Science and Cocktails: Why People do Stupid Things @ Paradiso Amsterdam, October 28, 2020

Published on
September 3, 2020

This is an event that is held on the 28th of October at Paradiso, Amsterdam. Tickets can be bought at Paradiso's website:

Science & Cocktails is a series of public talks by scientists with live music and smoky dry-ice chilled cocktails in your hand. Professor of Artificial Sociality Gert Jan Hofstede talks about his computational models to map and understand how individuals and groups of people act and interact. We people tend to be a bit obsessed with our own intelligence. So why do people collectively do stupid things?

The answer is found, in large part, in human sociality. We are tribal animals, and our intellect bends to our tribal needs. What is sociality, and how new it is in evolutionary sense? It turns out that sociality is hundreds of millions years old, and shapes our behaviours so deeply that it is more a master than a servant to our intelligence.

If we take sociality seriously, this allows us to understand our collective stupidity, and to try and cure it. This helps in particular for policy making about common goods such as the earth, water, and air around us. People and their sociality are always at the core of understanding these ‘socio-something’ systems; yet they tend to be overlooked in policy making.

Professor in Artificial Sociality, Gert Jan Hofstede’s research involves models of human sociality that can be used in so-called agent-based models. Such models are a form of computational models to map and understand how individuals and groups of people (agents) act and interact.
Gert Jan Hofstede refers to these models as living hypotheses, populated with creatures in a simplified world, and we can look at them as we would at an anthill. We can study both the hill and the individual ants. This makes such models very intuitive, and potentially useful as means of communication.

Gert Jan Hofstede
Prof. Dr. Ir. Gert Jan Hofstede (1956) has been a globetrotter, a population biologist, a computer programmer. He is a world citizen, son-of, father-of and grandfather. He loves singing, speedskating and acting. At present he is professor of Artificial Sociality at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

This event is an initiative by the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP) with the support of NWA Route2Science & Cocktails Amsterdam is presented in cooperation with Paradiso and acknowledges the support of New Scientist.