Okay, this isn't really about Chaos Theory, I'm just taking note of a headline in the UK's Mail Online;
Global Warming Theory in Chaos! (Hat tip to Jen Pierce on Facebook)
What great fun it would be to write headlines for the Mail. Their editorial motto must be something like, "Be as florrid as you can, and then double it.".
One day, maybe a decade hence, there may run some article with the headline, "Whatever Happened to Global Warming?", and it's publication may be a small vindication of Chesterton's view of the hoi polloi, the Common Man, who has been unrelentingly scolded, lectured and warned from every organ of the Official Culture that Global Warming will destroy is detroying the Earth and we must, must, MUST take all kinds of drastic action to stop it now... and who has remained steadfastly, maddeningly unalarmed and skeptical.
Odd that scientists have the reputation of being the great skeptics of society, debunking things right and left, willy-nilly, but that when it comes to Global Warming, it is the Herd that is filling the role of the skeptic.
We could be wrong, of course. Not every threat is visible and obvious. But on the whole, the man and woman in the street feel that the scientists in this case place too much confidence in what seems very foggy and - let's face it - easily-massaged data and theories. It strikes us as being akin to reading tea leaves... or, worse, a Ouija board, where the answers are the product of manipulation by the one asking the questions. It seems suspect. We are not convinced.
In a similar way, the masses knew - intuitively, without even pausing to reflect - what Harold Camping managed to miss in years of obsessive "research". Everyone knew the truth but him, and the truth is that some Yahoo is always saying that it's Doomsday. The fact that one owns a radio network does not alter the Yahoo Factor.
The really interesting question in all this, to me, is "What makes people want so badly to believe they possess Secret Knowledge?".
If there is one class of men whom history has proved especially and supremely capable of going quite wrong in all directions, it is the class of highly intellectual men.
G.K. Chesterton - All Things Considered. pp.159-160.
It is true, in a sense, to say that the mob has always been led by more educated men. It is much more true, in every sense, to say that it has always been misled by educated men. It is easy enough to say the cultured man should be the crowd’s guide, philosopher and friend. Unfortunately, he has nearly always been a misguiding guide, a false friend and a very shallow philosopher. And the actual catastrophes we have suffered, including those we are now suffering, have not in historical fact been due to the prosaic practical people who are supposed to know nothing, but almost invariably to the highly theoretical people who knew that they knew everything. The world may learn by its mistakes; but they are mostly the mistakes of the learned.
G.K.C. - The Common Man. p.7.