In the days before the 2011 Tohoku quake and tsunami, which killed more than 18,000 people, seafloor instruments showed that the offshore fault responsible was chattering and slipping slowly. Similar slip preceded a quake on an offshore fault in Chile.
There are countless methods of predicting what will happen next in the stock market. Technical traders have their charts, quant funds use specialized algorithms, and psychics have crystal balls. Many of their methods have failed quite spectacularly in the past, especially in the 2008 financial crisis.
With that in mind, researchers have turned to other [...]
“Modeling crises in this way puts a premium on context and not just collection.”
And the consequences of all this for intelligence analysts? It fundamentally changes the question we ask ourselves. It suggests we should focus less on the grains of sand and what impact they will have on the sandpile and spend more resources [...]
If you are upset with the wealth distibution in the country, then welcome to the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is really a mathematical law – the power law. It is this law, and not you, that gets to define the wealth distribution all over the world. [...]
Gene Stanley raises his fork, holds it out flat, a few inches above his plate of risotto. “The majority of traders still use Gaussian models and, when something outside the Gaussian happens, they have all these phrases, like ‘outliers’, but the main phrase is ‘shit happens’.”
He stares at his raised cutlery.
“Now, if we [...]
A 1987-magnitude stock market crash could happen at any time.
Keep that in mind this week as commentators note the 26th anniversary of that crash, the worst in U.S. stock market history. If another [...]
Forests follow a power law distribution of collapses – fires. Put out the little fires and you get big fires. Put out all fires and you get Yellowstone 25 years ago – “the worst wildfire in Yellowstone history”.
Photos: Yellowstone rebounds, 25 years after ‘tragic mistake’
Twenty-five years ago, in a drought-parched and wildfire-swollen summer, [...]
Professor Braha’s research, spanning a century of civil unrest in 170 countries, reveals that social instability is similar to various physical and biological phenomena, including earthquakes, forest fires and epidemics.
“Many biological systems are largely non-hierarchical and leaderless, too,” says biologist James Herbert-Read at Sweden’s Uppsala University. “This allows them to be robust [...]
Like the devastating Japanese earthquake of 2011, the stock market crash of Oct. 19, 1987, came as a total shock to most people. Yet the crash wasn’t entirely without warning. Five days before, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 95 points, which was then an all-time record. Two days later, it closed down another 108 [...]
The systemic character of those common “triggers” isn’t the only thing that can connect mass protests across space and time, however. Contagion plays a role, too, and it comes in various forms. As Marc Beissinger observes, apparently successful protests can inspire imitators, a process [...]