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Feb 27th 2013 at 11:26:50 AM •••

"The Of Doom is appended because the image of a single frail, pretty, delicate-as-a-sheet-of-glass butterfly causing the world to turn itself inside out is amusing. In Real Life, the butterfly does not actually change the expected mix of storms; a flap of the wing may cause hurricanes, hailstorms, typhoons, tornados, blizzards, but it would be equally likely to prevent those storms. Probably it causes about an equal number of both changes, but the Butterfly Effect makes it impossible to tell which ones. That being no fun at all, writers tend to opt for the Doom scenario. This alone may be a bad reason to argue for a universal butterfly effect. Edward Lorenz's Chaos Theory is based on the idea that an unstable system is unpredictable and a small change can have a large impact in the long term. Not all systems are unstable, though. This is why there is no scientific reason to claim that the whole universal system is unstable as well. Further, "Chaotic" does not mean entirely random. Systems defined as "Chaotic" may be unpredictable, but they still are deterministic. That is to say that if you knew the exact value of every parameter that influences the state (the weather) at a given moment, you would be able to predict the state of the next moment (forecast the weather). Precise knowledge of every parameter, however, is a difficult assumption to fufill and is physically impossible in nature due to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. The butterfly effect also refers to Ray Bradbury's seminal time travel story "A Sound Of Thunder", which centered on the disastrous consequences of a butterfly's death. By marvelous coincidence, the story was written ten years before Lorenz began pondering the inaccuracies of his forecasting computer. In theoretical discussions of Time Travel, this phenomenon is sometimes referred to as "Avalanche Time", evoking an image of cascading changes that race forward through the timeline exponentially, obliterating everything familiar to the time traveler who set it off. There is a philosophical history regarding this trope as well. Leibniz theorized that God made this the best of all possible realities. Ergo, any change would be tampering with perfection. Therefore in Western Media the Butterfly Of Doom is God being sort of a dick. (Leibniz's philosophy was parodied in Voltaire's Candide, with Doctor Pangloss who, no matter what horrendous atrocity he beheld, would exclaim that every thing was for the best in the best of all possible worlds)."

I think the above should be added to the analysis page, if there is one.

Dec 20th 2012 at 11:09:31 PM •••

Shouldn't "Butterfly Effect" redirect to For Want of a Nail? It is actually about that trope not this one.

Nov 17th 2011 at 10:59:30 AM •••

Can't believe nobody remembered "Stupid bug! You go squish now!" Slackers.

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Dec 20th 2012 at 11:05:03 PM •••

[Deleted (Stupid comment button placement!)]

Edited by aaeyero
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