forwarded message from John Conover

From: John Conover <>
Subject: forwarded message from John Conover
Date: Wed, 1 May 1996 05:05:07 -0700

When I wrote the attached, (it was in response to some esoteric issues
regarding the Japanese GDP,) I forgot to mention that fractal and
chaotic processes are what are generally called diffusion, relaxation,
or innovation processes-depending on who is telling the

Diffusion is a medical term used in disease propagation, (and also
used by engineers to describe such things as water percolation,)
relaxation is used by physicists and applied mathematicians, and
innovation by economists. They all describe the same category of
physical phenomena.

The point is that something as simple as dropping sand onto a sandpile
(simple diffusion process,) can not be analyzed by statistical
methodology. Fractal analysis is the method of choice in figuring out
how a dump truck works. Applying conventional statistical methodology
will create accuracy errors on the order of factors of 10, in this



John Conover,,

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