Models of interest

Matt is thinking about modelling the power of different interests.

I’m trying to come up with a mathematic model that allows me to expresses interests, their strengths, and how they change over time. My original thinking was simply to model what is current as most interesting and anything prior to that as less interesting on some scale. But I started asking myself questions about how interests are shaped and changed.
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the model has to encompass ideas like continuity of interest. In the more realistic world where we talk about different things at once and leave and come back to topics as our interests wax and wane, well lets just say I don’t have a clear shape for this in my head yet.

In a comment I suggested that perhaps “stocks and flows” would be a useful model here…

  • Model a given topic as a “stock”.
  • Time spent thinking about the topic, effort expended on it etc. etc. drive the input “flow”
  • You could have a time-based outflow, perhaps with an exponential to model some kind of half life.

Probably the behaviour this doesn’t easily model is when a new set of interests completely and suddenly displace the old – perhaps this would be better modelled by thinking of interests as peaks (or troughs) on a fitness landscape

“Interests as attractors” seems an appealing meme!

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Julian Elve
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change

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