Archive for September, 2010

Philosophical Chaos

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Not quite weekly, turns out the way I will be blogging will be on no consistent level, a chaotic one as it were.

That’s the second time chaos has come up in one of my posts, last week I referred to myself as ‘an advocate of chaos’ and its a concept I have been thinking about for some time, transposing it mathematically, scientifically and philosophically whilst looking for chaos in the threads of everyday life. Of course titling oneself as an ‘advocate’ doesn’t really do much except applying your name to the general definition of what is a vague word at best. Chaos can mean a number of things.

I first came across the concept in A level maths lessons when looking at functions. Having spent the past two years drinking the less vital parts of my brain away and focussing my efforts on a drama degree I forget the specifics of the lesson, something to do with the Ran# button on the calculator, but I remember the idea of the function with an increasing number of solutions. For the first set of values the function had one solution until it got to a point when it suddenly had 2. Pushing the function up higher the solutions doubled again, and again, and again until the number of solutions became infinite and I had seen, for the first time, mathematical chaos.

This is essentially the building block upon which all other chaos is built, something starting in order and resulting in unpredicted outcomes. I had not imagined at the time that a problem could herald infinite solutions in the same way that the numbers must have felt trundling along at a steady rate with just the one answer. It goes on towards chaos theory in science which looks at the inexplicable and disordered Universe and tries to bring logic to the storm. Even the butterfly effect is a biproduct of chaos, the small change at the beginning of the timeline like a butterfly flapping its wings can have astronomical ramifications which, as more variables are added, become impossible to predict, become chaotic.

Still, this doesn’t explain my advocation of chaos. I’m a logical human being, an artist yes but one who puts his faith in science and rationality so why should I look at this disorder and declare my advocacy? Well, recent events have transpired over the past few months, events I’d rather not go into, which have changed the complete topography of my life and were also events that I never thought would happen. For a while I was distraught, trying to explain and rationalise, trying to plan my next move and trying desperately to figure out what would happen next but then I realised something. If I predicted this would never happen and yet it did then why am I trying to predict now? The fact of the matter is, no matter how much you try to predict the outcome of things, it is absolutely impossible to predict every conceivable situation you will find yourself and so the act of planning for it becomes increasingly illogical. One formula – infinite solutions. Never say never.

So that is how I decided to advocate chaos, whatever happens next happens and that is that, whatever is plausible is, by definition, possible regardless of the odds. The way I see it, the whole thing fits in quite nicely with nihilism and hedonism too, although I do still have a dissertation to write.

Thanks for reading, hopefully if anybody’s reading in a rational existentialist crisis you can look at this and think maybe it’s time to let go and leave the outcomes up to chaos.


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