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World War, Terrorism and the many more events had become history. Back then, lives were taken; scars were engraved. Now, researchers pieced those events back, in the hope for a breakthrough that brings harmonious living. And they did it. From 9/11 in 2001 to the more recent Syrian Civil War in 2016, we have witnessed decades of violence that tore thousands of families apart. Near home, crimes and cyber-attacks have sparked off so many unhappiness. Will there be world peace at least a time in the existence of mankind? The call for humanity has inspired a group of researchers, led by Neil. F. Johnson, from various universities in USA, UK, and Colombia to invent a Mathematical “Power-Law Function”. This function is able to predict social issues so as to prevent major conflicts; or if a conflict has occurred, estimate the severity so as to advise on rescue and police operations. This breakthrough supports the growing optimism in us for a more peaceful and harmonious society. The main source of conflict is often differences between two opinions. These small-scale disagreements, when ignored, can result in a full-scale war that erupts just like a volcano. Its effect, often explosive and damaging due to the build-up of high pressure. Though conflicts might be inevitable, its intensity, number, and severity could be lowered to near zero. And Power-Law Function does the job. The increasing number of violence across the globe supplied researchers with a myriad of case studies and data for detailed analysis. Researchers closely examined the frequency of the occurrence of conflicts such as those happening during Narco-Guerrilla War in Colombia, and attacks against British Government Forces inNorthern Ireland. Remarkably, a pattern for conflict is found. The pattern showed that conflicts originated from frequent arguments tend to slow down over time whereas they worsen if the feelings of unhappiness are sentimental.
However, all conflict will cease eventually. It isn’t difficult to picture this. Just imagine a man running a marathon, he will eventually run out of stamina and come to a halt. Finally, with the use of complex algorithms, a Power-Law Function is established to model and predict the occurrence and seriousness of conflicts. Its application is obvious. Say some isolated attacks at a place. After one or two attacks, the timing and severity of subsequent attacks can be mapped out using the Power-Law Function. This result is verified as researchers calculated the timing and severity of the Boston Marathon Attack using Power Law. The attack consists of 2 bombs that exploded consecutively at a time interval of 14 seconds, leaving hundreds injured. The result of the calculation was then compared with the actual data set and the increase in the number of casualties following the second attack is accurately calculated. When there is an outbreak of attacks, an accurate estimation of the number of victims and occurrence of subsequent attack can advice on rescue efforts and police operations. The right number of manpower and type of tools can then be deployed to put the event under control and eliminate the likelihood of a recurrence of attack in the future. Researchers then complete their study by investigating random behavior that prevents social problems from accelerating into a major conflict. They then concluded certain conditions that could possibly keep the spread of unhappiness below the desired rate. Further research might reveal steps to prevent the escalation of arguments. This impressive breakthrough is a milestone in attaining peace, one of the 17 sustainable development goal set by the United Nations. While current ‘big data’ approaches to diplomacy have revealed new patterns for conflict resolution, such patterns may not apply to aggression and violence today. As seen from an increasing number of war and terrorism throughout the years, trends in peaceful resolution might be too subjective for a conclusion to be reached.
Function hence showed a more objective and complete trend. This mathematical function is a useful tool to predict attacks on the powerful ones by the weak to achieve their personal goal, such as protestors versus the ruling government. By now, you would have realised that the reverse (strong attacking the weak), could perhaps deviate from the benchmark. In the case of Angola civil war, where the political movement refused to share power within a multi-ethnic society, the Power Law Function might need to be improvised in order to predict the occurrence and severity more accurately and choose the right measure for intervention. The finding of this convincing algorithm is only but a comma in the process of deriving a foolproof formula for peace. But this also hints that world peace is not entirely impossible.
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