Status of Social Technology
As I explained on my early mailing lists and later webpages, I find that social technology has hardly improved at all over the years. We still use representative democracy, a social technology, exactly the same as it was used in the 18th century. By contrast, the transportation technology of horse and buggy has been replaced by automobiles and airplanes, enormous changes.
In the picture below you will see some 18th century technology, such as the ox-plow in the middle of the picture. One need only to look at the large combines and the other machinery of agriculture to see how things have changed since then. The image include a windmill, an early form of energy technology. Now, in contrast we have enormous hydroelectric installations and the extremely advanced though dangerous nuclear powr stations. But we still use chance encounters, engagements and marriages to organize our home life and the raising of children. The ways in which we find jobs, places to live, schools and universities, friends, spouses, and all aspects of our social environment is still largely a matter of chance or of taking the path of least resistance.
In many ways our current social technology is harmful. We might notice the Internet job-finding sites, like Monster.com, dating sites like e-Harmony.com, and even the popular FaceBook, which seem advanced to many people of my generation who grew up without the Internet at all and certainly not the WorldWide Web. I claim that there is very little science behind such social technology and so such services often do more harm than good. They seem to me to be similar to medical practices of earlier centuries where bacteria and viruses were unknown. Doctors in those days often did more harm than good, so that seeing a doctor was often a fatal mistake. To be more specific, such matching services do not collect enough information for plausible modelling of their customers, then use what they have in a dangerous way, by ignoring the first derivative of whatever compatibility and suitability estimates they make. They often match people to jobs or other people because according to the limited data they collect such matches seem suitable, but they ignore the rate of change of the factors they collect and so the rate of change in the matchings they estimate. What seems to be a good match one year may be terrible a year later because of the way the various factors change.
Matching of people to jobs, other people, etc. is only one aspect of social technology, and it may best be considered as an aspect of the search for bandwidth, or information flow. Information technology, such as that which drives the Internet is concerned with what me called the gross information flow, the overall amount of information flowing, while what is important for social technology is, by contrast, the net information flow, the amount of information actually absorbed and used by people. Net net bandwidth, if one can pardon the play on words, is what matters most. It dependent on the channels of communication between people, which are established and maintained by social technology. At the current time these channels are just as often disrupted as successfully established by the primitive social tech we have. Please see Social Technology through Diagrams for more information about this, illustrated with the aid of diagrams.
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Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009, Douglas Pardoe Wilson
New: Social Technology through Diagrams
New: Social Techs novel online
New: Social Technology Blog
New: Social Technology Wiki
The main Social Technology page.
Find Compatibles , the key page, with the real solution to all other problems explained
Technological Fantasies , a page about future technology
Social Tech a page about Social Technology, technology for social purposes. I think I was the first person to use this phrase on the Internet, quite a long time ago.
Roughly corresponding to these web pages are the following blogs :
Social Technology the main blog, hosted on this site, with posts imported from the following blogger.com blogs, which still exist and are useable.
Find Compatibles devoted to matching people with friends, lovers, jobs, places to live and so on, but doing so in ways that will actually work, using good math, good algorithms, good analysis.
Technological Fantasies devoted to future stuff, new ideas, things that might be invented or might happen, such as what is listed above and below.
Sex-Politics-Religion is a blog about these important topics, which I have been told should never be mentioned in polite conversation. Alright that advice does seem a bit dated, but many people are still told not to bring up these subjects around the dinner table.
I believe I was the first person on the Internet to use the phrase Social Technology -- years before the Web existed.
Those were the good old days, when the number of people using the net exceeed the amount of content on it, so that it was easy to start a discussion about such an upopular topic. Now things are different. There are so many web pages that the chances of anyone finding this page are low, even with good search engines like Google. Oh, well.
By Social Technology I mean the technology for organizing and maintaining human society. The example I had most firmly in mind is the subject of Find Compatibles , what I consider to be the key page, the one with the real solution to all other problems explained.
As I explained on my early mailing lists and later webpages, I find that social technology has hardly improved at all over the years. We still use representative democracy, exactly the same as it was used in the 18th century. By contrast, horse and buggy transporation has been replaced by automobiles and airplanes, enormous changes.
In the picture below you will see some 18th century technology, such as the ox-plow in the middle of the picture. How things have changed since then in agricultural technology. But we still use chance encounters, engagements and marriages to organize our home life and the raising of children.
I claim that great advances in social technology are not only possible but inevitable. I have written three novels about this, one preposterously long, 5000 pages, another merely very very long, 1500 pages. The third is short enough at 340 pages to be published some day. Maybe. The topic is still not interesting to most people. I will excerpt small parts of these novels on the web sometime, maybe even post the raw text for the larger two.
This site includes many pages dating from 1997 to 2008 which are quite out of date. They are included here partly to show the development of these ideas and partly to cover things the newer pages do not. There will be broken links where these pages referenced external sites. I've tried to fix up or maiintain all internal links, but some will probably have been missed. One may wish to look at an earlier version of this page , rather longer, and at an overview of most parts of what can be called a bigger project.
Type in this address to e-mail me. The image is interesting. See Status of Social Technology
Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009, Douglas Pardoe Wilson
I have used a series of e-mail address over the years, each of which eventually became out of date because of a change of Internet services or became almost useless because of spam. Eventually I stuck with a Yahoo address, but my inbox still fills up with spam and their spam filter still removes messages I wanted to see. So I have switched to a new e-mail service. Web spiders should not be able to find it, since it is hidden in a jpeg picture. I have also made it difficult to reach me. The picture is not a clickable link. To send me e-mail you must want to do so badly enough to type this address in. That is a nuisance, for which I do apologize, but I just don't want a lot of mail from people who do not care about what I have to say.