Ilya Prigogine / Chaos / Organisations

Artur F. Silva artsilva at
Thu Feb 1 04:44:19 PST 2001

Hello Christoph:

At 09:45 01-02-2001 +0100, Christoph J.W. Schmees wrote:

This is a common misconception.
>Prigogine definitely did not invent chaos theory. He just used it as a tool
>in the same way he probably has used algebra and all other mathematical
>methods useful for him.
>Chaos theory was invented and developed by others, the main actor probably
>being Benoit Mandelbrot.

I am not so sure about that. My ex IBM colleague was making some equations and
drawings and he arrived to fractals. If I remenber well, he was not trying
to discover
anything in nature. Prigogine was.

>(...Aren't those burocacies a proof for the chaos theory?:-)
>Well, don't let me be misunderstood: I don't claim that all organisations
>are far from equilibrium or are chaotic. What I say is that the normal case
>is not steady state but change. This indeed can happen near equilibrium,
>which nonetheless is never reached. I strongly believe that this wonderful
>sentence is true which I found in the ghost town of Bodie, California:
>#######  Nothing Endures but Change  ########

I think one has to have some caution about time scales. When I am talking
about a living system, a certain time scale applyies. In that time scale
the system is an open system but for instance evolution isn't directly in
To account for the evolution of species one as to have a POPULATION
and many GENERATIONS of the living systemS. In this larger time scale,
"nothing endures but change". But in the time scope of the living time
of a being that is not true in the same sense.

  The same is true about human organizations and communities. 500
years from now, all organizations and even society will be completelly
different. But what changes may happen (or be made to happen)
within the time frame of some months or years is a different subject...



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