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The Real Secret of Youth Is Complexity - Issue 36: Aging - Nautilus

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The Real Secret of Youth Is Complexity - Issue 36: Aging - Nautilus
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!" Henry David Thoreau exhorted in his 1854 memoir Walden, in which he extolled the virtues of a "Spartan-like" life. Saint Thomas Aquinas preached that simplicity brings one closer to God. Isaac Newton believed it leads to truth.

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Simplicity is a sign

The process of simplification can be a sign of aging.

Our youthful health depends on complexity. Bones get strength from detailed scaffolds and connective tissue. Even the heartbeat rel...

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The meaning of "complexity"

A complex process involves various components interacting across multiple scales in time and space. To lift a foot requires electrical, chemical, and mechanical parts to coordinate across molecu...

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Complexity loss

A large and growing body of research suggests that biological complexity breaks down with aging.
Various tissues and organs and their communication pathways gradually diminish and lead to diseas...

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Slowing complexity loss

We may be able to slow, or even reverse, some of the complexity loss due to aging. Adding complexity to your daily routine can have far-reaching effects.

  • Aerobic exercise and resistanc...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory is a mathematical toolkit that allows us to extract ordered structures from chaos. The theory can reveal the intricate workings of such diverse natural systems as the beating of the hu...

Tiny variations vastly affect the outcome

Order on a small scale can produce chaos on a larger scale. In systems that behave without chaotic effects, small differences could eventually increase in size until they produce large effects - the hallmark of a chaotic system.

Meteorologist Edward Lorenz made this profound discovery when he attempted to predict the weather more accurately using a mathematical model. He found that rounding numbers off to three decimal places significantly changed the course of his weather predictions. Lorenz famously illustrated this effect with the analogy of a butterfly flapping its wings, thereby causing a hurricane formation elsewhere.

Understanding the butterfly effect

A good way to see the butterfly effect is with a game of billiards. No matter how consistent you are with the first shot, the smallest of differences in the speed and angle with which you strike the white ball will cause the balls to scatter in different directions every time.

What at first appears to be random behavior is completely deterministic. It only seems random because changes that are hardly noticeable are making all the difference.

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Tai Chi

Is a mind-body practice that involves a series of slow, flowing exercises that combine movement, meditation, and rhythmic breathing. Initially developed as a martial art, it's now commonly p...

Research Based Claims On The Benefits Of Tai Chi

"excellent evidence" that tai chi appears to helpful for Parkinson's disease, osteoarthritis, preventing falls, improving cognitive function in older adults, and rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Improves cognitive functioning, particularly in older adults.

Prevents falls in older adults and Parkinson’s and stroke sufferers by improving their balance.

Ameliorates back pain and cancer-related fatigue.

Helps to rehabilitate the heart of people with chronic heart failure.

Safety And Side Effects Of Tai Chi

It is possible to learn tai chi by yourself through books audio and video but only a teacher would be able to guarantee you are doing the movements correctly and safely.

Done correctly, tai chi seems safe for most healthy people, but it should not be used as a substitute for standard care in the treatment of chronic health conditions. Also, if you have a health condition such as arthritis, it's important to consult your doctor before starting tai chi to see if it's appropriate for you.

Network Effects

Network effects are the unseen forces that are guiding our destiny and exerting a powerful intervention on our lives, creating energy that escorts us down a path that is not always fully our intent...

Zipf's Law

Zipf's law is a mathematical probability that states that in a given set, the most frequently used data value (or word) is used twice as often as the next most common value. This is true in various statistical sets like income distribution in companies, internet traffic, phone calls received, and language.

One of the implications of this law is there are unconscious network forces and mathematical patterns governing our lives, with human beings just being nodes exchanging information.

Dinner Party Mathematics

When six to eight people are conversing at a dinner party, it is easy to focus on one conversation, but if the number is higher (say 15), then two-way conversations are more likely.

When groups get larger, the change is exponential, not linear, affecting one's social experience.

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