Bar chart of duration of Chinese dynasties versus time, with a slight downward trend.

Publication: Navigating the Currents of History

Publication

This piece is part of a collection of papers on organizing world history by Rick Szostak of the University of Alberta.

“Navigating the Currents of History” (World History Connected, University of Illinois Press, February 2018) represents an attempt to create a generic, but unified conceptual language to describe a broad range of phenomena, ranging from history to the geosciences. The goal such an effort is to make it easier to compare diverse phenomena to recognize similarities and also to develop a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles that unify these diverse areas.

Bar chart of duration of Chinese dynasties versus time, with a slight downward trend.

Duration of Chinese dynasties versus time

HistoryQuant Update—November 2016 to January 2018

(It has been over a year since the last update, but I needed to temporarily reduce activities to spend more time dealing with family health issues. Hence the update hiatus.)

Summary

There have been two areas of special effort. The first is to develop a generic but unified language that describes a broad range of phenomena, ranging from history to planetary processes. The second is to delve further into physical and geographic data and analysis.

Recent work has focused upon entering more data into the Colossus world history simulator and analyzing the relations between additional dynasties.

Presentations

  • “The Colossus History Grid: integrating network and spatial models of world history,” Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association—Beyond Social Science History: Knowledge in an Interdisciplinary World, Chicago, Illinois, 17-20 November 2016
  • “Lessons About Historical, Economic and Resource Bubbles from the Rise and Fall of Spain’s Golden New World,” World History Association Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, 22 – 24 June 2017.
  • “Workshop: Feeding Empires—Quantitative, Digital & Graphic Simulations for History Using Food Cases,” World History Association Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, 22 – 24 June 2017.
  • “Emergy and Efficiency Analysis of Historical Bubbles,” 10th Biennial Emergy Research Conference, Gainesville, Florida, January 25-27 2018.

HistoryQuant Update—May 2016

It has been several months since the last update, but work has been continuing in several areas.

Research

HistoryQuant continues to conduct research in the following areas.

  • Several forms of differential equations have been developed for efficiency discounted exponential growth (EDEG). Although some of these equations are not be directly solvable, they are be iteratively processed by computer programs, so results can still be determined.
  • Am improved EDEG model has been produced to model mining region production and applied to a revised model for the Colorado San Juans mining region.
  • Colossus Model of World History: a computer simulation using an EDEG approach has been further developed to model major dynasties during 1600 BCE to 1917 CE. Additional dynasties have been added. The timing of the dynasties is still highly empirical, but the rise and fall are based upon growth discounted by a linear discount function.
  • Microeconomics is being expressed in thermodynamic terms. This will help better analyze dynasties and economic bubbles.
  • Other areas of research are underway, and will be reported when further results are available. They include: 1) production-consumption functions for exhaustible resources, 2) transitions from exhaustible resource economies to renewable resource economies, and 3) Dynasty structure

Community and Winter Institute

  • The development of a science of history and society was presented and discussed extensively at a Winter Institute in January-February 2016 with sessions in Florida and California, in part, to discuss key aspects of developing a science of history. The Big Sustainability Institute was formed as a result of those discussions to apply the results of HistoryQuant work to sustainability challenges.
  • If you wish to be added to the Big Sustainability announcement list, please email mpaciotola at gmail dot com

Conference Presentation

  • A case study based upon an efficiency-discounted exponential growth model for the Colorado San Juans mining region was updated and presented at the Richard Robinson Business History Workshop 2016: “Business and Environment in History: Dealing in Nature and Ecology, Pasts and Futures” at Portland State University in April.
Winter Institute 2016, San Diego

Winter Institute 2016, San Diego