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The Belmont Club: Tal-Afar

Interesting reading. The commentary at the end is also interesting.

I am certain the idea I'm about to propose is a way, way too touchy to be taken seriously, but I'd be interested in a simulation of the insurgency, man-on-the-street, and coalition forces in Iraq. It would be a sims-meets-battlefield_1942-meets_GTA where playing the insurgent means convincing goons to attack coalition forces or civilians, playing an average joe means doing nothing, getting a AK and taking control of your neighborhood, or joining the insurgents. Being a soldier (coalition or Iraqi national guard) would be a lot like counter-strike at times, but also like the sims, e.g. make a friend and they might get your back in a street fight.

It would have to be a lot like counter-strike with people who are realistically sensitive to bullets and the like.

Just an idea…

I'd also like to see a non-video game simulation of the world economy. Make plausible models of corporate governance from past actions and such. Use as many demographics as you can to simulate different types of individual behavior, etc. For instance, if you live in city N, and earn income X, the chance you will commit a crime and go to jail is P. Could you get any macro data from 6 billion agents? What about just America?

For instance, how would house building/buying homes be affected by enacting a flat-tax where capital investments are deductible, but mortgage interest isn't? I wonder if there is any such massive simulation done today. Probably not. The overhead alone would be difficult. You could also make it an opt-in MMORPG where people play themselves. It could hook into quicken or MS Money to track your basic decision making and all your investments/loans, with the benefit of seeing how you fit into the grand scheme of things.

The biggest failings would be an inability to predict innovation, creativity, and irrational group choices.


At 6:52 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

I've been meaning to buy this up and post a review; this week seems like it may work for me; I'll let you know.


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