Copying, Science and the great unwashed

NYT ALex Mike Dec 2012

Really nice piece in this week's New York Times by my two co-authors, Professors Alex Bentley and Mike O'Brien which shows how recognising the patterns in widely available data allows you determine how different phenomena are spreading.

In this case – and reassuringly so – climate scientists adoption of key terms seem much less prone to the boom-and-bust patterns that the general public generate (as a result of what we call "undirected copying" in I'll Have What She's Having or "Copying Peers" in our long-standing commercial business).

So – whatever your personal view on climate change – it's good to know that the scientists don't seem to be vulnerable to a simple "herd-effect" – they're not copying each other blindly.

And, as ever with these two delightful and erudite gents, the prose is pellucid and enthused with a generosity of spirit that I like.

One to cut out and keep.