Chaos and sides

When the whole world is in complete chaos, whose side are you on?

[ 28/October/21 ]

The question appears to be an oversimplification.

Chaos and order appear to be extremes on a spectrum.

The reality in which we exist seems to be a balance between order and chaos, in which chaos is constrained by probability functions, such that in some contexts it very closely approximates classical causality. Some approximation to classical causality is actually required to sustain complex systems such as we seem to be.

David Snowden and team have a really good useful simple system for the management of different sorts of complexity –

When you add to that, the concept from a modern understanding of evolution, that all new levels of complexity require new levels of cooperation for their emergence and survival; meaning that for entities as complex as us, our evolution and long term survival is much more about cooperation than it is about competition; then it is clear that when faced with real chaos, we need tight constraints to get out of the chaos, and cooperation in doing so.

So I am on the side of life, and that means cooperating to create conditions where every level of agent has as much freedom as they can responsibly exercise. And responsibility in this sense includes respect for the life and liberty of all other classes of agents present.

Reality seems to be sufficiently complex that we all have no option but to make simplistic models of it, and most of that is done subconsciously for us by our perceptual and sense-making systems. The more stressed we are, the more urgent the need for action, the simpler will be the models presented to our awareness.

Thus, when we are stressed or new to a domain, the world really does experientially occur as simple binaries, friend/foe or good/bad or right/wrong; and such simplicity is really useful for making rapid decisions when they are required, but it is always an over simplification of the complexity actually present.

So it is complex.

We all, when sufficiently stressed, get to choose sides, even if in our calmer moments we are all conscious that such sides are simplistic and dangerous most of the time.

There is a great deal of power to be gained by learning how to stay as calm as possible in all contexts, and only using such simplifications when absolutely necessary – and there will eternally remain uncertainties around making such judgements.

At another level, we all need to find our personal balance points where we have sufficient order for security, and sufficient chaos to retain interest. Such things are highly variable with interest, experience, competence and context.

Whenever anyone thinks the whole world is in complete chaos, they are probably using a vastly over simplified model of reality. There is almost always far more order present than most can easily appreciate. And we do seem to live in a very complex reality that contains multiple classes of fundamental uncertainties – so nothing is ever really as simple as it can seem, and often we need to simplify it to make choices in the time available to us – that just seems to be the nature of what it is to be human.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see
This entry was posted in Our Future, Philosophy, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s