“Sporder” is short for spontaneous order, a powerful idea in philosophy and science that demonstrates how complex systems order themselves from simple behavior. Sporders are found everywhere in our daily life, from the markets we buy and sell in, to the internet we use, to the flocks of birds we see in the sky, to the languages we speak, to the way we navigate crowds, down to the elementary particles that compose our world. We simply seek to point out these sporders and raise the public’s awareness to their beauty, their complexity, and their efficiency by analyzing where they emerge and how they function.
As a bunch of young economists, we are most interested in exploring and educating about the social sporders we encounter as members of society. Most significantly, the concept of spontaneous order demonstrates the robust ability for people to cooperate and solve the problems of collective action, to self-organize efficiently & morally, and without (or in spite of) the coercive authority of governments. Our emphasis on markets, decentralized institutions, and peaceful non-interference tends to align us with libertarianism and classical liberalism.
One of the most interesting areas of sporder research is in virtual sporders. These are interactive games where developers design an artificial world with rules that either model or modify those of the real world. Despite being centrally-designed, there is often a lot of complex behavior that emerges among players in these games, demonstrating the robustness and omnipresence of sporders. We hope to use gaming as a particularly powerful medium to demonstrate just how much our lives are ruled (and perhaps should be) by sporders. To that end, we are aiming to create our own set of crowd-sourced games to demonstrate this effect – at The Sporder Project.