A Conversation with Nicholas A. Christakis
These three things—a biological hurricane, computational social science, and the rediscovery of experimentation—are going to change the social sciences in the 21st century. With that change will come, in my judgment, a variety of discoveries and opportunities that offer tremendous prospect for improving the human condition.
NICHOLAS A. CHRISTAKIS is a Physician and Social Scientist, Harvard University; Coauthor (with James Fowler) of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.
Phi Beta Iota: The social sciences are the moral and intellectual runts of the academic litter, with public administration being the bottom feeders unable to even define a discipline or establish laudable norms. Computers are stupid — governments and corporations have very deliberately avoided the necessary investments in true cost economics, whole systems analytic models, and multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary, multidomain information-sharing and sense-making (M4IS2). This is a very positive development, but it is highly unlikely that major progress will be made in the absence of an Open Source Agency (OSA) guiding a global “Open Source Everything” renaissance of thinking–of intelligence with integrity.