Chaos or order?

What do you believe is at the center of the universe? Chaos or order?

I vote for chaos. With chaos I have options. With order only, I have never ending repetition.

Sometimes chaos can be compared to economics. For example, my favorite idea in economics comes from Stanford Professor Paul Romer. He says, “it’s not how many pancakes you make that matters, it’s how many new pancake recipes you can create that counts.” In other words, new wealth does not come from doing the same thing over and over again in an orderly manner, but by doing new things which can be full of chaos.

In my everyday living, I feel more comfortable with the chaos of diversity than with the orderliness of uniformity. With diversity you have many things going on, with uniformity there’s just one thing going on. The odds of survival in nature always favor diversity.

I am inherently suspicious of authority that obsesses over keeping order. Not that authority is always wrong, but almost always there are those who take authority too far and end up hurting people. (I will never surrender myself to rigid authority after what the world experienced in the twentieth century with Fascism and Marxism.) Anything that demands your obedience, deserves your suspicion.

I have not always thought this way. After having had five children and thirteen grandchildren, I’ve been forced to realize that a “one way only” of doing things is an illusion. No two people interpret life’s experiences in exactly the same way. Those who say otherwise probably have some other agenda they are pushing. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has been married and had children knows that there is no such thing as complete harmony. It does not exist, and it never will. What’s more, it shouldn’t. Tyranny is probably at work if there is too much agreement.

Chaos Is Not Absolutely Chaotic

On the other hand, chaos is not absolutely chaotic. It’s as though chaos has elastic in it. It springs to form with just a little bit of help.

For example, to teach that there is no such thing as absolute chaos, I had two of my grandchildren scribble wildly on a piece of drawing paper with a crayon. Then I took a black crayon and started picking out small little designs within the scribbling. I then filled in the designs using different colored crayons. Afterwards, not that they cared, I told them it is impossible to create an absolutely chaotic situation, because something new and coherent always emerges.

Hence, even though I prefer chaos over order, that does not mean I reject order. Order, in the form of new designs, is the natural result of working with chaos. Given that, the only question that makes any sense to me is, would I prefer starting out with a chaotic condition and then working at shaping it into something that I can claim as my own creation? Or, would I prefer working with something that is already created by someone else and has order to it, and work at maintaining it?

For me, the answer is easy. I like creating things. Hence, starting out with chaos doesn’t bother me. Sometimes chaos comes in the form of random thoughts running through my mind. I like focusing those thoughts into a coherent idea. Then, I like turning the idea into something material that has utility. Thereafter, I like selling the creation to someone who finds value in it.

Back To The Question

Again, what do you believe is at the center of the universe? Chaos or order?

I am certain that chaos rules the day. However, chaos has this remarkable characteristic of being able to be crafted into forms that have order to them. Things emerge from chaos by conscious efforts executed by you and me.

Whether you choose to be on the creation side or maintenance side of chaos, there is little doubt that the universe awaits each of our best efforts.