Past week in Fribourg

I’ve spent the past week (21-24/10/2004) in Fribourg (Switzerland) working and discussing with Hassan Masum. I was guest of the Theoretical Physics Department of the University of Fribourg, precisely of the Interdisciplinary group leaded by Prof. Zhang. They apply methods and tools of Theoretical Physics (Statistical Mechanics, Probability Calculus ecc.) to other fields of research, namely economics, game theory, sociology or biology.
Hassan and Prof. Zhang are writing a book on Reputation Society. To get an idea of the topics you might want to have a look at their Manifesto for the Reputation Society.
We had 4 days of very interesting discussions. Perhaps they were not very focused (this is typical of me, I must admit) but we were free to jump from future economics systems to copyright and intellectual property issues, from emergent democracy to computation trust systems, from collaborative filtering to religion, from recommender systems to privacy, from … We were annotating issues in this wiki page and from it you can have an idea of the scope of our discussions.

Besides from research, I had excellent dinners (fundue [swiss melted cheese] and rosti’) and excellent chocolate. Moreover, in those days, there were 3 PhD defenses and following parties and this means I definitely ate too much.
I hope to meet Hassan and the other guys soon and in the meantime I suggest you to be prepared for the their forthcoming book: Reputation Society (yes, I suggested to Hassam to release it under a Creative Commons licence; Developing Nations CC might be an interesting option).

2 thoughts on “Past week in Fribourg

  1. paolo

    Hi zbigniew, actually i didn’t find any spam.
    unless you consider spam one of my last edits commenting on your point. the edit is attached below:

    hi zbigniew. The fact is that even with topics such as “not killing others”, that are agreed by the majority of people in the world, there could always be someone that does not agree with such rules and what? Should she be forced to submit the opinions of majority? I don’t think so. I think technologies allow to see the world from your point of view, no matter how much different. Anyway, even with “not killing others”, are you sure we all agree? [Read: “is abortion ok?”]. The other point is that, in order to society to move on, minority positions must have a way to become majority, otherwise we would still be here burning women randomly because the “majority” thinks they are witches. Did I convey my point? (that is “there is no reality and no global consensus on anything. can technologies cope with this new vision that is possible today and not years ago?”).

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