We love that moment when a divergent anomaly becomes the missing piece of the puzzle.
The key that unlocks a mystery.
The “Eureka!” of an inventor.
The punch line of a joke.
We hunger to see disparate elements resolve into a coherent pattern.
Tedious teachers tell us the answers. Astounding teachers make us see the answers for ourselves; Click! Snap! The light comes on and we are filled with the electricity of life.
Divergence: How much does it not belong?
Convergence: How well does it fit?
Divergence x Convergence = Fascination
Most people do what obviously makes sense. This is why most people are boring. The key to holding the attention of the world is to do what indirectly makes sense. This is a simple, yet practical application of Chaos Theory. (Chaos, in science, does not speak of randomness, but rather the opposite. Chaos is a higher level of organization than is immediately apparent.)
There can be no delight without an element of surprise. We notice the disparate element and think, “This doesn’t make any sense. I must be missing something.” Wait for it… wait for it… wait for it… then it all comes together in an implosion of understanding and we are submerged in a new reality.
Three elements are all it takes. But each of the three must be sufficiently divergent from the other two. If the divergence is insufficient, there will be no surprise when they come together.
You must also have an explicit moment of convergence. If your three divergent elements fail to converge into a clearly coherent pattern, you will have merely created randomness.
In the Bev Doolittle painting at the top of this page we see:
1. A forest of birch trees in winter
2. A red fox
3. A horse, carrying an Indian.
You may have noticed these in rapid succession but you did not notice them simultaneously. The three are connected chaotically.
Please don’t assume this technique to be limited to visual chaos alone. It is equally applied to words, music, mathematical equations and sequences of events. Just ask any cognoscenti of the Magical Worlds Communications Workshop and they’ll tell you that Alice always finds the bottom of the rabbit hole on Day Three.
Randomness is irritating.
Chaos is thrilling.
(Or be boring. It’s your choice.)
Roy H. Williams
PostScript – The divergent connectedness of every chaotic system is driven by a hidden motivator scientists call “the strange attractor.” I promise I’m not making this up. – RHW