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Patterns and History

July 8, 2006

History is all about patterns and as such reflects the human mind—as does mathematics etc. The usefulness of the patterns is almost more important than their truth. Validity and usefulness are branches of the same limb: validity being the shorter limb. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that they are types of branches (with validity still being a shorter type of branch). We can then add one of my favorite ideas: Staughton Lynd’s view that history is the search for forgotten alternatives (in this case forgotten branches). The branch analogy is further served by its connection with the iterative properties of chaos. Here we have both branches and patterns within the context of non-linear reality, both very good things from my viewpoint. (originally published on untimelymeditations.zenosox.com 6/3/06 1:06pm)

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