For a long time, predicting the future has been known to be almost impossible. In fact, apart from weather forecasting, the task of predicting future events has largely been left to fortunetellers, who have seemed to delight in the fact that little progress has been made by scientists in this field.
However, a recent study published in February could prove to be a groundbreaking study in the search for a scientific formula for examining imminent system collapse. This study seeks to ascertain when a system of a certain level of complexity is headed towards collapse.Using math principles, the research tries to help people to get an understanding of systems even when there is little data available to make any complex computations.Perhaps the background of a study of this nature would have to be the apparently numerous ecological systems and other systems that seem to be collapsing at an unprecedented rate. The need to have a scientific manner of analyzing system collapse is perhaps at its highest now.
Although much of the theory used by the researchers has been there for a long time,not many developments had been done previously, perhaps because many scientists don’t think it will work for complex systems. The accuracy of such calculations is not guaranteed, as scientists may know very little about the system.If you don’t know about the system, then it follows that you cannot actually come up with a computation that is specific to that particular system.
This study employs the blanket indications that a system is headed south, although it also considers any information that may be available about the system.It starts with what is known about the given system,then links it with the general arithmetic formula for a normal system.They then add an external disturbance that will adversely affect the system, then observe how the system crumbles over time.
It is possible to anticipate collapse of a system by looking at the relative behavior. More stable systems have a way of recovering much faster after there is a significant disturbance in the system.However, if the system seems to be slower in recovering even after minor disturbances, then that is a warning sign of looming collapse.This advances a theory that one sign of a looming system collapse is a slowdown.
This idea was tested by growing a special kind of bacteria in flasks under standard conditions.In normal conditions, these bacteria have a way of protecting each other from the sun in turns, so that all of them survive. However, with increasing light intensity, some of them die, and they become fewer. Because they are fewer and can’t protect each other as well as before, they die even more and eventually there are no more.
Although many of the findings of this study are not proven for a fact, and there are some disputes here and there, it has to be acknowledged that it takes us one step forward towards a discovery that has eluded scientists for centuries: predicting imminent system collapse.