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Explanation via Chaos (Part 2)

SERIES: Explanation via Chaos
AUTHOR: Jim Schofield


High Anxieties: The Mathematics of Chaos This TV programme was an attempt to explain away the Bank Crisis of October 2008 without apportioning any blame. The culprit had to be established as the natural tendency towards chaos in our trusted extracted relations. This was urgent in a context when many others knew precisely who to blame. The problem was to divert such blame away, a team of experts had to be assembled who could effectively carry out this vitally necessary diversion.

At the same time this author had to debunk their apologia and redirect blame to where it clearly should reside. The narrator of High Anxieties goes all the way back to Newton and the Scientific Method to find the answers, but in the process misses the crucial flaw in that method which dated from then. Instead of revealing the limitation of plurality-inspired extractions from Reality, which explain a great deal, the team instead blamed "the natural tendency" of all laws to subside into Chaos without warning. This team's remit becomes crystal clear. It is all our own fault for accepting the validity of extracted law, but, of course, this is untrue! It is clearly THEIR and THEIR COLLEAGUES fault - not ours! Sensitivity to initial conditions was indeed slowly realised, and the pessimism of this team is of that ilk which presses everyone to "give up now you'll never do it!" Indeed, their thesis is encapsulated in Ruelle's assertion that the "combatants in the First World War were not fighting each other... but the Chaos of Reality". Even the self-inflicted demise of Alexander Niapolov in Russia is put down to the inevitability of Chaos in his researches, whereas I'm clear that he topped himself because of the impending success of the Bolshevik Revolution.

An included expert in such matters defines Stability and Instability using models of Hills, Valleys and Smooth, Round Balls, but nevertheless adds nothing of value. The problem is clearly ignorance of Emergence displayed by the whole team. All these experts seemed wholly unaware of the route by which Emergence was grounded as being real. It included Geology, Hegel and the Theory of Evolution, but they had never however thought it necessary to address such events as relevant to their remit.

But slowly, other strands were confirming this change. From Michelet's Historical Materialism, to the new materialists around Karl Marx, a new synthesis was indeed possible. Yet our established thinkers did not consider these ideas. They rushed to the computer as "enabling technology" which could decide whether Laplacian determinism was correct or not, and if not, why not!?
But this was almost immediately scuppered by Ed Lorentz with his clear revelation of sensitivity to Initial conditions in turbulence. Though most saw his work as undermining the whole agreed methodology, others sought refuge in Random Noise. Even this proved fallacious. The whole pluralist method forced many relevant factors into the category of ignorable background Noise. But, sadly for them, these proved to be the very elements which undermined ALL pluralist-derived equations.

Yet the clear direction of study implied by all of this was not undertaken. Interestingly, the makers of this programme include visual identification of formulae which very easily descend into Chaos, without dealing with them in the narrative or in any other way in the programme. In this equation and its analysis lie the seeds of Chaos, but it is not addressed at all. The culprit in computers is surely the numerical methods used in finding solutions, but they are not mentioned either. The overall conclusions are pessimistic and not attributable to any perpetrators. In spite of the actual case of a successfully directed Revolution in Russia, no-one utters a single word about it. In the end it is concluded to be OUR OWN FAULT, we trusted these equations. We pumped up generally stable situations into unstable ones, and we could do no other because we cannot predict such things.

1. The narrator takes us back to Newton and the Scientific Method. This was indeed the time when plurality could be used because Man had developed enough necessary Control to extract and use relations from Reality

2. A law-governed & predictable world seemed possible via this approach, because man-constrained Parts could be maintained in which extracted relations could continue to hold.

3. But though such methods were predicated on Controlled Domains for both extraction & use, most scientists also needed to know why things behaved in the way that they did. They required explanations!

4. And this dependability led to a vastly increased status for mathematics. The extracted relations were turned via abstraction into “eternal” laws, and were seen as the Essence of Reality.

5. Yet such were really removed from unfettered Reality into a world of Pure Form alone, and only worked where sections of Reality were constrained to make them work there too

6. This Ideal World of Pure Form ensured that the equations there were universal – appearing everywhere, but obviously NOT the case in totally unfettered Reality

7. So what does all this mean in the context of the arguments put forward in this programme? The experts there knew nothing of these arguments. They had not studied the actual nature of equations. To them what were once the truth, now betrayed them – not the same is it?

8. One special aspect of the real situation – Chaos, was to them the cause of their crisis. Chaos is NOT a cause. It is a consequence!

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