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Order from chaos and stuff like that

“Then suddenly, all the fireflies began to switch their flourescent tails on and off at exactly the same moment, turning the beacon-shaped tree into a huge pulsing light bulb for miles.” Suddenly, a lightbulb from nature. Order from non-order. This example is in the mix of many examples, from the similarity between our social networks, the physical ones made through the invention of the internet, the neural networks in our brain to the evolution of our DNA. What happens at 32 degrees to water? A random, ambiguous system of molecules suddenly self organizes into consistent crystal patterns. So what does it all mean? Dunno. But I can’t help to think of determinism and our fate… that we can’t help but slip into patterns, to be chained to some future, at least in part by some pattern. Not defined specifically, but inherent in us to self organize into something predetermined… We can expect the unexpected… it’s expected. A disturbance in the pattern so large and out of scale that it is expected… alongside anomalies so small and minute they barely go noticed. Those anomalies are part of the power law… an exponential increase in the strength or diminished strength of a characteristic of an otherwise mostly consistent network. Not to get too ‘reading rainbow’, but I’d recommend the book. it builds on itself, each concept overlaid onto the next to build the history of our understanding of how networks form. The meta-network, is the fact that all these networks are related by principles, and laws that govern them. All the networks are part of the same network. In brief, it’s basically the Matrix. A program to run the programs. So, are you programmed by falling into some set of norms? And if you’re an anomaly  is it so absurd to think that the anomalies are expected? Perhaps it’s because we’re active and changing that we can expect our differences…. that they repeat in nature, in the formation of cities and culture. It turns out our unique differences are the expected result of a system of law abiding networks.

1 comment to Order from chaos and stuff like that

  • mam1286

    Hey Adam, glad we got to talk about this book a bit. From our posts it seems like we had pretty different experiences, but I think we really came to the same conclusion. I think you said you had kind of a “that’s it?” moment when you finished the book and I definitely felt the same way. The book had a lot of interesting information and models for understanding, but doesn’t really seem to really expand my idea of what a network is. I hope you don’t mind me bringing up our conversation here. I’m wondering if you agree or disagree with the things I wrote in my post. Also, in light of our conversation, would you still recommend this book to our classmates?