Thursday, November 30, 2006

Strange Attractor

I checked out Isabelle Stengers' Power and Invention. I'm not sure exaclty why it appeals to me. Maybe it has something to do with the phenomenon of the strange attractor, the attractor that lacks the quality of stability, but instead the system "wanders between possibilities" (Isabelle Stengers, "Complexity: A Fad?" in Invention and Power, p. 7).

I often catch myself falling back on old habits of thought. Is this an attempt to maintain equilibrium? Can it be that simple? Say thinking does tend towards equilibrium. Why then doesn't thinking just stop? Is existence so disturbing to thought that it simply cannot rest?

How long does it take for the system called thinking to evolve, to reach its attractor?

Is a habit of thinking like repeating a single thought ad infinitum, or is it ever more productive than that? Can't we make habits of ways of disturbing our own equilibria? Can we say that's true and still say that thinking tends towards equilibrium? Whose equilibrium? Is there any reason to believe that thinking tends towards the equilibrium (or disequilibrium) of a thinking ego? Who owns the system called thinking?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 2:17 PM.


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