Monday, 22 October 2007

Chaos Theory and Consequences

You may have heard that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil it can precipitate a series of weather patterns that lead to a Typhoon in Malaysia. Another way of putting it is that 'small triggers can have complex consequences'.

So how can parliament, or anyone else, predict the detailed consequences of a policy?

It takes a super computer to have a chance of predicting the weather. And that is what we have for making political decisions when we link massive numbers of people together in an election: A supercomputer that processes discrete knowledge, experience, intellect, values and personal forecasts to come to an optimal solution (if not the perfect one).

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