Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Ramble In This Post

Today is Chaos Never Dies Day! Today is a day to recognize the fact that there will always be some small amount of chaos in your life. It sounds depressing, but believe me: it isn't. Here, let me try to explain.

Chaos is, by definition according to my dictionary, Disorder and Confusion. Now, both or those words have a fairly obvious negative connotation to them, but disorder actually means "a state of confusion". That makes Disorder somewhat of a subsection of Confusion's whole business. So let's just focus on why I'm trying to tell you that Confusion is good. Well... not 'good'... but it isn't inherently bad.

Confusion means "A lack of understanding". Now we're getting somewhere. Instead of defining Confusion by any other word that has negative connotation, we are defining it by it's lack of a word with good connotation: Understanding, which means (most pertinently) 'the power of abstract thought'.

"WHOA, Kyle. I thought Chaos was abstract thoughts and stuff like that!"

Well, you are both right and wrong. Chaos deals with abstract thoughts, but only in the way that a baby deals with it's own diaper. See, Understanding is the power of abstract thought, meaning that it is used to harness the potential of the thoughts by putting them into patterns that can be easily remembered and later turned into ideas. That way your brain doesn't have to find it's way down memory lane twice. You made a map! Chaos, being the lack of understanding, can have all the thoughts it wants, but even if thoughts correlate, a map may never be made between the two, thus making it harder to see how they ever related.

It's almost like how you may tie a string around your finger to remember to go grocery shopping. How many things does grocery shopping have in common with tying a string to your finger? Close to none. But you see that string and it reminds you that you had something to do. Instantly your brain goes through the "Things I Have To Do" File Cabinet it has until it remembers: "Grocery Shopping". Congratulations! You have re-travelled the road you subconsciously made when you connected those thoughts in the first place. In fact, thats such a common visual stimulus, that when I see a string on someone's finger, one of the first things I think is "They must be trying to remember something". Not all abstract bridges need stimuli, though. In fact, most of my own don't.

Now that I've said ALL that, here is why chaos isn't bad: It's needed to make anything interesting. If we had only Understanding, then there would be little need for studying or exploring. Chaos, in manageable amounts, is what pushes humans forward. It causes new ideas to be had due to the fact that everyone connects the abstract thoughts differently. It makes us want to learn more and gain more understanding. However, the more we discover, the more questions there are about these new, as of yet unconnected abstract thoughts created by the new discovery. That creates an endless amount of things to discover, which makes life worth exploring! Chaos and Understanding aren't at opposite ends of any spectrum, instead it's more of a ratio of what is and isn't understood. The reason that Chaos is usually shed in such a scary light is because we can quantify how much we understand, but we will never be able to measure what we don't. I personally, find that pretty exciting, though. It would be boring if we knew how much there was left to know. Would we even want to?

Thanks for reading!