Welcome to my Blog. This blog is intended to act as a repository for my work on
—– Chaos & Complexity —–
Early in the 1980’s there was a lot of enthusiasm about the emerging science of “Chaos Theory”. Chaos appeared to be answering questions no one had ever previously thought to ask.
Many thought that Chaos Theory might be “The Next Big Thing”; if Relativity Theory and Quantum Theory were the sciences of the 20th century, then Chaos Theory and its cousin Complexity Theory were to be the sciences of the 21st century.
Some thirty years on however, and this enthusiasm has waned somewhat; and while Chaos may have provided some interesting insights into many different and diverse scientific disciplines, it most definitely has failed to live up to, or even come close to, its initial high expectations.
One of my favorite quotes is “If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter”. The beauty of this famous line is in its self-referential brevity and simplicity. The point is very clear: brevity and simplicity are very hard to do!…
Writing a shorter letter is, of course, what’s difficult about science. Good science is essentially about simplifying complexity. It is about showing that each bit of seemingly unrelated complexity is in fact just a unique realization of some more general underlying simplicity.
You would think that this would apply to Chaos Theory and Complexity Theory. These subjects are certainly perceived to be related in some way, but even after more than 30 years of study both have proved a little too hard to precisely pin down. The generally accepted comparison between the two is usually something along the lines of:
- “Chaos is a form of Complex Behavior that can arise in Simple Systems…”
- “Complexity is a form of Simple Order that can emerge in Complex Systems…”
Theses definitions are acceptable, if somewhat vague, yet they certainly fail to identify, a clear and simple unifying theme…
The goal of this website is to provide the illusive unifying theme of chaos and complexity…
Hopefully – if I can write a short enough letter – the contents of this website will reveal how Chaos and Complexity are merely different manifestations of the same common underlying behavior, behavior that could be best described as “Coarse Damping” to equilibrium.