Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Simulating the founding fathers

This article discusses the Pentagon's plan to create a computer simulation of the planet earth. The article says, "The US Army is building a second version of Earth on computer to help it prepare for conflicts around the world."

That's nice. Having a big integrated map of the world is useful. If the map is detailed enough and the data is public domain, it would allow for the creation of a killer version of Flight Simulator. It would also allow people to visit cities around the world without leaving home. But all in all, it's not much different from the maps and GIS databases that already exist in myriad forms.

If we are going to simulate something, here's a subject that would be truly interesting. Why don't we create an accurate simulation of the minds of the founding fathers? George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, etc. -- we would simulate their minds on a computer so that we can "bring them back to life" and talk to them.

How many times have you heard someone say, "What would the founding fathers think of this??!!" Now we would know. We would simply ask the Founding Fathers Simulator. For example:
I have no idea what they would say, but I think the answers would be fascinating. Ask them anything, and you would get an answer framed in the context of the country they were actually envisioning and trying to create in the latter part of the 18th century.

Imagine watching the simulations of the Founding Fathers trying to assimilate today's America. Think about what America was in 1780 or so, and think about what America has become in terms of size, economic impact, global power, etc. Watching their reactions would be fascinating...

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