Thursday, February 18, 2016

Intransitivity and history

Intransitivity is an interesting subject to study, especially as it pertains to social choice. I have also discovered it when studying history and when assigning blame, or cause for an effect. Intransitivity is essentially the case where with 3 or more choices (usually three), one would choose A>B, B>C, C>A. Thus showing that there is no true choice. [1] This is something that's not unique to humans. Birds have been to shown to have this as well [2].

Now, in my gusto to answer the question I've been fielded, on ISIS and evil, and the intractable situation in the Middle East, I've been forced to face many instances of intransitivity of cause. Of course, one can never simply blame one thing, but to look for a solution is also to find the cause, and in this case one runs up on intansitivity. 

What then is the solution? Is it the Condercet voting system a way to wade through it all? Not that one needs to pick a winner. It could simply be a proper formula and weighing system is needed. Thoughts?

[1] Now, this not something wholly original. I'm merely applying a thought in one field to another. Oh, and here it is

[2] So no, it's not just humans out thinking themselves. 

Future work: Will need to study intransitivity in social choices, but especially in cause and effect and how others have dealt with it. Obviously it needs more than the usual "gut feeling" for that's what causes such issues. I do wonder if historians deal with this and how they parse such situations. Same would go for those in the geo-politics field.

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