January 21, 2009

Emergence, a very cool thing.

Check thiututs out. Emergence (linked above and here) is the idea that simple systems in great numbers develop organization and become complex systems naturally. The really cool part or this is that it seems to occur in everything, at some level or another.

Simple: Marbles on a table. Simply rolling around. You sweep them into a cup, and through no influence of your own, they organize themselves in the most efficient orientation possible. Space, vibration, heat, everything is automatically transfered through the marbles in the most efficient way possible. Cooler: If you dump those marbles into a bag, they do it again. Automatically.

Complex: Now go way down to smaller things. Atoms. Atoms form structure. They create molecules. Those molecules create substances like water. Water organizes itself into droplets. Droplets form streams, then rivers, then lakes and eventually oceans. It gets more amazing when you consider that the right moleules + water + heat = life. You, me, etc...

All because of emergence.

I've got more thoughts on emergence. I'll share them later.