Cookies and Chaos

My teaching gigs have ended until fall so I’ve been busying myself composing and songwriting-for-hire. After months of obeying a firm academic schedule, setting my own hours again has been making me feel a bit random and chaotic. Which, of course, has been making me consider chaos theory…

Chaologists have discovered a cool thing: seemingly random motions—turbulence in the air, water spiralling down a drain, etc.—are actually highly patterned. Processes that look unpredictable can thus be forcast, to an extent. It’s a comforting revelation. Look deeply enough into chaos and order emerges. There’s structure there. And when this kind of ordered chaos is plotted on a graph, it yields a beautiful shape called a Strange Attractor, which looks like this (see right, and/or above on mobile).

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