Facebook note about models and simulations of all things

Most of my life I have been interested in solving games like chess on the computer, starting in high school (1963-1967). I took a graduate course in Artificial Intelligence as a sophomore at Case Institute of Technology (now CWRU). Then, because all my jobs drew on my background in computing and large scale problem solving, I keep going back to these problems to see if current insights and efforts are making any difference.

The “real” problems of organizations, which includes cities, governments, global topic groups and individuals (a group of 1); all have a large component of book keeping, accounting, finance, inventory, contact management, calendars and other memory aids.

About 98% of most “problems” or “opportunities” is just keeping good track of the pieces, and moving them around efficiently in ways that provide new insights and pathways. If you have the computer play a game, and keep track of all the possible things that can happen, that summary of many pathways IS the solution many times. You “get your arms around the problem”. You “can see the whole playing field”. You “know all the players and possibilities”. You “have a map of the whole”. Part of the value of a “game” or “model” is that you control all the pieces. You have all the pieces.

What I have tried to bring to this, is to make the visualizing and quantifying of the process of gathering cleaning standardizing organizing curating summarizing simulating-with the pieces of whatever “game” is being played. I had to “see” the whole of the State of Texas – its health care needs and resources. Texas education system needs and resources and actions and consequences. At Georgetown University Center for Population Research I modeled the long term and detailed structure of countries, industrial sectors, sociology, anthropology, technology, science, education, labor force, chemistry, and natural environment of all countries in the world out many decades.

I don’t have a name for what I have been doing all my life. I know it when I see it. I know how to do it. I can explain many parts of it and give many examples. But, ultimately trying to summarize and make accessible all human knowledge (including projects estimates forecasts predictions designs plans goals policies rules laws equations models….). It should not take anyone (with an intelligent Internet to help them) decades to learn about a problem then solve it. Let the computer do those things. We mostly don’t shovel dirt by hand (though many people have no alternative or don’t even have a shovel).

What caused me to write this? I was washing dishes, waiting for the coffee to make. I was thinking about all the content of all the frames of all videos on the Internet (recorded and archived and accessible) and all the cameras and sensors in the solar system (and just beyond) each record (a frame is also a record) and all the sequences and patterns and derivative calculations possible. And wondering if the patterns in common games played endlessly by individuals, or collectively by tens of millions – had any precise relation to the streams of neural events in both human and “in silico” algorithm traces. I could not put all the things I had in mind here. Linear word sequences are NOT neural nets, and NOT process logs of complex and complete systems doing real jobs in the real world.

Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation


Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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