Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A dynamical systems analogy of society

Lets consider individuals in a human society as monomers. These monomers can interact in different ways to form larger complexes, with each complex having different functional capabilities. The reason why monomers might come together may be different. For example, in a modern company of workers, the monomers come together because of money - the salary provides the attractive force that brings the monomers together to form a larger cluster. Families are formed due to a different form of attractive force. Friends circle and so on have a different (maybe similar) force. Non-profit organizations or other occupations that are not motivated by salary (i.e. intrinsic reward based systems) attract monomers for an entirely different reason. I think this type of attractive force forms a larger variety of complexes, many of which interact more closely with the world outside human society (based on a few observations).

Now, lets consider society as a system with multiple stable states. Each stable state is defined by the types of complexes that exist in that state. For example, in one stable state, all the complexes are formed by salary-driven forces. In another stable state, the salary-driven forces are weak and therefore, intrinsic-reward forces are responsible for forming complexes. In another stable state, perhaps other forces are responsible for the complex formation. The question is: what causes these systems, i.e. societies, to shift from one state to another?

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