Thursday, June 15, 2006

If chaotic systems do not produce chaos what good are they?


I believe this is how a niche knowledge sector begins its path towards exclusivity. When a technology breakthrough leads to, a small group of people redefining the meaning of a word(s). Before you know it, the word has a different meaning that has spread through word of mouth communication. By the time the real world gets to hear about it, the space is filled with TLA's(three letter acronyms) and other only-members-of-the-club-dig-it jargon.

Case in point, this company Gainesville, FL working on a chip with reconfigurable circuits. What is so cool you ask,
Existing reconfigurable chips, called field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), contain programmable interconnects that can be rewired to perform different functions. But FPGAs are relatively slow to reconfigure, typically taking milliseconds for each rewiring, or about one million times slower than ChaoLogix's chips
Hey! bang up job. I really hope this works so I can have a toaster that is also a clock/radio/wifi receiver. All right so realistically the technology is far from proven and might not succeed as history can attest to. But to me what is most interesting is the statement below,
The common notion that chaotic systems are unstable and unpredictable is not accurate, says Ditto. Such systems can be extremely sensitive to changes, and it is possible to produce desired states reliably and reproducibly provided you ensure only minor changes are made to the inputs.
Can we maybe call it something other than chaos then?

Note: It turns out that this is a long standing disconnect between the popular usage of the term and its scientific implications. Wikipedia has more on it (as always *smile*)


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