The Butterfly Effect

Tiny, minute changes in the initial conditions, circumstances and events can have a huge, outsized impact on the final outcome.

The Butterfly Effect, which was made mainstream by the 2004 movie of the same name, takes into account the power of a tiny thing, event or action,(like the flapping of a butterfly wing) that can have a domino effect and turn into something tremendously large in impact.

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The butterfly effect: the impact of deterministic chaos on our lives

nesslabs.com

  • Weather predictions, even with our amazing technological advances, are still laughably wrong.
  • The founder of the ‘chaos’ theory, Edward Lorenz, a meteorologist and mathematician, discovered deterministic chaos in 1961 while trying to predict the weather using a simple computer.
  • A small decimal number rounding off created a huge difference in the final outcome, leading to the creation of a seminal paper on the Butterfly Effect.

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We grow older, not younger, and if we break something, it can’t be unbroken. The world, it seems, goes from order to disorder, getting messy every minute.

The arrow of time only goes forward, and any introduction of randomness creates a multiplier effect in the environment, leading to unpredictable things to happen.

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Cognitive Science has certain dynamic systems where many small mental, behavioural, social and neural changes in neurotransmitters, even in tiny parameters, lead to huge effects in their action and behaviour.

A small change in the marketing mix often results in a large improvement or a sales disaster, as consumer behaviour is often complex and non-rational, making it hard to predict correctly over long periods.

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