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leadegroot - 12:15 pm on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)
but how could they tell which way it would end up? the demo was put down in the end.
I don't believe thats quite what they are trying to do. They wouldn't try and predict the result of the demonstration, it would be more about having a curve of the probability of a demo occurring under different conditions - trying to quantify the conditions.
Read an article, oh, must be 20 years ago with some fascinating work back then on various fields coming together to allow predictability of events. Its sort of the inverse of mob psychology. Mobs are predictable, if they are big enough, and the world population is big enough that almost anything has a mob element to it.
And, yes, this would eventually mean the predictability of the govt's response to the demonstration, but its a smaller sample to work with, so harder to do.