The Order of Chaos

Before getting into the discussion itself, I feel it is necessary to explain where I am coming and discuss the origins of my thought process. In high school, I took Sociology and one of the schools of thought I studied was postmodernism. To give a brief and very simple account of their ideas, they believe in a lack of metanarratives, grand and universal statements that are common, and applicable to, all. And, one of the criticisms of the movement was that in doing so, it was contradicting itself, as it was introducing another metanarrative, a universal truth, with the only difference that this truth entailed that there were no universal truths. The narrative, however, was still accorded the same comprehensiveness that the movement so profoundly resented in other ideologies.

Now, if you were to equal postmodernism to chaos, the same criticism can be applied. In that, within chaos itself, there is an underlying principle, an order of sorts that, albeit much less structured than the notion “principle” brings to our mind, still exists. The principle of being chaotic. Take your calculator, for example. When you want a random number, you use the random function. It produces chaos but is still a function and, like all functions, governed by an underlying principle.

This, in my mind, leads to further questions. Is chaos, then, the ultimate principle? Or, is order more deserving of this privilege? Perhaps it is just a semantic discussion and of no value of itself. What do you think?


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