Delusions of control depend on a system operating with regularity – linear systems. The trouble is that large systems are only linear within a range and small perturbations can become amplified due to local positive feedback. Which is to say that noise is always a problem. But noise contains information and if you suppress it you can loose control – significant events happening faster than a system can follow.

Thus: control can not last.

Suppose a door opens for 15 seconds at the push of a button but it takes you 30 seconds to get through the door. You are going to get smacked every time. In the control business we call that insufficient high frequency response. For a very robust system we like to keep the time it takes to go through the door to under 5 seconds. That gives pretty good stability as long as you don’t try to go through the door too fast. That makes you more liable to smack into something on the other side. Which could propel you back through the door. Giving an endless smacking until destruction. There are of course cases where you want that to happen. They are called oscillators. I work in those areas. They are much more linear than regular society. And still when undertaking something new we have a saying: “Amplifiers oscillate and oscillators don’t”. It takes a while to get things sorted out. In a place where quite a few parameters (temperature, humidity, oxygen/nitrogen levels, voltage, current, power, airflow, etc.) are controlled there are problems. Now human society has a very large range of free variables.

Control can not last.

Inspired by a comment at The Air Vent