Re: virus: a tangent

Tim Rhodes (
Sun, 23 Mar 1997 13:43:55 -0800 (PST)

On Sat, 22 Mar 1997, Dan Plante wrote:

> It is critical, in analyzing systems, to make distinctions between chaos
> and complexity. The best way I have found to underscore this distinction
> is to point out that "complexity emerges from chaos". Complex systems are
> ordered and structured (mind-bogglingly so), chaotic systems are not.

> >.... If, as you say the static,
> >undisturbed state is "at its most complex" then, is it necessary to
> >abandon that state in order to achieve higher levels of complexity?
> Not necessarily. You can build on the existing system, increase the
> interconnectivity of the component parts, to increase complexity.
> Again, this is an observation of function and structure, not a value
> judgement, either of morality or simple aesthetics.

I was thinking here about systems that increase in complexity and
structure up to a certain point, then become chaotic only to resolve
themselves into a higher level of complexity on the other side of the
chaotic period. Unfortunately, all my books on Chaos Theory are out on
loan at the moment so I can't run and grab an equation to show you what
I'm talking about. Maybe if someone else can offer something...

> Sherlock Holmes
> and Moriarity could both be seen to have highly complex or "highly
> evolved" minds (or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle even more so).

And remember, Holmes shot-up coke. The "highly emotional" state seems to
have been a necessary counter-point to this characters "elementary

-Prof. Tim