385 research outputs found

    Inferring Mechanisms for Global Constitutional Progress

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    Constitutions help define domestic political orders, but are known to be influenced by two international mechanisms: one that reflects global temporal trends in legal development, and another that reflects international network dynamics such as shared colonial history. We introduce the provision space; the growing set of all legal provisions existing in the world's constitutions over time. Through this we uncover a third mechanism influencing constitutional change: hierarchical dependencies between legal provisions, under which the adoption of essential, fundamental provisions precedes more advanced provisions. This third mechanism appears to play an especially important role in the emergence of new political rights, and may therefore provide a useful roadmap for advocates of those rights. We further characterise each legal provision in terms of the strength of these mechanisms

    Corruption Drives the Emergence of Civil Society

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    Peer punishment of free-riders (defectors) is a key mechanism for promoting cooperation in society. However, it is highly unstable since some cooperators may contribute to a common project but refuse to punish defectors. Centralized sanctioning institutions (for example, tax-funded police and criminal courts) can solve this problem by punishing both defectors and cooperators who refuse to punish. These institutions have been shown to emerge naturally through social learning and then displace all other forms of punishment, including peer punishment. However, this result provokes a number of questions. If centralized sanctioning is so successful, then why do many highly authoritarian states suffer from low levels of cooperation? Why do states with high levels of public good provision tend to rely more on citizen-driven peer punishment? And what happens if centralized institutions can be circumvented by individual acts of bribery? Here, we consider how corruption influences the evolution of cooperation and punishment. Our model shows that the effectiveness of centralized punishment in promoting cooperation breaks down when some actors in the model are allowed to bribe centralized authorities. Counterintuitively, increasing the sanctioning power of the central institution makes things even worse, since this prevents peer punishers from playing a role in maintaining cooperation. As a result, a weaker centralized authority is actually more effective because it allows peer punishment to restore cooperation in the presence of corruption. Our results provide an evolutionary rationale for why public goods provision rarely flourishes in polities that rely only on strong centralized institutions. Instead, cooperation requires both decentralized and centralized enforcement. These results help to explain why citizen participation is a fundamental necessity for policing the commons.Comment: 24 pages, 7 figures (Press embargo in place until publication

    Good Fences: The Importance of Setting Boundaries for Peaceful Coexistence

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    We consider the conditions of peace and violence among ethnic groups, testing a theory designed to predict the locations of violence and interventions that can promote peace. Characterizing the model's success in predicting peace requires examples where peace prevails despite diversity. Switzerland is recognized as a country of peace, stability and prosperity. This is surprising because of its linguistic and religious diversity that in other parts of the world lead to conflict and violence. Here we analyze how peaceful stability is maintained. Our analysis shows that peace does not depend on integrated coexistence, but rather on well defined topographical and political boundaries separating groups. Mountains and lakes are an important part of the boundaries between sharply defined linguistic areas. Political canton and circle (sub-canton) boundaries often separate religious groups. Where such boundaries do not appear to be sufficient, we find that specific aspects of the population distribution either guarantee sufficient separation or sufficient mixing to inhibit intergroup violence according to the quantitative theory of conflict. In exactly one region, a porous mountain range does not adequately separate linguistic groups and violent conflict has led to the recent creation of the canton of Jura. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that violence between groups can be inhibited by physical and political boundaries. A similar analysis of the area of the former Yugoslavia shows that during widespread ethnic violence existing political boundaries did not coincide with the boundaries of distinct groups, but peace prevailed in specific areas where they did coincide. The success of peace in Switzerland may serve as a model to resolve conflict in other ethnically diverse countries and regions of the world.Comment: paper pages 1-14, 4 figures; appendices pages 15-43, 20 figure

    Impossible by Conventional Means: Ten Years on from the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge

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    Ten years ago, DARPA launched the 'Network Challenge', more commonly known as the 'DARPA Red Balloon Challenge'. Ten red weather balloons were fixed at unknown locations in the US. An open challenge was launched to locate all ten, the first to do so would be declared the winner receiving a cash prize. A team from MIT Media Lab was able to locate them all within 9 hours using social media and a novel reward scheme that rewarded viral recruitment. This achievement was rightly seen as proof of the remarkable ability of social media, then relatively nascent, to solve real world problems such as large-scale spatial search. Upon reflection, however, the challenge was also remarkable as it succeeded despite many efforts to provide false information on the location of the balloons. At the time the false reports were filtered based on manual inspection of visual proof and comparing the IP addresses of those reporting with the purported coordinates of the balloons. In the ten years since, misinformation on social media has grown in prevalence and sophistication to be one of the defining social issues of our time. Seen differently we can cast the misinformation observed in the Red Balloon Challenge, and unexpected adverse effects in other social mobilisation challenges subsequently, not as bugs but as essential features. We further investigate the role of the increasing levels of political polarisation in modulating social mobilisation. We confirm that polarisation not only impedes the overall success of mobilisation, but also leads to a low reachability to oppositely polarised states, significantly hampering recruitment. We find that diversifying geographic pathways of social influence are key to circumvent barriers of political mobilisation and can boost the success of new open challenges

    Universal resilience patterns in labor markets

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    Cities are the innovation centers of the US economy, but technological disruptions can exclude workers and inhibit a middle class. Therefore, urban policy must promote the jobs and skills that increase worker pay, create employment, and foster economic resilience. In this paper, we model labor market resilience with an ecologically-inspired job network constructed from the similarity of occupations' skill requirements. This framework reveals that the economic resilience of cities is universally and uniquely determined by the connectivity within a city's job network. US cities with greater job connectivity experienced lower unemployment during the Great Recession. Further, cities that increase their job connectivity see increasing wage bills, and workers of embedded occupations enjoy higher wages than their peers elsewhere. Finally, we show how job connectivity may clarify the augmenting and deleterious impact of automation in US cities. Policies that promote labor connectivity may grow labor markets and promote economic resilience.This work was supported by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Ministerio de Economia y Competividad (Spain) through Project FIS2016-78904-C3-3-P and PID2019-106811GB-C32

    The evolution of deception.

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    Funder: MIT Media LabFunder: King's College LondonFunder: Ethics and Governance of AI FundDeception plays a critical role in the dissemination of information, and has important consequences on the functioning of cultural, market-based and democratic institutions. Deception has been widely studied within the fields of philosophy, psychology, economics and political science. Yet, we still lack an understanding of how deception emerges in a society under competitive (evolutionary) pressures. This paper begins to fill this gap by bridging evolutionary models of social good-public goods games (PGGs)-with ideas from interpersonal deception theory (Buller and Burgoon 1996 Commun. Theory 6, 203-242. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-2885.1996.tb00127.x)) and truth-default theory (Levine 2014 J. Lang. Soc. Psychol. 33, 378-392. (doi:10.1177/0261927X14535916); Levine 2019 Duped: truth-default theory and the social science of lying and deception. University of Alabama Press). This provides a well-founded analysis of the growth of deception in societies and the effectiveness of several approaches to reducing deception. Assuming that knowledge is a public good, we use extensive simulation studies to explore (i) how deception impacts the sharing and dissemination of knowledge in societies over time, (ii) how different types of knowledge sharing societies are affected by deception and (iii) what type of policing and regulation is needed to reduce the negative effects of deception in knowledge sharing. Our results indicate that cooperation in knowledge sharing can be re-established in systems by introducing institutions that investigate and regulate both defection and deception using a decentralized case-by-case strategy. This provides evidence for the adoption of methods for reducing the use of deception in the world around us in order to avoid a Tragedy of the Digital Commons (Greco and Floridi 2004 Ethics Inf. Technol. 6, 73-81. (doi:10.1007/s10676-004-2895-2))

    Determinaci贸n del caudal base a partir de tres filtros de separaci贸n en una cuenca de la Cordillera de la Costa, regi贸n del Biob铆o, Chile - Determination of base flow by three filter of separation in a catchment of Coast Mountain range, Biob铆o regi贸n, Chile

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    Varios autores han demostrado que el uso de metodolog铆as emp铆ricas, como el M茅todo Gr谩fico o el uso de filtros, generan una estimaci贸n razonable del caudal base, pero varios supuestos deben ser asumidos en su proceso de c谩lculo, lo cual dificulta la comparaci贸n entre ellos, sobre todo entre rutinas programadas al interior de un software. Para evitar la incertidumbre del origen de los par谩metros y procedimientos usados, el objetivo del estudio fue usar tres filtros de separaci贸n de caudal base (algoritmos de Lyne & Hollick, Chapman y Eckhardt) que presentan algunos ejemplos de su aplicaci贸n alrededor del mundo, donde se detallan los procedimientos de c谩lculo. Ejemplo de esto es el par谩metro , que comparten en com煤n estos filtros y que fue determinado por medio de la curva de recesi贸n maestra , evitando as铆 asumir su t铆pico valor de 聽= 0.925, usado regularmente. Los resultados de caudal base calculados para la cuenca ubicada al interior del predio Mar铆a de las Cruces, en la Cordillera de la Costa del centro-sur de Chile (37掳 S), demostraron que el filtro de Lyne & Hollick represent贸 el comportamiento del caudal base en funci贸n de la escorrent铆a superficial y el momento hidrol贸gico reflejado por el r茅gimen de las precipitaciones. De acuerdo a los datos obtenidos de una estaci贸n fluviom茅trica se observ贸 que para el periodo 2009-2014, el modelo present贸 un caudal de escorrent铆a compuesto principalmente por el caudal base (BFI de 0.67 en promedio), lo que es similar a lo obtenido por medio del M茅todo Gr谩fico, principalmente para los caudales estivales

    Flooding through the lens of mobile phone activity

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    Natural disasters affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide every year. Emergency response efforts depend upon the availability of timely information, such as information concerning the movements of affected populations. The analysis of aggregated and anonymized Call Detail Records (CDR) captured from the mobile phone infrastructure provides new possibilities to characterize human behavior during critical events. In this work, we investigate the viability of using CDR data combined with other sources of information to characterize the floods that occurred in Tabasco, Mexico in 2009. An impact map has been reconstructed using Landsat-7 images to identify the floods. Within this frame, the underlying communication activity signals in the CDR data have been analyzed and compared against rainfall levels extracted from data of the NASA-TRMM project. The variations in the number of active phones connected to each cell tower reveal abnormal activity patterns in the most affected locations during and after the floods that could be used as signatures of the floods - both in terms of infrastructure impact assessment and population information awareness. The representativeness of the analysis has been assessed using census data and civil protection records. While a more extensive validation is required, these early results suggest high potential in using cell tower activity information to improve early warning and emergency management mechanisms.Comment: Submitted to IEEE Global Humanitarian Technologies Conference (GHTC) 201
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