2.4 A dynamic, complex system

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There are mechanisms and laws that apply to all physical, mental and emergent phenomena - that is, everything that exists at all. These are called the laws of complexity, formerly often called the laws of chaos.

The most important are the law of attractors (something take precedence over something else), reinforcement through feedback loops, the butterfly effect (something small can have a big effect), self-organization (some forms become very stable) and fractals (the same structures are repeated within all areas and across all sizes).

The laws of complexity are what create the notion of ... everything, absolutely everything.
2.4.0-1  The pattern the mind creates in a steady stream, is experienced as a dynamic system, we have said. The thought experiences the pattern as form and content, which is also movable, changeable. In short, the world. How does this work?

2.4.0-2  Imagine a table with a lot of billiard balls placed close together. You shoot a bullet into the cluster and one bullet hits the other, with different force, angle and spin so that they fly to all sides and form a pattern that changes until the bullets calm down because they are not supplied with more energy.

2.4.0-3  This can be described with classical mechanics. The energy from the first shot propagates outwards. The movements can be calculated quite accurately. The laws were discovered and formulated by Newton, Kepler, Galileo and Copernicus over three hundred years ago.

2.4.0-4  There are several forces at play. Each of the billiard balls has plenty. This creates gravity. Each of the balls "pulls" on the other balls. The paths of the balls are thus not completely straight, but slightly curved. The deviation is so microscopic that we do not see it, but if the spheres had been suns and planets, we would have seen it. Then the Sun had attracted the Earth. And the Earth had attracted the Moon. The biggest one wins and the smaller ones attract.

2.4.0-5  This is exactly what makes the Moon go around the Earth and the Earth go around the Sun. We "fall" inwards towards that which is bigger and heavier than us, because the room itself is curved, bent. Einstein was the first to understand how it works.

2.4.0-6  It is as if you are trying to lie down in a bed where in the middle is a small but super compact stone that weighs one ton. The sheet, which mimics the room both you and the stone are in, curves downwards towards the stone. You scroll down towards it. This is gravity - gravity.

2.4.0-7  But the Earth is not sucked in and swallowed by the Sun, because there are other laws, including that of inertia. The earth speeds away at 30 kilometers per second in relation to the Sun. Ideally, the Earth will continue straight ahead, it is "slow" to change direction. The Earth will continue forward and the Sun will pull us inward. These two forces balance each other. The result is that the Earth is in orbit around and around the Sun.

2.4.0-8  That way we could still. Each of the billiard balls consists of many trillions of atoms. It is a world of "things" with "mass" where everything affects everything.

2.4.0-9  It is unbelievably complex. Not only do the billiard balls act on each other, but the atoms inside them as well. And the molecules. How should one be able to count on it?

2.4.0-10  In a billiard game you use sixteen balls. The movement of each of them can be calculated, but only if you do not include gravity. When gravity is taken, it immediately gets worse, in fact almost impossible.

2.4.0-11  Imagine that you have only three bullets. They are large, the size of the Sun, so the gravity between them is strong. Then one of mechanics' most famous problems arises: the three-body problem. The movement of the three spheres becomes so complex that, except in certain special cases, it is impossible to predict what will happen. The movements are chaotic. Classical mechanics gives no answer.

2.4.0-12  Thus we have come to Henri PoincarĂ©, a French physicist, mathematician, engineer and philosopher of science. He is described as the last "universalist" in mathematics. He did not mess around, but tried to find solutions by looking broadly at the problems.

2.4.0-13  In the 1880s, PoincarĂ© worked with - precisely the three-body problem. He understands that it is insoluble and that a new way of attacking it is needed. He formulates a principle which is given the inhospitable name "the relativistic movement transformation".

2.4.0-14  This will be the start of what was first called chaos theory and is now called complexity theory. It is used to understand large, complex, moving systems where "everything affects everything". What laws govern what happens?

2.4.0-15  In order to study complexity, one has to run huge amounts of equations over and over in long sequences to see how things evolve. This only became possible when computers came in earnest.

2.4.0-16  In 1961, mathematician Edward Lorenz worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the east coast of the United States to model a weather system with twelve different variables. He had at his disposal an LGP-30 computer with less capacity than a music Christmas card has today. It took an infinitely long time.

2.4.0-17  He had run a full round of simulation and found that he wanted to take a closer look at a limited part by running just this one again. To save time, he took the key number from a specific time, fed it into the machine and started from there.

2.4.0-18  The jumbled machine, consisting of a few thousand radio tubes and diodes, could deliver numbers with six-digit accuracy. But on the paper printout he sat with, this had been rounded to three digits. 0.506127 was printed as 0.506, which he then started driving with.

2.4.0-19  The result was highly unexpected. By changing only slightly by a single number, the development of the weather became radically different than in the first simulation. He had discovered the butterfly effect. If a butterfly in the jungle in Brazil flaps its wings, it could result in a tornado over Texas in the United States a few weeks later. This is how it was presented to the public. Microscopic changes anywhere in a large, dynamic system can have extreme consequences in further development. This was named chaos theory.

2.4.0-20  The word butterfly effect was allegedly launched by Lorenz for the first time at a conference in 1972, eleven years after its discovery. The word chaos theory is said to have been uttered for the first time at a conference in December 1977. It is a pure young science. It is often said that the 20th century gave us three scientific revolutions: quantum mechanics, Einstein's theories of relativity and chaos theory.

2.4.0-21  "Chaos" does not mean that everything is chaos. It is a condition we do not understand, but it is not without legality. We are approaching something religious. The word is Greek and does not mean disorder at all, which has its own word; tarakhe. Chaos, on the other hand, for the Greeks, was the great emptiness, the potential that existed before the cosmos. The gods shaped chaos with their will to what we all wander around in, the universe. From the 17th century, these nuances are forgotten and chaos is chaos.

2.4.0-22  Then came the chaos theory, the complexity theory. What does it say?

2.4.0-23  As soon as something interacts, plays along with something else - then the laws of chaos come into action. Here are some of the most important:
  1. Attractors: When something is big and strong, it dominates over what is smaller and weaker. Think of the popular girls in the schoolyard.
  2. The Butterfly Effect: If there are no strong attractors in an area, even a small event can develop into an attractor, which gradually has an increasing effect, often through feedback loops.
  3. Feedback: You have probably heard the howl when the sound from the speakers on a stage is picked up by the microphones which then send the sound to the speakers again. When the result of a process is fed back to the same process, there can be a violent reinforcement so that everything runs wild.
  4. Self-organization: Attractors and feedback quickly lead to certain patterns becoming so dominant that they are difficult to change. An example is language. When everyone in a country speaks a certain language, everyone who is born into the country has a strong tendency to speak the language as well.
  5. Fractals and holism: Things look about the same no matter what scale is used. The forces, the laws that form the patterns are the same everywhere. The branching of nerve cells in a brain is thus similar to the branching to the mouth of a river - which in turn is similar to structures in the universe. Only the surroundings say that we are talking about very different things.

2.4.0-24  All these mechanisms, the laws, govern everything, everywhere, in all areas - both physical, organic, humanistic and mental. It has gradually been understood.

2.4.0-25  The laws of chaos govern the undulating patterns, the "murmurs", in the flocks of birds over Rome - and the wanderings of wildebeest on the Serengeti plain in Tanzania. They control finances and group thinking. Teaching and artificial intelligence. They are used to calculate transport systems and power supply. Policy. Art. Meeting. The Christmas celebrations. Jokes. Pandemics and weather. Everything, to put it in three letters. Everything in this world is dynamic, chaotic. Everything flows, as another Greek said.

2.4.0-26  Did you catch this last one? The laws of chaos thus apply to both material and thought-driven phenomena. Both billiard balls and jokes. It has been observed. It is documented.

2.4.0-27  Christmas is an attraction. It makes us make choices in our heads, including going out and buying Christmas presents way too late. About starting Christmas baking at about the same time everyone. Christmas is an idea. In the highest degree, one might say, for it is an idea that God was born as man on Earth two thousand years ago. You will be looking for more airy ideas for a long time. Or concrete, as you see it.

2.4.0-28  The physical and mental go hand in hand at Christmas, to the delight of some, the frustration of others. The complexity laws apply to the whole thing. If one were to point to a God in this mess, it would have to be the laws of chaos. This suggests something about what the world really is. Mental.