Thursday, October 23, 2014

Psychohistory? (Qu'est-ce que c'est)

I was reminded of Asimov's psychohistory after reading Igor Carron's post on a new book on signal processing. There were two main axioms (from Wikipedia):
  • that the population whose behaviour was modeled should be sufficiently large
  • that the population should remain in ignorance of the results of the application of psychohistorical analyses
The theory seems to axiomatically depend on expectations (in economics terms). Knowing the results, in Asimov's galaxy, can influence the outcomes -- hence the rationale for keeping the population in the dark. The information transfer framework mostly depends on the first axiom to produce models, and should produce the same results even if people know about the results of the models -- could it be considered a generalization of psychohistory?

However, Asimov seemed to believe correlations caused things to happen ('mass action'); in the information transfer framework, correlations cause things to fall apart.

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