According to senior reporter Theresa Breuer of Kernel Magazine, by encoding "the news according to geography and tonality, or sentiment," a "network of around a hundred trillion semantic connections" can be created in order to (potentially) predict "wars, revolutions and even armed robberies."
In Egypt's case, for example, Leetaru had Nautilus evaluate 52,438 reports -- with surprising results. The data showed that in January 2011, just before the revolution, the mood in Egypt worsened significantly. Only in 1991, just before the Gulf War, was it similarly poor. Leetaru's conclusion? The Arab Spring could have been foreseen.
"It's like a weather forecast," he says. "A 70 per cent chance of rain tomorrow means that it might not rain, but it?s probably worth bringing an umbrella, because the conditions for rain are there."
According to Leetaru, political upheavals never come out of the blue. They announce themselves by sending "weak signals". These are pieces of information that indicate discontinuities. Weak signals may be the accumulation of similar events, but also the dissemination of new ideas and opinions.
|The Binary Low Table: Furniture Made Out of Obsolete Computer Parts|
|Steve Jobs Resigns from Apple|
|Dumpster Drive: Recycling Computer Files|
|How the Computer Graphics From a Long, Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away Were Made|
|Playing Star Wars' Imperial March Using Two Floppy Drives|
|“Social robots will be uniquely personal.”|
|“When Life Gives You Lemons.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“The more employees are watched, the harder they try to avoid being watched.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Robots are key to a new wave of local agriculture.”|
|“The prospects and future of AI.”|
|“Long live the instant gratification economy—and the increasingly sophisticated technology that’s enabling it.”|