Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Differential Equations

Sometimes two quantities change with respect to one another.  For example, the change in a rabbit population affects the change in a wolf population.  This relationship can be modeled by a differential equation.  As the number of rabbits increase, so does the number of wolves until the wolf population begins to significantly impact the rabbit population.  Then, as the number of rabbits decrease, so does the number of wolves, allowing the rabbit population to once more increase.

The concept of differential equation has me wondering if something similar occurs with the number of good deeds and the number of bad deeds in a community.  The expansion of information through electronic media has made us more aware of society's ills - shootings, beatings, riots, fights, and verbal abuse.  But it also reveals what is best about the human community - people helping others when natural disasters strike, words of support and encouragement posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and care and compassion for strangers.

Is it possible that as awareness of bad behavior increases, people instinctively counter it with good behavior?  When bad behavior decreases, do people grow complacent and allow good behavior to decrease also?  Are these two quantities related to one another or are acts of kindness truly random?

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