This project involves the use of mathematical methods for social purposes, especially social search and matching for jobs, friends, investors, investments, co-authors or co-workers generally, lovers, spouses, and even places to live. As might be expected some of the mathematical methods would not be totally unknown to a mathematical sociologist, and methods from graph theory and combinatorial optimization would at least deal with data in a format familiar to sociometrists and anyone acquainted with sociograms.
The project also involves the use of a great deal of social survey data — almost all that can be found and obtained for free on the Internet, including the GSS, WLS, and various education surveys. Longitudinal data is most important, but whatever can be found will probably turn out to be of some use. Mechanisms are being installed for doing as much as possible with this data by machine alone, without the active participation of a social scientist. This project is envisioned as social technology, not social science, and the rules are different for the technological application. Instead of needing to provide evidence to help establish various hypotheses sufficiently well that the work can be accepted for publication in peer-reviewed social science journals, the social technologist merely has to do something useful with the data, utility more than proof or truth being the goal. In general we shall be concerned here with heuristics, the generation of suggestions which the user may or may not follow up. Better suggestions will be those which interest the user and encourage him or her to test, experiment or explore, and the best suggestions will also be good ones, suggestions of activities or relationships that will turn out to be worthwhile.
Currently the project has tried very hard not to stick with one area of application, since there are so many overlaps, and data collected an analyzed for one of them will most likely turn out to be useful for the others. We anticipate being able to give people suggestions about jobs to apply for, employees to hire, possible friends to get to know, places to live, people to meet for almost every possible social purpose, and of course the formation of lasting relationships involving not only love and sexual activity but the relationship of a teacher or mentor to a student, or of truly lasting friendships.
For more information, please see the Technical Information (also under construction, but with some content) and various other pages visible by following links around this site — see below — and around Doug Wilson’s personal website.
This is not an unambitious project at all, and most people would consider it prudent to scale back a bit, but on the contrary this site discusses other, related, projects of comparible magnitude. See the Overall Summary for more information — it is not stuff for the faint of heart, but should provide amusement, at least, for those unable to take grandiose schemes seriously.
Copyright © 2000 Douglas P. Wilson
Copyright © 2009 Douglas Pardoe Wilson
Other relevant content:
Please see these web pages:
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.
Copyright © 2009 Douglas Pardoe Wilson