Patterns in the chaos

I didn’t think I was going to have the time to update my page, but it just so happened that I did. My weekend was actually really nice. I feel at peace with myself. This week is going to be fairly busy. I plan to get myself another indoor bonsai while I’m in San Francisco. I also want to check out MoMa while I’m out there. I think things have greatly improved in my life since Thursday. I’m finally aware that good things are coming. It is Spring, the weather is beautiful, I have energy, I feel strong again.

At a certain point people have to find the pattern in the chaos; a path in the randomness. My life was spiraling out of control, my feelings were simply overflowing with negativity. Essentially I was walking around with a thundering rain-cloud over my head. Not pretty. I was so caught up in the web of the negativity, that I wasn’t seeing the options and choices that were staring me right in the face. I live in the bubble on my darkness no longer. So there…all better. When I walk outside now, I’m actually able to sense life outside of me. I internalized everything for so long. Dragged life through the internal filter of negativity and it all became drenched in the same, gray nastiness that I was feeling inside. I stopped seeing the beauty all around me, the color, the wonderful aspects of being alive. That is of course with the exception of the Lexington Ave. subway stop during rush hour when hundreds of people pile on the platform and begin pushing their way up two, very long and slow escalators. No beauty in that…only claustrophobia and bad chi. A true example of Chaos Theory in the morning. Today I was crammed in line for almost 15 minutes before I even reached the escalator. If I was a terrorist I’d probably target the Lexington Ave. stop. OK no need to go there…just a thought…you can’t help having thoughts like that when you’re in a situation where there is only one exit and it’s 100 feet above ground. The panic of the crowd alone would result in casualties in an emergency. That’s the thing about civilized people…change the context and you have savages on your hands. The same people that smile and say “excuse me” would trample you without a second thought. New York can be very stressing.

In about an hour I will be leaving for the airport for about 10 hours of commute. Just think…recycled stale air (although I recently discovered that that is actually not true since air is renewed every 3 minutes from an intake beneath the wings), pre-packaged plane food, dry skin and lots of new faces. Airports get me high. I love the energy in airports…that sense of electrified expectation, like anything can happen. I love looking at people in airports…some tired, some happy, some alone, some hungry, some reclining lifelessly in seats by their respective gates. I don’t know…I love it. I like planes, like the idea of flying. Have had an opportunity to do a lot of traveling this year. This is my second time returning to San Francisco. I’ll take pictures this time around.

I have to run. Hope you like the tid bits on Chaos. The animation below is an image called a Dragon Wave. It is a representation of mathematical chaos.

[learn_more caption=”More about Chaos”] At the time of its discovery, the phenomenon of chaotic motion was considered a mathematical oddity. In the decades since then, physicists have come to discover that chaotic behavior is much more widespread, and may even be the norm in the universe. One of the most important discoveries was made in 1963, by the meteorologist Edward Lorenz, who wrote a basic mathematical software program to study a simplified model of the weather. Specifically Lorenz studied a primitive model of how an air current would rise and fall while being heated by the sun. Lorenz’s computer code contained the mathematical equations which governed the flow the air currents. Since computer code is truly deterministic, Lorentz expected that by inputing the same initial values, he would get exactly the same result when he ran the program. Lorenz was surprised to find, however, that when he input what he believed were the same initial values, he got a drastically different result each time. By examining more closely, he realized that he was not actually inputing the same initial values each time, but ones which were slightly different from each other. He did not notice the initial values for each run were different because the difference was incredibly small, so small as to be considered microscopic and insignificant by usual standards. The mathematics inside Lorenz’s model of atmospheric currents was widely studied in the 1970’s. Gradually it came to be known that even the smallest imaginable discrepancy between two sets of initial conditions would always result in a huge discrepancy at later or earlier times, the hallmark of a chaotic system, of course. Scientists now believe that like Lorenz’s simple computer model of air currents, the weather as a whole is a chaotic system. This means that in order to make long-term weather forecasts with any degree of accuracy at all, it would be necessary to take an infinite number of measurements. Even if it were possible to fill the entire atmosphere of the earth with an enormous array of measuring instruments—in this case thermometers, wind gauges, and barometers—uncertainty in the initial conditions would arise from the minute variations in measured values between each set of instruments in the array. Because the atmosphere is chaotic, these uncertainties, no matter how small, would eventually overwhelm any calculations and defeat the accuracy of the forecast. This principle is sometimes called the “Butterfly Effect.” In terms of weather forecasts, the “Butterfly Effect” refers to the idea that whether or not a butterfly flaps its wings in a certain part of the world can make the difference in whether or not a storm arises one year later on the other side of the world. Because of the “Butterfly Effect,” it is now accepted that weather forecasts can be accurate only in the short-term, and that long-term forecasts, even made with the most sophisticated computer methods imaginable, will always be no better than guesses. Thus the presence of chaotic systems in nature seems to place a limit on our ability to apply deterministic physical laws to predict motions with any degree of certainty. The discovery of chaos seems to imply that randomness lurks at the core of any deterministic model of the universe. One of the most interesting issues in the study of chaotic systems is whether or not the presence of chaos may actually produce ordered structures and patterns on a larger scale. Recently, some scientists have come to believe that the presence of chaos in physics is what gives the universe its “arrow of time,” the irreversible flow from the past to the future. As the study of chaos in physics enters its second century, the issue of whether the universe is truly deterministic is still an open question, and it will undoubtedly remain so, even as we come to understand more and more about the dynamics of chaotic systems.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Determinism”] Determinism is the philosophi-cal belief that every event or action is the inevitable result of preceding events and actions. Thus, in principle at least, every event or action can be completely predicted in advance, or in retrospect. According to the determi-nistic model of science, the universe unfolds in time like the workings of a perfect machine, with-out a shred of randomness or deviation from the predeter-mined laws. Newton’s laws are completely deterministic because they imply that anything that happens at any future time is completed determined by what happens now, and moreover that everything now was completely determined by what happened at any time in the past. One of the fundamental principles of experimental science is that no real measurement is infinitely precise, but instead must necessarily include a degree of uncertainty in the value. This uncertainty which is present in any real measurement arises from the fact that any imaginable measuring device–even if designed and used perfectly can record its measurement only with a finite preci-sion.One way to understand this fact is to realize that in order to record a measurement with infinite precision, the instrument would require an output capable of displaying an infinite number of digits. It is important to remember that the uncertainty in the dynamical outcome does not arise from any random-ness in the equations of motion–since they are completely deterministic–but rather from the lack of the infinite accura-cy in the initial conditions.[/learn_more]