Illusion Of Chaos

ExtremeProgramming, perhaps ...


What appears as chaos may in fact have purpose. If you would observe the ants ranging from their anthill, you might perceive their wanderings to be chaotic, since rarely in their explorations do they travel in a straight line. Their wanderings seem chaotic, without direction and confused. But through the explorations of the thousands of ants from such an anthill, the discovery of food is eventually made and the organized effort to gather and store the food is underway. It is only an IllusionOfChaos.

Perhaps the original wanderings are pretty random in direction, i.e., genuinely chaotic, whatever that means, whereas after food is found, some scent trail is followed to the food. What happens if there is no food to find? If one interferes to ensure only one ant finds the food, is there a sufficient trail for that ant to find its way back to the nest anyway? --BlackHat

If we were to ask the ant, and of course it was able to respond in a format we could understand, if the wandering was random or not, how would it respond? Is chaos not our answer for that which does not fit our paradigm of pattern?

The manager would fire the ant for not being able to communicate. "Trust me, there's a reason behind it but I cannot tell you yet" will just NOT fly in corporate America for anything beyond a small demo. Plus if there is order but nobody can see the order but the creator, then it is only useful to the creator. Smells like a JobSecurity through obfuscation, or at least will raise that suspicion, begging the question, "How does one know the difference?" Brilliance is not always a substitute for communication. --top


chaos != random != pointless

chaos ~= highly complex

chaos means small change in input produces large change in output

random means that same input (to limit of our ability to tell) can produce different outcome each time.


Indeed, this is one of the meanings attached to chaos. It also means "lack of apparent structure", though. There's no reason why we should be limited to one meaning of the word.


See also ExploitingChaos ThrivingOnChaos

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