This proposal invites Google to use their natural language processing power to generate a rolling synthesis of press articles about nation states to produce simple statistics that confirm their predominant season of development and the related seasonal success factors. A platform for opinion makers, policy developers, and voters, ‘Google Nations’ would offer an unbiased and predictive view of how national conditions of success change. The underlying model hinges on a thermodynamic and socio-economic logic that drives the emergence of repeated behavior and the ensuing waxing/waning levels of the division of labor and behavioral entanglement. The seasonal success factors in this model serve as search-template catchwords. Monetization can be achieved by listing products and services that add value during the predominant season depicted.
Once the dust settles in a democracy after election results have come through, winners and losers take stock — the winning party determined to make history, the losing party determined to make a comeback. Pundits fall over one another with meticulous analyses to explain what went right and wrong, their lengthy texts bolstering their conclusions and discouraging easy rebuttal. To justify the course of history, references are made to what historical leaders may have once uttered. Yet, in the heat of the moment, these analyses largely remain confined to the present. A basic ‘longitudinal model’ of national emergence is missing, a model that everyone can use to make ‘common’ sense of their nation and its needs. In fact, nations remind of entangled particles that snap out of their emergent environment — their ontic state — to collapse to a quantum state the moment they are observed. The question is: “What are the ontic states of nations that explain their development and needs?”
Note: ‘Ontic’ has been derived from ‘ontology’ — the logic of becoming.
Ontic States & Process
Some 30 years ago, I wrote my doctoral thesis on the management of evolving organizations, which I later broadly defined as more or less coherent clusters of repeated behavior in companies and nations alike. My aim had long been to compare organizations as they emerge and develop, hoping to unveil common characteristics of organizational emergence. Time, as a dimension, did not appear to be useful as measuring stick: while organizations traversed similar stages of development, they would often take greatly varying times to do so. In my essay, Late On Time, I give a detailed account of my rebuttal of time.
To trace organizational or, if you will, national emergence, time-independent dimensions are needed. In my thesis, I established a coordinate system, which involves the waxing and waning level of the division of labor on the vertical axis and the resulting waxing and waning level of behavioral entanglement on the horizontal axis. The quadrants in the crosshairs of these two axes come alive for different organizations when tracing their growth rate (rather than their absolute growth in terms of, say, revenue or GDP).
The characteristic S-shape of the rate of growth (as first derivative of growth) reveals something about the struggle for survival and the achievement of self-control when behaviors are being sorted out internally. When behaviors catch on, they start repeating. As a result, the growth rate ramps up. However, once the level of the division of labor or the resulting level of entangled behaviors progresses to the next quadrant, new quadrant success factors emerge.
When I studied the development of organizations and nations over several decades, consistent seasonal success factors popped up for each quadrant. Seasonal success factors showed to be palpable reflections of an underlying process of organizational emergence — the ‘ontic process’. The ontic process explains, among other things, why emergent societal phenomena cycle through quadrants, much like nature cycles through seasons.
Every form of organization can be reduced to repeated patterns of behavior that emerge spontaneously when exploiting paths of least action to diminish a gradient or inequality as efficient as the ‘contextual constraints’ allow. This applies to patterns of molecule behavior that emerge to transport heat from the bottom to the surface more efficiently in a thin layer of liquid that is heated from below as much as to patterns of human behavior that emerge to fill some niche of supply or demand as efficient as societal constraints allow.
When behavior patterns exploit paths of least action, they essentially divvy up the work (labor) involved, each driven by contextual constraints. Once behavior patterns reach sustained paths of least action, the collective of entangled behavior patterns shapes the behavior of the whole — more here.
No form of organization consists of orderly patterns of behavior only. Varying states of chaotic and orderly behavior ensure, in fact, an open adaptive cycle of disorder- and order-generating processes that hinge on open chaos, stochastic resonance, attractor shaping, and itinerant attractors — more here.
I’ve published many ‘ontic assessments’ of both nations and corporates. Very recently, I have published five well-documented cases that demonstrate the use of ‘ontic states’ to clarify the evolving state of nations/union of nations.
To prevent political activists or policy makers tweaking the state of nations for their own purposes, the natural language processing and learning software involved should be self-supervised, also when relating the state of nations, for example, to determine possible inter-nation risks.
The season of national development identified and reported by ‘the software’ represents a solid monetizing opportunity for Google. Public institutions and companies will be eager to place ads to offer products and services that are or may be of use to voters, opinion makers, and policy makers in this season.
The technical threshold for Google when implementing ‘Google Nations’ is probably low to very low. In fact, the chance of underestimating Google’s capability in this light is much greater than the chance of overestimating it. I particularly think of Google’s capacity to access websites, texts, books and articles, but also its Internet crawling systems, and, not in the last place, its grasp of AI. Considering the above monetizing opportunities, there is probably also little reason to deny the business potential of ‘Google Nations’.
Considering today’s unhealthy levels of twisted truths about the state and needs of nations, Google, as ‘search engine of the world’, may benefit from ‘Google Nations’ not just as viable business proposition but also as a way to manifest its moral role as anchor of unbiased truth.