Butterfly Effect

Episode #671

December 11, 2021

Every time i interact with someone or something in this life i catch a butterfly.


“When a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world, it can eventually cause a hurricane in another.”
—Edward Norton Lorenz

Every action is the beginning of a causal chain reaction.

“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.” 
― Benjamin Franklin

The future is always changed by the present.

In H. G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” the Time Traveller travels to the distant future. He finds two races of humans. One society, the Eloi, lives above ground in an idyllic paradise consuming fruits and vegetables. The other race, the Morlock, lives underground and raises the above ground humans for food. 
During the Time Traveller’s stay he is unable to change this future reality. He even goes farther forward into time and finds that the future of humans only becomes more grim.

Finally, the Time Traveler returns to his present. He tells the story of the Eloi and the Morlocks to his scientist and politician friends at a dinner party. The next day the Time Machine is gone and the Time Traveler never returns.
The Time Traveler’s hope is that the telling of the story will, in subtle ways, change the future so that the world of the Eloi and the Morlock never exists.

As a computer consultant i am certain that i have changed the future.
One client was a teenager who just wanted to use his computer to play games. He knew nothing about customizing the computer, using multiple applications or programming. After showing him the computer’s preferences files and the Unix terminal he began to write small programs that made his computer easier for him to use.

Today, years later, this person is an accomplished computer game designer who has sold millions of copies of his games and has changed the lives of untold numbers of gamers.

Everything that one person says to another changes both person’s future.

The validity of the speaker’s comment is reinforced in the speaker’s mind.
The acceptance or denial of the message changes the future actions and beliefs of the listener.

To control the quantum engines in Frank Herbert’s “Dune”, Guild Navigators were able to see the various possible consequences of their actions. With this knowledge they guided the space ships to foreseen routes that were free of dangerous obstacles. 

Mere humans, on the other hand, cannot predict the consequences of their actions and so must make the best logical and moral decisions they can. The consequences will be what the consequences will be.

In physics it is thought that there are multiple universes called the multiverse. It is infinite adjacent layers of realities.
Every action has consequences that create a new reality. 
Perhaps the multiverse is the infinite branchings of all actions that occur.

What future hurricane will occur if i chase down a butterfly to put it in a jar?
What calmness might the future hold if i let the butterfly go free?


  1. Maria December 10, 2021
    • Rick Thues December 10, 2021

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