Online home of Jeremy Scheff

Chaos: There should be more of it

Before I (finally) got around to putting something up on this domain name, I had some placeholder text. I'm going to repeat it here, because I like it and I don't want to just delete such a great quote from my website:

I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it.

This is a quote from one of my favorite authors, Philip K. Dick, in his classic essay, "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later". Okay... I'm not sure if it's really considered a classic, but to me it is. I love the essay mainly for two reasons: (1) it's entertaining and somewhat insane, like most of his novels; and (2) it gives you an idea of how much of himself he put into his novels. This essay could just as easily be narrated by one of his hallucinating protagonists.

I also like the quote because chaos, mathematical chaos, is incredibly fascinating. I could spend quite some time boring you to death by rambling on about a simple chaotic system like the logistic map. I don't think this is quite what Dick had in mind, but I derive some enjoyment from somewhat appropriating a quote for my own purposes while still appreciating its original meaning.

So, when you get a chance, create a little chaos.