Science, Technology, Society – 2

Some pointers I noted from the first session of “The Role of Science, Technology and Arts in Predicting Social Phenomena” seminar, held by the Research Group for Humanity Studies (Faculty of Arts and Design), Institute of Technology Bandung on July 11th, 2012.


Forensic Linguistic

From the speech of Prof.Dr. Aminudin Aziz about the role of forensic linguistic in predicting and analyzing social-political phenomena in Indonesia:

A linguist is different from a polygot. A polygot has multi-language ability, a linguist has the ability to analyze languages without having to be able to speak many languages.

Analysis tools

A part of a forensic job is to place someone’s origin based on his/her name and speech intonation, to find a language’s data, to investigate whether a statement is actually made by a certain person.

How? Language has a regular structure. The speaker is consistent in his/her speech.


Asian language structure has a circular pattern; the speakers tend to go around and around on a subject before coming right to the point. Anglo-Saxon has a linear pattern; the speakers straightforwardly state their minds. The Arabic language has a parallel pattern; the speakers present one important fact after another, so all these important facts come in a bulk to the audience/ listener.


From the speech of Roby Muhamad, MSc, MA, PhD:

Do we need Science to explain social phenomena?

If a scientist talks about social phenomena, he would likely get responds such as, “I knew that already”, or even “You went to school for that?”

This is because social phenomena can be responded by common sense.

Intuition is good to make sense, to give meanings, but not to understand the world.

Intuition is sometimes wrong, since it’s very specific, acquired from experience that is different from one person to another.

Social phenomena are unpredictable. The most possible thing is to predict the probability. It’s a matter of relevance, so the trick is to predict what is relevant.

It’s a matter of relevance

Internet untuk ilmu sosial adalah seperti teleskop untuk fisika, atau mikroskop untuk biologi. Untuk pertama kali dalam sejarah manusia, interaksi, perilaku dan sikan manusia terekam dalam jumlah besar di Internet.

Kemampuan belajar dan beradaptasi dengan cepat

lebih penting daripada mengantisipasi masa depan


Lots more interested things to be captured, but – as goes the saying – you’ve got to be there to absorb every detail 🙂

A happiness thermometer

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