Operations research

As a result of my talk in Ankara a while back, I was approached by one of the cognitive researchers on maybe attending a stream on energy, environment and climate at a conference in Bonn in July. The conference is called EURO 2009, and will be dominated by researchers working within so-called Operations Research. For some reason, they have a huge picture of Beethoven on the front page:

Angry man

Angry man

I don’t know much about operations research, except that it was mentioned in the Mirowski & Nik-Khah paper I mentioned in my first formulation bank. They place it in a technocratic, almost taylorist tradition of optimization and computational theory. In fact, the authors call it the main unmentioned influence on modern ANT theory, because of its approach to social systems as machines or operational systems. The subheading for the conference is “OR creating competitive advantage”, which I think says a lot.

I haven’t decided on anything yet, but it would be interesting to go and see how things are approached in other corners of the field. Likely it would be a slightly annoying experience, but with the potential of provoking some thought. More to come on this.


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