I want to try to use the idea of bifurcations in non-linear systems as a model that might help to place political theories, and some political history maybe, in a context. All models are abstractions and include some kinds of simplications; they ignore some things and highlight some other aspects.
Bifurcation diagram - Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia:
This is a bifurcation diagram for a dynamical system [from the Wikipedia]. Chaos theory applies to natural processes, and it helps us understand complexity in the real world. Even quite simple iterative mathematical rules can result in complex images.
I want to try to use this idea of bifurcations in non-linear systems as a model that might help to place political theories, and some political history maybe, in a context. All models are abstractions and include some kinds of simplications; they ignore some things and highlight some other aspects. Its a model.
Marx claimed that there was some kind of teleology behind history, and that society will culminate in Communism. This was proved to be wrong, but has the increasing complexity in society changed the political framework for those societies over time? My suggestion here is that they have, and that this change could perhaps be modelled in a similar way to that of a dynamical system as it changes to become chaotic.
Chaos is possibly the wrong word for these complex political structures and societies. They are DIVERSE, and still adhere to the rule of law and human rights, rather than falling back into a state-of-nature. That pre-modern state-of-nature kind of lawlessness is NOT what I am talking about here.
A simple progression:
Social groups (group identity mostly based around ethnicity, religion or church) [one point - eg r=2.6 on the graph above]
Modern states after the American and French revolutions (individual and the nation state) [two points - eg r=3.2 above]
Polarised modern states and individuals after the First World War (Left versus Right) [four points - eg r=3.5 above]
Postmodern maybe (left and right start to loose meaning and fragment) [eight points, 16 points - eg ~3.54 above] - we are here now I think
Diversity perhaps (where the state is counter-balanced by the 'individual', so that people are free to participate and create culturally as they please) [the chaotic regions - eg r=3.6 or 3.7]
Much of the political confusion today is around how to find a way to integrate individuals, society and state. Religious fundamentalists want us to move back to the first kind of ordering around the social group - patriarchal mostly. The French Republic model [ordering around the secular individual and nation state, to the exclusion of the social and religious] seems to be in question after the riots in Paris. We also now find an attempt to return to the polarised politics of the 1930's in Australia with the Howard Government and its proposed IR and anti-terror legislation. These are all regressive moves, trying to grasp at some sense of certainty and some sense of secure and well known ordering.
This post ties in with a number of issues to do with politics and history. Marx and Hegel both postulated a dynamic behind the way that history changes. I have not researched these ideas in any depth, but I wonder whether the new understanding of complexity and chaotic system could provide a better model for understanding changes in politics over time.
Many of the posts on
look at these issues. Perhaps the old idea of the separation of church and state reflects the early modern perspective after the first bifurcation in the diagram above.
One point that I didn't draw attention to in my post is that once a bifurcation happens, the original trajectory continues, but instead of being an attractor point, it becomes a repelling point. The new attracting points go to either side of the original trajectory. As an idea it provides a model for how an idea that worked in a previous time may not work now, when things become more sophisticated.
So in terms of the separation of church and state, before modern states started to take form the social group was organised mainly around religion and church. In the modern state the emphasis moved towards BOTH the state and the individual. The idea of the separation of church and state is one way of expressing this change.
Another thing to note about this post-postmodern chaotic realm is it represents a way to integrate all three levels; individual, society and state. And in ways that enable maximal autonomy for individuals, societies and the the state. This is in contrast to the world that fundamentalists of all colours try to impose on others.
Please let me know what you think about these ideas in the comment section.
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
South Sea Republic started in 2004 as an Australian constitutional blog in 2004 based on scoop software. It was an immigrative outgrowth of Kuro5hin. The archives for each year since then;
The articles are ordered by views.
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.