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News Applying scientific methods to solve syrian war

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  1. Apr 3, 2015 #1
    i am asking is it possible to apply scientific methods to stop the syrian war , or it is just too much away from reality and real life

    note : i am from syria and this question is not making me sleep at all ....
     
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  3. Apr 3, 2015 #2

    mfb

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    You can certainly use scientific methods to evaluate advantages and disadvantages of decisions. And that gets done.
    You cannot derive an equation that will stop the war, however.
     
  4. Apr 4, 2015 #3
    A long shot: if you had enough data about human reactions to things, about the people involved and a good enough model of the human brain (equations), then with enough computing power you could find out how the people and the country (and the whole world...) would react to certain actions and you could calculate what would stop the war. Although this means modeling the whole world with humans in it, which is not possible by a long shot, but requires an extremely long shot or an even longer shot.
     
  5. Apr 4, 2015 #4
    Divide by random Syrians in to a few groups and test what works (keeping them under Asad regime, keep them under some international coalition rule, under Kurdish, under ISIS)?

    In RL ideas of using hard science usually fail, because you have very limited number of observations and too complex subjects.
     
  6. Apr 4, 2015 #5
    they are like we all see doing that , i think the main problem that we are trying to find a fixd system to work with ,
    what if we we create a set of systems that changed with time ?
     
  7. Apr 4, 2015 #6

    russ_watters

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    Who is "you"? Assad? While most people will use at least some logic in their decision-making process, the logic applied isn't the primary issue: the starting premises are where the differences are and problem lies.

    For example, if logic dictates that in war you use the most effective weapons available in order to end the war expeditiously, one might conclusde that using chemcial weapons is a good idea. So Assad uses them, whereas we won't, because it makes us feel bad about ourselves to use them. How illogical is that?! Sounds to me like Assad is being the more logical one here.

    So is that what we really want?
     
  8. Apr 4, 2015 #7

    mfb

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    It does not, because you have to include all relevant effects of your actions (including international laws, votes, personal preferences, ...). And that means "we" won't use chemical weapons. How is that in disagreement with that I said?
     
  9. Apr 4, 2015 #8

    russ_watters

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    The scientific method is rational: personal preference doesnt have to be. As soon as you inject a non-factual premise into a line of logic, the scientific method is violated.
     
  10. Apr 4, 2015 #9
    So we first let an area to be conquered by ISIS, and the working hypothesis is that whoever comes next would be treated as liberator by local population? ;)

    [assuming that you're trying to model this war] Actually it would be not much more challenging to add to such model that chemical weapons is a taboo. You can assume that using it you loose a prohibitively high amount of reputation capital for a civilized country.

    Clarification: I'm not saying that making a reasonable quality model is feasible, I'm just saying that if you had such, modelling such "irrationality" concerning chemical weapons would not be hard.

    [Yes, economic departments breed psychopaths, why are you asking? :D ]
     
  11. Apr 4, 2015 #10

    russ_watters

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    Clearly, Assad disagrees with your assumption. Apparently, he doesn't value "reputation capital" as much as you do.
     
  12. Apr 4, 2015 #11
    the only problem is the observations is limited ... what if we start some paralele change in the syrian society that will made the war is not a good idea or a silver bullet
     
  13. Apr 4, 2015 #12
    It doesn't necessarily mean that, because not all things have been considered, for example whether you will make more enemies by using chemical weapons than you will kill using them.

    We can use science to determine what will win the war, and another question is whether they will do what it takes. Both can be found out, we can study the irrationality of people and come up with conclusions. Needless to say we don't yet have enough of an understanding of human psychology and of human brains to do this kind of modeling.
     
  14. Apr 4, 2015 #13

    mfb

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    Depends on the question you ask. You can apply the scientific method to find "What is the best set of actions if I want to get the best expectation value for the result, where 'best' is arbitrarily defined by my preferences".

    The inputs to the model do not have to follow some deeper logic, but the evaluation of the actions to take can do that.
     
  15. Apr 4, 2015 #14

    Evo

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