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Scientists Plan "Living Earth Simulator" to Track Disease, Disasters and Traffic

Illustration for article titled Scientists Plan Living Earth Simulator to Track Disease, Disasters and Traffic

The computers haven't been built yet, so it's not going to happen for a while—but the Living Earth Simulator will be a "knowledge collider" capable of modelling our entire planet when/if it gets off the fantasy drawing board.

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Dr Helbing, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, claims we need a super-accurate model of the planet to help predict patterns in, well, everything, with the LES covering it all—from the weather to the spread of swine flu.

While the hardware required to power a pretend planet is still non-existent the data needed to populated a living model of Earth is already being collected, thanks to the likes of NASA collating and recording stacks of environmental data. [BBC]

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DISCUSSION

Despite the Douglas Adams comments, it was Roger Zelazny that came up with the idea of a global simulation that mimicked real life to the point that you could anticipate disasters, crimes, etc. (unless someone else did it before him).

"Home is the Hangman," I think, was the story, and the protagonist was a guy that managed to slip out of the simulation so that he was "invisible" to society.

Good story...