Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Oil price shock means China is at risk of blowing up - Telegraph

Oil price shock means China is at risk of blowing up - Telegraph:
China's factories 'were not built with current energy levels in mind', said Mr Jen. The outcome will be 'non-linear'.


As Alec says, blah blah blah whatever. I just love the use of 'non-linear' in a mainstream article. non-linear started in the science and engineering community jargon (it even has a FAQ), spread to sci-fi writing (see Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling) and is now mainstream jargon for 'blow the fuck up'.

Sterling and William Gibson have a quaint description of non-linear from their 1990 book, "The Difference Engine":

"They might have known this would happen, if they'd properly studied Catastrophist theory. It is a concatenation of synergistic interactions; the whole system is on the period-doubling route to Chaos!"
"What does that mean, pray?" (…)
"in layman's terms, it means that everything gets twice as bad, twice as fast, until everything falls completely apart!"

Post a Comment