Hey Josh Waitzkin's!! We Need Your Chaos.

(Picture by obscuremechanism.wordpress.com)

It all started in a car, listening to a podcast by Tim Ferriss. 

I was listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast not to long ago where he was talking with Josh Waitzkin.  In the interview Josh made mention of how he used to cause Chaos in his chess games so he could learn how the other players made decisions and so he could find patterns in their play so he could enter a flow while he was playing his opponent.

The podcast link is here just in case you wanted to check it out.  Josh Waitzkin, The Prodigy Returns

That got me to thinking about something that I just can't seem to get off my mind.

What if Josh could use Chaos or Chaos Theory to find patterns in disparate information within Big Data?

Maybe some of you are thinking Chaos Theory is pretty vague or how could it apply to what I'm talking about right now?

First let's start with a brief description of what Chaos Theory is:

"Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on." - (Thank You to FractalFoundation.org for that definition.)

The principles from Chaos Theory that I think would help us the most for this discussion are below:

"The Butterfly Effect: This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. It may take a very long time, but the connection is real. If the butterfly had not flapped its wings at just the right point in space/time, the hurricane would not have happened. A more rigorous way to express this is that small changes in the initial conditions lead to drastic changes in the results."- (Thank You to FractalFoundation.org)

"Order / Disorder Chaos is not simply disorder. Chaos explores the transitions between order and disorder, which often occur in surprising ways."- (Thank You to FractalFoundation.org)

With the brief description and the few principles I listed above to get us started I keep thinking to myself with all of the Big Data out there, no matter what industry you're in why couldn't we use Chaos to help us find links or patterns within the data that maybe we have never noticed before?

Maybe we just need someone like Josh who's mastered using Chaos to see the patterns, or as Josh puts it maybe we just need someone who can get in a "Flow State" to see the things we don't normally see.

Can you imagine what break through's we might be able to make in the areas of Healthcare, Finance, Psychology, Medicine, Energy, Space, etc... if we were able to analyse Big Data sets and find things that normally we wouldn't think were linked together that had some form of a connection.

Someone also posed the question to me the other day why don't you just use a computer to analyse all of the patterns and see what it finds?

I think that is a good point, but I think the only problem with that currently is a computer is only as good as you program it to be.  I'm not sure where we stand on programs that can use Chaos effectively to find any sort of patterns.

This is where I think someone like Josh is key.  I know we haven't even begun to discover what the human mind is capable of doing or processing. This is where I think people like Josh have a big advantage over computers.

Along this same line I am very interested to see what future A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) could lend to this theory.  But I think that is a topic for another post sometime in the future.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Do you think Josh Waitzkin's next adventure should be as a Data Scientist?

Josh if you're reading this let me know what you think.

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