The problem with disorder
There is a long tradition of associating disorder with unruliness and deformation in western philosophy, literature and aesthetics, from Hesiod to John Milton, from Aristotle to Ernst Gombrich. Perception, too, is ordered in semantic, spatial, and temporal terms. A situation as ‘legible’ when we can see a pattern in it or replace a sequence of events – an enumeration of colours, animals or vehicles, for example – by a rule shorter than itself: the categories ‘colour’, ‘animal’ or ‘vehicle’. When there is no rule which captures the formation of content, the sequence remains obscure or incomprehensible.