Complexity and Chaos

News Years eve is a classic example of complexity and chaos. There’s a chaotic mix of individuals sharing thoughts with strangers because for this one night, everyone’s the party. There’s also complexity between friends (old and new) based on the experiences of the past. You might say it’s like a complex neural net with variable nodal points as opposed to static ones. Each experience and perception is different and unique but when shared with another, a stranger, they become connected to you as you are to them from that moment on. At some level a brief encounter with a stranger changes the course of your path, to greater and lesser degree, based on how much you agree with their perception.

Because we’re all interconnected, every change in that network affects us all in some minute way. Most of the time we are completely unaware of how another’s new connection will eventually affect you, but at the same time the old six degrees of seperation tells us that in reality, any of us is only 6 degrees away from anyone else in this world, going through relationships (big or small) between people. I could have sworn I’ve read that they did some kind of test to see if that was actually true. I believe that it works for the wired generation, but I don’t know if it would work with the luddites. That’s a strong term but at some point that’s the way I’m going to feel about people who reject or don’t understand the internet, and how powerful a force it’s becoming in this world.
Communication is the act of sharing one’s perception with another unique individual. Whether or not that act is valued depends on the variable personality of the people in question. Value and morals are the backbone of our society and if these common traits are not shared between individuals then the connection would probably be considered one of poor Quality. Quality is an interesting subject of it’s own, but I feel that the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values does a more than adequate job of explaining it’s significance. It’s really hard to quanitify how influential this book has been on the development of who I am – I remember cracking it open on a tour bus in Australia and I can honestly say that the questions it asks and the story it tells have changed my life in subtle but positive ways. One of the most challenging books I’ve ever read, but well worth the effort.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was written in the early seventies, but the author, Robert Pirsig although reclusive has not been idle. Whereas Zen was challenging from a new idea perspective, his last book Lila : An Inquiry Into Mortals feels almost like an old glove in some ways, the ideas so logical and wonderful because of it’s radicalism and fundamentally challenging tone. I am only a third of the way through and I’m hooked like a junkie. It creeps into my mind when I’m at work or play and I read it as often as I can. I shake my head in shame at the fact that a few years ago I would have been done the book by now but unfortunately there just never seems to be enough time.
What I’ve gotten from it so far is fairly tricky from a ‘new meme to digest perspective’ but logical if you follow his thought process. (Read the books!) He supposes that life is just a series of value choices at all levels of complexity and awareness, or at least that’s what my take of it is. I believe he’s going to rail against the lack of studying of moral in science when science is in fact governed by morals. It’s like Wally was telling me earlier – in the ‘big picture’ field of study of Macro Economics there is no examination of the effects of politics when in fact everything business related is completely affected by politics. It’s like people saying that the church and the state are seperate when in fact it’s obvious that the choices politicians will make are based on their moral system which they’ve inherited from whatever religious system is at the root of their being. Of course they’re related and to say that we can seperate the two is a statement of ignorance. You cannot suspend your morals when you’re making political decisions. How then is religion not the most influential part of politics?
Well it’s 5:30 am and I have to scrape the ice off my driveway at a reasonable time tomorrow. If I wait too long the temperature will drop to -20C and that just won’t be an enjoyable experience. It was a great night tonight, many new people, many old. Two people that I’ve whored my site to at past parties came and told me how much they liked it. That was certainly a good feeling as it’s never happened before. Validation! What a wonderful drug. I’ll leave you with a final thought:
Complexity balances chaos to create experience and perception. Do you agree?

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