Nonlinearity

DD Day 046 Week 07 Q1 Friday, February 16, 2024

Nonlinearity is hard to cope with both for mathematicians and for anyone who is nervous about being able to predict the future. Almost every predictive tool people have or imagine having is linear.  For example, If the temperature goes up 2 degrees every day then in six days it will be 12 degrees warmer. Except for the fact that the temperature would never ever raise 2 degrees every day for six days in a row as the universe is not linear. It never has been and it will never be.

We are obsessed with having a beginning, middle, and end but this too is usually fiction.  Movies, operas, ballets, books, and rulers are all linear. But life isn’t! It is rare that we can predict anything with a great deal of accuracy. Consider the stock market and the weather or who will be running for president or win? All these are unknowable because we do not know what is going to happen.

Being in a relationship with anyone about anything is not predictable unless they are boring, frightened, narcissistic, or a control freak. Real people have free will and are not algorithmically running their lives. Some people do try to live a risk-free existence, to which I say boring! A ship is safe in a harbor but that is not why ships are built In the same way humans are not built to be linear, because we do not live in a linear world.

The ability to adapt and change direction is imperative even if drives some people who are trying to live in a risk-free algorithmic manner nuts.

You can not control an ocean or a river but you can learn to surf or kayak and go with the flow. You can learn to be nonlinear. Hypertext permits nonlinear reading. Random access storage permits nonlinear content. We take our current random access systems and try to limit them to sequential access to linearize them. It generally does not work well, when we suffer from artificial accuracy. Most of the spreadsheets in existence have several numbers after the decimal point which means they are practicing artificial accuracy, a practice encouraged by the existence of spreadsheets.

You have heard the phrase – a straight-line approximation? The reason it is an approximation is because reality is curved, not straight.  All of our relationships including the ones with ourselves are not linear. In fact especially the ones with ourselves!

Nonlinearity is the coin of the realm of reality try not to avoid it, it is a losing proposition.