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 Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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