Chapter 6. The Basics of Self-Organization

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

—Immanuel Kant, philosopher (1742–1804)

For centuries, mathematicians have preferred to work with linear (ordered) systems, and they considered nonlinear (complex) systems to be a special group. But reality is full of paradoxes. Nonlinear systems are the norm and abundant throughout the universe, whereas linear systems are a rare and special breed. Someone once said that distinguishing between linear and nonlinear systems is like dividing all species into two groups: fruit flies and non-fruit flies. And humans, together with whales, tigers, and woodpeckers, would be part of the non-fruit flies group. Could it be that mathematicians are, quite ...

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