Posts Tagged ‘Lorenz’

Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?
—Edward Lorenz, title of a paper presented at the 139th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (29 Dec 1979), in Essence of Chaos (1995)

Let’s say the rainbow
lands in a field. The woman
watching it knows her treasure
is elsewhere. Still, she takes it
as a sign. Sure, there are other signs.
The beetle in the screen door. Two
white feathers. A cloud in the shape
of a shoe. Everything means
what she wants it to. She remembers
the words of Edward Lorenz: how the present
determines the future, but
the approximate present does not
approximately determine the future.
In the field, there are no butterflies
present, at least none that she can see.
Sensitivity to initial conditions,
she whispers under her breath,
wondering if just that tiny puff
of memory is enough to create
the next storm. There are rainbows
everywhere, she says to herself.
Where will the next one land?

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