|Discussion--Chaos seems a natural follow up to last week's word, Pandemonium. We observed that pandemonium is generally considered to be chaos, so what really is chaos? |
When describing chaos as confusion, we give the word a very human definition. After all we don't refer to trees and rocks as being confused, rather if they appear disordered, we can be pretty sure that some chaotic event, maybe a storm, earthquake or even a meteor could be responsible.
Today, chaos often is used in a scientific context, specifically when describing a system or model that appears to have no pattern. In the last 10 or 20 years a new field, "Chaos Theory" has emerged. Chaos Theory studies these sorts of systems. The most interesting
bit of information that this new field has provided me, is the notion that there may be a pattern to chaos. Yes, various practitioners, ranging from physists to stock market "rocket scientists" are trying to identify patterns within chaotic systems to help them harness chaos for there own benefit.
Frankly, it hurts my head to think about it.
Etymology--Chaos is a term originally from Greek and was originally associated with the word "chasm". Appearantly, the dangers of a chasm and the unpredictable nature of chaos were closely linked in Greek language and culture. Not surprising, in human affairs, the larger a chasm grows, the more chaotic a situation tends to grow. It's only when we
come together to solve problems, that the chaos of unresolved issues can be brought back into control.