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Nkrumah Did Not Force His Views On African Leaders 5

Comment: Mathematical Modeling Not That Simple!

francis kwarteng
2015-05-23 18:00:44
Comment to:

Dear Brother Marcus,

Thanks for your question.

My only worry is that you may have rushed through the article.

Your concerns tell me you missed out on so many things.

You may have to go back and read the article again if you want to answer yourself. This time read it closely.

Now computer models do not tell us everything (it is a good way to start though).

Dr. Jonathan Farley, one of the world's and America's youngest and profoundest mathematicians, has developed software for the US State Department, the FBI/CIA, and some state securities to track down terrorists, yet the state of Massachusetts could not prevent the so-called Boston Bombing.

The irony of it all is that Dr. Farley has been living in Massachusetts since the KKK chased him out of Tennessee where he taught mathematics.

Mathematical modeling, simulation, and industrial engineering/operations research/management science tools do not tell us everything. Certainly, they are a good place to start but they do not tell us everything.

For if they were, we would not have problems in the areas of meteorology, Wall Street, economic recessions , and what have you. Again that is not to say they are not important.

But your suggestion is not the proper way to look at a problem (and its solutions) from a scientific standpoint. The scientific way is to look at a problems (and its solutions) from every conceivable angle, internal and external.

For instance, neither America nor Japan/China, say, can model the internal problems its industries are facing without factoring in instances of industrial espionage (theft of intellectual property, etc)from Japanese or Chinese companies.

Do you have any idea how much in dollars (billions) that industrial espionage (theft) cost American, Japanese, or Chinese companies a year?

For instance, do you have any idea how much it cost Sony (Hollywood) when South Korean hackers' forced Hollywood to cancel a showing of the said movies ("The Interview") across America? (

If you want a fuller picture of what I am talking about, then read "THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF CYBERCRIME AND CYBER ESPIONAGE (Center for Strategic and International Studies) (

Yours is a simplistic approach to very complex questions. I try as much as possible to avoid simplistic analysis of issues. And if there is one thing I have some "expertise" in then it is mathematical modelling, not African literature, say! Besides, your saying we should blame external forces does not mean they don't exist.

That approach will also give you faulty results if you don't model a problem well by exhausting its possible range of causative elements. Please make time to read more about "Analytics."

Visit the websites of all the major American think tanks/research institutions and read their publications.

You might be shocked how externalities influence America's internal politics and political economy. I mentioned only one, industrial espionage.

But do you have any idea how terrorism outside American shores affects American strategist interests and hence, its economy? Do you have any idea how much the terrorism of Boko Haram or Al-Shabab affects or costs Ghana's economy?

Look at how much environmental destruction and environmental pollution, mostly contributed by industrialized economies and other rising ones like China, Brazil, and India, is costing African economies, though Africa's contributions to envriromental pollution, for instance, is marginal.

Therefore, are you going to model the problem of environmental pollution on Africa's economies by ignoring how much American industries contribute to environmental pollution? Do you have any idea what the business-cost implications are if you don't properly model problems!

As a scienctist, mathemtician, or scientists you do not want to incur unnecessary additional costs by leaving out important variables that may contribute to optimal solutions! This is why modelers don't leave anything to chance! You include every conveivable variable in your models!

Finally, mathematical modeling and simulation do not entail only NUMBERS. Psychology, law, politics, sociology, history, economic theory, etc., all go into mathematical modeling, mathematical optimizaion, statistical analysis. Analytics in short! Linear programming, for instance, has several components that do not directly have anything to do with numbers!

And please, if you want to know more about external contributions to many of Africa's problems then you may have to read all the reports that Kofi Annan and others have written on Africa:

1) The Kofi Annan Foundation

2) Global Commission On Elections, Democracy and Security

3) The Elders

4)Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa

5)Global Center for Pluralism

6) The African Panel (Reat the annual "African Progress Report)

7) The United Nations Foundation

8) Global Humanitarian Forum


You should understand the complexity of the issues once you read some of the reports these organizations have prepared. In fact, Wole Soyinka though not a mathematician, scientist, or engineer understand the qualitative aspect of the question's complexity.

Did you closely read the quotation I attributed to him in this essay, Soyinka? He looks at both sides of the equation though that may not be too clear in the quotation. I provided the background (in legal terms) to help readers appreciiate the political and moral subtext of his legal arguments!

That is not to say every single African problem is a function of external causation. That is not what this article is saying!

So Brother Marcus, the issue of modeling as not as easy and straightfoward as you make it out to be. I will find time to recommend some very excellent texts for you to take a look at!

We may have to explore this topic some more in the future.


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05-23 03:42
Mathematical Modeling Not That Simple!
francis kwarteng
05-23 18:00