Re: The Relevance of Complex Systems

From: Joel Peter William Pitt (
Date: Thu Sep 08 2005 - 20:28:43 MDT

On 9/8/05, Tennessee Leeuwenburg <> wrote:
> I don't think that's a proper description of what chaotic is. Chaos
> doesn't mean "without rules", but rather it means that the behaviour
> of the system is obviously derivable from the rules. The states are
> chaotic in that it would be exceedingly difficult to predict from
> knowledge of the initial conditions of the system what the precise
> state of the system would be sometimes in the future. The
> predictability of a car comes not from a bottom-up understanding of
> all interacting components, but rather from grokking what the stable
> patterns are.

The states in a chaotic system *are* able to be predicted with the knowledge
of initial conditions and the rules they follow. However any slight
deviation or error in the initial conditions result in the system following
different trajectories - so, in the real world a chaotic system is
deterministic, but we can't predict it's future because all our measurement
will have some degree of error and even a slight amount of error results in
quick divergence of trajectories.


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