I read Gleick's book several summers ago after it was recommended by a Professor of Statistics who dubbed it the "great portender of things to come." He was right. For example is the current buzz word chaord--a combination of chaos and order. It refers to an organizational form whose structure (or order) is a clearly articulated purpose with accompanying practices. The chaos component is that the power and resources are continuously swirled away from the central organizing body back to the simpliest membership unit. At least that's my interpretation.
But I digress.
What caught my attention as I did my regular scan of the SANET digest was the question of "beyond these obvious parallels is there anything of sustenance to sustag in the new physics of fractals?" Two things come to mind.
First, the idea of self-similarity (and cut me some slack if this term isn't exactly right, I no longer have my copy of Gleick so I'm relying on old memory) came back to me. Self-similarity means that as you look at smaller and smaller parts of the chaotic system each smaller fractal contains the structure of the whole. Like a hologram.
>From the perspective of food systems, self-similarity can be used to compare locally based food systems with globally based food systems. If chaos theory holds for these, then the defining aspects of the local system will be present on the farm that is part of that system. Or conversely, the farm producing for the global food system will reflect the primary elements or patterns of that system. To go further will make this post too long. But if any are interested in pursuing this thread, we could flush out those patterns.
The second thought is one for which I can not remember the Gleick term. But the metaphor is that a butterfly that lands on a boulder can put into play a chain of events that will lead to an avalanche. Back when the sustag movement was smaller and seemed to be inconsequential to most, I used to think of it as the butterfly capable of causing an avalanche.
Kate A. Smith
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with "unsubscribe sanet-mg".
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command