Living in Chaos? Nerp.

Just in case you ever hear this word, you’ll know that I coined it. It’s my empirical recomposition of the twitting/texting acronym for “no problem” and means the same thing. It’s no less ridiculous, but language, like all things, changes and grows.  Let the words change themselves.

Attempting to maintain a perfect form is stagnating and protectionist.  Life is liquid and things can only be maintained in a liquid state.  Government can operate by the same standards, but its structure is different from one day to the next.  A language is constantly evolving to suit the need of speakers (assuming of course, it is still spoken).

We live in a chaos system, full of infinitely many possibilities of infinitesimal probability.  That’s a fun sentence, isn’t it…  Better to say such a system contains an infinite number of things that could change, and each one of them is changing from moment to moment, but only so slightly as to be unnoticeable.  Change becomes evident only over time and over large spaces; you can see a car moving down a street, but you cannot see the interactions of the trillions of molecules it comprises, or how fast it can move in 0.000000003384 milliseconds.  The smaller the scale of change whether in time or space, the more impossible control becomes.  The smaller the time used to measure, the less evident motion exists; the smaller the physical scale used to measure, the harder an object is to locate.  This is basically the Uncertainty Principle in layman’s terms.

So, of all the interactions in the world that allow me to say the word “nerp”, most of them work at a given time, but not all.  I can’t expect every molecule in my brain and throat and in the air to be cooperative at any given time.  I can however, expect that most of them will cooperate, and that is enough to get the job done.  Once in a while enough will fail that I will be unable to perform the task with minimal effectiveness to really be considered “talking”.  Once in an aeon perhaps, all those molecules will align perfectly and I will say the word perfectly (curiously I wonder if anyone would even notice).

What I mean to convey here, is that control can be exerted only on a general level, and should perform mainly as a loose guideline.  It is a prospect of diminishing returns, where less is gained proportionally as more effort is exerted, like a long-distance runner training to break a world record by a fraction of a second.  I could train for a year solid and possibly run a mile 50% faster than I currently do, but then my gains will decrease and I will need to train harder to make progress.

To paraphrase the author Steinbeck, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  Von Moltke’s famous statement comes to mind also: “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy”.  This is wisdom we should all retain in our daily lives.  No attempt to control a situation will have 100% of the desired consequences 100% of the time.  It is up to us to evaluate the extent of the influence we are trying to have and assess its probability of majority success.

Failure on some level is a guarantee in every endeavor, so learn to live with it.  Give up the ghost and never let fear be your master.

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