Passage #282: 14 January 2015

The Butterfly Effect



In systems exhibiting chaotic behavior, even the smallest changes in initial conditions will produce drastic changes in the course of later events. The canonical example of this is that a butterfly flapping its wings can alter weather conditions across the entire globe, for the rest of history. Thus, science (science!) tells us that if you ever travel to the past, you must never step on a butterfly, and never, ever leave behind a copy of a sports almanac. We will defer examination of the Sports Almanac Effect until another time, because this week is devoted to the butterflies, and their effects upon a bicycle ride.


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