Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem
We live in a dynamical world.
Yet our minds reduce dynamics to something linear and very causal: A and B seem to move in concert. B and C also seem to move together – sort of. So, our minds immediately go to A causes B which causes C. Right?
Of course, statistically, we still need to establish causality (e.g., Granger causality test) but odds are we are already there from the correlation we see: A->B->C.
GHG concentration rises, temperature rises. Ergo, GHG concentration causes rising temperature.
Or, maybe rising temperature causes higher concentration of GHG gases due to increased off-gassing from natural sources.
Whatever – we focus on what’s in front of us and our brains make the connection. Mathematics to follow – if we’re lucky.
We are pattern seekers, believers in a coherent world, in which regularities appear not by accident but as a result of mechanical causality or of someone´s intention. We do not expect to see regularity produced by a random process, and when we detect what appears to be a rule, we quickly reject the idea that the process is truly random. Random processes produce many sequences that convince people that the process is not random after all.
In the world of physics, we are fortunate to have been taught the greater truth by those who went before us: that non-linearity is the norm.
Nature and people are far more random than coherent. Random can easily produce regulatority – systems operating far from equilibrium. “Organized disorder” (deterministic chaos, emerging behavior) is the “real world” most of the time.
If you really believe otherwise, you’re in for a lot unexpected and unintended consequences. Over and over again. Your expectations will rarely be realized – rather, you get outcomes more like Lévy’s random walk.
Consider our current oligarchical society. They believe they control things. They can control human action, the climate, and nature itself.
Their business plan is an Orwellian motto: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” Control perception and you control reality.
And so they destroy records of the past, and strive to create a rationalist present – at any price.
Seems simple – want to suppress those pesky plebes? Well, just suppress them.
Newton’s Principia teaches us the greater truth:
Lex III: Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales et in partes contrarias dirigi.
The action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the two bodies on each other are always equal and opposite directions.
The more oligarchs oppress (or their sock puppets in government oppress on their behalf), the more liberty arises to counter them.
“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”
George Orwell, “1984”
Newton tells us what will inevitably happen – reaction.
The illusion that one has understood the past feeds the further illusion that one can predict and control the future. These illusions are comforting. They reduce the anxiety that we would experience if we allowed ourselves to fully acknowledge the uncertainties of existence. We all have a need for the reassuring message that actions have appropriate consequences, and that success will reward wisdom and courage. Many business books are tailor-made to satisfy this need.
Political campaigns, too.