Cool Things I said today: an occasional series

People who get Chaos Theory and Complexity Theory confused REALLY FUCKING ANNOY THE LIVING FUCK OUT OF ME, so I was quite pleased today to come up with a snappy comeback answer to someone trying to demonstrate the linkage between the two. (While both deal with nonlinear dynamics, Chaos Theory is about finding order within randomness, while Complex Systems Theory deals with the results of running a set of initial conditions.)

To explain the difference between the two, I said that while both may be interested in weather patterns, the Chaos Theorists are gunning 4WDs across Kansas, while Complexity Theorists are sloping off to the Amazon with butterfly nets.

Channel Tunnel makes a profit

The Channel Tunnel is finally profitable, although it’s been a long hard slog. I’m happy the Anglo-French boondoggle is starting to stand on its own two feet: despite the opportunity costs of the billions of taxpayer pounds that went into it, and its questionable impact on the northern European economy, I love that tube under the sea. It’s carried me between capitals a hundred times or more, and it’s an utterly stunning piece of infrastructure that makes me proud to be human.