Project 2 | The Butterfly Effect

Creating Meaning

To help myself wording my Café Of the Future project and giving my mission the right depth and sound I researched about The Butterfly Effect.

It is the scientific theory that a single occurrence , no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever.

Edward Lorenz coined its name but the phenomenon was well known before. It derives from the metaphorical example of the details of a hurricane (exact time of formation, exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier.

“The flap of a butterfly’s wings changed the air around it so much that a tornado broke out two continents away.”

With references to the Chaos Theory, the butterfly effect is described as the phenomenon whereby a minute localised change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

Interesting findings :

What is Chaos Theory?

“Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on.These phenomena are often described by fractal mathematics, which captures the infinite complexity of nature. Many natural objects exhibit fractal properties, including landscapes, clouds, trees, organs, rivers etc, and many of the systems in which we live exhibit complex, chaotic behaviour. Recognising the chaotic, fractal nature of our world can give us new insight, power, and wisdom. For example, by understanding the complex, chaotic dynamics of the atmosphere, a balloon pilot can “steer” a balloon to a desired location. By understanding that our ecosystems, our social systems, and our economic systems are interconnected, we can hope to avoid actions which may end up being detrimental to our long-term well-being.”

Within the Chaos Theory Principles we can find the Butterfly Effect :  small changes in the initial conditions lead to drastic changes in the results. Our lives are an ongoing demonstration of this principle. Who knows what the long-term effects of teaching millions of kids about chaos and fractals will be?

Who knows what the long-term effects of helping students finding their way after university will be?

A single chat, with the right person, at the right time, in the right place, in a complex system of convergent circumstances could truly change someone’s life forever.


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