technologies before they are developed. People often get caught up in the details of how the technologies work, but the more important questions are what is being measured, how well it is measured, what are the limitations with the data, and what the data can be used for.
Neil Thomason asked Brander what sorts of indicators exist for various social and behavioral features. Brander responded by discussing briefly what sorts of indicators one would use to measure social change. It is not obvious, and it depends in large part on the underlying theory used to understand and interpret social change. Should one use Max Weber? How about Foucault and the other postmodern French philosophers? In practice one place to start would be to look at attitudes, which can be measured with questionnaires. Behavioral changes would probably come more slowly than changes in attitudes. Such changes in a place like Afghanistan might take several generations to appear, he said. What are we going to measure now?