Linear & Local Systems

Two weeks ago I posted a poem Uncertain Determinism. Determinism is the universe according to Isaac Newton, where strict determinist rule governs every action, interaction and reaction. This fixes the future of the universe irrevocably in an inescapable sequence of ‘This causes that, so what happens next is inevitable’, a so-called linear future in which the falling apple meets the ground every time.

Fortunately physicists such as Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck and many others have given us the escape route of uncertainty. The world behaves as though it is a series of linear interactions like a game of snooker, but at its heart it is like the fall of the cards in snooker. The problem is, how does the random behaviour at the world’s heart create a world in which dependable things can happen? How can the apple fall and hit the ground and still allow chance and freewill?

The ball roll on the table
follows rules of moon and sun
which rise today, tomorrow,
as they have always done,
as past connects to future,
and to present, and are one.

This is called a linear system,
like the turning of a planet,
like a bullet, or a prism,
the passage of a photon,
the turning cosmic rhythm.

Yet this certain path is found
in local interaction
in spun, uncertain motion:
of each particle and atom
in the chalky cue’s rebound.
Local gravity, vibration,
make the universal sound
of uncertain random chaos,
smoke, not mirrors, all around.

With so many random roads
how does it take the chosen one?
why doesn’t it explode
as a blazing, shining sun?

The answer is the tiny
uncertain chance and sway
of every sub-atomic spin and swirl.
The congregated sum
of a trillion minute sums
has a bias that produces
a solid rolling ball,
and here it comes!

 

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