Mudcat Café message #1528280 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1528280
Posted By: Amos
25-Jul-05 - 08:37 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From a correspondent:

very interesting article in the Economist (subscription required,
but recently syndicated in a bunch of other papers, so may be
elsewhere on the web):

http://tinyurl.com/a73bt points to the economist story, which opens:

ON JULY 19th, IraqBodyCount, a group of academics who are attempting
to monitor the casualties of the conflict in that country, published
a report suggesting that almost 25,000 civilians have been killed in
it so far. In other words, 34 a day. But that is an average. on some
days the total is lower, and some higher -- occasionally much higher.

It is this variation around the mean that interests Dr. Neil Johnson
of the University of Oxford and Michael Spagat of Royal Holloway
College, London. They think it is possible to trace and model the
development of wars from the patterns of casualties they throw up.

The groundwork for this sort of study was laid by Lewis Fry
Richardson, a British physicist, with a paper on the mathematics of
war that was published in 1948....

The outcome was startling: rather than varying wildly or
chaotically, the probability of individual wars having particular
numbers of casualties followed a mathematical relationship known as a
power law....

Terrorist attacks within G7 countries could be distinguished from
those inside non-G7 countries by their different indices....

_______________

Meanwhile, there's a related story on Nature: http://www.nature.com/>
news/2005/050711/full/050711-5.html


Net, net: the war in Iraq is approaching the same pattern as the
long-running war in Colombia.