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Usually, the butterfly effect is associated to chaotic systems having
several attractor. I do not know if the VHS/Beta problem maps to a
systems dynamics but for sure I know that it maps very well to a
dynamics. The book "tipping point" explains in simple words what a
percolation phenomenon is from the social perspective (but not from the
mathematical point of view). Since web phenomenons are not easily (as
my knowledge goes) modeled by state spaces, they are more easily modeled
with network and percolation theory.
Hmm I was not aware of the term percolation dynamics, although familiar
enough with tipping points. Thanks.
As for the modeling of web phenomena being in some cases chaotic I think
that some of them may be (am thinking specifically of successes of virus
attacks), although I would have to sit down and try to rationally
formulate arguments on stuff that I just have cached in the back of my
brain as trusted hunches. .
A group which does do deep work on these subjects is the Center for
Complex Research: http://www.ccsr.uiuc.edu/
The internet shows self-similarity at various scales
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/99/suppl_1/2573 one of the things
often associated with chaotic systems.
Some things that I wonder about in this area, as the Internet can be
used as a large computational network, and if it is not Chaotic, can it
be used to model other systems that are chaotic? If the Internet itself
is Turing complete I guess it could. Freaky. Must switch to Tea.