A Little Chaos: The Opposite of Order?

Firstly, a moan that our cinema has sold its soul to meerkats, and there is no longer such a thing as cheap Tuesday, unless you buy insurance through that well known site.

Anyway, last night we went to see A Little Chaos. It was a surprisingly entertaining film, to say it is set in the seventeenth century and is about gardening. It was a bit of a chick-flick, it turns out, and Alan Rickman is always on form.

I find there is more I want to say about the title of the film and its premise, rather than anything that happened.  The idea of A Little Chaos is that the gardener who is appointed to construct part of the garden of Versailles is not a fan of the highly ordered designs of her predecessors, and strikes a more chaotic path in her designs. This is encapsulated by her moving a potted bush out of the centre of an ordered circular arrangement. She argues that this bit of chaos is part of the process of development.


I would suggest that it is not only in gardening that advances are made through the introduction of a little chaos, but many fields benefit from it. Creativity is an essential part of learning. Similarly in music, advances have come about by composers expanding or subverting established rules of order (I’ve written a bit about this in my PhD).

I think there is a lot of untidiness in life which may be called chaotic, but this is not necessarily a stumbling block. It is stimulus for new ideas, and offers potential for finding new ways of doing things that may be better than the well-trodden path. And life would be boring without a little chaos.

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