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Complex systems do not have to be built of simple
components. They can be. What makes systems chaotic
is coupling of non-linear systems (eg, non-linear
The reference to the web architecture is a joke.
Too much time on the TAG list has convinced me
that even its inventors of record have a lot
of trouble coming up with a simple description,
and a reason for that is that the terms used
by the research community and those used by
the lay community have drifted considerably.
For example, would you use the term 'hypertext'
or 'hypermedia'? What is an 'information space'?
And so on. Rummy is an effect like that. Google
becoming googling is interesting because
the name/label changed to a related but different
semantic. What systems are interacting to
produce that effect? Is the effect predictable?
The answers to those questions are relevant
to the utility of the semantic web and to ontologies
in general. It is sometimes referred to a semantic drift.
Is an XSLT an attractor?
From: bryan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>To determine if the web is a complex system,
>read the draft of the W3C web architecture.
>If the description there is clear to you,
Complex systems are generally built up of simple components, I can't
remember where I read this anecdote, it was probably from James Gleick's
Chaos, early 90's I think, that a lot of physicists when they first saw
the meteorological data thought "I can solve that" but it turned out
that they couldn't. Think of it as being handed a Bayesian Network
written in Java, obsessively object oriented, with spaghetti code all
the way through. Looking at any segment of code might cause one to
think, I can do better than this, but in the end it turns out the
solution is to rewrite in LISP.
(heh heh, just a joke)
So given the traditional simple building blocks of true complexity
You maybe should have said: If the description there isn't clear to you,
it won't turn out to be a complex system.
>If you consider a hypermedia link
>a function call, then your vision is
A madman's vision is often coherent :)
> Unfortunately, it is
>too limited for the purpose of getting
>a research grant.
Darn. I was hoping to win an Ig Nobel.
>For the cultural Rummy example,
>what is coupled to the site where the term
>originated that enabled it to propagate
Actually I was against Rummy as an example of complexity.