Order From Rhythmic Entrainment and the Origin of Levels Through Dissipation

John Collier
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Rhythmic entrainment is the formation of regular, predictable patterns in time and/or space through interactions within or between systems that manifest potential symmetries. We contend that this process is a major source of symmetries in specific systems, whether passive physical systems or active adaptive and/or voluntary/intentional systems, except that active systems have more control over accepting or avoiding rhythmic entrainment. The result of rhythmic entrainment is a simplification of the entrained system, in the sense that the information required to describe it is reduced. Entrainment can be communicated, passing information from one system to another. The paradigm is a group of jazz percussionists agreeing on a complex musical progression. The process of rhythmic entrainment is complementary to that of symmetry breaking, which produces information. The two processes account for much, if not all, of the complexity and organization in the universe. Rhythmic entrainment can be more or less spontaneous, with the completely spontaneous form being uncontrollable. A balance between the two forms can produce a more robust system, requiring less energy to maintain, whether in physical, biological or social systems. We outline some applications in physics, chemistry, biology, measurement and communication, ending with the especially interesting case of social and economic order. First though, we must introduce some basic principles
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