Today is Chaos Never Dies Day. That much is certain. But should it be called National Chaos Never Dies Day? It seems like there’s enough chaos to call for an international celebration. No reason to have Chaos Awareness Month, though: we are in touch with it on a daily basis.
Why today? No one has claimed responsibility for the holiday, so there’s no one to ask that question. November 9th might have been selected because it coincides with the date of the Northeast blackout of 1965. Why not?
What is chaos? We’re reminded of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s response when asked to describe obscenity. He couldn’t define it, he said, “but I know it when I see it.” Chaos can be equally hard to explain, depending on myriad factors such as timing, location, and circumstances.
In Greek mythology, Chaos was the first primeval god to come into existence at the universe’s creation. Her name comes from the Latin khaos, meaning “gap” or the space between heaven and earth.
Chaos theory is the branch of mathematics that deals with complex systems whose behavior is highly sensitive to slight changes in conditions so that small alterations can give rise to strikingly great consequences. It is sometimes called the butterfly effect.
Here are few quotes that illustrate different views of chaos.
We live in a rainbow of chaos. – Paul Cezanne
Freedom is just chaos, with better lighting. – Alan Dean Foster
Chaos is the score upon which reality is written. – Henry Miller
I like order. It allows me to have chaos in my head. – Dwight Yoakum