When People Are as Predictable as Water

Can we apply a physics-like reductionism to people? That’s a question we asked Simon DeDeo, a professor of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, who also heads the Laboratory for Social Minds at the Santa Fe Institute. DeDeo was well suited to the question. With a background in astrophysics, studying galaxy formation, he’s applied a similar, mathematical approach to both contemporary and historical social phenomena (see his Nautilus feature on shifting attitudes toward violent crime, “When Theft Was Worse Than Murder”). ….[READ]