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The Multiple Models Approach

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The Multiple Models Approach ObjectivesAgendaBurning Man BasicsWhat’s Burning Man – Part 1What’s Burning man – Part 2Physical Layout - TechnicalPhysical Layout - ThematicBurning QuestionsMultiple Models ApproachWhat are these?Multiple Answers PossibleSame Object, Different ShadowTriangulate the Underlying ImageDebate DetourModeling / Analytical ToolsTool #1: MemesA meme is…More About MemesA meme might…Example ApplicationStrategies for Spreading MemesSpecific Questions for Burning ManTool #2: Cultural TheoryCultural Theory is…Grid-GroupGeometric DefinitionExample ApplicationAnother ApplicationResource ManagementEnvironmental StancesCultural Theory’s Meta-Model HypothesisChallenges to EgalitarianismTool #3: Multi-Agent MappingSteps to Mapping the SystemClosingFuture DirectionsThank you!The Multiple Models ApproachBurning Man as a Case Study for the Synergistic Use of Memes Theory, Cultural Theory, and Multi-Agent Mapping– Dario Nardi, UCLA, Oct 12, 2007Objectives• Highlight Burning Man as an unique example of bottom-up emergence of a complex system.• Convey benefits of the "multiple models" approach to capture Burning Man’s complexity.• Illustrate some of the tools taught in our introductory HCS course.• Imply some lessons and challenges to today's assumptions about urban culture. • Explore possible directions for a future computer simulation.Agenda• What is Burning Man?• The multiple models approach.• Modeling diffusion of memes.• Cultural Theory, organizational dynamics, and risk / resource management.• Mapping out a multi-agent model.• Future directions.Burning Man Basics• Annual artistic event • Located on a playa in the Nevada desert • Lasts 1 week through Labor day• Ticket to enter for the entire period• Participant and volunteer driven• Tents, RVs, and temporary structures• Gift economy• Rugged environment• Minimal rules / free expression• No electronic communications• Regular and annual themes (fire, pagan)• Leave the playa as you found itWhat’s Burning Man – Part 1What’s Burning man – Part 2Physical Layout - TechnicalPhysical Layout - ThematicBurning Questions• What’s happening regarding social norms?• When and how do people give freely?• How does news / information flow, and is it effective?• Is this a model for a new (old?) kind of city?• How do class and ethnicity relate?• How does this foster a religious experience?• Is a rugged / hostile environment necessary?• What leverage points can influence the system?• What values underlie the event?• Could it last all year?• How does it connect to the outside world?• What might happen if…?Multiple Models ApproachIn order to develop a simulation that addresses many of these questions, more than one modeling / analytical technique is useful.What are these?Multiple Answers PossibleSame Object, Different ShadowTriangulate the Underlying Image?Debate DetourSocial constructivism• Data is perception• Observer is biased• Tools are motivated• Infinite possible truthsNaïve realism• Data is fact• Observer is unbiased• Tools are neutral• Definitive truth possibleMultiple Models Approach• Data points• Multiple ways to observe and analyze• Each tool has its strengths and limitations• Use 3+ perspectives to triangulateModeling / Analytical Tools• Hypothesis testing• Rational choice• Memes theory and diffusion of memes• Iterative networks• Relational networks• Temperament theory• Cultural theory• Genetic algorithms• T-maze learning / adaptation• Indifference curves• Multi-agent mapping• Others…Tool #1: MemesA meme is…• A unit of cultural information similar to a gene.• A complex idea that forms a distinct memorable unit. • A unit of information in the mind whose existence influences events through people’s words and actions, such that more copies of itself get created in other people’s minds.• Richard Dawkins, “The Selfish Gene,” 1976. • Susan Blackmore, Richard Brodie, • et. al.More About Memes• Like genes, memes act together in a pattern.• Like genes, memes undergo mutation, are selected for, and change over time.• Memes result in external behavior.• Memes are influenced by environment.• Memes come about from the production and use of cultural artifacts.• Memes are packaged or transmitted in some way.A meme might…• Make a distinction, differentiating what’s what, such as California vs. Nevada• Constitute a “how to” strategy (and thus also explain a cause-effect relationship). E.g., travel by lit-up bike at Burning Man.• Suggest associations E.g., the “relationship” between competitive sports, beer, and attractive women.• Suggest attitudes (e.g. fire is fun).Example ApplicationBEFORE• Memes about Burning Man before someone goes.• Memes about UCLA, religion, art, society before Burning Man.•Etc.AFTER• Memes about Burning Man after someone goes (once vs. multiple times).• Memes about UCLA, religion, art, society after Burning Man.•Etc.Strategies for Spreading Memes• Random repetition• Dissonance (physical, social, cognitive)• Trojan Horse• Cognitive occupation (“squatting”)• Branding / cognitive hook• Deployment of artifacts / architecture• Landscaping •Other…Specific Questions for Burning Man• How are memes conveyed before, during, and after the event?• How does the lack of telecommunications affect the flow of memes in any city?• Is anyone “in charge” of Burning Man meme production and use?• In what ways do Burning Man’s memes influence participants’ memes about life outside of Burning Man?Tool #2: Cultural TheoryCultural Theory is…• A typology of organizational patterns (hierarchy, egalitarianism, individualism, fatalism, etc.)• Multiple ways to define the patterns.• Focuses on people’s mental models of their environment’s organizational patterns as well as the patterns themselves.• Asks us to look at a group’s shared beliefs and practices as well as physical structure.• Is useful to examine public policy, resource management, group risk-taking, leadership, assignment of responsibility, etc.Grid-GroupLow grid High gridHigh groupEgalitarian –Everyone unites in support of cause, with each individual contributing his/her norms / categories. Hierarchy – Everyone serves their place in the system, fulfilling as best they can the duties of the position they hold. Low


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