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Abner's Dream: Order Imposed on Chaos

May 9, 2008

You're standing in front of a standalone blackboard. On the left side of the board is an array of arrows sprawled across a graph of some sort. The equation to your right tells you that the plot is of some kind of differential equation - y"=f(v,s,v')=... there are too many terms in the equation for you to make out coherently - there's an exponential term, a greek constant here or there (nu? eta?), a general constant A... The equation makes no sense.

Unexpectedly, your hand reaches forward on its own, grasping a piece of chalk... and it begins to trace a line...

There's no discernible behavior, no periodicity to this path you're tracing. The arrows line up underneath your chalk, clamoring for your attention, pulling your hand in different directions as you continue on the path.

When it's done, the arrows are all perfectly aligned with the path you've drawn. The initial values have eliminated some of the constants in the equation - an e, An, v, s; but it still doesn't make any sense there isn't any periodic behavior... yet...

You hear a scraping coming from the other side of the chalkboard. There's a different line - from the same point you started from? - forming on the board. The arrows refuse to budge, but the pattern appears to be coercing them into a shape...

It's a face. You're not sure who it is.

You attempt to run your finger over the line, but it remains on the chaotic path you drew. The other line begins to fade, but you hear the scratching from the other side of the keyboard renew the line. Order imposed on chaos, you think...

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