This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
It scares me to see the content of the new Math. I thought I was going to find them attempting to analyze all of the studies done everywhere. But No, they are trying to analyze the court records as a scientific effort.
How do you quantify the nuance associated with the bureaucrats acting humanely or inhumanely. How do you create the math to handle the OR i put in there. I had an AND. I am stuttering right now trying to determine which variation it should be. OR and AND cause me no small amount of stress day to day. Logically they mean something. Grammar doesn't completely line up with logic.
What results can we pull out of court records? Are we assessing the lies going on? Does any truth pass through a courtroom? We already know how effective lie detectors are.
A new math to find anything in court records is doomed to the same irrational existence as PRISM (or whatever the next All consuming data center is called). Part of me supports the researcher. Dedication to a path is what we expect from scientists. Having researchers research irrational concepts isn't bad. It is the justification at the end that will haunt us.
I searched around a bit to see if there was any more information on what the Santa Fe Institute is doing with its analysis of the Old Bailey criminal court records.
This first link from a few months ago, indicates that they are trying to find out whether they can predict whether a guilty verdict is going to occur from earlier events or conversations in the trial:
In this second link the researcher Simon DeDeo seems to have mainly picked up from his computer analysis that there was a significant amount of liberalisation in British attitudes to criminals over the course of 250 years:
I think most people would know that from a knowledge of history (pretty much everybody in Britain knows that people used to be hung for what would be considered minor offences today) rather than needing to carry out a computer analysis in which a strong signal jumps out at them.
The second link also gives a description of the research institute at the end of the article: "The Santa Fe Institute is a private, not-for-profit, independent research and education center founded in 1984 where top researchers from around the world gather to study and understand the theoretical foundations and patterns underlying the complex systems that are most critical to human society – economies, ecosystems, conflict, disease, human social institutions, and the global condition."
It looks to me like this Institute is a bunch of people who are enthusiastic advocates of "scientism", the belief that you can solve all the world's problems by science.