Social Analysis and Modeling for Python

Bishara Gabriel bgabriel at
Thu Sep 30 05:49:28 CEST 2004

The value we will add is embodied in the materials we will produce, the 
tools we will create, and the simulation we will construct.  The 
simulation will be two layers:  The underlying library or "simulation 
toolkit", and the graphical frontend to utilize that toolkit.  The 
toolkit is the core and the graphical frontend is a demonstration of how 
one may utilize that core.  The tools we create serve to form the 
framework which aids academics in social scientific exploration.  This 
is value.

>		.
>			.
>"add value" is a fixed phrase in many engineering, business,
>and academic (among other) circles.  When, for example, 
>children combine sugar, ice, lemon juice, and water, in a
>particular pleasing combination, and offer it for sale on a
>wearying day, we recognize their achievement as creation of
>"lemonade".  They do not merely transfer raw materials to 
>their customers; they provide a product which transcends its
>constituents.  We say they have "added value" to the base
>commodities, rather than mechanically moving them through
>space and/or time.
>Analogously, I echo Bengt's challenge to you to make explicit
>the value you intend to add:  what hope is there that your
>project will be more than a mere formal manipulation of its
>constituents--sociologic theory and Python technique?  Will
>you accomplish anything--will you add value--beyond what
>any attentive student given the instructions to apply Python
>to sociology might do?
>I don't know what
>  Marxian class analysis is particularly suited
>  to this demonstration but in our demonstration
>  model we will operate from multiple theoretical
>  constructs, displaying the power of our method. 
>  The intent is to show how Python is well suited
>  to social analysis and not the other way around.
>means.  I recognize that it might fit several situations.  I
>sincerely don't know which you intend.
>I myself once had a strong theoretical, and even dialectical,
>bent.  Through the years, I've nearly monotonically gravitated
>toward the concrete.  I recommend it to you.  Demonstrate how
>your theory or approach solves *one* specific problem.  With
>that in hand, your readers will be much, MUCH readier to
>apprehend the generalizations you appear to have in mind.

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