Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Old order vs new order

If you are familiar with my blog, you'd know I have a fascination for complex and chaotic systems. How and why they function? Most importantly, how do they differ from our more familiar systems of hierarchical, fixed universe?

So far, I've noted that the commonly manifested fixed universe model have guiding principles, such as: centralized power, order from the top down, one God that rules all, clear lines of organization, each agent having a set, well-defined function, enabling division of labor, competition is necessary to demonstrate who is the strongest, efficiency is prized, parts are to be specialized and fixed in their proper places, rules and logic, orders and laws, reason and classes. Several hundred years of competition developing from fighting for survival, to warfare for domination and appropriation of resources, to competition in the arena, sports, to comparative advantages of trading nations, eventually to these merry days of world financial roulette. Oops, it looks like order is tripping over itself.

Somehow, the world is getting more and more complex, as borders become issues of conflict, circumvented by multinational national-law evaders, and dissolved by wireless communications. Those agents at the bottom of the rung aren't receiving clear messages from the top bosses anymore. They're starting to feel that they are individuals, not pieces in the machine. Rogue, free, self-serving agents popping up here and there in so many diverse forms. So the top boss reasons, how do I hit them all down at once, I have to be the boss?

The problem becomes apparent that underneath all that order, there exists other ways of doing things and suddenly they want to define themselves. Ah, but the status quo doesn't want to lose their bet in their old, so material, so well-defined structures that they can't see how it is falling apart.

This new order, paradoxically is chaotic order. Free agents forming shifting structures that pop in and out of view, gathering and dispersing in multiple locations all the time. Snowflakes, storms, chemical reactions, ants,... Well..well..well, what do you see? Even human behavior! Tragically, the first time this got noticed was 9/11. So how does the old order respond? In its old familiar way, let's give it a name, let's find a target. Well, we all know the story, there always a Michael Moore to tell us about it.

While everybody is being media-hyped forced to focus their attention on that affair, those other free agents are doing what they always do, popping up here and there in different forms, do you care to look for them? Where do you find order out of chaos? The scientists tells us, out there...on the edges, the place between the stillness of death, and complete chaos.

Me? I've been getting goosebumps and feeling my hair raise at their ends lately, because I've been noticing these edges. No, I'm not seeing ghosts. I think I'm seeing the turning of the tide. Most of the time, I want to shout out in sheer exhilaration, "At Last!!!" But of course, I can't do that, they'd think I'm crazy. You know what they do with seers and prophets. They either worship them or burn them. Brrrrrr, nope, not for me. Well, just a few leads for those who aren't completely lost by the time they've read this line: Brazil, China, India, and of course, Thailand.


HoneyBuzz said...

there will always be structure and chaos in the world. it's the shift between these two extremes that progresses the world toward new developments and creation. i visited the link about the "edge of chaos" you cited. i think that these two elements are essential for societal balance, and this balance should be achieved if we don't tip the scale. this is not a 2-D scale, but actually more of a spherical system where the balance point actually moves from one point to another, causing the two extreme points to move accordingly trying to restore the balance.

at times of drastic political, social, or environmental change, i believe that the balance point is shifted and will continue to do so until a new equilibrium is reached. right now, i feel like there is a definite shifing motion - caused by new factors and knowledge rippling into our system.

Cuauhtémoc said...

Hi,Honeybuzz, thanks for your comment. "Not 2D, but spherical moving from point to point"...this reminds me of the Buddhist image of the Chakra, it's even more than spherical, it's also spiral as well, beautiful images! Also nice to know that someone else senses the shift!