Epochal trajectories

wpc at cs.strath.ac.uk wpc at cs.strath.ac.uk
Wed Mar 8 03:00:29 MST 1995


Steve
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Hate to play the devil's advocate here, but if social forces are
chaotic/nonlinear, then such probability summing doesn't work. A
chance event at one point in time can have cumulative impacts far
beyond its probabilistic weighting. Economists are beginning to
apply this notion of "path dependency" to such questions as why
we continue to use the inferior QWERTY keyboard, but it applies
to much bigger questions such as societal change too. A few
chance events in history can have a lot more impact than the
summing argument would imply.
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This objection only applies to single points in phase space,
a probabalistic theory - e.g. thermodynamics - is defined
over ensembles of such points.


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