Might that be the final resolution of the otherwise intractable scandal of social “science,” which is increasingly just political screeds?
In 2014, Stephen Guy of the University of Minnesota and his colleagues described how people move to avoid hitting each other when interacting in large groups. “Human crowds,” they wrote, “bear a striking resemblance to interacting particle systems.” Pedestrians move, the researchers observed, like negatively-charged electrons, which repel each other more strongly as they approach, with one key difference. Unlike electrons, pedestrians anticipate when a collision is imminent and change their motion beforehand by swinging wide to avoid a crash.
Using this knowledge, the researchers derived a mathematical rule for an electron-like “repulsive force” between any two pedestrians, but based on time-to-collision rather than distance. This allowed the researchers to correctly predict how a moving crowd bunches up when funneled into a narrow passage, or spontaneously forms directional lanes, as when football fans leave a stadium headed for different exits. Other sociophysicists have applied similar principles to auto traffic
We are still a long way from the elegance and power of famous results in physics like Isaac Newton’s equation F = ma or Einstein’s E = mc^2. But it took millennia for physicists to derive these insights. Maybe in only a few more centuries, we will become like Hari Seldon, able to better understand ourselves through quantitative science.Sidney Perkowitz, “Sociophysics and Econophysics, the Future of Social Science?” at JSTOR Daily
In principle, it might lead to insights. In practice, unfortunately, it will probably turn out to be bunk cubed because of a felt need to corrupt the data to advance various agendas.
It would be good to delegitimize social “sciences” before any more of these kinds of incidents:
Mortarboard mob “disappears” respected mathematician. (His findings were mathematically correct but did not suit a social science agenda.)
See also: Broad agreement that politics is strangling the social sciences
Social sciences are now merely a political party