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Moreover, whilst Schmidt and Lipson are able to prespecify what the state variables of their systems are  they direct their software to look at positions, velocities and accelerations  in the case of cliodynamics, a central difficulty is identifying what the state variables actually are.

As an aside, if it is true that civilization is a nonlinear classical physical system, then Schmidt and Lipson's algorithm could perhaps be applied to the data generated by human history, to discover the fundamental laws of cliodynamics.
bilby commented on the word cliodynamics
Just stick with finishing the autobiog: 'My Wanderin' Life As A Purveyor of DemiPish'.
April 9, 2009
sionnach commented on the word cliodynamics
I'd like to see the system of differential equations that maps the spread of syphilitic pustules on the complexion of history across space and time. Perhaps a twodimensional FurryYule diffusion process? Problem is, if you tried solving the system using a neural network, the syphilis spirochetes might infect the neurons, leading to paralysis and possibly a major epileptic system seizure.
See how easy it is to make up semiplausible rubbish? I can produce gobs of this stuff at will. Shouldn't somebody be scrambling to hire me to do just that?
April 9, 2009
vanishedone commented on the word cliodynamics
Peter Turchin: 'Cliodynamics (from Clio, the muse of history, and dynamics, the study of temporally varying processes) is the new transdisciplinary area of research at the intersection of historical macrosociology, economic history/cliometrics, mathematical modeling of longterm social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases. Mathematical approaches  modeling historical processes with differential equations or agentbased simulations; sophisticated statistical approaches to data analysis  are a key ingredient in the cliodynamic research program (see "Why do we need mathematical history?" in the side bar). But ultimately the aim is to discover general principles that explain the functioning and dynamics of actual historical societies.'
April 8, 2009