16 August 2009

Reading this; The Drunkard's walk

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:37 am


    This is one of those wonderful examples of a phsyics problem transformed to a social sciences problem.

    The drunkard's walk is the analogy used for Brownian Motion, which was "solved" by Einestien and further expanded by by Richard Feynman in his Path Integral expension used for Quantum ElectroDynamics (QED). The path integral solution to the route taken by a particle as it moves from the source to the destination is not deterministic but probabilistic - the many paths soultion to the equations of motion.

    Like the Unvertainty Principle - which is also co-opted by every social scientist - the Drunkard's walk in social sciences is void of any of the underlying physics and mathemtatics.

    Leonard Mlodinow's other book "Feynman's Rainbow" is also a social science reinterpretation of the underlying principles of path integrals without any of the actual principles being used.

    Here's the basic starting point

    But like all good social sciences, the words are the only thing left of the concept. The powerful reuse of words in the complete absence of the orginal underlying physics is the gift of social science.

    I say all this having met Feynam, 1978, UC Irvine, Particle Physics, in Fred Reines's course on Deep Inelastic Scattering and solved the path integral equations of the "Drunkard's Walk" for the electron - proton collision ;>)

    Keep up the great posts

    Glen B. Alleman