Last night I returned to reading Miller and Page’s Complex Adaptive Systems. Managed to leave the book in a cab, so won’t have a lot more to say until a new copy arrives. But the one thing that sticks in my head is their use of Buddhism’s eightfold path to consider the requirements for agent-based modeling, in which agents interact autonomously. The eightfold way and its modeling analogues are as follows:
Right View — How does the agent see the world?
Right Intention — What are its goals?
Right Speech — What does it communicate?
Right Action — What can it do?
Right Livelihood — How are its actions rewarded?
Right Effort — How does it strategize as it learns from the results of its actions?
Right Mindfulness — What does it pay attention to?
Right Concentration — Where does it focus its efforts?
Getting all of the answers to these questions right is, the authors argue, the heart of building a successful, agent-based model. I wonder about the possibility of applying the same paradigm to analyzing people we want to understand. Do we ever cover all this ground in explaining to ourselves or others why others behave in the way that they do?