From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki
Is There a Physics of Society? January 10-12, 2008, Santa Fe NM
Friday, January 12, 2008
9:50 - 10:30 David Gibson (homepage)
Events and Their Aftermath
Society contains some durable stuff -- like buildings and power lines -- but the basic units of society are not objects (or people) but events. Events are linked contemporaneously and sequentially: events compete to happen, and what happens now constrains what can happen next. Actions are a subset of events, specifically those attributable to a purposeful agent. Action linkages are especially stark in conversation, given the one-speaker rule and relevance requirements. This is consequential for people trying to pursue pre-existing objectives and for analysts modeling the relationship between conversational behavior and pre-existing attributes and relations. I illustrate with results from a statistical study of turn-taking/addressing and network effects thereupon, a qualitative study of the grammatical environments that invite interruption, and a simulation study of encounter scheduling.