Don’t tip the ship: a math lesson.

If you’ve seen the term “tipping point” you’ve met Complexity Theory, the mathematics of “complex” things like fish schools, economies, and nations.  We use the terms “complex” and “complicated” interchangeably but mathematically they’re not.  Something that isn’t simple is complicated, but it doesn’t become complex until it acquires properties like interdependence, diversity, and adaptability.  A car is complicated but not complex .  Got it?

This theory says that complex systems are flexible.  They can return to a central point if tipped one way or another.  If pushed too far, however, they reach an unpredictable “tipping point” from which they can’t return.  There’s no going back; they’re something different.  Now you see how it applies to a nation.  Complex systems can also be changed suddenly by a “Black Swan”, a totally unexpected and usually catastrophic event.  The attacks of 9/11 were a Black Swan to our security posture.

The USA is leaning far to the left.  If it continues to do so or is aided in doing so by another Black Swan it will become a socialist nation, a nanny state.  How close are we to the tipping point?  No equation can answer that question.  Anyone care to guess when the “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” does perish from this earth?  Does anyone care at all?


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