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121 comments

Didn't I see this on TV already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509884)

Anyone else watch the pilot of Person of Interest?

Asmiov did it! (3, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509888)

Foundation anyone?

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509900)

I thought the same. Go, Psychohistory. Of course I'd have spelt Asimov right. Or probably mentioned Hari Seldon.

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509918)

Asmiov was his smarter older brother.

Re:Asmiov did it! (2)

F34nor (321515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511244)

Moyers: What happens to the idea of the dignity of the human species if population growth continues at its present rate?

Asimov: It will be completely destroyed. I will use what I call my bathroom metaphor. Two people live in an apartment and there are two bathrooms, then both have the freedom of the bathroom. You can go to the bathroom anytime you want, and stay as long as you want, for whatever you need. Everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. It should be right there in the Constitution. But if you have 20 people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in the freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up times for each person, you have to bang at the door, "Aren't you through yet?" and so on.

The same way democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn't matter if someone dies. The more people there are the less one individual matters.

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511178)

Asimov wasn't alone. Several authors have put forth the concept (my favorite is actually "Cleology", introduced in "In the Country of the Blind" by Michael Flynn [wikipedia.org] , complete with some graphs and charts of historical cyclical data that projected (at the time of the book's writing) future events that have turned out to be surprisingly accurate (at the time of this writing)).

The entire concept of studying history can be summed up in the phrase "Those who do not recall history are doomed to repeat it" - in other words, we need to know what mistakes we have made in order to avoid making them again.

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511528)

Asimov wasn't alone. Several authors have put forth the concept (my favorite is actually "Cleology", introduced in "In the Country of the Blind" by Michael Flynn [wikipedia.org] , complete with some graphs and charts of historical cyclical data that projected (at the time of the book's writing) future events that have turned out to be surprisingly accurate (at the time of this writing)).

The entire concept of studying history can be summed up in the phrase "Those who do not recall history are doomed to repeat it" - in other words, we need to know what mistakes we have made in order to avoid making them again.

My favorite is Melchizedek from Battle Angel Alita [wikipedia.org] by Yukito Kishiro [wikipedia.org] . Melchizedek is an MBC that can predict trends from arbitrary datasets. At first it is used for weather forecasting, but as time progresses the system is tasked with making predictions from other data. Soon it is monitoring economic, political, and criminal trends, and every decision made by human administrators is first run by Melchizedek to see if the predicted outcome is favorable. Eventually the entire government is turned over to Melchizedek; The system is no longer making predictions, but rather making policy. In the end the system decides that humans are too mentally weak and emotionally fragile for its needs and replaces them all with genetically engineered cybernetic constructs.

Pure-strain Humans are kept around to provide a source of cheap replacement parts for cyborgs, but anything with an organic brain instead of a chip is not considered a higher order lifeform.

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

orange47 (1519059) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510042)

I think biggest curse would be knowing (exactly) ones destiny, if such thing exists.

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

Calydor (739835) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510214)

To paraphrase Krull, "They found that the ability to see the future was but a curse that let them know how and when they would die."

Re:Asmiov did it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510240)

Let's find out. In two weeks, you will be sodomized by half a dozen niggers.

You know it's coming and there's nothing you can do about it (or can you?...). Do you feel cursed?

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511138)

Knowing one's destiny is not a curse. It's knowing one's destiny, and being unable to change it that is (especially if it's a bad one). There's probably a nasty equation we'll find out where peering into the future collapses all possible futures down to one, the one you just observed, and it's always the worst one out of all of them.

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

orange47 (1519059) | more than 2 years ago | (#37512662)

destiny is, by definition, something you cannot change.
btw, my favorite book is Asimovs "The End of Eternity". its simply awesome.

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510452)

Foundation anyone?

How about Paycheck?.

Re:Asmiov did it! (2)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511188)

Foundation anyone?

How about Paycheck?.

Philip K Dick is awesome, and his short stories have been made into many more movies than people suspect.

Re:Asmiov did it! (2)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#37513330)

Philip K Dick is awesome, but his short stories have been made into many more astonishingly bad movies than people suspect. ,br> FTFY.

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511204)

If I recall correctly, one of the postulates of Foundation was that the general populace should not be aware of the existence of the prediction mechanism, or it would fail in its purpose. Also, the groups of people whose actions were being predicted was so large that an individual person's actions should have little bearing on the results.

This concept has been summed up quite well by Agent K in Men In Black:
"A person is smart. People are stupid, panicky animals... and you know it."

Re:Asmiov did it! (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37513758)

Yep, until a the mutant Mule showed up. Of course, no predictive science can guess when a mutation of that power will show up. Now I'm going to have to go read the series again, been too long.

Psychohistory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509890)

Is this time to create the foundations?

False positive rate? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509892)

"Spiking" before the Egyptian and Libyan uprisings is nothing impressive, without more information about when it has and hasn't "spiked".

Not really (4, Insightful)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509894)

It's much easier to look for spikes or what your data looks like *after* an important event has taken place, than to actually predict them. I'm sure that even if I look at my computer logs on a significant date, there's most likely something there that I would class as interesting or out of the ordinary, in hindsight, too...

Re:Not really (1)

mywhitewolf (1923488) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509966)

i agree, hindsight makes this sort of prediction look a lot easier than it actually is. But it also wouldn't surprise me if there was a flair-up of news (or particular type of news) that sets a pre-cursor to the naked ape ignoring authority. So definantly worth the effort, but I wouldn't be holding my breath for an accurate prediction system that's better than even a basic application of common sense just yet.

algorithms - almost as useful as common sense

Re:Not really (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511214)

algorithms - almost as useful as common sense

Or, "Algorithms - applied common sense for an unattended environment"

Re:Not really (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509968)

It could work before too. The predictions will be self-fulfilling prophecies that provoke the start of the revolutions.

Re:Not really (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509992)

The obvious question that wasn't in TFA was - did they go back and look at other 'spikes' to see if they meant anything? From the article, the whole process seemed pretty weak intellectually - in the weeks leading up to Mubarak's fall it was clear to anyone with an IQ higher than a typical US politician^Hsnail that something was going to happen - either Mubarak was going to get canned or a lot of Egyptians were going to get in a shitload of trouble.

I don't see anything here that isn't in Google Trends.

??

Re:Not really (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510112)

> did they go back and look at other 'spikes' to see if they meant anything?

Even that won't necessarily work. You can't predict the future of share prices by using past data. You can perfectly predict events that have already happened using earlier events, but that doesn't mean it'll work for future data/events.

Yes, revolutions are going to happen in fucked up/unfair countries, not ones which are stable and sensible. So, Denmark: no, Egypt: possibly, who knows/cares?

Re:Not really (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511232)

You can't predict the future of share prices by using past data.

No, but you can make a fairly-accurate educated guess about the price of Company X's share price tomorrow, based on the news today. The main issue about attempting to predict the future based on history is to know enough about the effect you are attempting to predict to understand its causes, and therefore be able to accurately detect the symptoms in time to react to them appropriately.

Of course, if we're detecting revolutions, then a fascist state would simply jail or otherwise dispose of anyone who performed any action they deemed to be a precursor to fomenting rebellion, thus removing any visible precursors. Of course, doing that might be the final issue that pushes the unrest over the cusp, and starts the revolution...

It's a sticky subject on a slippery slope.

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510054)

it is normal scientific work to test simulators by feeding them with true data up to some date in the past and look if their simulation up to current date is accurate. i have not RTFA, but there is nothing odd in the (short) summary here to me...

the real question is what does it predict for USA and europe... :)

this already exists for years: Webbot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509898)

Already exists:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_Bot

Re:this already exists for years: Webbot (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511282)

Interesting project, but their predictions exit their scope of possible indicators. For instance, natural disasters don't have societal indicators.

As for the stock market, it has defied analysis for as long as it has existed... although that may very well be due to interested parties acting upon potentially accurate predictions and skewing the anticipated actions, thus invalidating the predictions.

Call me back when they can accurately and reliably tell me whether it will rain next Tuesday.

wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37511974)

For instance, natural disasters don't have societal indicators..

o rly? the teabaggers told me hurricanes hit places where lots of buttseckz is had.

*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509902)

Yeah, that's great but I'm afraid the hard part about predictions is the "pre" bit i.e. you have to make them before things happen. Tell me today that there's going to be a revolution starting in Algeria in the next month and if it happens then I'll pay attention to the next couple of predictions too. But if you say nothing now and then well me in a month's time that your predictor spiked before whatever's happened in the meantime then, well, I'm not going to care am I? Now, does this thing have some actual predictions about, you know, the future, or not?

Re:*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510308)

Way to not read the article, champ.

Someone alert Art Bell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509904)

n/t

Psychohistory? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509916)

For some reason this resembles "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov.

Big brother was right (1)

tanujt (1909206) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509926)

Reality is what you make of it. More specifically, what the social and news media make of it.

Maybe they should apply it to Occupy Wall Street (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509930)

I can already tell you what the software will return, though.

Re:Maybe they should apply it to Occupy Wall Stree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510326)

It is unfortunate that non-violent protests of this sort will simply be ignored. Here is a prediction: this won't change any minds on Wall Street or Capitol Hill, and most regular citizens won't stand behind it because they instinctively know it is (almost) pointless.

Prior to Bailout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509954)

How did it go prior to congress bailing out the banks?

urbansurvival? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509972)

from Singularity Hub describes software which, when fed news, makes predictions about forthcoming events

George Ure gets really feisty and hot under the collar every time someone mentions this and claims its new... He's been doing this for years now, probably a decade now.

http://urbansurvival.com/week.htm [urbansurvival.com]

If you want to know what Ure is doing, you can pretty much copy-paste his name on the report and roll all the dates in the report back about a decade.

It would be much like the reaction if I wrote my own crappy homemade webserver this week, and then sent press releases to the entire universe explaining how I just wrote the worlds first webserver and not only that but its also the worlds first open source webserver and carefully avoid mentioning any prior art.

Re:urbansurvival? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510098)

Predictive software, in itself, hasn't been an "idea" for a long time. The very first "real" computer application was churning out ballistics trajectory tables, which is itself prediction (albeit based on laws that are well-understood, or at least repeatable). Weather forecasting is obviously predictive. All automated stock-market trading software is predictive.

Having the idea is trivial. Actually making it work is the ENTIRE matter.

Re:urbansurvival? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#37513380)

Predictive software, in itself, hasn't been an "idea" for a long time. The very first "real" computer application was churning out ballistics trajectory tables, which is itself prediction

That is only "predictive" in the trivial sense that I predict that, if in five minutes, you ask me "what is 1 + 1" the answer will be "2", because your question is in the future.

Re:urbansurvival? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510184)

Heck, I've been working on predictive software for more than a decade and a half. The real accomplishment is only when you have something that works.

Megatrends: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37509974)

The whole premise of the book Megatrends was based on this sort of analysis. Keep a count of the headlines in newspapers on various subjects. See how that changes over time.

It sorta works. Sometimes. Intel agencies do this sort of thing so they aren't as easily blindsided. It's not a new idea.

When do we revolt against these Tea Party assholes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37509994)

They have shut down the system. They should be put up for treason and executed.

Re:When do we revolt against these Tea Party assho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510162)

You can't revolt against people who don't have power. The rest of your post makes even less sense. I realize you are trolling, but back in my day trolls made sense even if they were offering pure fiction. I shudder for the future when people are too incompetent to even troll correctly.

Re:When do we revolt against these Tea Party assho (-1, Flamebait)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510410)

The Tea Party members of congress mostly signed a fealty pledge to Grover Norquist not to raise taxes no matter what. Technically speaking, they ought to have been tried and convicted for sedition. You can't sign a pledge of that nature which has the effect of subverting democracy and expect to get away with it.

Of course, seditious activities tend to be tolerated when it's a GOP pol that does it.

Re:When do we revolt against these Tea Party assho (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510576)

The Tea Party members of congress mostly signed a fealty pledge to Grover Norquist not to raise taxes no matter what.

That became pretty well a litmus test for all republicans. I am not aware of a single republican in congress who did not sign the pledge, and for that matter several "blue-dog" democrats have signed it as well. I thank you for using the work fealty to describe the pledge, as it is very much a religious oath to many of the members.

You can't sign a pledge of that nature which has the effect of subverting democracy and expect to get away with it.

Well, the Tea Party - and many of their GOP colleagues - view the government as acting in violation of the constitution on which it is based. Hence they see themselves as committing no seditious act; rather they believe they are aiding our democracy by bringing government down through their pledge.

And naturally, they see no government employee as being worthy of their own job. For some reason a certain GOP presidential hopeful who has never in her life held a non-government job [wikipedia.org] doesn't seem to see that as a problem.

Re:When do we revolt against these Tea Party assho (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37512494)

Mod parent up!

Why was he modded down? What he says is true. A small minority forced the majority to sign a pledge to submit the voters they represent. That should be illegal as the constitution is who they should pledge too and look at for their citizens

Re:When do we revolt against these Tea Party assho (1)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 2 years ago | (#37514546)

Sedition 1. incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government. 2. any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion. 3. Archaic . rebellious disorder. 1: Tea party folks or democrats that have signed the pledge are involved in the process doing nothing illegal. They were voted in by the folks they govern. 2: Maybe this is where your coming from, it's the closest I can come. Poverty (as defined in the US) is way up. Our current jails hold 2.5 million people. The murder rate would be approx 5X of what is currently reported if it wasn't for major advances in medical technology and 911. We are going broke rapidly. Contemplate the "rebellion" if just one day, 45 million folks didn't get thier food stamps. The government is spread too thin and we're up to borrowing $.43 to quell our masses. They are actually PART of the government.. not sure how you rebel against yourself. 3: Mostly, that's what the teaparty is trying to avert. Curious, how does a balanced budget subvert democracy? The tea party got WAY off track, it was suppose to be a social movement around personal responsibility. I used to be a tea party member until there were tea party leaders. At that point, I bailed.

This just in! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510002)

This just in: Using historical analysis and hindsight we can build a system that predicts events! Amazing!

That's nothing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510010)

That's nothing - my supercomputer predicts the lottery results the day after the draw!

Needs some smoothing (3, Interesting)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510018)

The graph of the "spike" was very unimpressive. The signal-to-noise ratio looks pretty small.

I can do that too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510030)

if( opersionRate * timeSinceLastRevolution > criticalPoint ) return true;

And the moment they get something like this... (4, Insightful)

thePuck77 (1311533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510048)

...we will see martial law declared preemptively, military and police forces will start flooding areas before anything can happen, and people who the computer says will be key figures in the revolution will be preemptively jailed and/or executed.

Don't get your hopes up, kids. This isn't the Foundation, and it won't be used to save civilization, it will be used to keep people already in power from even having a chance of losing that power. If you haven't noticed, the folks running the show think the only value of civilization is that it gives them a system within which to gain power and wealth.

Re:And the moment they get something like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37511070)

Nah. All they've managed to do is detect the influence of the CIA setting everything up.

Re:And the moment they get something like this... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511464)

They should run it on all the news leading up to 9/11.

Of course we don't need a supercomputer for that. Plenty of humans were able to see the signs of that coming months or even years ahead of time -- PBS specials on the evil Taliban. Bush administration officials being told the number one priority was war with Saddam. Build up of the National Guard. Bankers being told not to go to work at the WTC. Unocal pipeline plans. Hell, John McLaughlin predicted it nearly to the exact month, ten years beforehand.

"I want you to go get these news stories off my website. I want you to call these major newspapers. I want you to find out if these statements were true, by the White House, about preparing for martial law. And I want you to let them know that if there is any terrorism, we know who to blame." -Alex Jones, 7/25/01

Re:And the moment they get something like this... (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511326)

And the moment they get something like this...

...we will see martial law declared preemptively, military and police forces will start flooding areas before anything can happen, and people who the computer says will be key figures in the revolution will be preemptively jailed and/or executed.

... except that (according to most "psychohistory" proponents), the information you get is not that granular.

Also, declaring martial law and flooding the potential problem area with enforcers could be just what those fomenting rebellion are waiting for, to finally get the "little guy" involved in something that wasn't (up to that point) affecting him.

"No, you can't go outside, they'll shoot you."
"Oh, yeah? Watch me."

Re:And the moment they get something like this... (1)

Nick_13ro (1099641) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511858)

And the moment they get something like this...

...we will see martial law declared preemptively, military and police forces will start flooding areas before anything can happen, and people who the computer says will be key figures in the revolution will be preemptively jailed and/or executed.

... except that (according to most "psychohistory" proponents), the information you get is not that granular.

Also, declaring martial law and flooding the potential problem area with enforcers could be just what those fomenting rebellion are waiting for, to finally get the "little guy" involved in something that wasn't (up to that point) affecting him.

"No, you can't go outside, they'll shoot you." "Oh, yeah? Watch me."

It doesn't work quite like that. For people to remain gathered against the government they must at least have the expectation of success. Unarmed people will not continue to demonstrate for long in a square where the army has no problem shooting to kill. You can see that with Tiananmen square, the failed rebellions in Myanman in 1988 and 2007 and the one this year in Bahrein for ex. Wherever the army is willing to kill the protesters the state wins. And from that you can safely conclude that the only place a revolution succeeds is where the demonstrators are a cover for a coup plot, most of the time with foreign help. As for this supercomputer, it probably picks up the pattern of CIA instigators working at getting even more pliable governments in place.

Re:And the moment they get something like this... (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37512018)

... and if the first guy to go outside and spit on the newly-drawn battle lines get shot, the next ones to come out might be carrying (and aiming and firing) weapons.

This is somewhat similar in basic concept to "You don't have to outrun the dragon, you just have to outrun the halfling," assuming you convinced the halfling to go into the dragon's den in the first place.

Re:And the moment they get something like this... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37512758)

This isn't the Foundation, and it won't be used to save civilization, it will be used to keep people already in power from even having a chance of losing that power.

Arguably Foundation also was people in power trying to make sure they never had a chance of losing that power.

Why do you need a supercomputer for that? (3, Funny)

edibobb (113989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510066)

There's one revolution every 365.25 days or so. Why do you need a supercomputer for that?

My car can do this! (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510074)

revolutions per minute! although it is more calculating then predicting.

Re:My car can do this! (1)

mcswell (1102107) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510898)

reminds me of the line at the bottom of yesterday's (?) /.: "Q: How many Marxists does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: None, the light bulb contains the seeds of its own revolution."

This is kind of stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510092)

And not really that "new" if you ask me, but this sort of "marketing" makes sense from a business point of view. Oppressive governments like Mubarak's (and, I guess, Obama's) are in the market for this sort of thing right now; there's no better time than now to con them into buying, or funding more research for, a magic crystal ball.

Re:This is kind of stupid (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#37513508)

Oppressive governments like Mubarak's (and, I guess, Obama's)

I'd love for some of youright wing retards to spend a bit of time in a genuinely oppressive regime, then maybe you'd stop thinking that having to pay tax was the moral equivalent of being tortured to death for reading the wrong newspaper.

Danger of feedback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510134)

What if the markets start using it as input for automatic trading?
Couldn't it affect prices negatively and therefore, triger social events?
This could be more dangerous than most would think...

Re:Danger of feedback (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511348)

How would you go about compensating for the impact of using the generated data as the basis for massive amounts of trading?
How do you compensate for competing predictive engines, doing the same thing with the same data but using different algorithms?

The problem with attempting to utilize a predictive system to influence a decision is that acting on the predicted outcome changes the outcome, invalidating the prediction.

predicting past revolutions is hard (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510152)

But predicting future ones is even more challenging.
Zzzz.

Re:predicting past revolutions is hard (2)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511404)

Actually I'd say it's down right impossible to predict something after it's already happened

Re:predicting past revolutions is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37513966)

postdicting; it's the new thing.

Re:predicting past revolutions is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37512416)

Predicting revolutions is easy:

Step 1: Wealth distributed in an unambiguously unfair way .. check!
Step 2: Cost of basic necessities skyrocketing .. check!
Step 3: Poor people armed and trained to fight .. check!
Step 4: Do something dramatically bad to spark everyone's pent up frustration ..

Ok, well 3/4 aint bad?

Supercomputer? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510284)

But CNN told me we just need to check facebook for the latest revolution. They and all the other main news sources did endless interviews of people from Egypt who were naming their children facebook in honor of their revolutions.

If 2010 taught us anything, it is that no revolution, ever, anywhere, happened without facebook. All hail facebook and its indisputable power to bring about justice and peace!

Source code of program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510322)

if ( article.containsIgnoreCase("Libya")) {
return true;'
}

worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510364)

even if this software worked 100%, it would predict its authors' priorities, not actual events. who defined "revolution" for this purpose? is a peaceful change in political parties a revolution? is a series of failed demonstrations a revolution? what about a series of brutally repressed and hushed over demonstrations?

what about obscure places no one in america cares about, can it predict events there?

if you look at that chart, which supposedly spots the "revolutionary" event when U.S. bombed Iraq in the first Iraq conflict, it shows events that were news in the States, not worldwide.
where is the fall of the berlin wall ?
where is the breakup of the Soviet Union?

anyways, its impressive only in so far as its successful in plotting its authors' priorities

Like on Wall Street Today? (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510488)

What's a "revolution"? The revolts in Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Syria this year? How about the people who have been "occupying" Wall Street the past week? Does getting maced by the cops for no reason at all [dailykos.com] make a revolt a revolution?

Re:Like on Wall Street Today? (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37512568)

I am praying. We need one and the word was not out and free speech zones were too far awy from Wall Street or the cameras of the media.

If the unemployed got together and rioted 1960s style we would see some real changes. The media's constant attention to it changed society and the country and we need that today

Re:Like on Wall Street Today? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#37513638)

If it's people demonstrating against the system overseas, they're revolutionaries and brave freedom fighters. If they do it in your own country they're trouble-making hippies and anarchists who don't wash and have probably not done a decent day's work in their lives.

Predicting Revolutions (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#37510560)

I wonder if it has yet predicted the coming American uprising?

Re:Predicting Revolutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37511774)

The average age is quite a bit older in the U.S. than in the Arab Spring nations, also, those in power here have -much- finer-grained control over us. Ain't gonna happen.

Re:Predicting Revolutions (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37512498)

YOu know I was really hoping the protests in Wall Street would be as bad as the ones for the WTO and Greece. It turns out they are not or the free speech zones are too far away from Wall Street where no one with cameras can hear

No offense if, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37510766)

I stick on crystal balls, tea leaves reading and medium?

Hello, revolutions predicting software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37511220)

Here's one to analyze for you. December 12, 2012.

Have fun and don't overheat.

Syria, Bahrain, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511240)

They didn't mention any of those countries. Doesn't seem very good to me....

I have noticed that similar nations tend to move the same way (sounds obvious), All the Baathist systems are dying in the ME.

Even in the west, all the democratic nations are facing strange "historic" electoral results. The US, Britain, Sweden, Australia and many other democratic countries have all had the equivalent of a 'hung parliament' and in the case of Sweden (were a 'hung parliament' is the norm) an outright swing to the right.

Re:Syria, Bahrain, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37511302)

Of course not. . . the Pentagon has classified the computer systems that predicted those "revolutions". Come on now. ;)

Repost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37511574)

Last week's news, made new again!

Signs (2)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511600)

Signs of crime: screaming or cries for help.
-- from the Brown Security Crime Prevention Pamphlet
~ [unix fortunes database]

Signs of revolution: screaming or cries for change.

Works in the stock market (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 2 years ago | (#37511884)

Right now some very indirect methods are being used to predict the stock market. There seem to be happy words and sad or moody words. By studying conversations on the net for happy word and sad word content the market can be predicted more accurately than with any other method.
                As for people mouthing off about revolutions and dramatic actions during hard times they really need to moderate their words a bit before they get what they claim they want. Germany had a revolution and ended up with Hitler. Russia had a revolution and ended up with Stalin. Improvements in life tend to happen with orderly progress and orderly change. Revolutions usually simply do not work.

*cough* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37513034)

*cough* curve-fitting *cough*

Weather a better predictor (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37513124)

See PRI story below... But first:

Mining news stories will only tell you what people already knew... Osama Bin Laden? If you asked any experts in the past decade where he was, the answer was always "Pakistan". Everyone assumed he was in the tribal areas, and were wrong. In hindsight, it's easy to say they were within X km, but that information also ceases to be useful in hindsight...

Anyhow, this story isn't a complete waste. It segues nicely into a different story from PRI a couple months ago, which DOES make predictions. It is based on weather, and specifically predicts how many politically unstable countries are likely to experience "violence" (an uprising) in a given year:

http://www.pri.org/stories/science/environment/global-violence-linked-to-severe-weather5064.html [pri.org]

The Revolution WIll Not Be Predicted (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37514096)

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Seriously though, these things are impossible to predict, so far, because they depend on remarkable individuals upon whom great events pivot -- and those remarkable aspects are within us all next to the fear and the hate, and they could come out of any of us given the right combination of events.

Or not.

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