In April 1986 a historic event occurred that the human race will not forget for at least the next twenty thousand years.
Near the small Ukrainian town of Pripiat there was a nuclear power plant, Chrenobil. During a test in reactor 4 of this power plant, a series of catastrophic events culminated in the reactor's explosion - and the greatest nuclear disaster in the history of planet Earth.
That was the historical fact.
Next we have the perception.
Upon hearing the reports involved by the scientists, at first, the Soviet bureaucrats shrugged their shoulders: “an accident like this could never happen on Soviet soil, so it didn't happen” - they understood.
Fact and perception collided and the reaction was catastrophic, delaying the rescue of the wounded or any other more efficient protection measure for nearby towns.
What is not yet clear is that although they were antagonistic at the time, fact and perception affected in a feedback system.
A fact occurs whether you like it or not. Your perception of it can even change the meaning of the fact, after all, if what makes us human goes beyond the objective layer, the fact itself is only a third of reality, the other two are like subjective and intersubjective notions that we have about it.
The plant existed because of the historical perception of the development of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union accomplished the fact of building nuclear power plants as it needed energy. Maintenance and testing were barely vocals, the perception of history was one of Soviet infallibility. The fact that the explosion took place was due to poorly sustained maintenance and testing.
One thing is linked to another, and I don't even need to stop there: the Russian Revolution of 1917 that ends with the rise of the Soviet Union is a fact, the fruit of a perception created since the release of another fact, a theory, fruit of the perception of one person, Karl Marx - but if I want, I don't need to stop there and I can go to the caves.
The fact alters the perception, which alters the fact, which alters the perception.
The “Chaos Theory”, as everyone knows, is a field of study where it is determined that complex and dynamic systems interacting with each other can generate an infinite number of different results resulting from the slightest alteration in any of its variables.
It's that old story that "the slight flutter of a butterfly's wings on one side of the globe can cause a storm on the other side in a matter of weeks."
In clear Portuguese, anyone who has watched the film Butterfly Effect knows more or less what I'm talking about. In this film, the protagonist Evan Treborn, played by Ashton Kutcher, goes back in time several times and by changing a small variable, a small fraction or act of his past, that is, by changing the historical fact, he drastically changes the facts and the perception of the future.
This is because history is made up of a series of complex systems. A complex system can be described as a series of variables that interact with each other exhibiting collective and emergent properties.
"Wow, Augusto, when I seem to understand, you confuse everything again." Calm! That's right, we're talking about chaos.
Come on, we all agree that society is a complex system, right? Therefore, it can be understood based on chaos theory.
Some chaotic systems, such as the weather, for example, have numerous probable, “verifiable” variables.
In other words, the climate does depend on a handful of different factors for it to happen: sea currents, atmospheric pressure, temperature, relative humidity, etc.
It's not easy to know whether it's going to rain tomorrow or not, but you can get pretty close to a reasonably correct answer: weather is a complex and chaotic system built only by FACTS, and facts are predictable variables: you may not even be able to study it at all. measure them all, but they all have predictability. They are, therefore, facts.
Yeah, I know you're reading it with suspicion and saying “what's this weather forecast thing? They never get it right!"
Look, I understand you. You may have been frustrated several times by not being able to put on that amazing coat that the good guy in the weather forecast guaranteed you would need for the weekend.
But I said that the weather forecast is POSSIBLE, not UNDEFECTIVE.
However, if it's any encouragement, the weather forecast is less flawless today than it will be tomorrow. It's just a matter of time for the tangibility of facts to have a much more efficient level of accuracy.
The ability of science to individually predict each of these elements is improved every day, so, more and more, we will be able to predict the complex climate system as a whole, since its variables will be “tamed”.
Sociocultural trends are complex systems too, and also chaotic, like everything that is part of human nature, but that's where the similarities end. The variable elements that build the trend are different from the variable elements that build the climate by one simple factor: the weather doesn't respond to predictions.
The answer to predictions is not fact, it is perception.
When it comes to human beings and the complex systems they build (sociocultural), there is responsiveness to prediction, that is, if I say that the trend is that tomorrow you will miss work and that you may lose your job because of it , you can decide if you are going to be absent or not, as you don't want to lose your job. What's more, you'll be able to call your boss and make up an excuse for your absence, increasing your chance of not getting fired. Anyway, if I hadn't told you what I predicted, maybe you would act that way, maybe not.
Because I told you, you acted in certain ways, consciously or unconsciously, that changed (or not) the fate of your choices.
In other words, the fact determines the perception that can alter the facts that will determine the perceptions. And so on.
We try to predict trends, we try to anticipate, but this does not mean that we will achieve excellence, as all results depend on a multitude of variables that, when they change, alter each other and the possibilities of results between them.
However, so that we don't get (so) desperate, what matters in this human moment is knowing that we have the possibility of knowing countless of these variables, studying them in depth and developing a systemic view of the thing as a whole, thus, the that would be totally unpredictable, becomes a little less unpredictable.
It's not perfect, but it's perfectable.
This in itself is an incredibly superior force and a monstrously more efficient differential than the vast and overwhelming majority of people possessed in 1917, where they simply followed something that was determined by Karl Marx's perception with no intention of altering this at any point. perception.
History is not a fact, it is a perception. The greatest invention in history is history itself.