Wars are always seen as a random set of events that lead to a human disaster if we are not to believe the ample conspiracy theories available in the market. But rarely has anyone claimed of making a model that fits well enough both the wars of yesterdays and tomorrows. Here in a recent Ted Talks event, physicist Sean Gourley and his team of mathematicians and researchers have made a mathematical model that will allow us to pick out an eventual course of the conflict and stop it from happening by addressing it beforehand. Interestingly enough, Sean wasn’t set out to find this solution. He and his team were only studying the cause of wars when a possible mathematical model began to appear. He and his team got to work and found out that this pattern was followed by each major conflict in the past and was entirely possible it could be the basis of future of wars as well.
Here is the amazing piece from Sean’ Ted Talk:
Arriving at this model was not an easy thing achieve as several inter disciplinarians were heavily involved in the process. How can a historian and mathematician agree about causes of war when the data is not accurate enough, and opinions are always conflicting. To achieve this, they all had to conduct deep research in each other’s fields and understand what happens in a different light altogether. One positive thing that was evident that all forms of conflict had a downward trend with a slope of 2.5. Surely that seems odd since the conflicts in the recent century of so have been more devastating than the entire history of wars put together.
But, if we look closely, the same thing happens again and again. There is a violent reckoning after a few centuries, and then there is peace. But, when the researchers plotted it on a logarithmic scale, they found out that it was almost a perfect descending trend. So, in a way, the age-old theory of human harmony was proved which states that mankind will eventually find peace and learn to live with each other. Iraq was the first conflict they studied, and it couldn’t have been a better choice. It was an unnecessary and random war that engulfed a major part of the Middle East into a constant state of war and rebellion. As they went more and more into past wars, they found out that each of them resulted in exactly the same results clustered around a negative trend of 2.5. So, there was some kind of similarity in human conflict, and this is the equation that the trend follows:
Where P is the probability of the event, x is the number of people killed, C is a constant, and a is the slope of the of the conflict’s trend line. In this small equation, every major conflict can be explained. How cool or maybe how academic is this?
If this works, governments and institutions will be all over it to help them bring them peace back into their folds. But, with this knowing could come a new paradigm-shifting nature of war just like the way guerilla wars have changed everything in recent times. So, even though the aim is to end wars, this equation could prove to be a game changer for the war industry. Think about it!