Philofisi...seems a new name....yeah, I combined the two Greek words, Philo and fisi to make this word...."Philo"means love and "fisi" means nature...so literally Philofisi means the love of nature.... Of course we all love nature but we like to enjoy it rather to understand it... Understanding nature definitely increase the pleasures of enjoying nature... This blog is dedicated to my love of nature.... so I will try to bring the topics related to nature in very light way....The reason that I chose the word of "Philofisi" is rooted in my understanding that we are returning to the age of naturalist not because that we get tired of specialization but because it provides enormous opportunities to uncover the secrets of nature and help us in better understanding of nature.... until now we tended to simplify or reduce facts to get the basic principles of nature...but Scientists are slowly realizing that nature cannot be grasped by simplified natural laws... It is why we see...Newtonian Physics....Quantum Physics...and Choas Physics are complementing each other.... Biologists likes to view the world with simplistic perspective of natural selection but it seems that they are also realizing that life is more complex that could be explained so easily.... Like Physics it needs to depart toward multi-mechanistic approach... I think this small introduction is not the place to discuss all these issues so I invite you to explore the blog and enjoy yourself :)
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The limits of logic in real life……
The first time that I met a logician, I was really impressed by the convincing power of logic especially by its practical applications in life…Let me share one of his thought processes…..He said that ….his savings can buy him a cab and he wants to invest in cab business…. but because he is not familiar with cab business so investing in cab business, means taking a great risk…. Logic tells him to not take risk when he has just one chance….(if it fails then he doesn’t have the chance for a second attempt)…He continued, if I had saved enough money that I could buy two cabs then logic would allow me to buy one cab and see if it succeeds (In case it fails…he still has a chance for a second attempt…may be a business that he is more familiar with)….
Last month I met him again and he asked me, “Any update?”…”I don’t believe anymore in utility of logic in real life” and without waiting for his response I continued, “My experience of last few years is telling me that sometimes very small and negligible things, bring cascading effects on our lives that most of time are out of our control…. It has really surprised me that how others’ acts and decisions can change our lives….Despite of my resilience a lot of things have changed….” He agreed with me but we didn’t have the mechanism to explain the limits of the logic and cascading effects of chaotic events…. It was the first time that I realized the cause of universality and the varieties of the fortune telling business….Like majority of people I was believing that the sole reason for widespread practice of fortune telling are superstition…but when I learned about chaos theory and butterfly effects then it became clear that…the main reason is the unpredictability of events……….
It is said that Chaos theory is the third revolution in Physics after Newtonian Physics and quantum Physics… The butterfly theory that….In non-periodic events, small changes can cause unpredictable big changes…..beautifully explains not only events in personal lives but also big events in contemporary politics and also in historical events…..
The Arab Spring has not died yet, so the memories are still fresh…If you remember the Arab Spring originated by suicide of young Tunisian guy which then spread to armed and unarmed riots across Arab world namely, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Algeria, Libya, and Jordan and somewhat in Saudi Arabia….. Who could imagine that a suicide can turn into a revolution that turns upside down the geo-politics of a whole region…. The same is true in recent London riots…I don’t know if you remember the same sort of riots in Greece…
The most horrible butterfly effect was that of First World War…. The WWI was started by assassination of Archduke of Austria (Franz Ferdinand) and his wife by a Serb… This single event caused a war in which 70 million soldiers participated and more than 9 million people were killed….. Isn’t it insane? (Totally illogical that an assassination can cause the killing of 9 million people)…
The fact is the logic works and works very well in periodic events and it is the cause of most successful theories, innovations and technologies…and yet we don’t have the luxury of precision in a lot of deadliest natural events like earth quake, volcanism and Tsunamis and have very limited (in matter of weeks) capability in predicting atmospheric and oceanic anomalies like Hurricanes etc…Though all these events are natural phenomenon and follow natural laws…..The reason that our predictions are limited is because small and negligible changes in the beginning can cause big changes that make it too complicated for our formulas to grasped them at all…….
Coming to personal life…sometime small decisions, acts that we do not care much about change the course of our lives…and later on we say…what if I did it this way…I had a totally different life now….That is what I have heard too many times from most of the senior people that I know very well… Well, I have too many butterfly effects in my own life that makes me really puzzled (Most of them caused by very small things)….
I aimed to keep this Philofisi article very light (nontechnical and non-philosophical) so let me share how sometimes very small thing change even the lives of great people who change the fate of a nation but their own fates were changed by very very small things/events/acts….
The most notorious story is that of Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar, the Iranian emperor,
Agha Muhammad Khan was the founder of Qajar dynasty and he united Iran after becoming fragmented and expanded Iranian empire to her earlier borders by recapturing Georgia at North and Khorasan at East. He was shifted Tehran then a small village into world famous city by shifting his capital from Sari to Tehran. You will agree with me that he was really an extraordinary person when you learn about his life. He was captured when he was only six years old and was castrated at the same age in order to stop him of becoming the chief of his tribe. Though he was eunuch he became chieftain of his tribe. Later on he was captured again and jailed for sixteen years. After his release, he started a rebellion and defeated small monarchs and united Iran to establish the Qajar dynasty.
OK, I had to tell you, how a negligible event turned the fate of such an extraordinary person,
Agha Muhammad Khan was a ruthless emperor. He was famous in massacring the whole population of his opponents and people really feared him. During his military expedition to North, one night had a big water melon in his dinner. He ate half of the water melon and gave another half to the guards. The guards ate the other half (may be thinking that emperor doesn’t need the other half)…. Later in night, the king asked the guards to bring the other half of water melon. But the guards had already eaten the water melon. He became angry….. that how could guards dare to eat the water melon without permission of emperor? He promised to kill them on dawn. The guards have witnessed the determination and ruthlessness of the Agha Muhammad Khan so in the middle of night, they swarmed the emperor’s tent and killed him while he was sleeping :(