THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

CREATIVE METAPHORS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE (3 of 3)

Resonance and nonlinearity in the context of social (and personal?) transformation


butterfly effect: (with reference to chaos theory) the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere


When a butterfly flaps its wings in China, it’s possible that it can through a series of effects then create let’s say a hurricane of the east coast of the United States… It takes a lot of kind of you could say “magic” or what do you want to say coincidence or an alignment of a lot of variables to make it possible… It’s not like dominoes, [systems are] complex and so many different things are going on. So if you can affect one thing slightly its impossible to even predict the set of consequences that that is going to effect… It’s not something that you can really engineer, but it is a reminder that there is a sort of world of possibility, a politics of possibility, a way of living of possibility that is beyond our ability to predict and control… Does that mean that we give up strategic action? No way…But it also means that we might experiment in a little bit more creative and dynamic kind of way.

REFERENCE
Arthur Romano. 2009. Creative metaphors for social change: Critical mass.


 

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