Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reality Is … So Unreal

The butterfly effect is a concept that really gets my mind reeling. It is the basic theory that even the smallest event or stimulus can create, over a long period of time or a short abrupt period of time, reactions somewhere else in the world. It all began with that famous quote about a butterfly:

"The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different. Of course the butterfly cannot literally cause a tornado. The kinetic energy in a tornado is enormously larger than the energy in the turbulence of a butterfly. The kinetic energy of a tornado is ultimately provided by the sun and the butterfly can only influence certain details of weather events in a chaotic manner."

Now something so infinitesimally small, so insignificant and minute, changing a tornadoes path could be seen as inspiring – shockingly so. Yet, I hold to this contemplative fear, "what if that tornado was supposed to miss me, and now it's headed right for my new 3.5 million baht home, 'to which I have no tornado insurance.'"You see when fate or cosmic karma is out to balance or unbalance the scale, it just might be me or you who is about to weigh in and that sucks. I mean every situation begins with something, in movies they say it's the plot point – you know our divergence from the normal into the drama of our story. Consequently, any time I start to feel bored and do a lot of thinking about what bolder in my life is teetering ever so ominously on some cliff I'm destined to walk beneath, I have to remind myself "maybe there is a super butterfly that could fly between me and that bolder and smash it to pieces with its little wings?" But then again, maybe not?