of history and the psychological reasons of events occurring so that future events can be plotted out by means of statistical mathematics specially developed for this purpose. Psychohistory is a probability science which can predict how a big mass of humans will react under specific conditions, so it can’t predict how any individual will act.

Psychohistory then couldn’t hope to predict the entire future with just history and psychology at its expanse; it would require full knowledge of political science, sociology, technology, economics, trade, and all of social science. Constant updating of the state of current events including stock markets, natural disasters, political states of the world, and events in the internet are required to provide the raw data for the equations of psychohistory to work to give an accurate description of the future. In order for this to be practical, there must be interdisciplinary collaboration at an unprecedented level fully using the internet as the ultimate data gathering tool. One team of mathematicians will be the central nexus of psychohistory with subgroups of social sciences sharing information. Psychohistory, when successfully formulated can be tested by comparing its prediction with the current world events. Thus, soft sciences that are involved in the making of the theory can be tested and gained experimental sciences status.

The problem of global warming can be analyzed by psychohistory. It will tell us whether the efforts by our environmental societies will give an impact towards the survival of humanity. If global warming cannot be stopped, it can at least tell us how to ensure the survival of humanity so that the minimum amount of damage is done. Thus psychohistory will not be a passive science; it will be an active component in determining the future. Emerging technologies like nanotechnology and biotechnology will affect the course of the future depending on how we use it. With psychohistory, we can extrapolate the possible futures and choose the best course. Science alone doesn’t tell us what to do with technology, but psychohistory will.

After thinking about psychohistory, I had a vision, a vision that I’ll be leading the science and formulate it to its perfection. But the first step to do that is to learn interdisciplinary sciences, and University Scholars Program is just the perfect way to start my journey.

3 comments:

Han Meng said...

the 1st equation you should derive is an equation to find the perfect curves in a female's body.

Jming said...

haha
han meng.. to free ad lol

Akira said...

Hello... sort of stumbled here... Congrats on winning IPHO. But what I'm really interested is in what you have to say about psychohistory. That's a great dream you have there. One that I never thought to attempt. But have yout thought the other side of your coin? What happens if you actually create it? The potential of it being used for wrong is as enormous. Don't you think so?