The driving force that binds us.

Watching videos of non-linear systems such as the sand pendulum experiment and double pendulum experiment they reveal some surprising effects as at times the system exhibits repeatability and temporary periodicity before a drastic change takes place and the pendulum swings in an entirely different direction before it begins to form a new pattern.

In stunning visual splendor, it is clear to see that chaos is not what I at first thought it would be. It is as if a divine hand is causing a grande and sometimes predictable dance, but there is no hand.

It is written that Napoleon believed he had a ‘lucky star’ that guided him to success and determined his fate. It is rumored that Napoleon was so superstitious he used to select his generals by first assessing if ‘they were lucky.’ This is surprising coming from a supposed successful, and rational man who led 167 scientists on a military expedition into Egypt in 1798, helping to make valuable discoveries such as the Rosetta Stone. By 1812, Napoleon’s military campaigns had expanded Frances territorial dominance over half of western Europe.

Eventually Napoleon’s success had a dramatic turn, which ended as a life in exile. He was imprisoned on a remote island, St. Helena, in 1815 by the British lasting six years before dying at the age of 51. From his continuous and unstoppable rise after becoming general until his imprisonment, we can only assume his star guided him successfully through perpetual conflict for twenty years until it abruptly faded.

One of the most perplexing trends in Rock N’ Roll history is that some of the most successful bands had notorious intra-member feuds. How could individuals whose success depended upon the performance of one another routinely develop volatile and damaging personal relationships, and yet still get in the studio and compose fantastic works of art together? It is as if by pulling each other apart, a divine hand was able to pull them back together.

The English rock band Oasis, featuring brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, are a prime example of an intra-member feud. The band lasted nearly 20 years (1991 – 2009), probably reaching its zenith in 2000. The live album ‘Familiar to Millions’ recorded over two shows, including one at Wembley stadium on July 21st 2000, is one of my favorite albums of all time.

Lyrics from the track “Acquiesce” capture the strange feeling of uncertainty, chaos and destiny best. It is likely the band was aware of the strange tidal forces that were pushing them together and pulling them apart at the same time:

“There are many things that I would like to know
And there are many places that I wish to go
But everything’s depending on the way the wind may blow
I don’t know what it is that makes me feel alive
I don’t know how to wake the things that sleep inside
I only wanna see the light that shines behind your eyes”

Oasis‘ Album (Whats the Story) Morning Glory, was the bands most successful album selling over 22 million copies globally. Since the bands abrupt breakup in 2009, Noel and Liam have both pursued independent careers in music with muted success.

In Zack D. Schwagers infamous book, ‘Stock Market Wizards,’ the first interview illustrated is with investor Stuart Walton who Zack described as a string of paradoxes:

“He wanted to be an artist or a writer, he became a trader. Though he valued academics and disdained the financial worlds, the markets became his profession.”

When Stuart Walton explained how he finds ‘good’ companies he gave a surprising answer:

“I look for companies that have been ‘blessed’ by the market. They may be blessed because of a long string of quarters they’ve made, or for some reason. You can identify these stocks by how they act. For some reason, the market goes to some stocks and it doesn’t go to others.”

With $150 million under management, in June 1999, Stuart Walton walked away from trading. He had performance track record of annual returns ranging from 63% to a high of 274% over period of a decade.

For all his genius, for all the geniuses, there is a common trend of knowing without understanding. We can go to the ocean and watch the waves break on sandy beaches for hours. It is an experience that connects us with the deeper song of the timeless rhythm of nature. For all we observe and study in our short lives, chaotic systems always leave us short of ways to explain them. However, there is one requirement: for any system to be chaotic there must be more than two great forces at play.

“Shampoo is better, I go on first and clean the hair. Conditioner is better, I leave the hair silky and smooth. Oh really fool… really …?”

– Billy Madison