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18.5. The concrete laws of complexity

As soon as something interacts and plays with something else, the laws of complexity come into action.

Here are the most important:
  • Attractors: When something is «big and strong», it dominates over what is «smaller and weaker». The strongest, most likely idea of what something is, wins. It masks alternative interpretations. Think of the popular girls/boys in the schoolyard. Another example is language. When everyone in a country speaks a specific language, everyone born into the country has a strong tendency to speak the language.
  • The butterfly effect: If there are no strong attractors in an area/time, even a tiny event can develop into an attractor, which gradually has an increasing impact, often through feedback loops.
  • Feedback: You have probably heard the howl when sound from speakers on a stage is picked up by the microphones, which then send the sound to the speakers again. When the result of a process is fed back to the same process, there can be a violent reinforcement so that everything runs wild.
  • Fractals and holism: Things look about the same no matter the scale. The forces – the laws that form the patterns – are the same everywhere and on all levels. The branching of nerve cells in a brain thus resembles the branching to the outlet of a river, which is similar to structures in the universe. Only the surroundings tell us that we are talking about very different things.
Learn these four simple principles, dear reader, and you will be a success in social life.

You become an attractor.