The Butterfly Effect

Column by George Sibley

Philosophy – September 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

I keep getting these flashy come-ons from The Economist magazine that say in bold white letters on the front of a big blue envelope: “When a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world, it can eventually cause a hurricane in another….”

This decontextualized soundbite, cited as “from Edward Lorenz and Chaos Theory,” bothers me — irritates the hell out of me, in fact.

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