The Butterfly Effect

No, not the amazingly riveting (sarcasm) movie starring Ashton Kutcher, and no, not even the scientific definition of The Butterfly Effect within Chaos Theory.  What I plan to talk about here are the astounding ways in which one action can unleash a chain of events in the context of ones life.

Can a butterfly flapping its wings over the ocean in Florida cause a tidal wave in Australia?

Well, to answer the above question, I would think not.  The context of what I am going to talk about here might even be best described as the domino effect, but, I think butterfly effect sounds way cooler, so lets stick with that.

In my life, many things have happened.  If you trace any one thing back, you can surely account each thing happening back to the decision to do something else.  As a fictitious example:  If I hadn’t decided to start smoking again I wouldn’t have been out at 4am driving to buy a pack of smokes when I got hit by that drunk driver.

You can pretty much trace everything that happens to everyone, backwards, indefinitely.

A friend of mine, loves to do this to me.  You see, about four years ago I was working on my car and he came over with this awesome new game that I had to try.  That game was World of Warcraft.  After a few hours of playing I decided to get my own copy.  Some of his EverQuest friends were playing on the “Stormrage” server, so that’s where we decided to play.  You see, it is entirely because of him, that I play WoW on the Stormrage server.

This is where it gets interesting, and funny.

You see, I met my current girlfriend in WoW.  I know it sounds pathetic to meet someone in an online game, but that is a topic for an entirely different post, and something I am not ashamed of at all.  Anyhow, from time to time, my friend loves to account everything in my life, to himself.  “You know, if I hadn’t gotten you to play wow, you would have never met Cass, so you never would have gotten Dirk, and you wouldn’t live here, or work there.”

The funny thing is, he’s right.

However, before I can give him any credit for anything in my life, the question must be asked:  Does this sort of domino effect even matter?  While I recognize that he is entirely joking when he says these things, and I do not take it seriously at all, it is an interesting concept.  How does one action, or choice, affect you throughout the rest of your life?

Like I said before, almost anything in your life, someone elses life, or the world in general, can be traced backwards from event to event, all of which lead up to the current reality.  Some people believe that every choice made splits the universe into separate universes, each containing the possible outcomes of every choice, everyone has ever made.  This is known as the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.

Regardless, its neat to think about.  How many choices did you make just today, which could affect the way the rest of your life turns out?

2 thoughts on “The Butterfly Effect

  1. “The funny thing is, he’s right.”

    Ok, context be damned. I’m going to remember that statement and use it against you incessantly

  2. I don’t really believe that’s true. I mean in a global, general sense, sure, everything affects everything else. But I don’t really think the little choices you make every day ultimately affect anything but your own perception of how things go down. Everything will happen the way it happens, only you’ll feel like you had a modicum of control over it, because you made the “right” choices or the “wrong” ones somewhere along the line.

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