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“See how the stars are points? The factors of chaos and randomness in the complex makeups of every civilized society in the universe get filtered out by the distance, so those civilizations can act as reference points that are relatively easy to manipulate mathematically.”

“But there’s nothing concrete to study in your cosmic sociology, Dr. Ye. Surveys and experiments aren’t really possible.”

“That means your ultimate result will be purely theoretical. Like Euclidean geometry, you’ll set up a few simple axioms at first, then derive an overall theoretic system using those axioms as a foundation.”

“It’s all fascinating, but what would the axioms of cosmic sociology be?”

– Cixin Liu, The Dark Forest

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