This post focuses on a 2013 United Nations report on population trends to 2050. Our planet will be home to 9.3 billion people by then, which raises various ecological, humanitarian and sustainable planning issues. The UN argues that sustainable growth is a matter of human rights.
Philosopher of Social Science, Daniel Little, provides a nice overview on some of the problems with agent-based modelling and how models might be improved with a more nuanced understanding of historical relations between social actors. Little encourages social modellers to go beyond the economic rationalist principles which dominate this field. He sketches how sociological insights might improve computational models of human behaviour:
“So maybe the great centers for complexity studies around the country would be well advised to begin including anthropologists and cultural sociologists within their research teams. And maybe the result will be a fertile marriage of modeling with greater cultural specificity.”