Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We Are Now One Year Away From Global Riots, Complex Systems Theorists Say

What’s the number one reason we riot? The plausible, justifiable motivations of trampled-upon humanfolk to fight back are many—poverty, oppression, disenfranchisement, etc—but the big one is more primal than any of the above. It’s hunger, plain and simple. If there’s a single factor that reliably sparks social unrest, it’s food becoming too scarce or too expensive. So argues a group of complex systems theorists in Cambridge, and it makes sense.
In a 2011 paper, researchers at the Complex Systems Institute unveiled a model that accurately explained why the waves of unrest that swept the world in 2008 and 2011 crashed when they did. The number one determinant was soaring food prices. Their model identified a precise threshold for global food prices that, if breached, would lead to worldwide unrest.

The MIT Technology Review explains how CSI’s model works: “The evidence comes from two sources. The first is data gathered by the United Nations that plots the price of food against time, the so-called food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN. The second is the date of riots around the world, whatever their cause.”  Read More...

Sunday, May 26, 2013 connects people who need to send something, somewhere, with those travelling that way. connects people who need to send something, somewhere, with those travelling that way. Jibli is pronounced dʒi:b li: which means Bring Me in Arabic.

Founded in Dec 2011 and based in Paris, is a social platform that connects people who are travelling, with those who want to ship something. The site was designed and developed by two young Algerian information technology engineers. is based on social networks to build trusted relations between people. It could be to send your keys to your roommate who lost them when you're on holidays, or maybe a sudden desire to taste your grama's delicious cookies. You can also just carry stuff for people to make some money.

The newborn site provides a platform for those seeking to get round the classic excess baggage weight problem. A search engine allows users to see who is available to transport certain objects, what routes they are travelling on and the price offered for the service. Similarly, those who may have some spare room in their suitcase can post an advertisement stating their departure and arrival cities and can search for objects to transport.

The concept is simple and easy to use and is just a way of formalising a practice which is already in vogue among those who are often led to travel, especially young passengers.

Link to