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>From what I have read, a characteristic of complex systems is that
>changes/differences are magnified. They even have a name for this
>characteristic - the Butterfly Effect
>Butterfly Effect - a butterfly stirring the air today in Peking can
>transform storm systems next month in New York.
This comes from Lorentz' computerized modeling of weather systems
ct , if very small numerical changes are made in inputs, outputs are
radically different. This was shown by repetition of the experiments.
>Beta vs VHS
The usage of Beta vs. VHS as an example of this would be proper in what
should be seen as an insignificant change had widely divergent results
in the success of the formats. If for example Bob Jones investing in VHS
equipment three days later results in a totally new format being the
Although I understand that Economics has examples with which the
butterfly effect is analogous, I doubt that Beta vs VHS could be a good
one of these.
This example seems more in common with most arguments about memetics.
>Conclusions: the Web is a complex system. Semantics changes.
The problem with complexity is that just about everything is a complex
system when considered deeply enough.
Studying of complexity in a web environment sounds interesting, I wonder
what kind of experiments could be constructed. An obvious sort would be
transmissions of viruses, email lists, and so forth.
With the Rummy World here is a possible scenario: compose ten reasonably
similar phrases, have them repeated a number of times on various popular
blogs, see how prevalent these phrases become in the exoteric culture.
Variations of this would probably be superior for purposes of studying
Semantic Changes across a web culture. (neat title for a thesis there I