Steve's post on Chaos (from Tom)

Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters quilty at philos.umass.edu
Sun Nov 13 20:18:36 MST 1994


Steve Keen mentions:
*} Incidentally, apropos of your assumption that chaos applies at
*} the molecular level only (an assumption I think I am allowed to
*} make, since you made that statement in at least two postings): the
*} first two systems to which chaos was applied were the weather,
*} and what is known as the "many body" problem: predicting the
*} path followed by more than two planets under the influence of
*} their respective gravitational fields. Both the weather and
*} planets are clearly on a larger scale than the molecule.

Well, actually Richardson's analyses of the fractal (statistically
self-similar and scale sensitive) nature of coastlines predates
Lorenz' chaotic meteorological equations by a couple decades.  As
well, some "strange" sets discovered by Cantor, Poincare and others
have an arguable relevance.  Keen may be right about the first
dynamic systems described in these terms.  At any rate, Keen is
certainly correct that chaos need not be "molecular" (even fluid
dynamics and turbulance isn't per se a molecular question).

Yours, Lulu...

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