Monday, April 14, 2008

The Domino Model

Author's Note: The book cover images in the side margins of this blog are my own publications of eBooks available at both Amazon and B&N. Please take a moment and go to the sites and read about them. Then if you like it, buy one or two.
The Domino Model and the Principle of Imminent Collapse
This principle is not the same as the statement that everything put together sooner or later falls apart. Nor is it a principle of entropy wherein everything is moving inexorably from a higher state of order to a lesser state of order, or a higher level of energy to a lesser level of energy. Although many collapses stem directly from the involvement of Man, the principle incorporates the opportunity for humans to intervene and alter the outcome if they first observe the precursor conditions, recognize the approaching failure, then act to circumvent the deterministic outcome. Moreover, the extraordinary ability of the human mind to anticipate future events and outcomes, is sometimes lost in the pursuit of gains that will only become the nudge that brings down his endeavors.

Unlike the stacking of Dominoes in complex patterns that are designed to execute from the first nudge and ultimately bring down ALL the tiles, the Principle of Imminent Collapse acts to topple a less than universal set of randomly oriented tiles placed in an area of finite size. Once one tile is toppled, the affect is short lived and the destruction is contained within an event horizon. Tiles placed in a region of the area remote from the ones that fall may never even realize that a toppling event has taken place. They may stand through several nudges that bring down a large number of tiles. 

Similarly, one toppling event that takes down, say 10% of the tiles, may insulate a region from the affects of toppling events on the far side of the already toppled tiles. Man may act to re-erect some or all of the toppled tiles thereby not allowing the condition where every tile is toppled and the end-game condition is reached. A major event may disrupt a great many of the tiles and create an aftermath that takes a long time to recover from. Real worlds analogues are the Great War (to end all wars) and WWII (another war to end all wars.)

In order to further model real life events, let us make the tiles have a varying height, width, depth, shape and weight. By this modification, a sturdy tile might withstand the nudge of an adjacent tile by virtue of its mass or its resistance to overturning because of its large base area relative to its height.

The purpose to describing this model it to show that many variables act to make a system stable or unstable. Becoming too homogeneous or too highly aligned in ANY direction is a cause for alarm and is an invitation to the Principle of Imminent Collapse. We see such homogeneity in the thoroughbred species of dogs, cats, horses, etc. When the DNA is not diverse enough, a single virulent organism is capable of decimating the population and defects in muscle and bone can be propagated and destroy the usefulness of the breed.

Too many Republicans or Democrats in one or both houses of Congress; the FAA seeing eye-to-eye with the airlines; the FDA being ever-ready to approve a new drug; the FCC being controlled by a far right conservative Administration; All of your soldiers lined up in a row wearing red uniforms and with muzzle loading muskets; these are all examples of the dangers of the homogeneity of a system. They are all easy pickings for the PIC.
Tweet This Post

No comments: