Math Equations: Metaphors of Science


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
Math Equations: Metaphors of Science

Nature passes through regularity into abrupt changes and back into regularity. Nature is often like a tornado or an earth quake. Science defines these abrupt changes as being nonlinear aspects of reality.

Until a few decades ago the natural sciences ignored these nonlinear aspects of reality and focused only upon the linear aspects of nature. This focus has proven to be very profitable for our development of technology; but this success is achieved at a price.

By ignoring the nonlinear aspects of reality we have often shoved into the far background much of reality and also in creating a citizenry that became enchanted with this mode of behavior and has lost consciousness of many very important aspects of reality.

Meteorologists use math equations to develop models that simulate climate change, which help them to predict the weather. We all know that weather prediction is, at best, an inexact science. Humans have learned to send space ships to mars but we have difficulty predicting the weather beyond 48 hours.

The weather model equations are iterative equations that use input data about variables such as wind, temperature, etc. to determine the weather to come. Such equations have feedback loops that take variables from the present output as input for the next calculation.

In linear equations these values, simulating natures processes, change in an orderly way; the cause/effect processes are lawful and orderly, just as Newton’s mechanics informs us. A nonlinear equation is an entirely different kind of animal, which informs us that nature is occasionally an outlaw that jumps the tracks and creates chaos. Sometimes nature produces tornadoes and earthquakes.

Our society has tended to ignore those aspects of reality that are nonlinear. Today we are visiting what might be considered a nonlinear moment; our financial structure appears to be in an earthquake mode. This catastrophe may present us with an opportunity to recognize the nature of nonlinearity and thus it might help us to understand the nature of what may be in our future.
Hi Cobrst,

I think you might be onto something looking at non-linearities. Do you think you can write a computational dynamics or finite element model to fix the economy ? :D

What do you think are the non-linearities which have led to our financial disaster ?

I think there are several:
1) non-linear numbers of greedy banks who relaxed controls on mortgages,
2) non-linear increases in health care costs,
3) non-linear expenditures of unions.

Do you agree ? Are there others ?

I also think these issues provide an interesting link to interfaith studies. I would be interested in what the various faiths think about issues related to the leadership that it would take to pull us out of the these problems ?

Also, I wonder how the suffering which is going on is dealt with in these differing faiths ?

And finally, I believe that Obama's main contributions, in his first term, will not be in the area of our economy. I believe that he has tremendous potential to bring people of different faiths and nationalities together during this first term. This accomplishment will potentially have greater impact than fixing the economy. That is ironic :D, do you agree ?


The only fix that I might suggest for the economy and for all of the problems that we face is the advancement of the intellectual sophistication of our citizens.

We have been manipulated by our industrial leaders, via our educational system and our media, which acts as a transmission vehicle for a constant bombardment of consumerist propaganda, into an apathetic stupor wherein we become uncritical producers and consumers.

We are lulled into a complacency of ignorance that allows these vultures free access to the wealth of the world. This economic system continues unimpeded for decades until finally a series of events conspire to send the house of cards into chaos.

I hope that Obama has the ability to lead us out of this stupefying ignorance but I see little evidence to support the conclusion that we Americans have the sophistication to recognize the problem sufficiently to change our ways.

I suspect that we have passed the tipping point for the self destruction of our civilization and perhaps the destruction of much of the life on the planet.
Hi Coburst,
Excellnt post. Though I might add that most of your posts are quite interesting to say the least....
This economic system continues unimpeded for decades until finally a series of events conspire to send the house of cards into chaos. -Coburst
On this I have a thought..

Perhaps the series of events you allude to is a well thought out plan, by the powers that be, that is ultimately designed to create worldwide chaos which will lead to, the poor, or the have nots, rising up in frustration, hunger and anger against the, haves, or the rich, which in turn will bring about local and international martial law and after that to mass murder by governments all over the world under the guise of controlling an uncontrollable situation and so effectively resulting in the downsizing of the human population by perhaps one third or more…. Culling the herd… to speak….. perhaps, rebooting the system….

I have no doubt that overpopulation weighs heavily on the minds of the world’s richest men. The future survival of the world’s most wealthiest descendants, those who have had the most money for the longest amount of time, depends on how today’s events unfold and it just so happens that those events are heavily influenced by the worlds most powerful people……those same people in an indirect way control the military.

Whether it be by lies or coercion or religion or outright murder, in the end, the people will do the bidding of the corrupt few whether they like it or not.

Sorry about the dire mood here but it is plainly obvious to me that if the sheep ever want to exist without the Sheppard they will have to get past the dog first.

Call it what it is, and unblinking, face your fears. That is the only way you/I/humanity will ever make it through this quagmire of false religious dogma, reckless abandon of mother nature and dare I admit it, outright stupidity.

We can change our future if we want to. But we have to confront the vultures head on and demand that they share the wealth of this bounty that is our very existance.

Sorry about the dire mood here but it is plainly obvious to me that if the sheep ever want to exist without the Sheppard they will have to get past the dog first.

lol yeh that damm mad collie dog with different eyes.

my daughter says of the recession 'why dont they just print more money';
l said she'll have to stop buying new bought xmas paper
from a member of greenpeace but still a consumer of those damm :(pre-wrapped superduper markets