Level confusion is confused thinking that arises from examining a system at different Levels without realizing that you are doing so or what the implications might be. Here are some common areas of level confusion:
Clearly this thinking is confused, and something must be wrong here. Confusion can result from the failure to understand that:
Catataxis is a name for level confusion coined by John Brodie Donald (see Catataxis.) He offers these observations about emergent levels and their associated analytic levels:
While confusion can easily result from crossing levels without noticing it, we don't say that it is always a mistake crossing levels. What takes place at those boundaries is often quite interesting, both practically and theoretically:
I think there's some confusion on the “still waters run deep” metaphor. The deeper you go in a relatively deep body of water (for example, an ocean or deep lake), the calmer it gets. Consider what was reported by divers during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. “An American woman who was scuba diving with her husband in Thailand as one of Sunday's tsunamis roared overhead said she was oblivious to the disaster until after they surfaced, her mother told CNN.” Remember that a tsunami's true devastation begins when it approaches and encroaches a shoreline.
Yes, it's true that “a stock market is a good example of” the statement “a calm surface often masks a roiling torrent underneath.” And, if a body of water is shallow, e.g. a brook, the relatively deeper section of the shallow body of water will roil. However, ff the body of water is deep (e.g. lake, ocean, etc.), then the deeper section will move very little, but certainly not a “roiling torrent.”
Yes, it does seem that Brodie's description isn't very accurate for a lake, though it might be for a stream. This is in a way another example of how observing things from one side of a boundary can be deceptive. The rules are different on the other side, and the boundary has a behavior of its own. Aliens living in ice-covered seas might have no cause to develop a theory of waves.