Wednesday 29 May 2019

Clothes Dryers and Chaos Theory

I saw this a while back and found it amusing. What little I know about Chaos Theory seems to be that there is more order in randomness than we understand.

I was prompted to write because of this:

My bathrobe has a cloth tie of the same material. This tie goes through two cloth loops, one on each side of the robe.

After my weekly wash, I put it in the dryer with other things like towels for an hour on medium.

Invariably, when I take the items out, the tie is no longer in the loops. Often, there's a knot in the tie. Does my dryer practice sleight of hand?

Three times in the past year, I've found the tie with not one, but two knots. How the dickens does spinning in the dryer lead to two knots???

Life is full of randomness, but somehow that randomness leads to unexpected consequences. I continue to be amused.

All the best to you in your world. :-)


Chaos theory
Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics focusing on the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. "Chaos" is an interdisciplinary theory stating that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, self-organization, and reliance on programming at the initial point known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. The butterfly effect describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state, e.g. a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a hurricane in Texas.

My throwing in a reference to Chaos Theory could be construed as some sort of intellectual arrogance, an effort to impress people. And you'd be right. Sitting in front of my computer, armed with Google and Wikipedia, I know I can sometimes come off as really, really smart. Unfortunately, I'm always humbly reminded of my shortcomings: The more I know, the less I know.


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1 comment: said...

Pro tip; wash the robe without the tie. Unless of course, the end fell in the toilet...