Chaos

Chaos is one of several possible states that a system can take. From a system-theoretical point of view, this is nothing unusual, but usually something unpleasant and possibly even dangerous for humans. A system always consists of components and connections. It could be a social system of people, a technical system like internet or an economic system like stock exchanges. Individual nodes (agents) are always connected via edges (networks). Nodes have their own feedback or are fed back via several / many other nodes. Feedbacks can be either negative or positive.

In the case of “negative” creates a damping, which in turn leads to high stability. The population of rabbits is highly negative to that of foxes. When the rabbits become more and more the foxes find it easy to find food and multiply. At the same time the rabbits are less and the foxes have less food and the population goes back. In the case of “positive”, a gain arises, which can lead to instability or extinction of the system. Highest danger exists for humans then, if for example cells in his body begin to grow uncontrollably (carcinomas). The body is then in a chaotic state.

A chaos arises when at a mostly ignored location an impulse emanates, which experiences amplification over many nodes. Very quickly it comes to an exponential growth. In this situation, one can hardly determine who is the trigger and how to bring this back under control. Stock market crash is a typical example of chaos. It could be enough if a single investor starts to sell his papers. Companies that grow very fast tend to chaotic behavior. Exponentially increasing customer demand can not be satisfied, production can not be ramped up (Tesla), customers buy elsewhere and Elon Musk disappears. At mass events, a single person can cause a mess, if he eg. “Bomb” screams. Once the positive feedback runs, it’s hard to do anything about it. The only thing that really helps is: mindfulness of small events. But because these are so countless, it takes intuition or computer systems to watch over it. In case of anomalies on the stock exchange, the computer suspends trading.

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