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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Dec > Dec 21

Serious UFO Mention In Scientific American

From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2011 10:15:59 -0800
Archived: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 04:52:52 -0500
Subject: Serious UFO Mention In Scientific American

Scientific American, host to the snarky skeptical column of
Michael Shermer who sometimes ridicules UFOs in it, instead had
a serious (but very brief) mention of UFOs in their current
December 2011 issue. The mention is in the article titled "The
Machine That Would Predict the Future" by David Weinberger of
Harvard University.

The Magic-8 Ball machine would be a supercomputer or network
with the world's data fed into it that would supposedly deduce
sociological, political and economic trends for policy planners.
It is currently being funded to the tune of 1 billion Euros.

Weinberger brings up all the inherent problems in such a complex
modeling system, including the always present unexpected: The
system "aims to model systems in which people are acting for the
wides variety of reasons (from selfish to altruistic); where
their incentives may vary widely... where contingencies may
erupt (the death of a world leader, the arrival of UFOs); where
there are complex feedback loops..." etc.

I just thought Weinberger using arrival of UFOs as one of two
examples of unexpected contingencies to be rather interesting
out of a myriad of possible examples he could have used instead.
It doesn't sound tongue-in-cheek to me, but Weinberger citing a
serious possibility in his mind of throwing a monkey wrench into
the predictive gears of the machine.

How would the world react to the disclosure that UFOs are real
and not made by human beings? What computer model could possibly
predict the outcome of that with any accuracy? We might as well
use a real Magic-8 Ball. How about, "Reply hazy, try again", or
"Better not tell you now"? You don't need to spend a billion
Euros to get back answers like that.

David Rudiak

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