I go by the name of Doug Wilson, and I live in Sooke, on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, not far from Vancouver, where I was born and raised.
On these pages and in my e-mail addresses I use my full name, Douglas Pardoe Wilson, because I believe it to be a unique identifier. Of all the Doug Wilsons in the world, I seem to be the only one with Pardoe for a middle name. Both the Pardoe and the Wilson names are family names from Worcestershire, England, by the way.
I have written the pages on this site to tell you about some ideas that I have been working on for many years. I think these are extraordinary ideas that could help to make human society work better and improve all our lives, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
At the core of this material are ideas and results about linguistic technology, information retrieval, and combinatorial optimization — all very technical stuff.
But around this I have built a collection of ideas about social change — ways to make the world a better place and ways to make each person’s life much better. ‘Optimization’ means trying to make something better, and it is also techspeak for a collection of mathematical methods for accomplishing that. Please understand that when I advocate using these methods to make society better I am not suggesting any form of coercion, something I explicitly reject. If you are still suspicious of my intentions, please follow the link to the main page, Social Technology, which provides some further explanations and links to other pages.
I have been working on the topics presented here for many years. As an illustation of this, below is material from a page dated early in 1998:
As on earlier versions of this page, I begin by inviting people to use their imaginations:
Imagine a future world in which it is easy to find a good job.
Imagine a future in which it is easy to find a truly compatible spouse or sexual partner.
Imagine a world in which it is easy to find good long-term friends.
While you’re at it, you might as well imagine a future world without crime , since people with good jobs, good friends, and a compatible spouse or partner rarely commit crimes. And you should also imagine this world as affluent and prosperous, without poverty — precisely what one would expect of a world where everyone has been able to find very suitable work.
Traditional futurists have described worlds with humanoid robots and flying automobiles, but the world I dream about is one in which love and friendship are abundant, along with truly satisfying work in good jobs that are easy to find and keep.
This vision is one of the results of my long search for genuine solutions to social problems. By genuine solutions I mean solutions that are practical, affordable, and can be proven to work.
Far too often attempted solutions to human problems are only “band-aid” solutions, which at most treat the symptoms rather than the underlying illness, and often serve only to cover up those symptoms. Homeless shelters and food banks don’t treat the underlying causes of homelessness, just the symptoms. Welfare and unemployment insurance don’t treat the underlying causes of unemployment and poverty, just the symptoms. Indeed, some of these social programs probably make the illness worse.
I am not completely opposed to treating symptoms; sometimes it is necessary to do so. I don’t want people starving or freezing to death while we work on the underlying causes of social problems, but I insist that it is possible to cure social problems at the source, and I want you to at least look at my proposals.
I offer something new, something original. What I suggest comes neither from left nor from right. Both left-wing and right-wing ideas have been around a long time — if either had genuine solutions to offer, don’t you think we’d have figured that out by now?
But around this I have built a collection of ideas about social change — ways to make the world a better place and ways to make each person’s life much better. ‘Optimization’ means trying to make something better, and it is also techspeak for a collection of mathematical methods for accomplishing that. Please understand that when I advocate using these methods to make society better I am not suggesting any form of coercion, something I explicitly reject. If you are still suspicious of my intentions, please follow this link to a page that continues this discussion. Please also visit: SocialTechnology.ca No Bandaid Solutions
See also the SocialTechnology.ca Progress Report for the latest news
There are several ways to approach this material — you may begin by selecting one of these links:
By topic: pick one of these topics, or look instead at the page which describes how they are interrelated:
- A non-technical approach : the idea of social network optimization
- Some technical details : algorithms and underlying mathematics
- A narrative approach: describing the development of these ideas
over the past twenty-five years
As a Work-in-Progress:
- Look at three (very different) outlines that I’ve been working from: version 1 , version 2 , and version 3 .
- Examine pages in the process of being organized .
- Look at my list of all pages , which even refers to itself.
- How you can help with this work-in-progress.
Copyright © 1998 Douglas P. Wilson