« Experiment Ideas 2010-11: Silence, class!, Web apps only, Social irritation, and the Labeling hack | Main | A New Edison Feature: Categories! »

What are the origins of change in our world?

Old Opal Kadett My current experiment in writing my book is explain how TTL is based on first principles, something I was trying to get it in my post The Experiment-Driven Life Universe v0.1. The first one, the world is constantly changing, leads to the question, "Why?" What is it about the world that makes it change? Is it the common interpretation of the Second law of thermodynamics, that is, the universe is always in motion towards equilibrium (put very roughly)? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Reader Comments (13)

One reason for change is that everyone else is doing their experiments as well. Here is an example. Lets say that I do an experiment and throw out all of my mail that doesn't have a handwritten address on it and isn't a known bill. I discover that this does away with all of my junk mail. At the same time, marketing firms are experimenting and decide to try sending out letters that are hand addressed. Pretty soon I start getting junk mail again. The world has changed. I made a "rule" that protected me from junk mail and the marketers came up with a "rule" that goes around my "rule".

While this may seem like a silly or trivial example, the same thing happens in all kinds of other areas. The takeaway is that you can't trust that if doing X gives you Y today, it will do the same thing tomorrow. The ideal situation is to have some type of automatic feedback loop so your actions are self adjusting. Short of that, you want to have some type of notification if the actions you decided upon in the past are producing different results in the present.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Shead
I love your thought, Mark. Interaction between experiments is definitely something to consider, as is being clear with people when an experiment you're doing might impact their lives. But your bigger idea - that the system is changing - is tasty, and argues for staying agile. It also reinforces the idea in science of continuing to test theories, though the laws of physics change slower than those of mail ;-) Thanks for commenting!
November 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatthew Cornell
The first one, the world is constantly changing, leads to the question, "Why?"
The alternative would be no change. Once change is introduced as a variable you cannot remove it as it's needed, otherwise there would be nothing. But if you remove time then change simply becomes 'different'.
November 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelectrobloom
Hi electrobloom. Wow, your comment blew my mind. I'm still parsing the relationship between change and time. Amazing, man.
November 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatthew Cornell
Hi Matthew, thanks for your response although I wasn’t expecting to blow your mind! I’m really interested in what you’re doing and have a real affinity with the idea of ‘The Experiment-Driven Life’. I’ll attempt to throw a few more mind blowing observation in your direction soon!
November 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelectrobloom
> I’ll attempt to throw a few more mind blowing observation in your direction soon!

Looking forward to it. Also, I'll suggest you check out http://edison.thinktrylearn.com/ . You might want to try some experiments yourself and blow some other minds :-)
November 14, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatthew Cornell
>You might want to try some experiments yourself and blow some other minds :-)

Will do, I just need to come up with a suitable experiment!
November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelectrobloom
<i>In fact, study after study has shown that simply monitoring your behavior is a powerful intervention in itself.</i>
This is exactly what I do when working with clients who want to change their behavior around time management. I get them to download time keeping software which runs in the background of their daily activities.
This software is similar to this at http://www.effective-time-management-strategies.com/time-keeping-software.html
They are genuinely surprised at how much time they spent on social networking sites or email, and this is compared to their job roles. This opens up a dialogue for initiating change.
Thanks for your great article.
November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKell
Makes sense, Kell. Maybe "start with the data" is a bottom-up approach, and "start with the goals" is a top-down one. The former tells you tactical things you can change, and the latter, strategic. I like it.
November 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatthew Cornell
Hi Matthew,
it's taken me a while but I feel I've now come up with an experiment! It appears that after my last rant, my experience at the door has improved! So this has got me thinking about how contribution changes reality, it's obvious at a local scale but contemporary networks enable reach far beyond an individuals comprehension. As everybody is now so nice at the door, my immediate thought was that they've read my blog, but I know that they haven't! What's going on?
December 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelectrobloom
Hi, electrobloom. I'm sorry that I don't understand the context of your comment. What experiment did you try? You mention a door - what do you mean by that? And what did you change that might have caused the improvement of peoples' attitudes? I do like your insight that contribution changes reality. Needs more thought!
December 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatthew Cornell
Sorry Matthew for not supplying all the detail, it's this post I'm referencing: http://punishandreward.blogspot.com/2010/11/rant-1.html
I'm writing a new article which will connect the dots and explain the experiment!
I also enjoyed your Wabi-Sabi excerpt, thanks.
December 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterelectrobloom
Got it. Looking forward to your article. Glad you liked the wabi-sabi. Very influential book for me. Thanks for stopping by!
December 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatthew Cornell

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.