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Chaos Theory: What is it and what does it mean for the way we see the world?

  • Dec 1, 2012 · 3:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

As a few people have mentioned how difficult a concept this is, perhaps we can think about this on a more manageable level:

The complexity of our world interferes with smooth, predictable outcomes. However our public policy--especially in terms of environment, technology, debt, economics, funding for all types of problems--seem to rely on accurate prediction. in what ways will an acknowledgement of chaos impact the broader use of--and faith in--prediction models.

In what ways are we (borrowing Stephen's idea) like the operators of Jurassic park, assured of our dominance and ability to manage complex and dangerous systems. Just what else would Jeff Goldblum disapprove of?

What questions have you come up with regarding the implications of chaos theory? If we could post a few in the discussion section below, that could give us some ideas to begin with.

Texts:

Scientific American article about practical example of chaos [Short webpage/magazine article]

The infamous scene from Jurassic park [video]

Short documentary on chaos theory [video]

Webpage introducing chaos theory [Website]

Short webpage introduction [Website]

More technical webpage introduction [Website]

*new* a brief summary of chaos theory [PDF]

Please note: Communitea has asked we bring chairs or other seating with us as the metal chairs on their property destroy the garden.

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  • rkesh

    December 4, 2012

  • Jessica W.

    Missed another one. Drat.

    December 4, 2012

  • Kenneth T.

    When is the next mtg.?

    December 2, 2012

  • Laurie

    Darn I thought it was on Sunday.

    December 2, 2012

  • Tara N.

    Extremely interesting topic. I was surprised by how much I immediately understood, and I enjoyed the readings/videos--especially the Nova documentary on fractals. The conversation itself was dominated by those who knew their way around the topic, and I was disappointed that we had more of a lecture than a discussion, but I was impressed with everyone. Definitely a good bunch of intelligent people. Perhaps we'll all have a more balanced discussion next time. :)

    December 2, 2012

  • James R.

    A very technical concept, but we made the best of it! Lots of explanation--which cut into discussion time--but I think we all have new ideas to ponder. (Quantum physics anyone?)

    December 1, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks to all for a most thought-provoking discussion.

    December 1, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone still there???

    December 1, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Running a little late.

    December 1, 2012

  • Roger

    There is construction in the garden, but we can still meet here. Just enter/exit through the back, not the side next the Dandelion.

    December 1, 2012

  • meighan h.

    I wish u all a very enlightening discussion. A third body has interfered with my measures.

    December 1, 2012

  • James R.

    Just posted a summary if you'd like to pursue:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zkmjoxmew5d84ga/Chaos%20theory%20summary.pdf

    December 1, 2012

  • James R.

    A question for Saturday: In what ways has our society acknowledged the ideas of chaos and in what ways are we acting as if chaos is irrelevant?

    November 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I might not be able to make this. I got another job, and I'll be working Saturdays from now on. This Saturday is my training, so I might be able to at least make this one.

    November 28, 2012

  • James R.

    A longer video from Nova (YEAH!) discussing fractals, their place in the history of math, and their relation to the complexity of life.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LemPnZn54Kw

    November 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I found this explanation of chaos theory on YouTube helpful.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnlkKdDXk-I

    November 28, 2012

  • Roger

    FYI, I did speak with Michael and Emily from the Florida School of Holistic Living, who actually holds the lease on the garden space. As expected, our meeting there is not a problem in any way. In fact, Emily may try to make a meetup at some point. They also do not have an issue with the Dandelion chairs being in there for the duration of our meeting.

    November 26, 2012

    • James R.

      Thanks for looking into this. Perhaps Dandelion just doesn't want us to use their chairs? We'll find out Saturday. I wonder if it would still be a good idea to bring seating just in case.

      November 27, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm bringing a few just in case. I think that they complained to the cafe, but because Roger knows them, they are now ok with it. I doubt that the cafe cares if we use their chairs. We buy food, and so do other people that use those chairs

      November 27, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just for chaos sake - It's a lovely day isn't it?

    November 26, 2012

    • meighan h.

      Why yes. Yes it is.

      November 26, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      And now we've hijacked the discussion. Why how random and, well chaos ensues. LOL

      November 26, 2012

  • meighan h.

    oh yeah! lawn chair on the ready.

    November 25, 2012

  • James R.

    I'll look up some short texts/vids and then update this post and send out a notification email. (Preferably by Tuesday night.) If anyone has any suggestions in vid/text department, please feel free to throw them in.

    November 25, 2012

  • Laurie

    When is the next meetup.

    November 25, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just to throw a little Chaos into the mix, I'll come. But my only contribution may be talking about Jeff Goldblume's perspective on it from his role in Jurassic Park. LOL

    November 24, 2012

  • meighan h.

    Way over my perview to be of value in a discussion. However I'd read the text and attend just for the exposure.

    November 24, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I know so little about this topic, I would be a little gun shy about opening my mouth in such a discussion. I think this would be better suited for a lecture video followed by a discussion kind of set up rather than our current set up. Other than that, I am in based on my schedule!!

    October 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Chaos theory is tough. Really tough. You might want to try reading "SYNC: How Order Emerges From Chaos In The Universe, Nature, and Daily Life" by Steven Strogatz. This is the easiest text I've read on the subject. Amazon readers give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

    October 21, 2012

  • James R.

    Any idea on texts yet? Chaos theory sounds fascinating and any type of background info would be greatly appreciated.

    October 16, 2012

  • Kenneth T.

    I'll attend if the venue is close to a charging station.

    October 10, 2012

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