Critical Thinking

Marty on Mars. The natural sciences have become

Marty Mcfly would definitely be astonished by today’s real version of the future, of course, this is no longer October 21, 2015, and by 2018, there are still no flying hoverboards nor a judicial system so efficient that has abolished all lawyers.  The 21st century has witnessed groundbreaking discoveries and inventions, from the creation of the GPS and Bluetooth to the discovery of ice on Mars. The natural sciences have become the pacesetters of human progress for a long time now. Throughout history, the social disciplines adapt and evolve subsequently to a revolutionary movement in the natural “exact” sciences. It would be of great impact to develop hoverboards or to create a judicial system where lawyers are no longer needed, however, it is more likely hoverboards appear first rather than both creations simultaneously. The development of technology has assisted enormously in qualitative research and is fundamentally important to humanistic disciplines, yet applied sciences in computerization or telecommunications haven’t contributed to humankind’s moral issues. I believe the greatest problem global leaders face today is a lack of evaluation towards the social and political controversies they oppose or advocate. The collaboration of both social and natural sciences can help evaluate global issues such as corruption and terrorism. These controversial subjects surrounding the world are of great concern, however, our concern is just not enough to solve them.This idea of developing a bridge between the colloquially-wrongly called “hard and soft” sciences is not a new one, Isaac Newton’s Principia and Optiks publications were used by 18th-century philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume as inspiration to introduce experimental reasoning into moral subjects. In an era where understanding events and interactions can’t feel more urgent, judgment is obstructed by the many variables present in human behavior. Complex situations such a terrorism can’t be fully studied with the limitations of technology alone nor the broad study of psychology. The use of information and analysis is imperative to capture a full picture of any conflict, and the social sciences are just starting to integrate technology to support data gathering and analysis. “Big data analytics” is one of the most popular ways social researchers are trying to collaborate with computational and mathematical disciplines. Big data analysis is the process of examining varied data sets in order to uncover hidden patterns or undiscovered correlations. This procedure usually involves algorithms and high-performance computers, and it’s currently presenting itself as an opportunity to introduce terabytes into ethical discussions. The transition of implementing big data analysis into social science research is slow and tedious, moreover, it comes with its own emerging hurdles. Natural science is able to progress so rapidly because to solve mathematical equations or astronomical uncertainties, all the information needed is out there in the open. In contrast, some information needed for social inquiries is more convoluted and presently restricted. Data access is not always open to the public hence is one of the biggest obstacles social scientists face. Legal and governmental barriers protect information as logical measures to enforce personal security, nonetheless, information is constraint even when individuals give consent to sharing de-personalized data. Governmental institutions may likewise act restrictively towards administrative data in order to prevent exposure to unwanted outcomes or accountability. A less defensive stance is needed towards the processing and sharing of de-personalized information for the public benefit.Australia’s Taxation Office is a clear example of the use of big data to oppose corruption. By searching through colossal amounts of open records, Australian officers are able to find evidence of tax fraud, furthermore, spot retailers not meeting their compliance obligations through data-matching. As the popularity of big data increases new patterns and management techniques rise to detect abuse or threats against the public sector. Ronen Horowitz, former head of the Israel Security Agency’s IT unit, highlights the use of big data analytics to effectively track down enemies of the Israeli state by condensing unstructured information (videos, photographs, and texts). Several police forces around the world already analyze Twitter and Facebook to anticipate crimes, consequently, big data optimists expect predictive analytics to play a role in the anticipation of terror attacks. This could be possible through the collection of individual internet data and connect its correlations to behavioral trends. Despite the millions in cost savings, it is still difficult to expect analytics to eradicate dishonesty and terrorism alone. There are great methodologies to control corruption and crime, but small attention is given to the psychological factors behind these problematics. University of Iowa Professor Marina Zaloznaya in her paper “The Social Psychology of Corruption”, emphasizes the need to consider empirical data in regards to individual moral identity and social environments. Additionally, psychologists are gathering solid intelligence on the factors that lead individuals to terrorism. Terrorism is effectively viewed today in terms of group dynamics, as opposed to individuality, based on universal psychological concepts such as the natural desire for purpose. Arie Kruglanski, co-director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) uses this group dynamics within peaceful dialogue to de-radicalize insurgents by demonstrating the discrepancy between the fantasy and the truth of terrorist involvement. Despite his firm outcomes, Kruglanski can’t explain how people change as a result of terrorist involvement.  As both psychologists and statisticians try to eradicate violence and dishonesty with a minimal association, a demand for stronger data collection and interdisciplinary collaboration seems urgent.Big data research along the collaboration of multiple disciplines presents favorable circumstances by enhancing the current understanding of social structures, therefore improving our grasp of social science. However, to accomplish this ideal goal the social science community needs to increase its numbers and skills. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts a need by 2018 for 181,000 people with deep analytical skills, and a requirement five times that the number of jobs with the need for data management and interpretation skills. As the demand increases Higher Education Institutions need to adopt more multidisciplinary programmes. PPLE offers a well-rounded educational opportunity to collaborate with the different perspectives of the social sciences.  The mindset given by multidisciplinary programmes with Law and Politics enables students to acquire the skills to negotiate access to information with governmental Institutions by adjusting to the political contexts of the given jurisdictions. Economics develops the statistical competence of managing figures and experimental reasoning. Students can earn a fluency in new rational methodologies of evaluating evidence by learning from diverse but complementary disciplines.  Young leaders face the opportunity to approach the problematics they oppose by innovating social sciences and combining different perspectives. It is indeed time for us to decide whether to innovate or just witness a groundbreaking modernization.


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