In the complex ecosystem of life even the smallest action will produce an effect that will matter. Every conscious and unconscious choice one makes -whether it is what we ate, the call we picked up, the friend’s call we decided not to pick up, the project we decided to pass, the job we took- WILL alter our life in someway or the other.
The butterfly effect
Almost 50 years back, an american mathematician and meteorologists came up with a bizzare notion. “A butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can produce a tornado in Texas” aka THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. The essence is that small causes can have large effects. This concept that was initially applied to weather has eventually found its place in economics, aerodynamics, chemistry….and well ours life too..
Infact, 5 minutes reading this post will change your life in ways you don’t even know. Before I tell you more about Butterfly effect, the ones who have watched 13 Reasons Why? will surely know the importance of Butterfly Effect.
Imagine this scenario, if you will:
An airplane crashes. It doesn’t arrive at its destination airport, so it can’t transport any new passengers. The displaced passengers are corralled onto other flights, which may be full. Either these people are displaced again, or other scheduled passengers are forced to take other flights. This scenario can be resolved only if there are enough empty seats on subsequent flights.
Now think about the passengers who’ve perished. They aren’t able to return to their jobs, which causes their employers to seek new employees. Recruiters are sent out, and one of them visits a restaurant to meet a candidate. They see a friend working there, and the two catch up with each other. One of them floats the idea that the duo should start a new business, and they do. That new business becomes the next Apple—it practically rules the world.
These scenario sound a bit extreme, but it is extremely plausible. We just don’t often notice how things could have transpired differently should a single factor be changed.
The concept of “Butterfly effect” is that every action causes change in the universe, and that we are not able to predict the outcomes. The chaos theory is tied to the Heisenberg Principle, which states that matter and energy have uncertainty in their existence, and that there is no exact “location and momentum” for every particle in the universe. Accordingly there is no way to predict the past or the future.
Let me tell you an example which resulted in breaking out of World War I. We’ll have to go back to 28 June, 1914.
The heir to the Austrian empire, Franz Ferdinand was visiting Sarjevo, the capital of Bosnia (Then part of the Austrian empire). Even though he was informed of the resent, the moron chose to travel in an open-top car.
The first failed attempt of assassinating him took place when one of the cars in his entourage was hit by a grenade. Despite the clear signs indicating him to take a halt, he ordered the driver to change the route of his visit and drive to the hospital, as he wanted to see those injured by the grenade and to convey that he still was in charge ( A classic example of digging one’s own grave).
Our driver here is quite clueless of his coordinates & stops to check where he is. He stopped right by a man named Gavrilo Princip. A member of the Black Hand Gang who was behind the grenade throwing, and now was trying to hide himself in the crowded street fearing his arrest. Not believing his luck, Princip pulled out the revolver he had on him and shot Franz and his wife. It resulted in both of them dying.’
Austria claimed that Serbia conspired the assassination and it resulted into a conflict between the two nations which later turned into a war. Russia comes to help Serbia & Austria called Germany for help. Later on, various other empires participated in what we know as World War I.
These wars shaped the modern economy. The USA, England, Russia or rather every damn country we see today was shaped up by these wars. Just because someone wanted to ride in an open-top car, or because their driver was clueless of the streets he was driving on.
P.S. – There’s a theory that Princip was there to have a sandwich, but there is no practical evidence backing it so I didn’t include it in my answer.