Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Social Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory is neatly summarised by the notion that the flap of a butterfly's wings may result in a cyclone thousands of miles away. It is the idea that even when all the variables are fully understood, small perturbances in their values can result in wildly different results. If we apply this idea to human systems, where the rules of the game feed into changing people's attitudes and behaviours, we may see that the advantages of social science and the types of policy experimentation I have advocated here, may be limited. Nevertheless, chaos theory also explains that patterns can emerge.

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